Exodus: The *LORD with his people

From the Red Sea to Sinai

An EasyEnglish Bible Version and Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on

Exodus 14:1-18:27


Ian Mackervoy

This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.


Chapter 14

The *Israelites cross the Red Sea                14:1-25

v1 Then the *LORD spoke to Moses. v2 ‘Tell the *Israelites to turn back. Tell them to make their camp near Pi-hahiroth, between the place called Migdol and the sea. They must camp by the sea, opposite the place called Baal-Zephon. v3 People will tell *Pharaoh about it. He will think, “The *Israelites are wandering round. They are not sure which way they should go. The *desert is all round them now. And they are afraid to cross it.” v4 Then I will make *Pharaoh *stubborn again. And he will chase after you. But I will ruin *Pharaoh and all his army. Everywhere, people will praise me when they hear about this. And the *Egyptians will know that I am the *LORD.’

The *Israelites obeyed the *LORD and they camped by the Red Sea.

v5 People told Egypt’s king that the *Israelites had gone away. Then *Pharaoh and his officials changed their decision about them. ‘We have not done a good thing’, they said. ‘We have let the *Israelites leave our country. We have lost all our workers!’

v6 So *Pharaoh ordered his servants to get his *chariot ready. He took his army with him. v7 He took 600 of his best *chariots. And he took drivers with their officers to direct them. He also ordered all the other *Egyptian *chariots, with their officers, to go with him. v8 The *LORD made *Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, *stubborn. So he pursued the *Israelites. And they were marching along confidently. v9 So the *Egyptians chased after them. All *Pharaoh’s horses and *chariots, his horsemen and his army followed them. The *Egyptians caught up with the *Israelites where they had camped by the sea. They were near the place called Pi-hahiroth. It was across from Baal-Zephon.

v10 As *Pharaoh approached with his army, the *Israelites looked behind them. And they were afraid. They saw that the *Egyptians were coming after them. Then they cried out to the *LORD for help. v11 Also they complained to Moses. ‘There was room for our graves in Egypt. You should not have brought us into the *desert to die. You should not have brought us away from Egypt. v12 We told you that while we were still in Egypt. We said, “Do not try to change things. Let us serve the *Egyptians as their slaves.” It would be better for us to be their slaves! We prefer to serve the *Egyptians rather than to die here in the *desert!’

v13 Moses answered the people. ‘Do not be afraid’, he said. ‘Stand firm. Then you will see how the *LORD will save you today. You can see the *Egyptians today. But you will never see them again. v14 The *LORD will fight for you. So, be still.’

v15 Then the *LORD said to Moses, ‘You should not be crying out to me for help. Tell the *Israelites to move ahead. v16 Raise your stick. Reach out with it over the sea and divide the water. Then the *Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. v17 I will cause the *Egyptians to feel very proud again. So they will follow you into the sea. People will hear about what happens to *Pharaoh and to his army. They will hear about what happens to his *chariots and to his soldiers on horses. Then people will give honour to me when they hear about it. v18 All the *Egyptians will know that I am the *LORD. People will give honour to me because of what happens to *Pharaoh and to his army.’

v19 The *LORD’s *angel had travelled in front of the *Israelites. But then he moved behind them. The tall cloud moved from in front of them. It went and it stood behind them. v20 So the cloud was between the *Egyptian army and the *Israelites. During all the night, the cloud made it dark on the *Egyptian side. But it was light on the other side for the *Israelites. So neither army went near the other army during the night.

v21 Then Moses reached out his hand towards the sea. All that night the *LORD pushed the sea back with a strong east wind. There was dry ground where the water had been. The waters divided and that opened a way. v22 So the *Israelites went through the sea on dry ground. There was a wall of water on each side of them.

v23 Then the *Egyptians pursued them. All *Pharaoh’s *chariots and his soldiers followed the *Israelites. They went into the sea. v24 Just before dawn, the *LORD looked down from the cloud of fire. He looked at the *Egyptian army. And he caused confusion among them. v25 He caused the wheels of their *chariots to stop. So it was difficult for the *Egyptian soldiers to drive the *chariots. So the *Egyptians said, ‘Let us run away from these *Israelites. The *LORD is fighting for them. He is fighting against us.’

Verses 1-2: The order to turn back meant a change in direction. That was probably a surprise to them all. But they obeyed the *LORD’s instruction. They camped near Pi-hahiroth. We do not know any of the places that the *LORD mentioned here. Migdol may have been near Succoth. However, other ruins might be the remains of Migdol. Migdol was the name of more than one *Egyptian town. However, the camp was not far from the Red Sea. Baal-Zephon was on the other side of the sea.

Verse 3: *Pharaoh would think that the *Israelites were afraid in the *desert. There seemed to be no escape from this *desert. And they could not cross the sea.

Verse 4: *Pharaoh would become *stubborn again. He would regret that he had let the *Israelites go. But they had nowhere to go. He could see that. So he would chase after them and he would bring them back. However, the *LORD took the *Israelites on this impossible route. He wanted to show again to *Pharaoh and to the *Egyptians that he is God. That was why he took them that way. The *LORD would ruin the *Egyptian army that had chased the *Israelites.

Verse 5: People told *Pharaoh that the *Israelites had gone away. He and his officials changed their minds. They had recovered from the shock of the deaths of their oldest sons. The decision to let the *Israelites go had been a bad one. That was what they thought. The slaves had run away from their masters. They had lost all these workers. The *Israelites had been cheap labour for the *Egyptians. It would be a wise decision to bring the *Israelites back.

Verses 6-7: Therefore, *Pharaoh organised his army to go after the *Israelites. He chose 600 of his best *chariots and other *chariots came with them. With this large army, he should be able to arrest all the *Israelites. He could bring them back again as slaves in Egypt.

The *Egyptians first used *chariots in the Hyksos period (1720-1550 *BC). They had two wheels and they carried a driver and a soldier with a bow. Some *chariots had two horses and maybe they had a driver and two soldiers.

Verse 8: As in the past, *Pharaoh became *stubborn. The *LORD was using this. The *Israelites were marching out confidently. However, *Pharaoh and his army pursued them.

Verse 9: The *Egyptians knew where the *Israelites were. The army came in *chariots and on horses. They came towards the *Israelites’ camp near Pi-hahiroth.

Verse 10: When they saw the *Egyptian army, the *Israelites cried out in despair to the *LORD. In front of them was the sea. Behind them was the *Egyptian army. They cried to the *LORD for protection. However, they did not expect a favourable answer.

The *Israelites had arms for battle and they could fight. But they had the women and children with them. And they would not be strong enough to oppose the powerful *Egyptian army.

Verse 11: Then they complained to Moses. All of this was his fault, they said. He had led them from the safety that they had in Egypt. He had brought them to the *desert. And there was nowhere for them to go. The army would catch them and the *Egyptians would kill them. It would be better to die in Egypt than here in the *desert. They would have graves in Egypt. They did not think that the *Egyptians wanted to take them back to Egypt.

