The Song of Moses, and the Song of the Lamb
Judeo-Christian Research
research@juchre.org

 

April 06, 2001

(Rev 15:3 KJV) And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

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(Exo 15:1-3 KJV) Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. {2} The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. {3} The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

"But Moses and the children of Israel sang on the other side of the sea a song of thanksgiving and triumph, which, repeated every Sabbath in the Temple,* when the drink-offering of the festive sacrifice was poured out, reminded Israel that to all time the kingdom was surrounded by the hostile powers of this world; that there must always be a contest between them; and that Jehovah would always Himself interpose to destroy His enemies and to deliver His people. Thus that great event is really not solitary, nor yet its hymn without an echo. For all times it has been a prophecy, a comfort, and a song of anticipated sure victory to the Church. And so at the last, they who stand on the 'sea of glass mingled with fire,' who have 'gotten the victory,' and have 'the harps of God,' 'sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.'"

* Tradition informs us that the "Song of Moses" was sung in sections (one for each Sabbath) in the Temple, at the close of the Sabbath-morning service. The Song of Moses consists of three stanzas (Exodus 15:2-5, 6-10, and 11-18), of which the first two show the power of Jehovah in the destruction of His enemies, while the third gives thanks for the result, in the calling of Israel to be the kingdom of God, and their possession of the promised inheritance.

(Alfred Edersheim, Bible History, Old Testament, vol. 2, chap. 7)

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"... At the close of the additional Sabbath sacrifice, when its drink-offering was brought, the Levites sang the 'Song of Moses' in Deuteronomy 32. This 'hymn' was divided into six portions, for as many Sabbaths (v 1-6; 7-12; 13-18; 19-28; 29-39; 40-end). Each portion was sung in three sections with threefold blasts of the priests' trumpets, the people worshipping at each pause. If a Sabbath and a 'new moon' fell on the same day, the Sabbath hymn was sung in preference to that for the new moon; if a feast day fell on the Sabbath, the Sabbath sacrifice was offered before that prescribed for the day. At the evening sacrifice on the Sabbath the song of Moses in Exodus 15 was sung."

(Alfred Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services, chap. 9)

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The Temple Hymnody

"To the wealth and splendour of the Temple corresponded the character of its services. The most important of these, next to the sacrificial rites, was the hymnody of the sanctuary. We can conceive what it must have been in the days of David and of Solomon. But even in New Testament times it was such that St. John could find no more adequate imagery to portray heavenly realities and the final triumph of the Church than that taken from the service of praise in the Temple. Thus, when first 'the twenty-four elders,' representing the chiefs of the twenty-four courses of the priesthood, and afterwards the 144,000, representing redeemed Israel in its fulness (12 x 12,000), sing 'the new song'--the former in heaven, the latter on Mount Zion--they appear, just as in the Temple services, as 'harpers, harping with their harps' (Rev 5:8; 14:2,3). Possibly there may also be an analogy between the time when these 'harpers' are introduced and the period in the Temple-service when the music began--just as the joyous drink-offering was poured out. There is yet a third reference in the Book of Revelation to 'the harps of God' (Rev 15:2), with most pointed allusion, not to the ordinary, but to the Sabbath services in the Temple. In this case 'the harpers' are all they 'that had gotten the victory over the beast.' The Church, which has come out of great tribulation, stands victorious 'on the sea of glass'; and the saints, 'having the harps of God,' sing 'the song of Moses, the servant of God.' It is the Sabbath of the Church; and as on the Sabbath, besides the psalm for the day (Psalm 92) at the ordinary sacrifice, they sung at the additional Sabbatic sacrifice (Num 28:9,10), in the morning, the Song of Moses, in Deuteronomy 32, and in the evening that in Exodus 15, so the victorious Church celebrates her true Sabbath or rest by singing this same 'Song of Moses and of the Lamb,' only in language that expresses the fullest meaning of the Sabbath songs in the Temple."

(Ibid., chap. 3)

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"The Jews have a notion, that the very song of Moses itself will be sung in the world to come, in the days of the Messiah; for they say, there are in it the times of the Messiah, and of Gog and Magog, and of the resurrection of the dead, and the world to come..."

