Dave Burnette's Commentary

Exodus Chapter 17 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Moses
Date Penned: (1450-1410 BC)
Overview: The Record of God's Deliverance of Israel (c 1-40)
Theme: Israel in the Wilderness (c 13-18)
Message: The People Complain About the Lack of Water (v 1-16)

Exodus 17 Commentary

(17:2) More Murmuring - Again the people complained about their problem instead of praying. Some problems can be solved by careful thought or by rearranging our priorities. Some can be solved by discussion and good counsel. But some problems can be solved only by prayer. We should make a determined effort to pray when we feel like complaining, because complaining only raises our levels of stress. Prayer quiets our thoughts and emotions and prepares us to listen.

(17:8) The Amalekites - The Amalekites were descendants of Amalek, a grandson of Esau. They were a fierce nomadic tribe that lived in the desert region of the Dead Sea. They made part of their livelihood by conducting frequent raids on other settlements and carrying off plundered goods. One of the greatest insults in Israelite culture was to call someone "a friend of Amalek." When the Israelites entered the region, the Amalekites saw this as a perfect opportunity for profit. But this hostile tribe was moving in on the wrong group- a people led by God. For the Israelite slaves to defeat such a warlike nation was more than enough proof that God was with them as he had promised to be.

(17:9) Joshua Comes on the Scene - Here we meet Joshua for the first time. Later he would become the great leader who would bring God's people into the Promised Land. As a general of the Israelite army, he was gaining valuable experience for the greater battles to come.

(17:10-13) Moses' Arms are Held Up - Aaron and Fur stood by Moses' side and held up his arms to ensure victory against Amalek. We need to "lift up the hands" of our spiritual leaders as well. Shouldering some responsibility, lending a word of encouragement, and offering a prayer are ways of refreshing spiritual leaders in their work.

Dave Burnette's Life Application


Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we Continue in the book of Exodus with Chapter 17 and in today's text we see Israel still murmuring about their needs being met and yet again the Lord continues to provide - as He provides water from a rock. Israel is then faced with a new enemy and a battle with Amalek. Here the Lord provided victory as Moses held the rod up as a banner and as long as the banner was raised Israel attained victory. Help was needed as Aaron and Hur kept the banner raised by holding up Moses' arms. In making application we see see a reoccurring theme in the book of Exodus as the Lord provides and fights our battles. He is our banner and as long as we lift him up we will experience victory over our enemies. Today's text also provides us the process which pictures the Church with leadership and members working in unison to raise the banner of Christ to defeat our enemies. How about you? Do you see the Lord as your provider and protector? Keep His banner lifted up through the power of Christ in your local Church. Our Lord is our banner, He is Jehovah-nissi 


Exodus 17

Exodus 17

 1And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.

 2Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

 3And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?

 4And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.

 5And 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.

 6Behold, 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.

 7And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?

 8Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

 9And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand.

 10So 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.

 11And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

 12But 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.

 13And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

 14And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.

 15And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi:

 16For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.