Verse 12: They had told Moses that this would happen. They had said, ‘You have made us become like a very bad smell to *Pharaoh and to his servants. You have given to them an excuse to kill us with their swords.’ (See Exodus 5:21.) Even the hard labour as slaves in Egypt would be better than this situation.

Verses 13-14: Moses was quite calm. He did not answer their protest. He did not agree that he was the cause of their situation. He believed that God was in control. He answered them with this advice. ‘Do not be afraid. Stand firm. Be still.’

He told them that the *LORD would save them. The *LORD would fight for them. He would remove the *Egyptian army. The *Israelites did not need to do anything.

Verse 15: God had promised to bring the *Israelites out of Egypt. He had promised to give *Canaan to them. Therefore, the *Israelites should not at this time cry for help. They should know that the *LORD would deliver them. So they should move ahead straight to the sea.

Verse 16: The *LORD told Moses to raise the stick over the sea. That would divide the water. It would make a path for the *Israelites to cross over the sea. The path through the sea would be dry or solid ground. It would not be wet mud.

Verses 17-18: The *LORD would cause the *Egyptians to be *stubborn. They would follow the *Israelites to cross the sea on that dry path. But they would not reach the other side. News of this would reach other nations round about. Then the people in those nations would give honour to God. That would include the *Egyptians. Then they would know that he is the *LORD.

Verses 19-20: The *LORD’s *angel who had led them until then moved behind the *Israelites. Also, the cloud that had led them in the day went to the back. So, the *angel and the cloud were between the *Israelites and the *Egyptian army. The cloud stood like a wall in front of the *Egyptians. In the night, the cloud made it very dark for the *Egyptians. But the cloud made it light like the day for the *Israelites. The *Israelites with their children and animals could move further from the *Egyptians.

Verses 21-22: Moses raised his stick over the sea. All that night, the *LORD used a strong east wind to blow the sea back. The effect was to form a path between walls of water on both sides. Also, the wind made the path become dry ground. This was a powerful act of God. He made the waters form a wall on the left and a wall on the right.

The *Israelites crossed the sea by this path. This would have been a very wide path. So it would allow all the *Israelites and their animals to go through quickly. They all went through before the dawn.

Verses 23-24: The *Egyptian *chariots and horses followed the *Israelites on the path through the sea. In the morning before the dawn, the *LORD looked down from the fire and the cloud. The fire and the cloud were the *signs to the *Israelites that the *LORD was there. God is everywhere. But Moses wrote this as we speak about ourselves. God saw the *Egyptians and he caused confusion among them.

Verse 25: The wheels of the *chariots stuck in the sand. The *LORD was causing the *chariots to stop.

The *Egyptians had had enough. And they were willing to forget about the *Israelites. They realised that the *LORD was fighting against them. The *LORD fought on behalf of the *Israelites. The *Egyptians tried to go back but it was too late.

The *Egyptian army drowns in the Red Sea                  14:26-31

v26 Then the *LORD said to Moses, ‘Reach out your hand over the sea. Then the water will flow back and it will cover the *Egyptians. And it will cover their *chariots and their horses.’ v27 Moses reached out his hand over the sea. And at dawn the sea flowed back to its usual place. The *Egyptians tried to run away from the sea. But the *LORD caused the water to catch them. v28 The water flowed back. And it covered the *chariots and the soldiers who were on horses. It covered *Pharaoh’s entire army that had followed the *Israelites into the sea. None of those soldiers escaped.

v29 But all the *Israelites went through the sea on dry ground. They had a wall of water on their right side. And they had a wall of water on their left side. v30 That day, the *LORD saved *Israel from the *Egyptians’ power. And the *Israelites saw the *Egyptians’ dead bodies that were lying at the edge of the sea. v31 So the *Israelites knew that the *LORD’s great power had saved them from the *Egyptians. Then they respected the *LORD. And they trusted the *LORD and his servant, Moses.

Verse 26: At dawn, the *Israelites were safely across the sea. Then the *LORD told Moses to reach out over the sea. He did so and the water flowed back. It covered all the *Egyptians that had gone into the sea. None of those who had gone into the sea escaped. They all drowned.

Probably the poetry in Psalm 77:16-19 is about this event. It says that at the same time there was rain, *thunder and lightning.

All *Pharaoh’s *chariots and horsemen went into the sea. (See verse 28.) But those men who did not go into the sea did not die. Among those was the *Pharaoh. Thutmose 3rd ruled in Egypt for about another 20 years.

Psalm 136 says that the *LORD shook off *Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. It does not say that *Pharaoh died. There is no record that any *Pharaoh died in that way. However, the waters drowned all those soldiers and horsemen who did go into the sea.

Verses 29-31: All the *Israelites and their animals had gone through the sea on dry ground. They had a wall of water on the left and a wall of water on the right. They saw that the *LORD by his great power had saved them from the *Egyptian army. The *Israelites could see the *Egyptians’ dead bodies at the edge of the sea. The *LORD did all this in one day.

So now, the *Israelites had a great fear of the *LORD. They knew that the *LORD was God. And they trusted Moses as the *LORD’s servant.

Chapter 15

The songs of Moses and Miriam                  15:1-21

v1 Then Moses and the *Israelites sang this song to the *LORD. They sang because he had defeated their enemy in a wonderful way.

‘I will praise the *LORD as I sing.

I will praise him because he is great!

The horses and their riders,

          he threw them into the sea.

v2 The *LORD is my strength.

He is the reason for my song.

He has saved me!

He is my God and I will praise him.

He is my fathers’ God.

          And I will sing about how great he is.

v3 The *LORD fights wars, 

The *LORD is his name.

v4 He threw *Pharaoh’s *chariots

          and *Pharaoh’s army into the sea.

He has drowned *Pharaoh’s best officers

in the Red Sea.

v5 The deep waters covered them

          and they sank down like a stone.

v6 Your right hand, *LORD, has wonderful power.

And with your right hand,

          you broke the enemy into pieces.

v7 With your great, royal power,

          you defeated those who opposed you.

Your anger is as fierce as fire.

So it burned them completely, like a fire burns straw.

v8 You were very angry.

So your powerful breath caused the water to stand in a pile.

The waves stood up like a wall.

          The deepest part of the sea became solid.

v9 Your enemy was very proud.

“I will pursue them.

I will catch them.

I will divide their goods with my people.

I will take everything that I want from them.

Then we will use our swords

          to kill them”, the enemy said.

v10 But you blew with your powerful wind

          and the sea covered them.

They sank in the water like heavy metal.

v11 *LORD, no false gods compare with you.

You are great and wonderful. You are holy.

People are afraid of you.

And they respect you

          as you shine in wonderful light.

