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.
Exodus 17:11 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
When Moses held up his hand - We cannot understand this transaction in any literal way; for the lifting up or letting down the hands of Moses could not, humanly speaking, influence the battle. It is likely that he held up the rod of God in his hand, Exodus 17:9, as an ensign to the people. We have already seen that in prayer the hands were generally lifted up and spread out, (See Clarke's note on Exodus 9:29), and therefore it is likely that by this act prayer and supplication are intended. The Jerusalem Targum says, "When Moses held up his hands in prayer, the house of Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hands from prayer, the house of Amalek prevailed." We may therefore conclude, that by holding up the hands in this case these two things were intended:
1. That hereby a reference was made to God, as the source whence all help and protection must come, and that on him alone they must depend.
2. That prayer and supplication to God are essentially necessary to their prevalence over all their enemies.
It is indisputably true that, while the hands are stretched out, that is, while the soul exerts itself in prayer and supplication to God, we are sure to conquer our spiritual adversaries; but if our hands become heavy - if we restrain prayer before God, Amalek will prevail - every spiritual foe, every internal corruption, will gain ground. Several of the fathers consider Moses, with his stretched-out hands, as a figure of Christ on the cross, suffering for mankind, and getting a complete victory over sin and Satan.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Psalm 56:9 When I cry to you, then shall my enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.
Luke 18:1 And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
1 Timothy 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed...
Exodus 17:11 Parallel CommentariesAmalek Am'alek Amalekites Hand Hands Held Israel Israelites Lowered Mighty Moses Prevailed Rest Stronger Whenever WinningAmalek Am'alek Amalekites Hand Hands Held Israel Israelites Lowered Mighty Moses Prevailed Rest Stronger Whenever WinningTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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