Exodus 15:2
The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.
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(2) The Lord is my strength and song.—Heb., My strength and song is Jah. The contracted form of Jehovah, Jah, is here used for the first time; but its existence in the current speech has already been indicated by the name Moriah, which occurs in Genesis 22:1. It is here used on account of the rhythm.

He is become my salvation.—Heb,, he has been to me for salvation: i.e., “he has saved me out of the hand of Pharaoh.” The beauty and force of the passage causes Isaiah to adopt it into one of his most glorious poems, the “joyful thanksgiving of the faithful for the mercies of God,” contained in his twelfth chapter. (See Exodus 15:2.)

I will prepare him an habitation.—So Onkelos and Aben-Ezra; but Jarchi, the Targums of Jerusalem and Jonathan, the LXX., and Vulg., with most moderns, translate, “I will glorify him.” It is a strong objection to the rendering of the Authorised Version that Moses is not likely to have had the idea of preparing God a habitation until the revelation of God’s will on the subject was made to him on Sinai (Exodus 25-27). The law of parallelism also requires such a meaning as “glorify” to correspond with the “exalt” of the next clause.

My father’s God.—“Father” here, by a common Hebrew idiom, stands for “forefathers” generally. (Comp. Note on Exodus 3:6.)



Exodus 15:2

These words occur three times in the Bible: here, in Isaiah 12:2, and in Psalm 18:14.

I. The lessons from the various instances of their occurrence. The first and second teach that the Mosaic deliverance is a picture-prophecy of the redemption in Christ. The third {Psalm 18:14}, long after, and the utterance of some private person, teaches that each age and each soul has the same mighty Hand working for it. ‘As we have heard, so have we seen.’

II. The lessons from the words themselves.

{a} True faith appropriates God’s universal mercy as a personal possession. ‘My Lord and my God!’ ‘He loved me, and gave Himself for me.’

{b} Each single act of mercy should reveal God more clearly as ‘My strength.’ The ‘and’ in the second clause is substantially equivalent to ‘for.’ It assigns the reason for the assurance expressed in the first. Because of the experienced deliverance and God’s manifestation of Himself in it as the author of ‘salvation,’ my faith wins happy increase of confidence that He ‘is the strength of my heart.’ Blessed they who bring that treasure out of all the sorrows of life!

{c} The end of His deliverances is ‘praise.’ ‘He is my song.’ This is true for earth and for heaven. The ‘Song of Moses and the Lamb.’

Exodus 15:2. Israel rejoiceth in God, as their strength, song, and salvation — Happy, therefore, the people whose God is the Lord: they are weak in themselves, but he strengthens them; his grace is their strength: they are oft in sorrow, but in him they have comfort; he is their song: sin and death threaten them, but he is, and will be their salvation. He is their fathers’ God — This they take notice of, because, being conscious of their own unworthiness, they had reason to think that what God had now done for them was for their fathers’ sake, Deuteronomy 4:37. I will prepare him a habitation — This version is countenanced by the Chaldee, Extruam ei sanctuarium, I will build him a sanctuary, referring probably to the tabernacles soon to be built, to which there seems also to be an allusion in Exodus 15:13. Rab. Salom., however, considers the Hebrew word here used as being derived from נוי, נוהand נאה, and translates it, I will declare his beauty and his praise. To the same purpose the Seventy, δοξασω, and the Vulgate, glorificabo, I will glorify him.