You do wonderful acts.

v12 You reached out your right hand,

          and the earth seemed to swallow the *Egyptians.

v13 Your great love never fails.

So you will lead the people whom you have freed.

You will guide them with your strength

          to the holy place where you live.

v14 The nations will hear about this,

          and the people will tremble.

The *Philistines will shake

          with fear and with great mental pain.

v15 The chief men in the country called Edom will be very afraid.

The leaders in the country called Moab will tremble with fear.

The people in the country called *Canaan will run away,

v16 because terrible fear will seize them.

Your great power will cause them

          to be as still as a stone.

Then your people can pass by, *LORD.

The people, whom you saved, will pass by.

v17 You will bring your people to live

          on the mountain that you gave to them.

*LORD, you have made that place your home,

          and you, *LORD, have established your holy place.

v18 Our *LORD will rule for all time.’

v19 *Pharaoh’s horses and his *chariots went into the sea. And his soldiers, who were riding on horses, went into the sea. Then the *LORD brought back the water of the sea to cover them. But the *Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. That is why they sang that song.

v20 Aaron’s sister, Miriam, sometimes told messages from God. She took a little drum in her hand, and all the women followed her. They played little drums and they danced.

v21 And Miriam sang this song to them.

‘Sing and praise the *LORD!

Sing to him

          because he has defeated his enemy.

The horses and their riders,

          he threw them into the sea.’

Verse 1: *Hebrew songs in those days usually had short sentences and they repeated things. This is a song to praise the *LORD. The song records how the *LORD defeated the *Egyptians (verses 1 to 12). Then it talks about the future (verses 13 to 18). The *LORD will defeat many nations. And he will bring the *Israelites into the country that he promised to their *ancestors.

This song is about God and they sang it to him. He showed himself to be greater than all the powers of Egypt. God their *LORD defeated *Israel’s enemies. The song is about the *LORD. His name the *LORD comes 10 times in this song.

The *LORD saved them from the *Egyptian army. He threw the horses and their riders into the sea.

Verses 2-3: This is why the *LORD was so important to each *Israelite. He is their God and the God of their *ancestors. The *LORD fought on their behalf against the *Egyptians. The *Israelites did not need to fight.

The *LORD saved them. This means that the *LORD rescued them from the *Egyptians.

Verses 4-5: The last battle was the defeat of *Pharaoh’s *chariots and his army. The *LORD caused them to follow the *Israelites into the sea. The *LORD made the walls of water and the flow of the water to fall on them. They sank in the deep water.

Verses 6-7: The right hand means strength and power. The *LORD was so powerful that he broke the enemy. His anger was like a fire that burns the straw. So, he defeated *Pharaoh and his people who had opposed the *LORD.

Verse 8: When the *Egyptians pursued the *Israelites, the *LORD was angry. By means of a powerful wind, he made the deepest part of the sea into a solid path. He caused the waters to pile up as walls on each side.

Verse 9: The *Egyptians were proud. They thought that they were strong. They had no doubts that they would succeed. They came with their fast *chariots to pursue the *Israelites. They expected to catch them. They would take back all the goods that the *Israelites had. The song imagines that the *Egyptians would kill the *Israelites. Probably that was not their intention. They needed the *Israelites as labour.

Verse 10: Then the *LORD freed the water to continue its normal course. The sea crashed down with great force. It covered all the *chariots and men who were in the sea. They were in the deepest part and they sank like heavy metal.

Verse 11: There is no god like the *LORD. The *LORD defeated all the gods of Egypt. All other gods are false. The *LORD is superior to all gods.

The *LORD is great and he is wonderful above all gods and people. The *LORD is so holy that people are afraid of him. They praise him because he does wonderful things.

Verse 12: The *LORD reached out his right hand. That means that the power of the *LORD caused the earth to swallow the *Egyptian army. The waters seemed to swallow all the *Egyptians who were in the sea. Here the earth included the sea. Maybe the earth refers to the grave as well. The grave is where the dead men would go.

Verse 13: The *LORD loved his people. He freed them from their situation as slaves in Egypt. He led them out of that country. He would guide them to the country that he had promised to their *ancestors. He would lead his people to his holy place.

Verses 14-16: The news about the power of the *LORD over the *Egyptians would reach the nations. They would know that God is with his people. They would be afraid. The *LORD and his people would scare them.

Those countries included the *Philistines, Edom, Moab and *Canaan. As the *Israelites approached those nations, the fear of the *LORD would come upon them.

Verses 17-18: The *LORD would bring the *Israelites to the country called *Canaan. The mountain is the country that the *LORD promised to give to their *ancestors. In that country, the *LORD would choose a place to be his holy place. And the *LORD would be their ruler.

Verse 19: This verse repeats what happened at the Red Sea. The *LORD covered with water the *Egyptians who had gone into the sea. But the *Israelites went through it on dry or solid ground.

Verse 20: Miriam was a female *prophet. She was sister to Aaron and Moses. The text says that she was Aaron’s sister. It says that because Aaron was the oldest brother. She took a musical instrument in her hand. The *Israelite women followed her. They played their musical instruments and they danced. Their musical instruments were like little drums.

Verse 21: Miriam sang her song to them. It was a song to praise the *LORD. It was right to praise him like this because he defeated the enemy at the Red Sea.

Bitter water becomes sweet                 15:22-27

v22 Then Moses led the *Israelites away from the Red Sea. They went into the *desert called Shur. They travelled for three days in this *desert before they found any water. v23 Then they came to the place called Marah. But they could not drink the water there because the water was bitter. (That was why they called the place Marah.) v24 So the people complained against Moses. ‘What can we drink?’ they said.

v25 Then Moses asked the *LORD to help them. And the *LORD showed a piece of wood to him. So Moses threw the wood into the water. Then the water was not bitter and the people could drink it.

The *LORD tested the people there and he gave a rule and a law to them. v26 He said to them, ‘Listen carefully to me. I am the *LORD, your God. And I am the *LORD who cures you. Do what I tell you. Do the right things. Listen to my commands and obey all my rules. Then I will not punish you with any of the diseases that I sent on the *Egyptians.’

v27 Later, the people came to a place called Elim. There were 12 wells of water and 70 tall trees called palm trees there. So the people camped near to the water.

Verse 22: Moses led the *Israelites from the Red Sea into the *desert called Shur. We do not know where the *Israelites crossed the Red Sea. We do not know the route that they travelled on. Many experts have suggested various answers. However, we cannot be certain that any of them is correct.

They travelled in this *desert for three days. With their animals, they probably went about 10 miles a day. They probably found some plants for the animals to eat. But they did not find any water.

Verse 23: After three days, they came to a place where there was water. But they could not drink the bitter water at Marah. Marah means bitter. The people and the animals were probably desperate for water. Maybe they had carried some water when they left the Red Sea. But they could not go much longer without fresh water.

