Exodus 15:25

Hebrew Bible

23 Then they came to Marah, but they were not able to drink the waters of Marah, because they were bitter. (That is why its name was Marah.) 24 So the people murmured against Moses, saying, “What can we drink?” 25 He cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When Moses threw it into the water, the water became safe to drink. There the Lord made for them a binding ordinance, and there he tested them. 26 He said, “If you will diligently obey the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and pay attention to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, then all the diseases that I brought on the Egyptians I will not bring on you, for I, the Lord, am your healer.” 27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there by the water.

Sirach 38:5

Ben Sira, Ecclesiasticus

3 The skill of physicians makes them distinguished, and in the presence of the great they are admired. 4 The Lord created medicines out of the earth, and the sensible will not despise them. 5 Was not water made sweet with a tree in order that its power might be known? 6 And he gave skill to human beings that he might be glorified in his marvelous works. 7 By them the physician heals and takes away pain;

 Notes and References

"... Adoption of the Same Ideas as the Theological Basis of Interpretation (Sirach 38:5, 9) ... At a time when scientific investigation of remedies hardly existed, biblical authors were interested in remedies themselves and, more importantly, their origins. For instance, we may call to mind the river flowing out of the temple in Ezekiel 47 as a symbol of God’s power. It carries the power in itself, grows ever stronger, and changes the contaminated water of the Dead Sea into life-giving water (Ezekiel 47:8-9). Since an attentive reader would be aware that there would now be too little salt available, the author added that the marshes containing a little bit of salt should remain (Ezekiel 47:11). Yet not only would the water itself become useful, but it would also transfer its effect to other things: “Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing” (Ezekiel 47:12). Without being clumsy and ponderous, the emphasis is very clear: God’s power is acting here. The healing comes from God directly. God provides the remedies. God’s provision of remedies is stated explicitly in another passage: after the rescue at the crossing of the Red Sea and the resulting victory song, the Israelites moved further (Exodus 15:22-26) ..."

Reiterer, Friedrich V. "The Influence of the Book of Exodus on Ben Sira" in Corley, Jeremy and Vincent Skemp (eds.) Intertextual Studies in Ben Sira and Tobit: Essays in Honor of Alexander A. Di Lella (pp. 100-117) Catholic Biblical Association of America, 2005

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