15:1-21 This song is the most ancient we know of. It is a holy song, to the honour of God, to exalt his name, and celebrate his praise, and his only, not in the least to magnify any man. Holiness to the Lord is in every part of it. It may be considered as typical, and prophetical of the final destruction of the enemies of the church. Happy the people whose God is the Lord. They have work to do, temptations to grapple with, and afflictions to bear, and are weak in themselves; but his grace is their strength. They are often in sorrow, but in him they have comfort; he is their song. Sin, and death, and hell threaten them, but he is, and will be their salvation. The Lord is a God of almighty power, and woe to those that strive with their Maker! He is a God of matchless perfection; he is glorious in holiness; his holiness is his glory. His holiness appears in the hatred of sin, and his wrath against obstinate sinners. It appears in the deliverance of Israel, and his faithfulness to his own promise. He is fearful in praises; that which is matter of praise to the servants of God, is very dreadful to his enemies. He is doing wonders, things out of the common course of nature; wondrous to those in whose favour they are wrought, who are so unworthy, that they had no reason to expect them. There were wonders of power and wonders of grace; in both, God was to be humbly adored.The Lord is my strength and song - My strength and song is Jah. See Psalm 68:4. The name was chosen here by Moses to draw attention to the promise ratified by the name "I am."

I will prepare Him an habitation - I will glorify Him. Our Authorized Version is open to serious objection, as suggesting a thought (namely, of erecting a temple) which could hardly have been in the mind of Moses at that time, and unsuited to the occasion.


Ex 15:1-27. Song of Moses.

1. Then sang Moses and the children of Israel—The scene of this thanksgiving song is supposed to have been at the landing place on the eastern shore of the Red Sea, at Ayoun Musa, "the fountains of Moses." They are situated somewhat farther northward along the shore than the opposite point from which the Israelites set out. But the line of the people would be extended during the passage, and one extremity of it would reach as far north as these fountains, which would supply them with water on landing. The time when it was sung is supposed to have been the morning after the passage. This song is, by some hundred years, the oldest poem in the world. There is a sublimity and beauty in the language that is unexampled. But its unrivalled superiority arises not solely from the splendor of the diction. Its poetical excellencies have often drawn forth the admiration of the best judges, while the character of the event commemorated, and its being prompted by divine inspiration, contribute to give it an interest and sublimity peculiar to itself.

I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously—Considering the state of servitude in which they had been born and bred, and the rude features of character which their subsequent history often displays, it cannot be supposed that the children of Israel generally were qualified to commit to memory or to appreciate the beauties of this inimitable song. But they might perfectly understand its pervading strain of sentiment; and, with the view of suitably improving the occasion, it was thought necessary that all, old and young, should join their united voices in the rehearsal of its words. As every individual had cause, so every individual gave utterance to his feelings of gratitude.

My strength and song; the matter or subject of the present song of praise.

An habitation; a place for his service and worship, where he will dwell by his special presence.

The Lord is my strength and song,..... The strength of Moses and the children of Israel against the fears of the Egyptians, and of entrance into the Red sea; who inspired them with courage, and strengthened their faith, neither to fear being destroyed by the one, or drowned in the other; and so in the glory of his nature, and of his divine perfections, of his justice, holiness, faithfulness, truth, and goodness, he was the subject matter of their song. As Christ is the strength of his spiritual Israel, the author and giver of strength unto them, the strength of their lives, their hearts, and graces; and who strengthens them to do his will and work, to exercise every grace, withstand corruptions, resist temptations, bear afflictions, and overcome every enemy; and who on the account of the glory of his person, the beauty, fitness, and fulness of it, and because of his offices of Mediator, Saviour, prophet, priest, and King, as well as by reason of what he has done for them, the righteousness he has brought in, and the salvation he has wrought out, is the sum and substance of their song of praise:

and he is become my salvation; the salvation of Israel in a temporal sense, having saved them out of the hands of the Egyptians their enemies; and the salvation or Saviour of his spiritual Israel, who are saved by him with an everlasting salvation; he is not only their Saviour, but salvation itself; being not only the author of it, and that being in him for them, but made that itself unto them, even their all in all; their righteousness, atonement, peace, light, life, food, health, comfort, and joy; all their grace being in him, and from him, as well as their eternal glory and happiness: and this he is to them now, he is their salvation by impetration having obtained it by his obedience, sufferings, and death; and by application, they being convinced of their need of salvation by him, and the suitableness of it to them, seek to him for it, desire that and no other, which is brought nigh unto them by the Spirit of God, and witnessed to by him as theirs; so that they are already saved by grace, through faith and hope in Christ; and of their particular interest in it, they have knowledge by the same Spirit, which fills them with joy unspeakable and full of glory. This and the preceding clause are words so very expressive, and contain such fulness of matter, and such interesting things, that both the psalmist David, and the church, in the times of the evangelic prophet Isaiah, have borrowed them to express their sense of the great things the Lord was to them, and had done for them, Psalm 118:14.

