The people stayed a month at Kadesh and Miriam had just died and was buried there.
They had just moved on to Meribah. Again the people complained against Moses and Aaron.
God asked Moses to speak to the rock so that it would produce water for the people. However, because he was angry, Moses instead hit the rock twice. For this reason, he was barred by God from entering the promised land.
This happened at Meribah, which in Hebrew means: Strife, contention or quarreling.
Water From the Rock – The Meribah Springs
20:1 The entire community of the Israelis entered the Zin wilderness during the first month. The people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.
2 But there was no water for the community, so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 As the people argued with Moses, they told him, “We wish that we had died when our relatives died in the LORD’s presence! 4 Why did you bring the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness? So we and our cattle could die here? 5 Why did you take us out of Egypt and bring us to this terrible place? There’s no place to plant seeds, fig trees, vines, or pomegranates! And there’s no water to drink!”
6 Then Moses and Aaron went into the presence of the community at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to them.
7 The LORD told Moses, 8 “Take the rod, gather the community together, and then you and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock right before their eyes. It will release water. As you bring water to them from the rock, the community and the cattle will be able to drink.” 9 So Moses took the rod in the LORD’s presence, just as he had commanded.
10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the community together in front of the rock. “Pay attention, you rebels!” Moses told them. “Are we to bring you water from this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. Lots of water gushed out, and both the community and their cattle were able to drink.
The LORD Disciplines Moses
12 But the LORD rebuked Moses and Aaron, telling Moses: “Because you both didn’t believe me, because you didn’t consecrate me as holy in the presence of the Israelis, you won’t be the ones to bring this congregation into the land that I’m about to give them.” 13 Because the Israelis argued with the LORD and he was set apart among them, this place was called the Meribah Springs.
Also see Exodus 17:1-7, Numbers 27:12-14, Deuteronomy 32:51 and Deuteronomy 33:8-11
Other modules in this unit:
- Life of Moses – Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy
- 300-year gap between Joseph and Moses, Exodus 1:1-14
- First 40 years of the life of Moses, Exodus 2:1-15
- Thutmose I, the Pharaoh or king of Egypt, Exodus 1:1-22
- Miriam kept eye on Moses after he had been placed as a baby in a boat, Exodus 2:1-10
- Second set of 40 years, Exodus 2:11 – 7:7
- God spoke to Moses out of a burning bush, Exodus 3:1-3
- Moses was asked to take off his sandals by God, Exodus 3:4-22 & 4:1-17
- The third set of 40 years, Exodus 7:8-13 – Deuteronomy 34:12
- Aaron’s Staff becomes a Snake, Exodus 7:8-13
- The ten plagues of Egypt, Exodus 7:14-12:30
- Ninth plague – Darkness, Exodus 10:21-29
- Tenth plague – Firstborn die, Exodus 11:1-10
- Passover commemorates the Exodus from Egypt, Exodus 12:1-10
- Moses the friend of God
- Pillar of Cloud by Day, Exodus 13:20-22
- Pillar of fire by night, Exodus 13:20-22
- The Chariots of the Egyptian army, Exodus 14:1-31
- Moses crosses the Red Sea, Exodus 14:1-31
- Moses’ older sister Miriam sings a song, Exodus 15:1-21
- Waters of Marah and Elim, Exodus 15:22-27
- Manna means ‘What Is It?’, Exodus 16:1-36
- Water from The Rock at Massah, Exodus 17:1-7
- Moses at Mount Sinai, Exodus 19:1-25
- The Ten Commandments or Ten Words of God, Exodus 20:1-17
- The Three Annual Feasts of God, Exodus 23:14-19
- The Feast of Passover, Numbers 28:16-31
- Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, Numbers 28:26-31
- Feast of Trumpets or Feast of Shofars, Numbers 29:1-40
- The Golden Calf, the idol made by Aaron, Exodus 32:1-35
- Moses with the New Stone Tablets, Exodus 34:1-35
- 1st five of the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-12
- 2nd five of the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:1-21
- Ark of God – Exodus 25:10-22 & 37:1-9
- The High Priest of Israel, Exodus 39:1-31
- Tabernacle, Exodus 39:32-43 & 40:1-38
- Aaron and Miriam oppose Moses, Numbers 12:1-16
- Exploring Canaan by 12 spies, Numbers 13:1-33
- 37 years in the wilderness, Numbers 14:33-34
- Aaron’s Rod that budded, Numbers 17:1-13
- Speak to the Rock “Give Water”, Numbers 20:1-13
- Death of Aaron, Numbers 20:22-29
- The Bronze Snake, Numbers 21:4-9
- Balak Summons Balaam, Numbers 22:1-24:25
- Six cities of Refuge for Israel, Numbers 35:1-34 & Deuteronomy 4:41-43
- Daughters of Zelophehad, Numbers 36:1-12
- Moses Blesses the Tribes with Three Sermons, Deuteronomy 33:1-29
- Moses lived for 120 years, Deuteronomy 34:1-12
- Caleb was the son of Jephunneh, Numbers 14:26-38
- Joshua – The Fall of Jericho, Joshua 5:13-15 & 6:1-27
- Questions and Answers 1-16
- Questions and Answers 17-32
- Questions and Answers 33-49
- Time Line for Life of Moses
- Background Information – Life of Moses
- Next Module – Judges or rulers of Israel
- Resources – Life of Moses
- The Jewish Festival of Sukkot
- Yom Kippur, means “Day of Atonement”
- Rosh Hashanah or Yom Teruah (The Day of the Sounding of Shofar)