ויצעק. זה העץ לא ידענו מה היה. רק דבר פלא היה. ואילו היו המים עומדים היינו אומרים דרך רפואה היה ונכון הוא מה שאז"ל: AND HE CRIED UNTO THE LORD; AND THE LORD SHOWED HIM A TREE. We do not know what type of tree this was.180Contrary to the rabbis in the Midrash who identify the tree as a willow, olive, pomegranate, or date tree. See Mekhilta, Be-Shallach 1; Yalkut Shimoni on Ex. 15:25. What happened can only be described as a miracle. If the waters were stationary181If we knew for a fact that Scripture deals with water gathered in a pool or the like. then we would say that they were medicinally sweetened.182However, it is equally possible that our text deals with running water. In the latter case we can’t maintain that the waters were medicinally sweetened because what was healed moved on and new bitter water replaced it. What the sages said is correct.183That it was a miracle. See Yalkut Shimoni on Ex. 15:25.
שם שם לו. השם לישראל: THERE HE MADE FOR THEM. God184He might be taken to refer to Moses, hence I.E.’s comment. for Israel.
חק ומשפט. ליסר אותם וללמדם. A STATUTE AND AN ORDINANCE. To discipline them and to instruct them.
וטעם ושם נסהו על דרך כי מנסה ה' אלהיכם אתכם לדעת הישכם אוהבים וככה ויענך וירעיבך. ולמען נסותך להיטיבך באחריתך להיטיב הסובלים שלא הלינו על משה: [AND THERE HE PROVED THEM.] This is to be understood in the manner of for the Lord your God putteth you to proof, to know whether ye do love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul (Deut. 13:4). Scripture similarly states, And He afflicted thee,185This refers to the lack of water which the Israelites suffered. and suffered thee to hunger (Deut. 8:3); and that He might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end (Deut. 8:16),186Which is preceded by that He might afflict thee. that is, to do good to those who did not murmur against Moses.187To those who showed their love for God by not murmuring against Moses.