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Kunin, Robert Myers, Robert J. A recent interpretation of the miracle supposedly performed by Moses as he led the Israelites safely through the wilderness suggests the possibility of the application of ion exchange. In order to make the ‘bitter’ water at Matah potable during their journey, Moses found a tree ‘which when he had cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet’. It has been suggested that the oxidized cellulose of the tree entered into an exchange reaction with the bitter electrolytes of the water, rendering the water potable.