New Defender's Study Bible Notes
15:24 the people murmured. Note God’s responses to the murmurings (complainings) of Israel, acting for a while in grace and patience, but eventually acting in judgment. He first provided pure water (Exodus 15:25), next He provided food (Exodus 16:2,7,8,9,12), and then a continuous water supply (Exodus 17:3). But eventually God sent them into exile in the wilderness (Numbers 14:2,27,29,36) and even put many to death (Numbers 16:11,41). Finally, their murmurings ceased after the miracle of the budding of Aaron’s rod, which was a symbol of the resurrection (Numbers 17:5,10). God’s attitude toward murmuring on the part of believers today is indicated in I Corinthians 10:10 and Philippians 2:14.
15:25 shewed him a tree. The miracle here may be simply that of revealing to Moses a tree whose bark or leaves had the ability to react chemically with the noxious waters of Marah (meaning “bitter”) to make them potable. This possibility cannot be pursued in the present absence of knowledge concerning the nature of either the waters or the tree. Of course, the phenomenon could also have been an actual physical miracle. In any case, the complaints of the people gave God an occasion again to show Himself able to meet their needs but also to urge them henceforth to be obedient and believing people.
15:26 none of these diseases. The Israelites were familiar with “the evil diseases of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:15), but obedience to God’s laws, which included numerous laws of sanitation not understood until modern times, would keep them in good health.