Exodus 17:10
So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
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(10) Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up.—Moses, we know, was eighty years of age (Exodus 7:7); Aaron was eighty-three; Hur, the grandfather of Bezaleel (Exodus 31:2), the architect of the Tabernacle, can scarcely have been less. Unfit for battle themselves, they felt it was by prayer and intercession that they could best help forward a good result, and so withdrew themselves from the actual conflict to a place where they could command it.

Hur.—According to Jewish tradition (Joseph., Ant. Jud., iii. 2, § 4) Hur was the husband of Miriam, and so the brother-in-law of Moses and Aaron. He was a descendant of Judah through Pharez and Hezron. (1Chronicles 2:3-20.) Moses left him joint regent with Aaron When he ascended up into Sinai (Exodus 24:14).

Exodus 17:10-11. Hur — A person of eminence, no doubt, but who he was is uncertain. Josephus, however, tells us, he was the husband of Miriam, Antiq., 50:3, chap. 2. And when Moses held up his hand in prayer (so the Chaldee explains it) Israel prevailed: but when he let down his hand from prayer Amalek prevailed — To convince Israel that the hand of Moses (with whom they had just now been chiding) contributed more to their safety than their own hands; the success rises and falls, as Moses lifts up or lets down his hand. The Church’s cause is ordinarily more or less successful, according as the Church’s friends are more or less fervent in prayer.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.Hur - Again mentioned with Aaron, in Exodus 24:14. He was grandfather of Bezaleel, the great sculptor and artificer of the tabernacle, Exodus 31:2-5, and belonged to the tribe of Judah. (See 1 Chronicles 2:18-20.) 10-12. Moses … went up … the hill … held up his hand—with the wonder-working rod; Moses acted as the standard bearer of Israel, and also their intercessor, praying for success and victory to crown their arms—the earnestness of his feelings being conspicuously evinced amid the feebleness of nature. Hur; a person of eminency both for wisdom and experience, and for place and authority, supposed to be the husband of Miriam. See Exodus 24:14. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him,.... He singled out some proper persons for the battle, and arrayed them with armour, and led them forth out of the camp, and went forth at the head of them:

and fought with Amalek; upon both armies meeting, a battle ensued:

and Moses, Aaron, and Hur, went up to the top of the hill; to the top of Mount Sinai or Horeb, not so much to see the battle fought, as to be seen by Joshua and the people of Israel, especially Moses with the rod in his hand lifted up, that they might behold it, and be encouraged through it to hope for and expect victory; and the other two went up with him to assist him in holding up his hands with the rod, as appears by what follows. Aaron, it is well known, was his brother, but who Hur was is not so clear, though no doubt a very eminent and principal man. There was an Hur, the son of Caleb, who descended from Judah in the line of Phares and Hezron, and which Hur was the grandfather of Bezaleel 1 Chronicles 2:5, but whether the same with this cannot be said with certainty; it is most likely that he was the husband of Miriam, as Josephus says (w), and so the brother-in-law of Moses and Aaron; though some Jewish writers say (x) that he was their sister's son, the son of Miriam.

(w) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 2. sect. 4. (x) Pirke Eliezer, c. 45. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 7. 1.

So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
10. Hur] Although mentioned besides only in Exodus 24:14, Hur must have been a man of some importance at the time of the Exodus. No particulars are given about his family. It is not probable that he is identical with the grandfather of Beẓal’el, of the same name, Exodus 31:2, &c. Later Jewish tradition (Jos. Ant. iii. 2. 4) makes him Miriam’s husband.Verse 10. - Hur. Hur has not been mentioned hitherto. According to one Jewish tradition, he was the son, according to another, the husband of Miriam. Scripture only tells us of him, that he was descended from Judah, through Caleb the son of Hezron (1 Chronicles 2:18-20), and that his grandson, Bezaleel, was the artificer of the tabernacle (Exodus 31:2). He is again associated with Aaron in Exodus 24:14. As there was no water to drink in Rephidim, the people murmured against Moses, for having brought them out of Egypt to perish with thirst in the wilderness. This murmuring Moses called "tempting God," i.e., unbelieving doubt in the gracious presence of the Lord to help them (Exodus 17:7). In this the people manifested not only their ingratitude to Jehovah, who had hitherto interposed so gloriously and miraculously in every time of distress or need, but their distrust in the guidance of Jehovah and the divine mission of Moses, and such impatience of unbelief as threatened to break out into open rebellion against Moses. "Yet a little," he said to God (i.e., a very little more), "and they stone me;" and the divine long-suffering and grace interposed in this case also, and provided for the want without punishing their murmuring. Moses was to pass on before the people, and, taking some of the elders with him, and his staff with which he smote the Nile, to go to the rock at Horeb, and smite upon the rock with the staff, at the place where God should stand before him, and water would come out of the rock. The elders were to be eye-witnesses of the miracle, that they might bear their testimony to it before the unbelieving people, "ne dicere possint, jam ab antiquis temporibus fontes ibi fuisse" (Rashi). Jehovah's standing before Moses upon the rock, signified the gracious assistance of God. לפני עמד frequently denotes the attitude of a servant when standing before his master, to receive and execute his commands. Thus Jehovah condescended to come to the help of Moses, and assist His people with His almighty power. His gracious presence caused water to flow out of the hard dry rock, though not till Moses struck it with his staff, that the people might acknowledge him afresh as the possessor of supernatural and miraculous powers. The precise spot at which the water was smitten out of the rock cannot be determined; for there is no reason whatever for fixing upon the summit of the present Horeb, Ras el Sufsafeh, from which you can take in the whole of the plain of er Rahah (Robinson, i. p. 154).
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