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Exodus 14:30-31

Context
14:30 So the Lord saved 1  Israel on that day from the power 2  of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead 3  on the shore of the sea. 14:31 When Israel saw 4  the great power 5  that the Lord had exercised 6  over the Egyptians, they 7  feared the Lord, and they believed in 8  the Lord and in his servant Moses. 9 

1 tn The Hebrew term וַיּוֹשַׁע (vayyosha’) is the key summation of the chapter, and this part of the book: “So Yahweh saved Israel.” This is the culmination of all the powerful works of God through these chapters.

2 tn Heb “the hand,” with “hand” being a metonymy for power.

3 tn The participle “dead” is singular, agreeing in form with “Egypt.”

4 tn The preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive introduces a clause that is subordinate to the main points that the verse is making.

5 tn Heb “the great hand,” with “hand” being a metonymy for work or power. The word play using “hand” contrasts the Lord’s hand/power at work on behalf of the Israelites with the hand/power of Egypt that would have killed them.

6 tn Heb “did, made.”

7 tn Heb “and the people feared.”

8 tn The verb is the Hiphil preterite of אָמַן (’aman).

sn S. R. Driver says that the belief intended here is not simply a crediting of a testimony concerning a person or a thing, but a laying firm hold morally on a person or a thing (Exodus, 122). Others take the Hiphil sense to be declarative, and that would indicate a considering of the object of faith trustworthy or dependable, and therefore to be acted on. In this passage it does not mean that here they came to faith, but that they became convinced that he would save them in the future.

9 sn Here the title of “servant” is given to Moses. This is the highest title a mortal can have in the OT – the “servant of Yahweh.” It signifies more than a believer; it describes the individual as acting on behalf of God. For example, when Moses stretched out his hand, God used it as his own (Isa 63:12). Moses was God’s personal representative. The chapter records both a message of salvation and of judgment. Like the earlier account of deliverance at the Passover, this chapter can be a lesson on deliverance from present troubles – if God could do this for Israel, there is no trouble too great for him to overcome. The passage can also be understood as a picture (at least) of the deliverance at the final judgment on the world. But the Israelites used this account for a paradigm of the power of God: namely, God is able to deliver his people from danger because he is the sovereign Lord of creation. His people must learn to trust him, even in desperate situations; they must fear him and not the situation. God can bring any threat to an end by bringing his power to bear in judgment on the wicked.



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