Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spoke, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea.
Read Chapter 15
Augustine of Hippo
As far as we are concerned, you see, they are dead, because they cannot lord it over us anymore; because our very misdeeds, which made us into their subjects, have been, so to say, sunk and obliterated in the sea, when we were set free by the bath of holy grace.
“For he has been gloriously extolled” who has already granted us in the bath of regeneration what we have been singing about: “horse and rider he has cast into the sea.” All our past sins, you see, which have been pressing on us, as it were, from behind, he has drowned and obliterated in baptism. These dark things of ours were being ridden by unclean spirits as their mounts, and like horsemen they were riding them wherever they liked. That’s why the apostle calls them “rulers of this darkness.” We have been rid of all this through baptism, as through the Red Sea, so called because sanctified by the blood of the crucified Lord. Let us not turn back to Egypt in our hearts, but with him as our protector and guide let us wend our way through the other trials and temptations of the desert toward the kingdom. ..
It is said in the ode, “For he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he cast into the sea.” The manylimbed and brutal affection, lust, with the rider mounted, who gives reigns to pleasures, “he has cast into the sea,” throwing them away into the disorders of the world. Thus also Plato, in his book On the Soul,says that the charioteer and the horse that ran off—the irrational part, which is divided in two, into anger and concupiscence—fall down. So the myth intimates that it was through the licentiousness of the steeds that Phathon was thrown out.
Canticle. Origen reckons this to be the most ancient piece of poetry. It is truly sublime, and calculated to fill the souls of those, who saw their late cruel masters, now prostrate at their feet in death, with sentiments of the greatest gratitude and piety towards their almighty benefactor. (Haydock)
God miraculously gave utterance to the dumb on this occasion, (Widsom x. 21.) and taught the whole congregation of Israel to join in harmonious concert. (De Mirab. S. S. inter. op. St. Augustine) This mode of perpetuating the memory of past benefits by canticles, is very common in Scripture. (Calmet)
Let us sing. So the Septuagint The Hebrew has "I will sing.for he hath triumphed gloriously. "This canticle was composed by Moses, about 1491 years before Christ. (Haydock)
Our motive in going over all this, dearly beloved brethren, is that we may be on our guard, for fear that, after coming out from Egypt and hastening through the desert for forty days—for forty years, as it were—to reach the land of promise, we should long for the fleshpots of Egypt and be bitten to death by the serpents. We have left Egypt; what have we to do with the food of Egypt? We who have bread from heaven; why do we go in search of earthly foods? We who have left Pharaoh, let us call upon the help of the Lord so that the Egyptian king may be drowned in the baptism of those who believe. Let his horses and their riders perish there; let the raging army of the adversary be destroyed. Let us not murmur against the Lord lest we be struck down by him.