Verse 24: The people complained against Moses. He had brought them into the *desert. But there was no water there that was suitable to drink. Without fresh water they would die. That included their wives, children, and animals. They blamed Moses. They said that it was his fault.

Verse 25: Moses cried out to the *LORD. Then the *LORD showed a piece of wood to Moses. He told him to throw it into the water. By this means, the *LORD made the waters fresh. So then the people could drink the water.

This event was part of the *LORD’s plan for the *Israelites. He used it to teach them. It taught them that the *LORD could save them from the worst sort of danger.

Verse 26: The *LORD spoke to the people. Probably he spoke by Moses or by Aaron. He reminded them that he was the *LORD their God. If they obeyed his commands, he would take care of them. He had punished the *Egyptians with various diseases. If the *Israelites obeyed God’s rules, he would not bring any of those diseases on them. The *LORD was the God that would cure them.

Verse 27: They travelled on from Marah to a pleasant place called Elim. They camped there where there was plenty of water in the 12 wells. There they could eat the fruit from the 70 tall trees that grew there.

To the *Israelites, the numbers 12 and 70 may have meant complete or perfect. Elim was the ideal place to camp.

We do not know where Elim was. But it may have been in the Valley called Charandel. To this day, there is plenty of water in that valley. And there are a lot of trees there.

Chapter 16

Bread and birds called quails from God               16:1-36

v1 The *Israelites left Elim. It was the second month after they escaped from Egypt. They left Elim on day 15 of that month. And they came to the *desert called Sin. It is between Elim and *Mount Sinai. v2 In the *desert, all the people complained against Moses and Aaron. v3 ‘We wish that the *LORD had killed us in Egypt!’ the people said. ‘There we sat round pots that were full of meat. And we ate all the food that we wanted. But you have brought us into this *desert. And all of us will starve and so we will die.’

v4 Then the *LORD said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people must go out each day, and they should gather just enough for that day. I will be testing them. I shall see whether or not they will obey my instructions. v5 On the day before the *Sabbath each week they must do this. They must gather twice as much as they gather on the other days. And they must prepare all the food that they gather that day.’

v6 So Moses and Aaron spoke to all the *Israelites. ‘It was the *LORD who rescued you from Egypt. In the evening you will know that. v7 And in the morning you will see the *LORD’s wonderful power. He has heard you when you complained against him. You should not complain against us. We are not important!’

v8 Moses also said, ‘You will know that it is the *LORD. He will give to you meat to eat in the evening. And in the morning he will give to you all the bread that you want. He has heard when you complained against him. We are not important. You are not complaining against us, but you are complaining against the *LORD.’

v9 Then Moses told Aaron this message. ‘You must speak to all the *Israelites and you must tell them this. “Come in front of the *LORD. He has heard you when you complained.” ’ v10 While Aaron was speaking to all the people, they looked towards the *desert. And there, God’s wonderful, bright light was shining from the cloud.

v11 Then the *LORD said to Moses, v12 ‘I have heard the *Israelites when they complained. Tell them my message. “In the evening you will eat meat. And in the morning, you will eat bread until you are full. Then you will know that I am the *LORD your God.” ’

v13 That evening, birds called quails came. There were so many quails that they covered the camp. The next morning, the ground was wet all round the camp. v14 When all the water had gone, there were thin bits of a substance on the ground. It seemed like thin bits of ice. v15 The *Israelites had never seen anything like this. And they did not know what it was. ‘What is it?’ they asked each other. Moses answered them. ‘This is your bread. The *LORD has given it to you to eat. v16 And this is what the *LORD has ordered you. “Each person should gather as much as he needs. Take an omer (about two litres or 3.5 pints) for each person who lives in your tent”, God says.’

v17 The *Israelites did as Moses had told them. Some people gathered a lot, and some people gathered only a small amount. v18 Then they measured it. And those people who had gathered a lot did not have too much. But those people who had gathered a small amount had enough too. Each person gathered as much as he needed.

v19 Then Moses said to them, ‘Nobody should keep any of this bread until the next morning.’

v20 But some of the people did not listen to Moses. So they kept a part of it until the next morning. But then it had a lot of young insects called ‘maggots’. And then it had a nasty smell. So Moses was angry with those people.

v21 Every morning everyone gathered as much *manna as he needed. And when the sun rose, the rest of the *manna melted away.

v22 On the day before the *Sabbath, each person gathered twice as much *manna. So they gathered 2 omers (about 4 litres or 7 pints) for each person. Then the *Israelites’ leaders came and they reported it to Moses. v23 Moses said to them, ‘This is what the *LORD ordered. “Tomorrow must be a day when you rest. The *Sabbath will be a holy day that you use especially for me. I am the *LORD. So bake the food that you want to bake. And *boil the food that you want to *boil. Then, save all the *manna that remains, until the next morning.” ’

v24 So they saved the extra food until the next morning, as Moses had ordered them. It did not have a nasty smell and young insects had not grown in it. v25 ‘Eat it today’, Moses said to them. ‘Today is a *Sabbath day for the *LORD. You will not find any *manna on the ground today. v26 You must gather it each day for 6 days. But the 7th day is the *Sabbath day. There will not be any *manna on the ground on the *Sabbath day.’

v27 Some of the people did not listen to what Moses had said. They went out on the 7th day to gather food. But they did not find any *manna. v28 Then the *LORD spoke to Moses. ‘The people are refusing to obey my commands and my instructions. v29 Remember that I am the *LORD. I have given the *Sabbath day to you. That is why I give you enough bread for two days. I do that on the day before the *Sabbath. Everyone must stay in their home on the *Sabbath. Nobody should go out on that day.’ v30 So the people rested on the *Sabbath.

v31 The *Israelites called the bread ‘*manna’. It was white like the small seeds called ‘coriander’. It tasted like thin biscuits that people make with honey. v32 Then Moses spoke to the people. ‘This is what the *LORD has ordered. “Keep an omer (about two litres or 3.5 pints) of *manna for all the people to see in the future. Then people can see the bread that I gave to you. In that way you had food to eat in the *desert. I gave it to you when I brought you away from Egypt.” ’ v33 And Moses told Aaron. ‘Get a jar and put an omer of *manna into it. Then place that jar in front of the *LORD. You must keep it there for all time to come.’

v34 Aaron did what the *LORD had ordered Moses. Aaron put the *manna in front of the special box, which contained God’s *covenant with them. Aaron put the *manna there in order to keep it safely.

v35 The *Israelites ate *manna for 40 years. Then they reached the border of *Canaan where many people lived.

v36 (An ‘omer’ measures a 10th part of an ‘*ephah’.)

Verse 1: The 15th day of the second month was one month after the *Israelites had left Egypt. The second month was called Ziv (or Iyyar). During that month, they had camped 7 times. They camped at Succoth, Etham and Pi-hahiroth. Then they crossed over the Red Sea. From there, they marched 3 days to Marah. They left Marah and they went to Elim. When they left Elim, they camped near the Red Sea. But by this time they had arrived at the *desert called Sin. (See Numbers 33:5-11.) There they camped between Elim and *Mount Sinai.