he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; Christ is God, truly God, as appears from the names given him, particularly Jehovah; from the perfections ascribed to him, from the works done by him, and from the worship of him both by angels and men; and he is his people's God, their Immanuel, God in their nature, the God in whom they believe, and in whom they have an interest; he is the God of their salvation, the Lord their righteousness; their Lord, head, and King; their husband, beloved, Father, brother, friend; their God and guide, even unto death; their portion and exceeding great reward, now and hereafter: wherefore Moses, or the people of Israel, or both, determine to "prepare" him an "habitation", being concerned that he had no better dwelling place among them than he had; and seem to have some respect unto, and knowledge of an habitation hereafter to be built, the tabernacle and temple; which were typical of the human nature of Christ, and of his church; but then they were both of God's preparing, and not men's; wherefore an habitation in the hearts of, his people may be chiefly designed; the preparation of which, though it is principally and efficaciously of the Spirit of God, yet in some sense may be said to be prepared by the saints, when they show a concern for grace to be in exercise; to have duty regularly and constantly performed in a manner acceptable to him, and that no disturbance be given to occasion his departure from them. The Septuagint version is, "I will glorify him"; with soul and body, which are both his; and so much to the same purpose other versions, "I will decorate or beautify" (t) him; declare his beauty and glory, and speak in praise of it: "my father's God, and I will exalt him"; Christ was not only the God of Amram, the father of Moses, who was a good man; but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as he declared himself to be, Exodus 3:6, the ancestors not only of Moses, but of all the children of Israel. This shows the antiquity of Christ, that he was their fathers' God, and that he is to be trusted and depended on, as he was by their fathers, and to be regarded, and highly valued and esteemed, having been their fathers' friend, and is a reason why he should be exalted by them; for though he cannot be raised higher than he is, being the Son of the Highest, God over all, blessed for ever, whose kingdom ruleth over all, and is now as man ascended on high, and is highly exalted by his Father, and at his right hand, and glorified by him with himself; yet he may be said to be exalted and lifted up by us, when we celebrate and set forth the height of his glory and excellency, by asserting his proper deity, ascribing the same perfections, worlds, and worship to him, as to his Father, by attributing distinct divine personality to him, confessing his eternal sonship, owning him in all his offices, and giving him the glory due unto him on account of them, and for salvation wrought out by him; the whole honour and praise of it belong to him: he may and should be exalted in the hearts of his people, in their thoughts and affections, and with their lips in songs of praise; and in the house of God, and the ordinances of it, where everyone should speak of his glory; the reasons are, because he is above all in his person and perfections, is the only Mediator, Saviour, and Redeemer, and to exalt him is the way to be exalted, Proverbs 4:8.

(t) Sept. "glorificabo eum", V. L. "laudabo eume", Syr. Samar. "hunc decorabo", Tigurine version; "condecorabo eum", Piscator.

The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will {b} prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

(b) To worship him in it.

2. Yah is my strength and a song] i.e. the source of my strength and the theme of my song. Yah, the abbreviated form of Yahweh, occurs otherwise in Exodus 17:16, Isaiah 12:2 (in a citation of the present verse), Exodus 26:4 (post-exilic), Exodus 38:12 (Hezekiah’s song), Song of Solomon 8:6; otherwise only in late Psalms (40 times, mostly in ‘Hallelu-yah’).

my … I] The poet speaks, as Hebrew poets often do (e.g. Isaiah 61:10; Psalm 44:4; Psalm 44:6; Psalm 118:5-21; Psalm 118:28), in the name, and as the representative, of the nation.

