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Old 9th August 2018, 07:18 PM
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Default Exodus 17

[Exodus 17]
{17:1} And so, the entire multitude of the sons of Israel, having set out from the desert of Sin in stages, according to the word of the Lord, made camp at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.

Rephidim refers to a valley in southern Sinai.

{17:2} And arguing against Moses, they said, “Give us water, so that we may drink.” And Moses answered them: “Why argue against me? For what reason do you tempt the Lord?”

Tempting the Lord is forcing God to do our will. We should strive to be servants of our Lord, not the other way around.

{17:3} And so the people were thirsty in that place, due to the scarcity of water, and they murmured against Moses, saying: “Why did you cause us to go out of Egypt, so as to kill us and our children, as well as our cattle, with thirst?”
{17:4} Then Moses cried out to the Lord, saying: “What shall I do with this people? A little while more and they will stone me.”
{17:5} And the Lord said to Moses: “Go before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. And take in your hand the staff, with which you struck the river, and advance.

God referred to the Nile river which Moses struck back in Egypt (Exodus 7:20).

{17:6} Lo, I will stand in that place before you, on the rock of Horeb. And you shall strike the rock, and water will go forth from it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.

Another miracle witnessed in by the Israelite people. It is important to mention that a miracle, or many miracles, can help in our Faith, but it does not guarantee our conversion. We are free to love our God.

This rock represents and prefigures Jesus Christ who is the Cornerstone (Matt 21:42) (Acts 4:11) who was struck because of our rebellion/infirmities (Isaiah 53:4) (Mark 15:19) and gushes water of eternal life (John 4:13-14) (John 19:34).

{17:7} And he called the name of that place ‘Temptation,’ because of the arguing of the sons of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord, saying: “Is the Lord with us, or not?”
{17:8} And Amalek came and fought against Israel at Rephidim.

The Amalekites were from the Sinai Peninsula (Gen 14:7) (Num 13:29).

{17:9} And Moses said to Joshua: “Choose men. And when you go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”

Joshua was Moses' assistant and a warrior, he was in charge of the combatant people of Israel.

{17:10} Joshua did as Moses had spoken, and he fought against Amalek. But Moses and Aaron and Hur ascended to the top of the hill.

This Hur was most likely the grandfather of Bezalel who becomes the chief artisan of the Tabernacle (Exodus 31:1 ff).

{17:11} And when Moses lifted up his hands, Israel prevailed. But when he released them a little while, Amalek overcame.

This event calls us to persevere in the Lord and we shall conquer (Matt 24:13).

{17:12} Then the hands of Moses became heavy. And so, taking a stone, they placed it beneath him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur sustained his hands from both sides. And it happened that his hands did not tire until the setting of the sun.
{17:13} And Joshua put to flight Amalek and his people by the edge of the sword.

Besides perseverance, also action, works. The Lord helps us but does not do everything for us. He could easily have defeated Amakelite army by Himself alone but the Israelite had to fight with perseverance, otherwise they would have lost even having God with them. If we give up, we lose. There is no guarantee of salvation, it is up to us, we must persevere being in the state of grace.

{17:14} Then the Lord said to Moses: “Write this, as a memorial in a book, and deliver it to the ears of Joshua. For I will wipe away the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

God's Word is not only "written" Tradition, but also "oral" Tradition as he delivered God's message to Joshua by word as well "(a) write, and also (b) deliver it to the ears of". Moses is believed to have written to much extent the first five books of the O.T. (the "Torah" for the Jewish people. Also known as the "Pentateuch"): Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

{17:15} And Moses built an altar. And he called its name, ‘The Lord, my Exaltation.’ For he said:
{17:16} “The hand of the throne of the Lord, and the war of the Lord, will be against Amalek from generation to generation.”
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