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By my reading, Moses' staff (which I interpret as similar to a shepherd's crook) was a sacred object, the raising of which invoked the power of God, as was previously recorded earlier in Exodus in connection with the Israelites crossing of the sea on dry ground following their departure from Egypt (Exodus 14).. In cases where it was necessary for the staff to be raised for a prolonged period of time (as during a battle), and where Moses' arms might tire from holding the staff aloft, Moses sat on a stone, with Moses' brother Aaron on one side of him, and Moses' nephew Hur on the other side, holding up Moses' arms (Exodus 17).
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