But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Moses’ hands were heavy.—Moses writes with a clear remembrance of his feelings at the time. His hands, long stretched to heaven, grew weary, “heavy,” feeble; he could no longer raise them up, much less stretch them out, by his own muscular energy. They sank down, and dropped by his sides. If the battle was not to be lost, it was necessary to find some remedy. Apparently, Aaron and Hur bethought themselves of an effective remedy, none being suggested by Moses.
They took a stone.—Partly to give him a certain amount of rest, but, perhaps, mainly to enable them the better to sustain his hands. The fact is one of those “little” ones, which none but one engaged in the transactions would have been likely to have been acquainted with. (See “Introduction,” § 5)
Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands.—Left to himself, Moses had become exhausted both mentally and bodily, and when his hands dropped, had ceased to pray. Sustained physically by his two companions, his mind recovered itself, and was able to renew its supplications and continue them. The result was the victory.Moses shifted the rod out of one hand into the other when the former was weary, and that
Aaron and Hur did each of them with both hands hold up that hand which was next to them, successively, that they also might relieve one the other.
and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; so that it seems not only that his hands were heavy, but he could not well stand on his feet any longer, being a corpulent man as well as in years, as Ben Gersom suggests; and therefore Aaron and Hur took a stone that lay on the mount for him to sit upon, where he might be raised as high, and be as well seen, as standing: this stone may be an emblem of Christ the stone of Israel, the foundation of his people, their prop and support, which sustains and upholds them, their Ebenezer, or stone of help in all their times of difficulty and distress:
and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; the one was on his right, and the other on his left; and when the rod was in his right hand, he that was on that side held up that; and when it was in his left hand, he that was on the left side supported that: these may be an emblem of Christ, and of the Spirit of Christ, from whom the saints have their supports and assistance in prayer: Aaron the priest may represent Christ, from whose blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, and from whose advocacy, mediation, and intercession, the people of God receive much encouragement and strength in their addresses at the throne of grace: and Hur, who has his name from a word which signifies freedom and liberty, may be an emblem of the Holy Spirit of God; who helps the saints in prayer under all their infirmities, and makes intercession for them, by filling their hearts and mouths with arguments, and is a free spirit to them; by whom they are upheld, and where he is there is liberty, and a soul can come forth in prayer to God, and in the exercise of grace with freedom:
and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun; when the victory was decided in favour of Israel; this may denote steadiness of faith in prayer, the constant performance of it, and continuance in it as long as a man lives.But Moses hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. steady] Heb. steadiness (G.-K. § 141d); elsewhere always in a moral sense, steadfastness, faithfulness. See the writer’s note on Habakkuk 2:4 in the Century Bible.Verse 12. - But Moses' hands were heavy. Moses, no doubt, held the rod alternately with one hand and the other, until both were so tired that he could hold them up no longer. It is this natural weariness which is expressed by the words - "his hands were heavy." When Aaron and Hut perceived this, they brought a stone for him to sit on, and then, standing one on either side of him, alternately supported his hands until the sun set and the battle was over. To reward the faith and perseverance of the three, God gave Israel in the end a complete victory. 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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