Summary of passage: The Amalekites attack the Israelites. Moses sent Joshua out to fight while he, Aaron, and Hur went to a hill. Moses held up his hands and the Israelites would win. Aaron and Hur helped Moses to hold up his hands the entire day for if he didn’t, the Amalekites would win. Joshua overcame in the end and Moses built an alter to God and recorded the event and God’s promise to wipe the Amalekites from history.
8a) Moses calls it the “staff of God” in verse 9. I think it represented God and God’s blessings
b) The fact that Moses held up the staff because when Moses held up the staff, the Israelites were winning. When he lowered it, the Israelites were losing. Presumably, if Moses didn’t hold up the staff, the Israelites would lose the war. Plus, the staff represents God’s favor so God’s power is in the staff. Furthermore, we are not told here what God said to do. All that is recorded is Moses’ orders. So God could have told Moses to hold up the staff and Moses could have told Joshua to go and fight. We are not sure.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Not sure what the pronoun “this” is referring to in this question. “This” could be the whole passage. “This” could be the previous question. BSF is unclear here. I’m gonna go with the previous question here. Moses had to pray to win the battle. So must I. I must pray to win my battles and lately I’ve been remiss of this as I’ve felt a bit far from God. Prayer is a weapon that I must wield much more often.
9a) The account of this battle and that God will completely blot out the memory of the Amalekites.
b) Two-fold: So this battle can be remembered by future generations as a testament to God’s greatness and glory and mercy. So that His people would know that their enemies, the Amalekites, are insignificant and God will keep His promise to blot them from history.
c) Personal Question. My answer: It’s more oral tales than written records. Give God the credit to all in my life. Hopefully, my life will be a testament itself.
Conclusions: Too many pronouns “this” in this passage. I had to go immediately to commentary to answer some of these. Other Bible translations proved helpful as well.
My take away: Pray.
End Notes: Amalek was the grandson of Esau (Genesis 36:12). The Amalekites were a group of wandering nomads in the Sinai at this time. In Deuteronomy 25:17-18 we learn that the Amelekites attacked the end of the line where the women, children, old, and the baggage lay. This was a cowardly act of war, intent to just steal from the Israelites.
This was the first battle for the Israelites in 400 years. They had to rely on God for this one.
Moses calls the rod “the rod of God”. God calls the rod “the rod of Moses”. Love the honor here!
This is the first time in the Bible we meet Joshua, who always is faithful to Moses and God.
Scholars believe Hur was Miriam’s husband.
Moses holding up his hands was the traditional way for the Israelites to pray much like we bow our heads. Here, Moses is praying. When he stops praying, God stops acting. Great lesson for us to learn–the power of prayer.
Praying was the hard work here, not the battle. Note Moses needed others to support him–just like we do in our Christian walks.
Today many of God’s peoples are defeated because they do not pray. Fighting is important and with prayer it’s indestructible.
Moses is commanded five times to write down something by God (Exodus 17:14, Exodus 24:4-7, Exodus 34:27, Numbers 33:1-2, and Deuteronomy 31:9, 24).
More battles will give the Amalekites time to repent. God is good.
Favorite Map showing Rephidim where the Amalekites attacked Israel: http://headwatersresources.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ExodusColorNotesFramedCC.jpg
Fun Fact: Jesus is the Greek pronunciation of Joshua. They are the same name. You can see why in the lives of both men.