is become my salvation] lit. is become to me a salvation, i.e. a source of deliverance (‘salvation,’ as Exodus 14:13): cf. exactly the same Heb. in 2 Samuel 10:11 ‘then thou shalt be to me for salvation,’ EVV. ‘thou shalt help me.’ This and the last line are cited in Isaiah 12:2 b, and Psalm 118:14.

praise] The Heb. word occurs only here. If correct, it would seem to mean beautify or adorn (viz. with praises). But this is a great deal to supply; and probably, by a slight change, we should read acknowledge or thank (Psalm 9:1, &c.; and especially Psalm 118:28 a). AV. prepare him an habitation follows the Targ. and Rabbis in treating hinwâh, improbably, as a denominative from nâweh, ‘habitation’ (v. 13).

My father’s God] my ancestral God; cf. on Exodus 3:6.

I will exalt him] Psalm 30:1; and especially Psalm 118:28 b.

2–5. Jehovah is the object of the poet’s praise, Jehovah, the potent and irresistible ‘man of war,’ who has overwhelmed His enemies in the sea.

Verse 2. - The Lord is my strength and song. Literally, "My strength and song is Jah." The name Jah had not previously been used. It is commonly regarded as an abbreviated form of Jehovah, and was the form generally used in the termination of names, as Abijah, Ahaziah, Hezekiah, Zedekiah, Mount Moriah, etc. It takes the place of "Jehovah" here, probably on account of the rhythm. He is become my salvation. Literally, "He has been to me for salvation," i.e., "He has delivered me out of the hand of Pharaoh and his host, and so saved me from destruction." I will prepare him a habitation. This translation seems to have come originally from the Targum of Onkelos, who paraphrases the single word of the text by the phrase "I will build him a sanctuary." The meaning is a possible one: but most modern commentators prefer to connect the verb used with a root meaning "beautiful," and translate "I will glorify him." (So Gesenius. Rosenmuller, Knobel, Kalisch, Cook. The LXX have δοξάσω. The Vulgate has glorificabo. The Syrian and Coptic versions agree, as do also the Targums of Jonathan and of Jerusalem.) The God of my father. See the comment on Exodus 3:6. Exodus 15:2Introduction and first strophe. - The introduction, which contains the theme of the song, "Sing will I to the Lord, for highly exalted is He, horse and his rider He hath thrown into the sea," was repeated, when sung, as an anti-strophe by a chorus of women, with Miriam at their head (cf. Exodus 15:20, Exodus 15:21); whether after every verse, or only at the close of the longer strophes, cannot be determined. גּאה to arise, to grow up, trop. to show oneself exalted; connected with an inf. abs. to give still further emphasis. Jehovah had displayed His superiority to all earthly power by casting horses and riders, the proud army of the haughty Pharaoh, into the sea. This had filled His people with rejoicing: (Exodus 15:2), "My strength and song is Jah, He became my salvation; He is my God, whom I extol, my father's God, whom I exalt." עז strength, might, not praise or glory, even in Psalm 8:2. זמרת, an old poetic form for זמרה, from זמר, primarily to hum; thence זמּר רב́ככוים, to play music, or sing with a musical accompaniment. Jah, the concentration of Jehovah, the God of salvation ruling the course of history with absolute freedom, has passed from this song into the Psalms, but is restricted to the higher style of poetry. "For He became salvation to me, granted me deliverance and salvation:" on the use of vav consec. in explanatory clauses, see Genesis 26:12. This clause is taken from our song, and introduced in Isaiah 12:2; Psalm 118:14. אלי זה: this Jah, such an one is my God. אנוהוּ: Hiphil of נוה, related to נאה, נאוה, to be lovely, delightful, Hiph. to extol, to praise, δοξάσω, glorificabo (lxx, Vulg.). "The God of my father:" i.e., of Abraham as the ancestor of Israel, or, as in Exodus 3:6, of the three patriarchs combined. What He promised them (Genesis 15:14; Genesis 46:3-4) He had now fulfilled.
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