Verses 2-3: Probably the *Israelites brought food from Rameses. But they would have eaten it all by this time. They complained against Moses and Aaron because they had no food. They did have their animals that they could have killed for meat. However, for some reason they would not do it. Maybe they kept the animals for milk and cheese. Also, many of the *Israelites would not have had any animals.

They were hungry for meat and bread. They said that things were very much better in Egypt. There, they had all the meat that they wanted. There they had plenty of food. Probably that was not true. As slaves, they would not have had much meat. Here in the *desert they would starve, they said. And it was the fault of Moses and Aaron. It would have been better if the *LORD had allowed them to die in Egypt.

Verses 4-5: The *LORD heard the people as they complained against Moses. And he spoke to Moses. The *LORD promised to rain down bread from heaven. However, there would be a test. This would show whether the *Israelites would obey him. Each day they must gather enough of this bread for that day. On the day before the *Sabbath, they must gather twice as much. There would be no bread on the *Sabbath.

The *LORD had not yet given his rules about the *Sabbath day to the *Israelites. However, on the 6th day of the week they must gather bread for two days. They must prepare that bread when they had gathered it. On the 7th day, there would be no bread. The *Israelites would be aware that the 7th day was special.

Verses 6-8: Moses and Aaron said to the people that they should not complain against them. They had not rescued the people from Egypt. It was the *LORD who had done that. And in the evening and in the morning, the people would see the *LORD’s *glory.

The *LORD would give meat to them in the evening. And he would give bread to them in the morning. They would know that those things came from the *LORD. Moses did not yet know how the *LORD would do that.

When they complained against Moses, they were complaining against the *LORD.

Verses 9-12: Aaron called the people to come together. As they looked toward the *desert, they saw the *LORD’s *glory in the cloud. The *LORD spoke again to Moses and by Moses to the people. He had heard when they complained. They would eat meat in the evening and they would have bread in the morning. Then they would know that he was the *LORD their God.

Verses 13-15: That evening, quails covered the ground. Quails were fairly common birds in that area. At this season of the year, they flew north from the south. In the autumn, they flew back south. The *LORD had caused them to land at the camp. The birds would have been tired from their flight. It was easy for the *Israelites to gather them. Then they could prepare them for food.

In the morning, the ground was damp. When the sun came up it dried the ground. On the ground, there were white pieces that seemed like ice. The people asked what it was. ‘What is it’ in the *Hebrew language is *manna. Moses told them that it was bread. The *LORD had provided it for them.

Many experts have tried to discover what *manna was. We can only say that the *LORD provided it. He provided it for them to eat. The *LORD continued to provide *manna all the time that the *Israelites travelled in the *desert.

Verses 16-18: The average person would eat an omer of *manna each day. An omer was a dry measure probably about 2 litres or 3.5 pints. Some people would eat more and other people would eat less. But all of them would be satisfied. However much they gathered, it was always the right amount. Those who gathered a lot did not have too much. Those who gathered a little did not have too little.

Verses 19-21: Moses told the people not to keep any of the *manna until the next day. Some of them did do that. And then, in the morning, there were a lot of insects in the *manna. The smell of the bad *manna was awful.

The sun melted any *manna that the people had not gathered. They must gather the *manna early in the morning before the heat of the sun melted it.

Verses 22-26: In the morning of the day before the *Sabbath, they gathered double the amount of *manna. They must cook on that day all the *manna that they wanted to cook. They prepared their food that day because the *Sabbath was a day for rest. They would eat half of it and they would keep the rest for the *Sabbath day. The *manna that they kept for the *Sabbath day would not go bad. They would eat it on the *Sabbath.

The *Sabbath was a holy day for the *LORD. On that day, there would be no *manna on the ground. They must gather the *manna on 6 days. They must not go out to gather it on the 7th day. There would not be any.

Verse 27: Some people did not listen to Moses. They went out on the 7th day. There was no *manna. They had to be hungry that day.

Verses 28-29: The *LORD spoke to Moses. He said that the people were still refusing to obey him. They did not seem to know that he is the *LORD. The *Sabbath was a gift from him to them. It was for their benefit. Jesus said, ‘God made the *Sabbath for people. He did not make people for the *Sabbath’. (See Mark 2:27.)

The *Sabbath was not for the *Israelites to work. It was for rest. For that reason, he gave enough bread to them for two days on the 6th day. So, the people would not need to leave their homes on the 7th day.

Verse 30: This time, the people obeyed the *LORD and they stayed at home on the *Sabbath.

Verse 31: The *Israelites did not know what this bread was. Therefore, they called it *manna, which means ‘what is it?’ The *manna was white like coriander seeds. The coriander seed is a small grain. It is white or grey in colour. Cooks use it to give flavour to food.

*Manna tasted like thin biscuits that a cook made with honey and *olive oil. The people made the *manna into a kind of flour. Then they cooked it in a pot or they made it into cakes. (See Numbers 11:8.)

Verses 32-34: The *LORD ordered that they should keep some *manna. Then future *generations could see the bread that the *LORD gave to the *Israelites. This was their food while they were in the *desert. Moses told Aaron to put an omer (about 2 litres, 3.5 pints) of *manna in a jar. This amount was what one person would eat in a day. Aaron did as Moses asked him to do. Later they put this jar in the box for the *covenant in God’s special tent. And when Solomon built the *temple, they put the box for the *covenant in it. This *manna did not go bad. It remained fresh while it was in the jar. They made that jar with gold. (See Hebrews 9:4.)

Verses 35-36: The *LORD provided *manna for the 40 years in the *desert. The supply of *manna stopped when the *Israelites had their first *Passover meal in *Canaan. They were in the place called Gilgal. After they had eaten some local bread, the *manna stopped. (See Joshua 5:10-12.)

Chapter 17

Water from the rock            17:1-7

v1 All the *Israelites left the *desert called Sin. They continued to travel from one place to another place. When the *LORD ordered them, then they moved. One day, they camped at the place called Rephidim. But there was no water for the people to drink at Rephidim. v2 So they quarrelled with Moses. ‘Give to us water to drink!’ they demanded.

‘You should not quarrel with me’, Moses said to them. ‘You are testing the *LORD when you do this!’

v3 But the people needed water, so they continued to complain against Moses. They said, ‘You should not have brought us away from Egypt. We are so *thirsty! You will cause us, our children and our animals to die,’

v4 Then Moses cried out to the *LORD. ‘What shall I do with these people?’ he said. ‘Soon they will be throwing stones at me. They want to kill me.’

v5 The *LORD answered Moses. ‘Walk on ahead of the people. Take some of their leaders with you. And take your stick in your hand. You used that stick to hit the River Nile. So go now. v6 Go to the rock at Horeb. I will stand there in front of you. Hit the rock with your stick. Then water will come out of it for the people to drink.’ So Moses hit the rock while *Israel’s leaders were watching him.

v7 They were testing the *LORD. They asked, ‘Is the *LORD with us or is he not with us?’ So Moses called that place Massah (which means ‘to test’). And he called it Meribah (which means ‘to argue’). He did that because the *Israelites quarrelled with him there.

