Verses of Exodus 17


Exodus 17:5 Commentary - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)


Exo 17:5-6. And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel: and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb: and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.

THE whole of man’s pilgrimage on earth is but a succession of trials and deliverances. And God so ordains it to be, because it is for our greatest good: “Trials work patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” The frequent recurrence of difficulties to the Israelites in their journey through the wilderness may serve as a glass wherein to view the state of the Church in this world, and, more or less, of all the individuals that are in the world: and the interpositions of God on their behalf shew, what is the real, though less visible, course of his providence at this time. Scarcely had the waters at Marah been sweetened for their use, and manna been given them for their support, than they again experienced a most afflictive pressure (a want of water for themselves and their cattle); and again a miraculous deliverance, at Massah or Meribah.

We propose to notice in our present discourse,


The circumstances of this miracle—

And here there are two things to which we would call your attention:


The time—

[The Israelites had renewed their murmurs against God; and were so incensed at a renewal of their difficulties, that they were ready to stone Moses for having brought them into their present trying situation. As for their Divine Benefactor, they even questioned whether he were with them in the camp or not; assured that, if he was, he was unmindful of their necessities, or unable to relieve them.
Yet at the very moment that they were so offending the Divine Majesty, did God interpose for their relief. What an exalted idea does this convey to us of the patience and long-suffering of God! And, if we were to mark the seasons of God’s interpositions in our behalf, we should find abundant matter for admiration and gratitude — — —]


The manner—

[This singularly displays the grace of God. God makes Moses, whom they were ready to kill as their enemy, the instrument of their deliverance. He orders the rod, which had wrought such wonders in Egypt and at the Bed Sea, to be used, not for their destruction (as might have been expected), but for the supplying of their necessities. He himself, whose very existence they had questioned, went to preside visibly on the occasion; and the elders, who had so unreasonably doubted his power and love, were suffered to be eye-witnesses of the miracle wrought for their preservation.
How remarkably does this illustrate the precept which God has given us, “not to be overcome of evil, but to overcome evil with good!” And what convincing evidence does it afford us, that, “where sin has abounded, his grace shall much more abound!”— — —]
But though these circumstances are instructive, the chief thing to he noticed in the miracle, is,


The hidden mystery contained in it—

We can have no doubt but that this part of sacred history was intended to typify and prefigure Christ [Note: 1Co 10:4.], as a source of all spiritual blessings to the world; as a spring,


Divinely appointed—

[No one would have conceived the idea of looking for water in that rock, any more than in any other spot throughout the plain whereon it stood: nor would it have entered into the mind of man to bring water out of it by the stroke of a rod or cane. But God appointed both the rock and the rod to be means and instruments of communication between himself and his distressed people. And who would ever have thought that God’s only dear Son should be given unto us; and that blessings should be made to flow down to us through the wounds inflicted on him both by God and man? Yet “was all this done according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.” “He was smitten, stricken of God. and afflicted,” that our souls might be redeemed from death: “He was wounded for our transgressions, that by his stripes we might be healed.” Yes, it is a faithful saying, that “the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.” “It pleased the Father that in Christ should all fulness dwell;” and that “we should receive out of his fulness” “every thing that pertaineth to life and godliness.”]



[“The water gushed out of the stricken rock, and flowed like a river; so that it abundantly supplied the whole camp of Israel, (both men and beasts,) following them in all their journeyings for the space of eight and thirty years. And who ever lacked, that has once drunk of the water that Christ gives to his Church and people? Never did any of them, never shall any, thirst again: for “the water that Christ gives them shall be in them a well of water springing up unto everlasting life [Note: Joh 4:13-14.] ”— — —]


Universally accessible—

[The water from the rock flowed to every quarter of the camp; and the people instantly dug pools for its reception, so that men and cattle were supplied without the least difficulty [Note: Num 21:16-18.]. And how free is our access to Christ; free to all persons, and at all times! Hear his own invitation, and the invitation of his Spirit, of his Church, and of all that know the value of those living waters [Note: Rev 21:6-7.] — — —As the vilest murmurers in the camp drank of that stream, so may even the most flagrant rebels in the universe drink of this [Note: Psa 68:18.] — — — “Christ has within him the residue of the Spirit [Note: Mal 2:15.] ;” and “pours out that Spirit abundantly [Note: Tit 3:6.] ” upon all who call upon him; upon all, without price [Note: Isa 55:1.], without parsimony [Note: Joh 7:37-39.], and without upbraiding [Note: Jam 1:5.] — — —]

WE may learn from hence—

The experience of real penitents—

[Their thirst after the Saviour is urgent and insatiable [Note: Mat 5:6.] — — — What a blessed sight would it be to behold a whole congregation as eager in their desires after Christ as the Israelites were after a supply of water for their bodies! — — — The Lord hasten the season when this thirst shall prevail throughout all the world!]


The mercy reserved for them—

[They may feel many painful sensations, and be greatly disquieted for a season: but the promise which God has given them shall surely be realized by all [Note: Isa 41:17-18; Isa 43:20.]. — — —]

Verses of Exodus 17


Consult other comments:

Exodus 17:5 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Exodus 17:5 - Calvin's Complete Commentary

Exodus 17:5 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Exodus 17:5 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Exodus 17:5 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 17:5 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Exodus 17:5 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 17:5 - Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 17:5 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Exodus 17:5 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Exodus 17:5 - The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist by Riley

Exodus 17:5 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Exodus 17:5 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Exodus 17:5 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae (Old and New Testaments)