(The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible )

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"Mighty is faith, for the spirit of God came upon the Israelites as a reward for their trust in God, and in His servant Moses; and it was in this exaltation that they sang to the Lord a song that moved Him to grant forgiveness for all their sins. This song was the second of the nine songs that in the course of history Israel sang to their God. They assembled to sing the first in Egypt, on the night when they were freed from captivity; their second was the song of triumph by the Red Sea; their third, when the well sprang up in the wilderness; Moses sang the fourth before his death; the fifth was Joshua's song after his victory over the five Amorite kings; Deborah and Barak sang the sixth when they conquered Sisera; the seventh was David's psalm of thanksgiving to God for his deliverance out of the hand of all his enemies; the eighth was Solomon's song at the dedication of the Temple; the ninth Jeshoshaphat sang as, trusting in God, he went to battle against the Moabites and the Ammonites. The tenth and last song, however, will be that grand and mighty song, when Israel will raise their voice in triumph at their future deliverance, for that will be the final release of Israel for all time. "

...

"As Moses and the race that wandered from Egypt with him sang a song  to the Lord by the Red Sea, so shall they sing again in the world to come. In the world to come, all generations will pass before the Lord and will ask Him who should first intone the song of praise, whereupon He will reply: 'In the past it was the generation of Moses that offered up to me a song of praise. Let them do it now once more, and as Moses conducted the song by the Red Sea, so shall he do in the world of the hereafter.'

"In other respects, too, it shall be in the world to come as it was at the time of the song by the sea..."

(Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews, Volume 3)

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Jewish New Testament Commentary on Rev 15:2-4:

"...At that time the Israelites sang the song of Moshe (Exo 15:1-18; see 13:4N*), which is included in its entirety in the daily morning synagogue service and liberally quoted again in the twice-daily blessing after the Sh'ma. The victors over the beast will sing the Song of Moses, signifying that true believers in Yeshua fully identify with the Jewish people.

*13:4N - Who is like the beast? This beast-worship litany is a parody of the name of the angel Mikha'el (Hebrew, meaning "Who is like God"), who defeated the dragon (12:7-9), and of the Song of Moses...

"Who is like you, Adonai, among the gods?
Who is like you, glorious in holiness,
fearful in praises, doing wonders?" (Exo 15:11)

"The song of the Lamb, is not sung to or about the Lamb, but by the Lamb to God--just as the Song of Moses was sung by Moses and not to him. Just as the victorious Jewish people learned and sang the song which Moses sang (Exo 15:1), so the victorious believers in heaven learn and sing the song which the Lamb sings. Like the Song of Moses the Song of the Lamb exults in the just ways of God, using the language of the Tanakh as found in Jer 10:7; Amos 3:13, 4:13; Mal 1:11; Psa 86:9-10, 92:6(5), 98:1, 111:2, 139:14, 145:17; 1 Chron 16:9, 12. But unlike the Song of Moses it also brings out that in the final judgment God is revealed as king of the nations, king of the whole world, as prophesied in Zech 14:9, so that all nations will come and worship before him--as predicted in the continuation of that passage (Zech 14:16-20)."

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"The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation..." (Exo 15:2)

"The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." (Psa 118:14)

"Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (Isa 12:2)

"Note that the refrain, 'The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation' ... is repeated in Ps. 118:14 and Isa. 12:2. In each case, there is a deliverance for Israel. The Jews sang the Song of Moses when they were delivered from Egypt, but they also sang it when they returned to their land after the Captivity, for Ps. 118 was very likely written after the return from Babylon. Isaiah 12 looks forward to the time when Israel will be regathered from the nations of the world and returned to her land; so in each case, the song celebrates Israel’s deliverance from the enemy. In Ex. 15, God’s people stood by an earthly sea; but here it is a heavenly sea. In Exodus, they had been delivered by the blood of the Passover lamb; and here they overcame the Beast 'by the blood of the Lamb' (Rev 12:11). Note that they sing not only the song of Moses, but also the song of the Lamb. 'The Lamb' is the title of Christ most repeated in Revelation; it is used at least twenty-eight times. We have here a wonderful union of OT and NT, of Moses and the Lamb. God’s Law is being vindicated; God’s grace is at work. The Old and New Covenants are being fulfilled as Christ judges the nations and prepares to reign."

(Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament)

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Note the contrast between these songs:

(Willmington's Guide to the Bible)

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(Psa 86:9-10) All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name. {10} For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.

 

Also see: Harps/New Song

 

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