Verse 1: The *Israelites obeyed the *LORD. They travelled from the *desert called Sin to Rephidim. On the way, they camped at Dophkah and at Alush. (See Numbers 33:12-14.) They expected to find water at Rephidim but there was no water there. At that time of the year, the stream dried up.

Verses 2-3: Because of this disappointment, the people quarrelled with Moses. They demanded that Moses should give water to them. Of course Moses could not produce water. They continued to complain against Moses. They blamed Moses because he had brought them out of Egypt. They had plenty of water there. But here, they and their children might die because there was no water.

They thought that they were complaining against Moses. But in fact they were complaining against the *LORD. The *LORD had led them to the *desert called Sin. And there was no food there. But he had a good reason for that. He satisfied their hunger there. But this time he had led them to Rephidim where the people were *thirsty. However, they did not believe that the *LORD would provide water for them.

Verse 4: There was one thing that Moses did. He always took his difficulties to the *LORD. Here again he cried out to the *LORD. He did not know what to do with these people. He called them, ‘these people’. He did not say ‘my people’. They seemed to be angry enough to kill Moses.

Verses 5-6: The *LORD told Moses to walk ahead of the people. He took some leaders with him and he took his stick. He went to a certain rock in Horeb. Horeb was not a long way from Rephidim. The *LORD had first met Moses near Horeb. (See Exodus 3:1-4.) God showed Moses which rock to hit.

As the *LORD told him, Moses hit the rock. Out of the rock, there flowed sufficient water for all the people to drink.

There was a similar incident toward the end of their journey. In that incident, the *LORD told Moses to speak to the rock. However, Moses hit that rock. Because he did not obey, the *LORD would not allow Moses to go into *Canaan. (See Numbers 20:1-13.)

Verse 7: Moses called that place Massah and Meribah. Those names mean test (or proof) and argue (or quarrel). The people tested the *LORD and they quarrelled with Moses there.

War with the *Amalekites            17:8-16

v8 Then the *Amalekites came and they attacked the *Israelites at Rephidim. v9 So Moses spoke to Joshua. ‘Choose some of our men to go with you’, Moses told him. ‘You will go and fight the *Amalekites tomorrow. I will stand on the top of the hill. I will have God’s special stick in my hand.’

v10 So Joshua fought against the *Amalekites, exactly as Moses had ordered. Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill with Moses. v11 And while Moses kept up his hands, the *Israelites were winning the battle. But every time that he lowered his hands, the *Amalekites began to win. v12 When Moses’ arms became tired, Aaron and Hur brought a stone to him. They put the stone under Moses, and Moses sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur helped him to hold up his hands. Aaron was on one side of Moses and Hur was on the other side. So Moses’ hands remained high and firm until sunset. v13 That was how Joshua defeated the army of the *Amalekites in the battle.

v14 Then the *LORD spoke to Moses again. He said this: ‘Everyone must remember what happened here. So write about this in a book and read it to Joshua. I will kill all the *Amalekites and people will forget all about them.’

v15 Then Moses built an *altar to *worship God. He called it ‘The *LORD is my Flag’. v16 Moses explained to the people. ‘I raised my hands towards the *LORD’s royal seat. And the *LORD will fight against the *Amalekites for all time.’

Verse 8: The *Amalekites lived in the *desert, south of *Canaan. Amalek was the son of Eliphaz (Esau’s oldest son) by a woman named Timna. (See Genesis 36:12.) He became a chief in the *tribes of Esau. (See Genesis 36:15-16.) So, the *Amalekites’ *ancestor, Esau was the brother of the *Israelites’ *ancestor, Jacob. They came and they attacked *Israel at Rephidim.

Verse 9: Moses appointed a younger man to lead the *Israelites in battle. Joshua was probably about 45 years old. He was from the *tribe of Ephraim (Joseph’s son). His name was Hoshea the son of Nun. (See Numbers 13:8.) Later, Moses changed Hoshea’s name to Joshua. (See Numbers 13:16.) Joshua means ‘the *LORD saves’. That name in the *Greek language is Jesus.

Joshua selected the men for the *Israelite army to fight against the *Amalekites. On the next day, they would fight the battle against them. Moses would find a hill that he could see the battle from. He would stand on top of that hill with his stick in his hand. The stick was God’s stick. Moses and Aaron had used it to perform many *signs. The *signs showed that the *LORD was with his people.

Verses 10-13: Aaron and Hur went with Moses to the top of the hill. This is the first time that we read about Hur. He was an important man among the *Israelites. Probably Hur was the son of a man called Caleb and Ephrath his wife. (See 1 Chronicles 2:19.) However, some experts think that it was a different man with the same name. Later, Moses put Aaron and Hur in control of the camp when he went up the mountain. (See Exodus 24:14.) There is a *Jewish tradition that Hur was the husband of Moses’ sister Miriam.

Joshua led his army and they fought against the *Amalekites. Moses lifted up his hands. While he held his hands up, the *Israelites were winning the battle. Probably he held the stick in the air as well. When he got tired, his hands fell lower. Then the *Amalekites did better than the *Israelites. Therefore, Aaron and Hur brought a stone for Moses to sit on. Then they held up Moses’ hands. They did that until sunset. By that time, Joshua had defeated the *Amalekites.

The text does not say that Moses held up his hands in prayer. However, that is a possible explanation. Moses trusted God to defeat the enemy. So he raised his hands. It meant that he was trusting God.

Verse 14: The *LORD told Moses to write a report of this battle in a book. He wanted the *Israelites to remember it and to read the book. Moses then read the report to Joshua.

The *LORD said that he would kill all the *Amalekites. The nation of Amalek would disappear. The other nations would forget about Amalek. The *LORD used Saul and David to destroy the *Amalekite nation. (See 1 Samuel chapters 15 and 30.)

Verses 15-16: Moses built an *altar to *worship God. He called it ‘the *LORD is my Flag’. Like a flag, Moses had raised his hands to the *LORD. While he held his hands up, the *LORD caused Joshua to win. The *LORD would always fight against the *Amalekites.

