Exodus 17:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.

New Living Translation
As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage.

English Standard Version
Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.

New American Standard Bible
So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed.

King James Bible
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed.

International Standard Version
Whenever Moses raised his hand, the Israelis prevailed, but when his hand remained at his side, then the Amalekites prevailed.

NET Bible
Whenever Moses would raise his hands, then Israel prevailed, but whenever he would rest his hands, then Amalek prevailed.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel would win, but as soon as he put his hands down, the Amalekites would start to win.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; but when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

King James 2000 Bible
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

American King James Version
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

American Standard Version
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when Moses lifted up his hands, Israel overcame: but if he let them down a little, Amalec overcame.

Darby Bible Translation
And it came to pass when Moses raised his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

English Revised Version
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Webster's Bible Translation
And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

World English Bible
It happened, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Young's Literal Translation
and it hath come to pass, when Moses lifteth up his hand, that Israel hath been mighty, and when he letteth his hands rest, that Amalek hath been mighty.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:8-16 Israel engaged with Amalek in their own necessary defence. God makes his people able, and calls them to various services for the good of his church. Joshua fights, Moses prays, both minister to Israel. The rod was held up, as the banner to encourage the soldiers. Also to God, by way of appeal to him. Moses was tired. The strongest arm will fail with being long held out; it is God only whose hand is stretched out still. We do not find that Joshua's hands were heavy in fighting, but Moses' hands were heavy in praying; the more spiritual any service is, the more apt we are to fail and flag in it. To convince Israel that the hand of Moses, whom they had been chiding, did more for their safety than their own hands, his rod than their sword, the success rises and falls as Moses lifts up or lets down his hands. The church's cause is more or less successful, as her friends are more or less strong in faith, and fervent in prayer. Moses, the man of God, is glad of help. We should not be shy, either of asking help from others, or of giving help to others. The hands of Moses being thus stayed, were steady till the going down of the sun. It was great encouragement to the people to see Joshua before them in the field of battle, and Moses above them on the hill. Christ is both to us; our Joshua, the Captain of our salvation, who fights our battles, and our Moses, who ever lives, making intercession above, that our faith fail not. Weapons formed against God's Israel cannot prosper long, and shall be broken at last. Moses must write what had been done, what Amalek had done against Israel; write their bitter hatred; write their cruel attempts; let them never be forgotten, nor what God had done for Israel in saving them from Amalek. Write what should be done; that in process of time Amalek should be totally ruined and rooted out. Amalek's destruction was typical of the destruction of all the enemies of Christ and his kingdom.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 11. - When Moses held up his hand,... Israel prevailed. The elevation of Moses' hand, with the rod held in it, was an appeal to God for aid, and must be supposed to have been accompanied by fervent prayer to God, that he would help his people and give them victory over their enemies. So long as the hand was upraised, the Israelites prevailed; not because they saw it, and took it as directing them to continue the fight (Kalisch), but because God gave them strength, and vigour and courage, while Moses interceded, and left them to themselves when the intercession ceased, It may be said, that Moses might have continued to pray, though his hands were weary; but only those who have tried, know how difficult a thing it is to pray with any intensity for a continuance. Probably Moses' spiritual and physical powers collapsed together; and when he dropped his hand through physical fatigue, he rested also from his mental effort. To impress upon Israel the importance of intercessory prayer, God made success and failure alternate with its continuance and discontinuance, thus teaching his people a lesson of inestimable value.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed,.... With his rod in it as a banner displayed, as some think, which inspired the Israelites with courage to fight, and they had the better of it; though Aben Ezra rejects that notion, observing, that if that had been the case, Aaron or Hur would have lifted it up, or fixed it in a high place on the mount, that it might have been seen standing; and therefore he thinks the sense of the ancients the most correct, that it was a prayer gesture. And among the Heathens, Moses was famous for the efficacy of his prayers; Numenius, the Pythagoric philosopher (y), says of him, that he was a man very powerful in prayer with God: and so all the Targums interpret it, and particularly the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase the words,"when Moses lift up his hands in prayer, the house of Israel prevailed, but when he restrained his hands from prayer, the house of Amalek prevailed,''as it follows:

when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed; so that victory seemed to go sometimes on one side, and sometimes on the other, according as the hand of Moses, with the rod in it, was held up or let down; when it was held up, and Israel saw it, they fought valiantly, but when it was let down, and they could not see it, their hearts failed them, and they feared it portended ill to them, which caused them to give way to the enemy. The spiritual Israel of God are engaged in a warfare with spiritual enemies, some within, and some without; and sometimes they prevail over their enemies, and sometimes their enemies prevail over them for a while; and things go on very much as a man either keeps up or leaves off praying, which is signified by the lifting up of holy hands without wrath and doubting, 1 Timothy 2:8 and which when rightly performed, under the influence of the divine Spirit in faith, in sincerity, and with fervency and constancy, has great power with God and Christ, and against Satan and every spiritual enemy.

(y) Apud Euseb. Praepar, Evangel. l. 9. c. 8. p. 411.



Exodus 17:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Defeat of the Amalekites
10Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought against Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11So it came about when Moses held his hand up, that Israel prevailed, and when he let his hand down, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses' hands were heavy. Then they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it; and Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and one on the other. Thus his hands were steady until the sun set.…
Cross References
Exodus 17:10
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.

Exodus 17:12
When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Joshua 8:26
For Joshua did not draw back the hand that held out his javelin until he had destroyed all who lived in Ai.
Treasury of Scripture

And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Psalm 56:9 When I cry to you, then shall my enemies turn back: this I know; …

Luke 18:1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always …

1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, …

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that …

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