Weekly Bible Reading

Parashat Beshalach | Exodus 13:17-17:16

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17After Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, although that was nearby, for God said, “The people might change their minds if they see war and return to Egypt.”
18So God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Sea of Reeds, and Bnei-Yisrael went up out of the land of Egypt armed.
19Moses also took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made Bnei-Yisrael swear an oath saying, “God will surely remember you, and then you are to carry my bones away with you.”
20So they journeyed from Succoth and encamped in Etham, on the edge of the wilderness.
21Adonai went before them in a pillar of cloud by day to lead the way and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light. So they could travel both day and night.
22The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night never departed from the people.

Chapter 14

Sea of Reeds Showdown
1Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
2“Speak to Bnei-Yisrael, so that they turn back and encamp before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. You are to camp by the sea, opposite Baal-zephon.
3Pharaoh will say concerning Bnei-Yisrael, ‘They are wandering aimlessly in the land—the wilderness has shut them in!’
4I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, so he will follow after them. Then I will be glorified over Pharaoh along with all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai.” So they did so.
5When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we let Israel go from serving us?”
6So he prepared his chariots and took his people with him.
7He took 600 of the finest chariots, along with all other chariots of Egypt, and captains over them.
8Adonai hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so he pursued Bnei-Yisrael, for Bnei-Yisrael went out with a high hand.
9But the Egyptians pursued them with all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, as well as his charioteers and his army, and overtook them as they were encamped by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth opposite Baal-zephon.
10When Pharaoh drew near, Bnei-Yisrael lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them! So they were terrified, and Bnei-Yisrael cried out to Adonai.
11They said to Moses, “Have you taken us away to die in the wilderness because there were no graves in Egypt? Why have you dealt this way with us, to bring us out of Egypt?
12Did we not say to you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians?’ It was better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness!”
13But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever!
14Adonai will fight for you, while you hold your peace.”
15Then Adonai said to Moses, “Why are you crying to Me? Tell Bnei-Yisrael to go forward.
16Lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it. Then Bnei-Yisrael will go into the midst of the sea on dry ground.
17Then I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they will go in after them, so that I will be glorified over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots and his horsemen.
18Then the Egyptians will know that I am Adonai, when I have been glorified over Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”
19Then the angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them. Also the pillar of cloud moved from in front and stood behind them,
20and so came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel—there was the cloud and the darkness over here, yet it gave light by night over there—neither one came near the other all night long.
21Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. Adonai drove the sea back with a strong east wind throughout the night and turned the sea into dry land. So the waters were divided.
22Then Bnei-Yisrael went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, while the waters were like walls to them on their right and on their left.
23But the Egyptians pursued and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots and his horsemen.
24Now it came about during the morning watch that Adonai looked at the army of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and cloud and caused the army of the Egyptians to panic.
25He took off their chariot wheels and caused them to drive heavily, so that the Egyptians said, “Get away from the presence of Israel! For Adonai fights for them against the Egyptians!”
26Then Adonai said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea, so that the waters come back upon the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen.”
27So Moses stretched his hand out over the waters, and the sea returned to its strength at the break of dawn. The Egyptians were fleeing from it, but Adonai overthrew them in the midst of the sea.
28The waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen and the entire army of Pharaoh that went after them into the sea. Not one of them remained.
29But Bnei-Yisrael had walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were like walls to them on their right hand and on their left.
30So Adonai saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.
31When Israel saw the great work that Adonai did over the Egyptians, the people feared Adonai, and they believed in Adonai and in His servant Moses.

Chapter 15

Song of Moses and Miriam
1Then Moses and Bnei-Yisrael sang this song to Adonai: I will sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea.
2Adonai is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation. This is my God, and I will glorify Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
3Adonai is a warrior—Adonai is His Name!
4Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has hurled into the sea, and his chosen captains have sunk into the Sea of Reeds.
5The deeps cover them. They sank to the depths like a stone.
6Your right hand, Adonai, is glorious in power. Your right hand, Adonai, dashes the enemy to pieces.
7In the greatness of Your excellency You overthrow those who resist You. You send forth Your wrath— it consumes them as stubble.
8With the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up. The floods stood upright as a heap. The deeps became firm ground in the heart of the sea.
9The enemy said, “I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil. My lust shall gorge on them! I will draw my sword— my hand will destroy them.”
10You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11Who is like You, Adonai, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in praises, doing wonders?
12You stretched out Your right hand, the earth swallowed them.
13You in Your lovingkindness led the people You have redeemed. You guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation.
14When the peoples hear, they will tremble—anguish will seize the inhabitants of Philistia.
15Then the chiefs of Edom are terrified. Trembling grips Moab’s mighty men. All of Canaan’s inhabitants will melt away.
16Terror and dread will fall on them. By the greatness of Your arm they become still as a stone, till Your people cross over, Adonai, till the people whom You purchased cross over.
17You bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance, the place, Adonai, that You have made for Yourself to dwell in— the Sanctuary, Adonai, which Your hands have prepared.
18Adonai will reign forever and ever!
19For Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, but Adonai brought the waters of the sea back over them. Yet Bnei-Yisrael walked in the midst of the sea on dry ground.
20Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing,
21as Miriam sang to them: Sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea!
Bitter Waters Made Sweet
22Then Moses led Israel onward from the Sea of Reeds. They went out into the wilderness of Shur. But they travelled three days in the wilderness and found no water.
23When they came to Marah, they could not drink from the waters because they were bitter. On account of this it was called Marah.
24So the people complained to Moses saying, “What are we going to drink?”
25So he cried out to Adonai, and Adonai showed him a tree. When he threw it into the waters, they were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them.
26He said, “If you diligently listen to the voice of Adonai your God, do what is right in His eyes, pay attention to His mitzvot, and keep all His decrees, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians. For I am Adonai who heals you.”
27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees. So they camped there by the waters.

