This chapter is about the song of Moses & Miriam. Miriam is Moses & Aaron’s sister. Even though in the text, it says that she’s Aaron sister. But the concordance (A concordance is pretty much like a dictionary for the bible. It’s usually located at the back of the bible. There are stand-alone concordances. These are MASSIVE books, they look like if you were to put like 5-6 encyclopedias together.) says that Miriam is Moses’ sister. So, I’m assuming that if Moses & Aaron are brothers, then Miriam is both of their sister. This chapter is also about the waters of Marah & Elim.
Moses & the Israelites sang this song to God:
“I’ll sing to God, for he’s highly exalted. The horse & its rider he has thrown into the sea. God is my strength & my song; he has become my salvation. He’s my God, & I’ll praise him, my father’s God, & I’ll exalt him. God’s a warrior; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots & his army he has hurled into the sea. Pharaoh’s best officers are drowned in the Red (Reed) Sea.
Your right hand was majestic in power. (Back in those days, the right hand was considered very important.) Your right hand, O God, shattered the enemy. By the blast of your nostrils, the waters piled up. (So in chapter 14, it says that an east wind parted the waters. Here it says that God used his nose (nostrils) to part the waters. Think about that.)
The enemy boasted. But you blew your breath, & the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters. Who among the gods is like you, O God? (Just like today, there was a belief in multiple gods.) You stretched out your right hand & the earth swallowed them.
In your strength, you’ll guide them to your holy dwelling. The nations will hear & tremble. Anguish will grip the people of Philistia. The chiefs of Edom will be terrified. The leaders of Moab will be trembling. The people of Canaan will melt away. (I wonder if it’s like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ kinda thing or if it’s figuratively, like they are going disappear/melt.) God will reign forever & ever.”
When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, & horsemen went into the sea, God brought the waters of the sea back over them. But the Israelites walked on dry land. Then Miriam the prophetess, (See, even back then women could be prophetesses.) Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand. All the women followed her, with tambourines & dancing. Miriam sang to them: “Sing to God, for he’s highly exalted. The horse & rider he has hurled into the sea.”
Then Moses led Israel from the Red (Reed) Sea. They went into the desert of Shur. For 3 days they traveled in the desert without finding water. When they came to Marah, they couldn’t drink its water because it was bitter. (Marah means bitter.) So the people started complaining.
Then Moses cried out to God. God showed him (Moses) a piece of wood. He threw it into the water. The water became sweet. Then God made a decree & a law for them. There he (God) tested them. He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of your God & do what’s right in his eyes. If you pay attention to his commands & keep all his decrees, I’ll not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians. For I’m God, who heals you.” (Think about that. God would use biological weaponry (for lack of a better term) on his “chosen people” for disobeying him. Harsh.)
Then they came to Elim, where there were 12 springs & 72 palm trees. They camped there near the water. (This an awful specific numbers. And there’s no explaination or reason for these particular numbers. Because the bible doesn’t just throw random numbers for no reason.)