Verse 27. "They came to Elim" - This was in the desert of Sin, and, according to Dr. Shaw, about two leagues from Tor, and thirty from Marah or Corondel.
"Twelve wells of water" - One for each of the tribes of Israel, say the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem.
"And threescore and ten palm trees" - One for each of the seventy elders.- Ibid.
Dr. Shaw found nine of the twelve wells, the other three having been choked up with sand; and the seventy palm trees multiplied into more than 2000, the dates of which bring a considerable revenue to the Greek monks at Tor. See his account at the end of this book, and see also the map. Thus sufficient evidence of the authenticity of this part of the sacred history remains, after the lapse of more than 3000 years.
IN the preceding notes the reader has been referred to Dr. Kennicott's translation and arrangement of the song of Moses. To this translation he prefixes the following observations:- "This triumphant ode was sung by Moses and the sons of Israel: and the women, headed by Miriam, answered the men by repeating the two first lines of the song, altering only the first word, which two lines were probably sung more than once as a chorus.
"The conclusion of this ode seems very manifest; and yet, though the ancient Jews had sense enough to write this song differently from prose; and though their authority has prevailed even, to this day in this and three other poems in the Old Testament, (Deut. xxii.; Judg. v.; and 2 Sam. xxii.,) still expressed by them as poetry; yet have these critics carried their ideas of the song here to the end of ver. 19. The reason why the same has been done by others probably is, they thought that the particle yk for, which begins ver. 19, necessarily connected it with the preceding poetry. But this difficulty is removed by translating yk when, especially if we take ver. 19-21 as being a prose explanation of the manner in which this song of triumph was performed. For these three verses say that the men singers were answered in the chorus by Miriam and the women, accompanying their words with musical instruments. 'When the horse of Pharaoh had gone into the sea, and the Lord had brought the sea upon them; and Israel had passed, on dry land, in the midst of the sea; then Miriam took a timbrel, and all the women went out after her with timbrels and dances; and Miriam (with the women) answered them ( Áhl lahem, the men, by way of chorus) in the words, O sing ye, &c.' That this chorus was sung more than ONCE is thus stated by Bishop Lowth: Maria, cum mulieribus, virorum choro IDENTIDEM succinebat. - Praelect. 19.
"I shall now give what appears to me to be an exact translation of this whole song: - MOSES. Part I 1. I will sing to JEHOVAH, for he hath triumphed gloriously; The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. 2. My strength and my song is JEHOVAH; And he is become to me for salvation: This is my God, and I will celebrate him; The God of my father, and I will exalt him. 3. Jehovah is mighty in\ Perhaps a battle! chorus sung Jehovah is his name! by the men. Chorus, by Miriam and the women. Perhaps sung first in this place.
O sing ye to Jehovah, for he hath triumphed gloriously: The horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
MOSES. Part II 4. Pharaoh's chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea; And his chosen captains are drowned in the Red Sea. 5. The depths have covered them, they went down; (They sank) to the bottom as a stone. 6. Thy right hand, Jehovah, is become glorious in power; Thy right hand, Jehovah, dasheth in pieces the enemy. 7. And in the greatness of thine excellence thou overthrowest them that rise against thee. Thou sendest forth thy wrath, which consumeth them as stubble. 8. Even at the blast of thy displeasure the waters are gathered together; The floods stand upright as a heap, Congealed are the depths in the very heart of the sea. O sing ye to JEHOVAH, &c. Chorus by the women.
MOSES. Part III 9. The enemy said: 'I will pursue, I shall overtake; I shall divide the spoil, my soul shall be satiated with them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.' 10. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them; They sank as lead in the mighty waters. 11. Who is like thee among the gods, O JEHOVAH? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness! 12. Fearful in praises; performing wonders! Thou stretchest out thy right hand, the earth swalloweth them! 13. Thou in thy mercy leadest the people whom thou hast redeemed; Thou in thy strength guidest to the habitation of thy holiness! O sing ye to JEHOVAH, &c. Chorus by the women.
MOSES. Part IV 14. The nations have heard, and are afraid; Sorrow hath seized the inhabitants of Palestine. 15. Already are the dukes of Edom in consternation, And the mighty men of Moab, trembling hath seized them; All the inhabitants of Canaan do faint 16. Fear and dread shall fall upon them; Through the greatness of thine arm they shall be still as a stone. 17.
"Till thy people, JEHOVAH, pass over [Jordan;" - Till the people pass over whom thou hast redeemed. 18. Thou shalt bring them and plant them in the mount of thine inheritance: The place for thy rest which thou, JEHOVAH, hast made; The sanctuary, JEHOVAH, which thy hands have established.
Grand chorus by ALL.
JEHOVAH FOR EVER AND EVER SHALL REIGN." 1. When poetry is consecrated to the service of God, and employed as above to commemorate his marvellous acts, it then becomes a very useful handmaid to piety, and God is honoured by his gifts. God inspired the song of Moses, and perhaps from this very circumstance it has passed for current among the most polished of the heathen nations, that a poet is a person Divinely inspired; and hence the epithet of profhthv, prophet, and vates, of the same import, was given them among the Greeks and Romans.
2. The song of Moses is a proof of the miraculous passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea. There has been no period since the Hebrew nation left Egypt in which this song was not found among them, as composed on that occasion, and to commemorate that event. It may be therefore considered as completely authentic as any living witness could be who had himself passed through the Red Sea, and whose life had been protracted through all the intervening ages to the present day.
3. We have already seen that it is a song of triumph for the deliverance of the people of God, and that it was intended to point out the final salvation and triumph of the whole Church of Christ; so that in the heaven of heavens the redeemed of the Lord, both among the Jews and the Gentiles, shall unite together to sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. See Rev. xv. 2-4. Reader, implore the mercy of God to enable thee to make thy calling and election sure, that thou mayest bear thy part in this glorious and eternal triumph.