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Exodus 15:11-17

Context

15:11 Who is like you, 1  O Lord, among the gods? 2 

Who is like you? – majestic in holiness, fearful in praises, 3  working wonders?

15:12 You stretched out your right hand,

the earth swallowed them. 4 

15:13 By your loyal love you will lead 5  the people whom 6  you have redeemed;

you will guide 7  them by your strength to your holy dwelling place.

15:14 The nations will hear 8  and tremble;

anguish 9  will seize 10  the inhabitants of Philistia.

15:15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be terrified, 11 

trembling will seize 12  the leaders of Moab,

and the inhabitants of Canaan will shake.

15:16 Fear and dread 13  will fall 14  on them;

by the greatness 15  of your arm they will be as still as stone 16 

until 17  your people pass by, O Lord,

until the people whom you have bought 18  pass by.

15:17 You will bring them in 19  and plant them in the mountain 20  of your inheritance,

in the place you made 21  for your residence, O Lord,

the sanctuary, O Lord, that your hands have established.

1 tn The question is of course rhetorical; it is a way of affirming that no one is comparable to God. See C. J. Labuschagne, The Incomparability of Yahweh in the Old Testament, 22, 66-67, and 94-97.

2 sn Verses 11-17 will now focus on Yahweh as the incomparable one who was able to save Israel from their foes and afterward lead them to the promised land.

3 tn S. R. Driver suggests “praiseworthy acts” as the translation (Exodus, 137).

4 tn The verb is the prefixed conjugation, the preterite without the vav consecutive. The subject, the “earth,” must be inclusive of the sea, or it may indicate the grave or Sheol; the sea drowned them. Some scholars wish to see this as a reference to Dathan and Abiram, and therefore evidence of a later addition or compilation. It fits this passage well, however.

5 tn The verbs in the next two verses are perfect tenses, but can be interpreted as a prophetic perfect, looking to the future.

6 tn The particle זוּ (zu) is a relative pronoun, subordinating the next verb to the preceding.

7 tn This verb seems to mean “to guide to a watering-place” (See Ps 23:2).

8 tn This verb is a prophetic perfect, assuming that the text means what it said and this song was sung at the Sea. So all these countries were yet to hear of the victory.

9 tn The word properly refers to “pangs” of childbirth. When the nations hear, they will be terrified.

10 tn The verb is again a prophetic perfect.

11 tn This is a prophetic perfect.

12 tn This verb is imperfect tense.

13 tn The two words can form a nominal hendiadys, “a dreadful fear,” though most English versions retain the two separate terms.

14 tn The form is an imperfect.

15 tn The adjective is in construct form and governs the noun “arm” (“arm” being the anthropomorphic expression for what God did). See GKC 428 §132.c.

16 sn For a study of the words for fear, see N. Waldman, “A Comparative Note on Exodus 15:14-16,” JQR 66 (1976): 189-92.

17 tn Clauses beginning with עַד (’ad) express a limit that is not absolute, but only relative, beyond which the action continues (GKC 446-47 §138.g).

18 tn The verb קָנָה (qanah) here is the verb “acquire, purchase,” and probably not the homonym “to create, make” (see Gen 4:1; Deut 32:6; and Prov 8:22).

19 tn The verb is imperfect.

20 sn The “mountain” and the “place” would be wherever Yahweh met with his people. It here refers to Canaan, the land promised to the patriarchs.

21 tn The verb is perfect tense, referring to Yahweh’s previous choice of the holy place.



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