Chapter 16

Manna From Heaven
1They journeyed on from Elim, and the entire community of Bnei-Yisrael came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after leaving the land of Egypt.
2But the whole congregation of Bnei-Yisrael murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
3Bnei-Yisrael said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of Adonai in the land of Egypt, when we sat by pots of meat, when we ate bread until we were full. But you have brought us into the wilderness, to kill this entire congregation with hunger.”
4Then Adonai said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. The people will go out and gather a day’s portion every day, so that I can test them to find out whether they will walk according to My Torah or not.
5So on the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather day by day.”
6So Moses and Aaron said to all Bnei-Yisrael, “In the evening you will know that Adonai has brought you out from the land of Egypt,
7and in the morning, then you will see the glory of Adonai. For He heard your complaining against Him. What are we? You complain against us?”
8Then Moses said, “Adonai will give you meat to eat in the evening and enough bread to fill you in the morning, since Adonai hears your complaints that you mutter against Him, what are we? Your complaining is not against us, but against Adonai!”
9Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael, ‘Come near before Adonai, because He has heard your complaining.’”
10Then, as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of Bnei-Yisrael, they looked toward the wilderness, and the glory of Adonai appeared in the cloud.
11Adonai spoke to Moses saying,
12“I have heard the complaining of Bnei-Yisrael. Speak to them saying, ‘At dusk you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am Adonai your God.’”
13So when evening fell, quails came up and covered the camp. Moreover, in the morning there was a layer of dew all around the camp.
14When the layer of dew was gone, on the surface of the desert was a thin, flake-like frost, as fine as the frost on the ground.
15When Bnei-Yisrael saw it, they said one to another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. Then Moses said to them, “It is the bread that Adonai has given you to eat.
16This is the word that Adonai has commanded. Every man is to gather according to his needs, an omer per person, according to the number of people per household. Each man is to take it for those who are in his tent.”
17Bnei-Yisrael did so, and some gathered more, some less.
18When they measured it with an omer, those who gathered more had nothing left over, and those that gathered less did not lack at all. Every man gathered according to his appetite.
19Also Moses said to them, “Let no one save any of it until the morning.”
20However, they did not listen to Moses. Some of them preserved it until the morning—but it bred worms and rotted. So Moses was angry with them.
21So they gathered it morning by morning, each man according to his needs, and as the sun became hot it melted.
22On the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each individual. So all the leaders of the community came and informed Moses.
23But he said to them, “This is what Adonai has said. Tomorrow is a Shabbat rest, a holy Shabbat to Adonai. Bake whatever you would bake, and boil what you would boil. Store up for yourselves everything that remains, to be kept until the morning.”
24So they set it aside until the morning, just as Moses instructed, and it did not rot nor were there any worms.
25Then Moses said, “Eat that today, because today is a Shabbat to Adonai. Today you will not find it in the field.
26You are to gather it for six days, but the seventh day is the Shabbat, and there will be none.”
27Yet on the seventh day, some of the people went out to gather and they found none.
28Adonai said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep My mitzvot and My Torah?
29See, Adonai has given you the Shabbat, so on the sixth day He gives you the bread of two days. Let every man stay in his place, and let no man go out on the seventh day.”
30So the people rested on the seventh day.
31The house of Israel named it manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.
32Then Moses said, “This is what Adonai has commanded. Let a full omer of it be kept throughout your generations, so that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out from the land of Egypt.”
33Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put a full omer of manna inside. Store it up before Adonai, to be kept throughout your generations.”
34Just as Adonai commanded Moses, Aaron stored it up in front of the Testimony, to be preserved.
35Bnei-Yisrael ate the manna for 40 years. They ate the manna until they came to an inhabited land, when they came to the borders of the land of Canaan.
36Now an omer is the tenth part of an ephah.

Chapter 17

Test and Quarreling
1All the congregation of Bnei-Yisrael journeyed from the wilderness of Sin in stages, according to the command of Adonai, and camped in Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
2So the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Adonai?”
3But the people thirsted for water there, and they complained against Moses and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt? To kill us with thirst, along with our children and cattle?”
4So Moses cried out to Adonai saying, “What am I to do for these people? They are about ready to stone me.”
5Adonai said to Moses, “Walk before the people, and take of the elders of Israel with you, along with your staff with which you struck the river. Take it in your hand and go.
6Behold, I will stand before you, there upon the rock in Horeb. You are to strike the rock, and water will come out of it so that the people can drink.” Then Moses did just so in the eyes of the elders of Israel.
7The name of the place was called Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of Bnei-Yisrael, and because they tested Adonai saying, “Is Adonai among us, or not?”
War Against Amalek
8Then the Amalekites came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.
9Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men, go out, and fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”
10So Joshua did as Moses said, and fought the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill.
11When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. But when he let down his hand, the Amalekites prevailed.
12Moses’ hands grew heavy, so they took a stone, put it under him, and he sat down. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands were steady until the sun went down.
13So Joshua overpowered the Amalekites and his army with the edge of the sword.
14Adonai said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the hearing of Joshua, for I will utterly blot out the memory of the Amalekites from under heaven.”
15Then Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Adonai-Nissi.
16Then he said, “By the hand upon the throne of Adonai, Adonai will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”