Chapter 18

The wisdom of Jethro                  18:1-27

v1 Jethro was the father of Moses’ wife, and he was the priest in the country called Midian. He heard about everything that God had done for Moses and for his people. Jethro heard how the *LORD had brought the *Israelites away from Egypt.

v2 Moses had sent his wife, Zipporah, and her two sons to stay with her father. And Jethro was very glad to receive her v3 and her two sons. ‘I have become a stranger in a foreign country’, Moses had said. So he had named his first son Gershom. v4 ‘My father’s God helped me. He saved me from *Pharaoh’s sword’, Moses had said later. So he had named his other son Eliezer.

v5 Then Jethro, the father of Moses’ wife, came to Moses in the *desert. Moses’ wife and his two sons came with Jethro to where Moses had camped. It was near God’s mountain. v6 Jethro had sent a message to Moses earlier. ‘I am Jethro, your wife’s father. And I am coming to visit you with your wife and her two sons.’

v7 Then Moses went out to meet his wife’s father. He respected Jethro very much. So Moses leaned forward in front of him and he kissed Jethro. They greeted each other and then they went into the tent. v8 Moses told his wife’s father about everything that the *LORD had done on behalf of the *Israelites. Moses told Jethro how God had rescued them from *Pharaoh and from the *Egyptians. And he told Jethro how the *LORD had helped them during all their troubles along the way.

v9 Jethro was very pleased. Moses told him about all the good things that the *LORD had done for the *Israelites. And he told him how the *LORD had rescued them from the *Egyptians’ power. v10 Jethro said, ‘Praise the *LORD! He saved you and your people from *Pharaoh’s power and from the *Egyptians. v11 Now I know that the *LORD is greater than all other gods. He rescued the *Israelites from those people who were so proud. They had behaved very badly towards the *Israelites.’

v12 So Jethro, the father of Moses’ wife, brought a gift to burn in front of God. And he offered other gifts to God. Then Aaron came with all *Israel’s leaders. And they shared a meal with Jethro in the place where they *worshipped God.

v13 The next day, Moses sat down in the place where he acted as a judge of the people. And the people stood round him from the morning until the evening. v14 Jethro, the father of Moses’ wife, saw how much Moses was doing for the people. ‘It is too much!’ he said. ‘Why are you the only judge for all these people? Why do they stand round you from the morning until the evening?’

v15 And Moses answered him. ‘The people come to me to get answers from God. They ask me what God wants them to do. v16 When they do not agree with each other, they come to me. And I say which person is right. I tell them God’s rules and his laws.’

v17 But Jethro replied to him. ‘What you are doing is not a good thing. v18 You will wear yourself out. And these people who come to you will wear themselves out too. There is too much work for you. You cannot do this alone. v19 Listen to me now, and I will give some advice to you. Then God will help you. You must speak to God on behalf of the people. And you must tell their problems to him. v20 Teach God’s rules and his laws to . Show them the way to live. And show to them the work that they must do for God. v21 But choose some capable men from among the people to help you. Those men must respect God. And you must be able to trust them. They must be honest. And they must not gain money from people in the wrong way. Appoint them as officials over groups of 1000 people, or 100 people, or 50 people, or 10 people. v22 Let them act as judges for the people all the time. Let them bring every difficult problem to you. But they can settle the easy things. They will be sharing the responsibility with you. So your difficult responsibility will be easier. v23 You must do what God wants. And if you do this, then you will not wear yourself out. And you will satisfy all these people. Then they will be happy when they return to their homes.’

v24 Moses listened to Jethro, his wife’s father. He did everything that Jethro had said. v25 He chose capable men from among all the *Israelites and he appointed them as the leaders. They became officials. And each one was the judge for a group of people. Some officials dealt with 1000 people each. Some officials dealt with 100 people, or 50 people or 10 people. v26 They acted as judges for the people all the time. They settled the easier problems. But they brought the people with difficult disagreements to Moses.

v27 Then Moses said goodbye to Jethro, his wife’s father. And Jethro returned to his own country.

Verses 1-2: On his way back to Egypt, Moses had taken his wife and sons with him. However, there was a strange incident at a camp. After that incident, it seems that Moses sent his wife and sons back to Jethro. (See Exodus 4:24-26.) Jethro wanted to know about everything that God was doing with Moses and with the *Israelites. Moses told him about the struggle with *Pharaoh. And he told him about how the *LORD had brought the *Israelites out of Egypt.

Verses 3-4: Moses had given the name Gershom to his first son. That name meant ‘a stranger there’. Because Moses was a stranger in a foreign country, he gave that name to the boy. He gave the name Eliezer to his second son. That means ‘God is my helper’. Probably Eliezer was born after Moses had spoken with God at the burning bush.

Verses 5-6: Jethro came to meet Moses and the *Israelites in the *desert near God’s mountain. That mountain was *Mount Sinai. Another name for *Mount Sinai was *Mount Horeb. Moses’ wife Zipporah and her two sons came with her father. Jethro had sent a message to Moses. The message said that he was coming. He said that he would bring Moses’ wife and his two sons with him.

Verses 7-8: Moses went to Jethro and they greeted each other. They asked each other about their health and their families. They asked all about their personal situations. That was the normal way that people greeted each other. Then Moses took Jethro into his tent.

Because Jethro was older than Moses, Moses showed great honour to him. And Moses appreciated Jethro’s advice. Moses told Jethro about everything that the *LORD had done. He told him about everything from his arrival in Egypt to the battle with the *Amalekites. He told him about all the troubles during the journey from the Red Sea. Moses was a humble man. He did not talk about what he had done. He spoke about all the things that the *LORD had done.

Verses 9-11: Jethro already knew about the escape of the *Israelites. But Moses told him more about how the *LORD had rescued his people. That pleased Jethro and it made him very happy. His immediate reaction was to praise the *LORD.

He praised the *LORD for the way that he had defeated *Pharaoh and the *Egyptians. He praised the *LORD because the *LORD had proved himself greater than all other gods. The *LORD had rescued his people from the proud and wicked slave-masters in Egypt.

Jethro was a priest in Midian. (See Exodus 3:1.) We do not know what gods he may have *worshipped there. Perhaps the events in Egypt had caused him to believe in the *LORD.

Verse 12: Then Jethro made a *sacrifice by fire to God. Also, he brought other *sacrifices to God. Aaron and other leaders came to share a meal with Jethro and Moses. And they *worshipped God together.

Verses 13-14: All the *Israelites came to Moses for instruction and with their problems. Probably that did not happen every day but only on certain days. But this day was such a day. He was the only judge among them. There were very many requests. So it took all day to listen to them. And some people waited for many hours for their opportunity to speak.

Jethro saw that Moses worked too hard. It would be impossible for him to continue with this amount of work. So, Jethro told Moses that he was doing too much. There should be more than one judge. He asked Moses for an explanation.

Verses 15-16: Moses told him the two reasons why the people came to him. They wanted to ask what God says. And they came to him when there were arguments. They would ask Moses to decide who was right.

Verses 17-18: Jethro told Moses that this was not a good idea. It was not a good way to deal with the problems. It would wear out both Moses and the people. There was too much work for one man.

