Speak to the Rock “Give Water”, Numbers 20:1-13

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 quarreled 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.

Background Reading:

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.
Numbers 20:1-13
Also see Exodus 17:1-7, Numbers 27:12-14, Deuteronomy 32:51 and Deuteronomy 33:8-11


Other modules in this unit: