Song of the sea

Song of the sea
Song of the Sea from a Sefer Torah

The Song of the Sea (Hebrew: שירת הים‎, also known as Az Yashir Moshe) is a poem that appears in the Book of Exodus of the Hebrew Bible, at Exodus 15:1-18. It is followed in verses 20 and 21 by a much shorter song sung by Miriam and the other women. The Song of the Sea was reputedly sung by the Israelites after they crossed the Red Sea in safety, and celebrates the destruction of the Egyptian army during the crossing, and looks forward to their future conquest of Canaan.

The poem is included in Jewish prayer books, and recited daily in the morning shacharit services. The poem also comprises the first ode or hymn of the Eastern Orthodox canon, where it is known as the Song or Ode of Moses.[1] It is also used in the Roman Catholic liturgy, where it is sometimes known as the "Song of Moses" (not to be confused with the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy).



The poem forms part of parshat Beshalach. It is one of only two sections of the Sefer Torah that is written with a different layout to the normal simple columns. The layout is similar to bricks in a wall (see picture): the alternating words are supposed to represent the two walls of the split sea with Israel walking down the middle.[citation needed] (The other section written differently is the Song of Moses at the end of Deuteronomy, in parshat Ha'azinu.)


The following is the Hebrew/English translation of the Song:

Ketuba of Yom Vayyosha

The Ketubá del Seten Dia de Pesah (or כתובה ליום השביעי של פסח - Ketuba Le-yom Ha-shebi`i shel Pesah) is a liturgical poem in Ladino, describing Pharaoh's defeat in the Sea of Reeds. Some Sephardic Jewish communities, at least in Turkey, sing this poem on 21 Nisan, the seventh day of Passover, known as Yom Vayyosha, "The Day of the Song of the Sea". According to Jewish tradition, this is the day on which Pharaoh's army was drowned in the Sea of Reeds, and the Israelite people sang the Song of the Sea in gratitude for this victory.

Presumably, this text is called a ketuba ("marriage contract") because the relationship between God and the Jewish people is traditionally described as a marriage, and the splitting of the sea is considered to be an important event leading to that marriage, which ultimately took place 42 days later, at Mt. Sinai.

A tune for the Ladino poem (along with the entire text itself) can be found in Isaac Levy's Anthology of Sepharadic Hazzanut.[3]

Scholarly interpretations

According to the documentary hypothesis, the Song of the Sea was at one time an independent text that came to be embedded into the Jahwist source, and then into the Torah.[citation needed]

According to this theory, the date of the original text is uncertain, and it may in fact be an original source for the more verbose tale that appears elsewhere in the text.[citation needed] The text also appears to have been included in the Elohist source, although after these texts were redacted together, only the first two lines of the Elohist copy remain, immediately after the lines from the Jahwist copy, the duplication being unnecessary.[citation needed]

According to some scholars,[4] the original incident commemorated in the Song cannot have taken place in Egypt, and is more likely to have been near the River Jordan. The references to the Edomites, Moabites and "inhabitants of Philistia" support this view.

Musical settings

The following settings exist for the Song of the Sea in the Catholic tradition:

External links


  1. ^ The Psalter According to the Seventy (1987). Boston: Holy Transfiguration Monastery. ISBN 0-943405-00-9.
  2. ^ This section is called the Mi Chamocha (Hebrew: מִי-כָמֹכָה‎) and is song in congergations.
  3. ^ Isaac Levy's Anthology of Sepharadic Hazzanut (Antologiya shel Hazzanut Sefaradit, 1965), vol. on the Three Festivals, p. 409, #335.
  4. ^ e.g. James Kugel, The Bible as it Was.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Song of the Sea — (Санибел,США) Категория отеля: Адрес: 863 East Gulf Drive, Санибел, FL 33957, США …   Каталог отелей

  • Song of the Sea (film) — Song of the Sea Directed by Alberto Cavalcanti Produced by Alberto Cavalcanti Written by Hermilo Borba Filho Alberto Cavalcanti José Mauro de Vasconcelos …   Wikipedia

  • The Song of the Sea Shell — was a 1914 American silent short film directed by William Desmond Taylor starring Edith Borella, Charlotte Burton, George Field, and Edward Coxen.External links*imdb title|id=0799803 …   Wikipedia

  • SEA, SONG OF THE — (Heb. שִׁירַת הַיָּם), the name given to the exuberant hymn of triumph and gratitude (Ex. 15:1–18) sung by Moses and the Children of Israel after the crossing of the Red Sea. It relates the miracle of the parting of the Red Sea and the drowning… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • The Sea — may refer to:*The Sea (body of water). * The Sea (band) , a 2 piece rock band brothers Peter and Alex Chisholm. * The Sea (novel) , a Booker Prize winning novel by John Banville. * The Sea (play) , a play by Edward Bond. * The Sea (music) , a… …   Wikipedia

  • The Song of the Stormy Petrel — (Песня о Буревестнике, English translation below ) is a short piece of revolutionary literature written by the Russian writer Maksim Gorki in 1901. Itis considered poetry.In 1901, no one could criticise the tsar directly and hopeto escape unhappy …   Wikipedia

  • Song of the Falklands — is the unofficial anthem of the Falkland Islands (God Save the Queen being official). It was written in the 1930s by Christopher Lanham, a Hampshire Schoolteacher, while working on West Falkland.[1] Lyrics In my heart there’s a call for the isles …   Wikipedia

  • Song to the Siren (Tim Buckley song) — Song infobox Name = Song to the Siren Artist = Tim Buckley Album = Starsailor Released = February 1970 track no = 5 Recorded = 1969 Genre = Folk, Psychedelia Length = 4:36 Writer = Larry Beckett, Tim Buckley Composer = Tim Buckley Label =… …   Wikipedia

  • The Sea Inside — Theatrical poster by Toni Galingo. Directed by Alejandro Amenábar Produced by …   Wikipedia

  • Song of the Falklands — (Canción de las Malvinas) es el himno local, no oficial (el oficial es God Save the Queen), de las islas Malvinas. Fue creado por Christopher Lanham, un profesor de Hampshire cuando trabajó en el lugar. Letra In my heart there’s a call for the… …   Wikipedia Español