Verses 19-20: Jethro agreed that Moses must speak to God on behalf of the people. Moses must teach God’s rules and laws to the people. He must show to them how God wants them to live.

Verses 21-22: However, Jethro’s advice to Moses was that he should give much of the work to other men. Those men must be capable. They must be men who respect God. And they must be honest men that Moses could trust. He must choose those men very carefully. Some men would be responsible for 1000 people, and other men for 100 people. There would be other men who were responsible for 50 or 10 people. They would be the judges of their groups. They would settle problems as far as they were able. If a problem were too difficult, each judge would pass it to a more important judge. Then Moses would deal with the most difficult problems.

Verses 23: This was a good plan if God approved it. This plan would remove much of the work from Moses. It would much reduce the waiting time that people had previously. It would be a good thing for them all.

Verses 24-26: Moses did what Jethro said. He appointed men to be the judges over their groups. Those judges settled all the easier problems. Only the most difficult problems came to Moses.

Moses did not select these men by himself. He asked the people to select wise men from each *tribe. And Moses appointed them to have authority over the people. (See Deuteronomy 1:13.)

Verse 27: After this, Jethro went back to his own country, called Midian.

Word List

altar ~ a table where people give gifts or *sacrifices to God or to a false god.

Amalekite ~ a *descendant of Amalek. Amalek was the grandson of Esau. The Amalekites lived in the country between southern *Israel and Egypt. They were enemies of *Israel’s people.

ancestors ~ people in your family who lived before you.

angel ~ a servant of God who sometimes brings messages from heaven; or an angel that was good but now he is bad; angels are not human.

BC ~ years before Jesus Christ was born.

boil ~ a way to cook; or, a nasty, painful lump under the skin.

Canaan ~ the country that God gave to the *Israelites. People called Canaanites lived there. And people called Amorites, Hittites, Hivites, Jebusites and Perizzites also lived there.

chariot ~ a box with wheels that soldiers ride in. Horses pull it.

covenant ~ This meant that the *Israelites were special to God as his people. And the *LORD was special to them as their God. Because of this covenant, the *LORD gave rules to them about how they should live. If they obeyed those rules, he would cause them to succeed. If they did not obey them, the *LORD would punish them. But when two people or groups of people had a covenant, it was just an agreement.

descendant ~ a child, grandchild, their grandchild and so on.

desert ~ a wild place where there are small bushes and not much water. It has poor soil and people cannot cause crops to grow there. So, not many people live there.

Egyptian ~ someone from the country called Egypt; anything with a relationship with Egypt. The *Israelites were slaves in Egypt before God freed them.

ephah ~ the *Israelites used an ephah to measure dry things; it was about 22 litres (5 gallons).

generation ~ a period of about 20 to 30 years. During that time, children become adults and they have their own children; or, the *descendants of a person or people during that time.

glory ~ great honour and beauty like the beautiful light round God; splendid beauty.

Greek ~ people and things from the country called Greece, and the language that they speak; the language that the authors used to write the *New-Testament.

Hebrew ~ the language that the *Israelites spoke; the language that the authors used to write most of the *Old-Testament; a Hebrew is a *Jewish person or an *Israelite.

Israel ~ the nation of people from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the name of the country that God gave to that nation.

Israelite ~ a person from the nation called *Israel; or any thing or person that has a relationship with *Israel; Israelites is another name for the *Jews.

Jew ~ a person who belongs to the *Israelites. Jews are *descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Jewish ~ a word that describes a *Jew (an *Israelite) or anything that belongs to the *Jews.

Lord ~ a name for God. It translates the word ‘Adonai’ in the Hebrew language, which means ‘my ruler’. The word ‘lord’ (without a capital letter) means an ordinary ruler.

LORD ~ God gave this special name to himself. It translates the word ‘Yahweh’ in the Hebrew language. It is the name for God in the *Covenant. It links to the words ‘I am’; it means that God has always been here.

manna ~ a food like bread. God provided this food in a special way for the *Israelites to eat in the *desert. In the *Hebrew language, manna means ‘what is it?’

Mount ~ mountain. For example, ‘Mount Sinai’ means the mountain called Sinai.

New-Testament ~ the second part of the Bible, which the writers wrote after Jesus lived on earth. It is about the life of Jesus. And it is about what Christians believe.

olive ~ a tree with small fruits (or the fruits themselves) that people used to make oil. They burned the oil to give them light. They used it in other ways too.

Passover ~ an important holy day for the *Jews. They eat a special meal on this day every year. The Passover reminds the *Jews about how God rescued them from Egypt. They remember that God passed over their houses. And he protected their oldest sons.

Pharaoh ~ a word that means the king of Egypt.

Philistines ~ a group of people who lived near the south coast of the country called *Canaan; they fought with the *Israelites.

prophet ~ a person who hears God’s words and tells them to other people. But someone who was not God’s prophet might pretend to be one.

Sabbath ~ The seventh day of the week, when *Israelites did not work. It is from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. There were also special Sabbaths that were not always on a Saturday. The word can also mean anything that has a relationship with the Sabbath.

sacrifice ~ something valuable that people give to God, or to a false god; or, to give such a thing to God. God would forgive *sin only if they gave a certain *sacrifice.

sign ~ an unusual event that God uses to teach people something. But sometimes people who were not really God’s *prophets promised signs.

sin ~ when people do something wrong against God or against other people; or, not to obey God.

stubborn ~ stubborn people refuse to change their attitudes or actions.

temple ~ the chief place for *worship for the *Jews. King Solomon built the first temple for God in Jerusalem. But the word can refer to a similar building for a false god.

thirsty ~ a thirsty person needs a drink.

thunder ~ the loud noise that you may hear in a storm.

tribe ~ a group of people from the same race, who are all *descendants of one person. The tribes of *Israel were the 12 large families of Jacob’s sons.

worship ~ when people show honour to God, or to a false god. People may sing or they may pray. Or they may kneel down or they may give a *sacrifice.

Book List

Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible ~ Baker Publishing Group; Abridged edition (Aug. 1983)

Albert Barnes’s Notes on the Whole Bible

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary of the Bible ~ Zondervan Classic Reference Series

John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible

John I Durham ~ Exodus ~ NELSON/WORD Publishing Group, 1987

R Alan Cole ~ Exodus ~ Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries ~ Inter-Varsity Press

Umberto Cassuto, Israel Abrahams (Translator) ~ A Commentary on the Book of Exodus ~ The Magnes Press, 1967

Walter C Kaiser ~ Exodus ~ The Expositor’s Bible Commentary ~ Zondervan, 1990

Bible versions:

Hilda Bright and Kitty Pride ~ EasyEnglish commentary: Exodus: Israel becomes a nation

They used the following:

            New International Version Study Bible

            New International Reader’s Version 1998

            Today’s English Version

            New English Bible

            Jerusalem Bible

            Contemporary English Version


© 1997-2016, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

July 2016

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.bible