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Exodus 17:12 meaning...

This verse is part of the narrative in the book of Exodus during the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites. In the preceding verses, the Amalekites engage in battle with the Israelites. As the battle unfolds, Moses plays a crucial role in intercession and leadership. However, a fascinating episode unfolds with Moses' hands becoming heavy.

Moses' Role: Moses, as a leader and intercessor, goes up to a hill overlooking the battlefield, holding the staff of God in his hands. As long as Moses holds up his hands, the Israelites prevail, but when he lowers them, the Amalekites gain the upper hand.

  • Symbolism of Raised Hands

Intercessory Gesture: Moses' raised hands symbolize his role as an intercessor. The posture of lifting his hands is an act of prayer and seeking God's intervention on behalf of the Israelites in the midst of the battle.

Connection with God's Presence: The staff in Moses' hands is associated with God's power and authority. The raised hands signify a connection with God's presence and a reliance on His strength for victory.

  • Moses' Fatigue and Support from Others

Physical Weariness: Moses' hands become heavy, likely due to physical fatigue. The prolonged duration of holding up his hands takes a toll on his strength.

Support from Aaron and Hur: Recognizing Moses' weariness, Aaron and Hur provide support. They take a stone for Moses to sit on, and each of them holds up one of Moses' hands. This act of support is crucial for the continuance of God's favor in the battle.

  • The Importance of Collective Effort

Unity in Battle: The collaboration between Moses, Aaron, and Hur reflects the importance of unity and collective action in facing challenges. Each person has a role to play, contributing to the overall success.

Interdependence: The interdependence among leaders is evident. While Moses is the central figure, he relies on the support of Aaron and Hur to sustain the posture of intercession.

Spiritual Lessons for Believers

While rooted in the historical account of the Israelites' battle, Exodus 17:12 offers spiritual lessons for believers today:

Intercessory Prayer: The verse emphasizes the power of intercessory prayer. Believers are encouraged to engage in prayer not only individually but also collectively, recognizing the impact of seeking God's intervention together.

Support and Unity: The collaboration between Moses, Aaron, and Hur highlights the importance of support and unity within the community of believers. In times of spiritual battles, mutual support becomes crucial.


1 Timothy 2:1: "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people." This New Testament verse encourages believers to engage in intercessory prayer for others.

Galatians 6:2: "Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ." This verse emphasizes the principle of supporting one another in times of need.

Conclusion: Exodus 17:12 captures a moment of both physical and spiritual significance during the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites. Moses' raised hands symbolize intercession, and the support provided by Aaron and Hur highlights the importance of unity and collective effort. As believers reflect on this verse, it prompts consideration of the power of intercessory prayer, the significance of mutual support, and the strength found in unity within the community of faith.

Exodus 17:12. Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side. His hands were steady until sunset.


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