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Water from a Rock

17 The whole Israelite community left the Desert of Sin and traveled from place to place, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why are you testing the Lord?”

But the people were very thirsty for water, so they grumbled against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Was it to kill us, our children, and our farm animals with thirst?”

So Moses cried to the Lord, “What can I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me to death.”

The Lord said to Moses, “Go ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you. Carry with you the walking stick that you used to strike the Nile River. Now go! I will stand in front of you on a rock at Mount Sinai. Hit that rock with the stick, and water will come out of it so that the people can drink.” Moses did these things as the elders of Israel watched. He named that place Massah,[a] because the Israelites tested the Lord when they asked, “Is the Lord with us or not?” He also named it Meribah,[b] because they quarreled.

The Amalekites Fight Israel

At Rephidim the Amalekites came and fought the Israelites. So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men and go and fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill, holding the walking stick of God in my hands.”

10 Joshua obeyed Moses and went to fight the Amalekites, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held his hands up, the Israelites would win the fight, but when Moses put his hands down, the Amalekites would win. 12 Later, when Moses’ arms became tired, the men put a large rock under him, and he sat on it. Then Aaron and Hur held up Moses’ hands—Aaron on one side and Hur on the other. They kept his hands steady until the sun went down. 13 So Joshua defeated the Amalekites in this battle.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write about this battle in a book so people will remember. And be sure to tell Joshua, because I will completely destroy the Amalekites from the earth.”

15 Then Moses built an altar and named it The Lord Is My Banner. 16 Moses said, “I lifted my hands toward the Lord’s throne. The Lord will fight against the Amalekites forever.”

Footnotes

  1. 17:7 Massah This name is the Hebrew word for “testing.”
  2. 17:7 Meribah This name is the Hebrew word for “quarrel.”

Water From the Rock

17 The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin,(A) traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim,(B) but there was no water(C) for the people to drink. So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water(D) to drink.”(E)

Moses replied, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put the Lord to the test?”(F)

But the people were thirsty(G) for water there, and they grumbled(H) against Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to make us and our children and livestock die(I) of thirst?”

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone(J) me.”

The Lord answered Moses, “Go out in front of the people. Take with you some of the elders of Israel and take in your hand the staff(K) with which you struck the Nile,(L) and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb.(M) Strike(N) the rock, and water(O) will come out of it for the people to drink.” So Moses did this in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the place Massah[a](P) and Meribah[b](Q) because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

The Amalekites Defeated

The Amalekites(R) came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.(S) Moses said to Joshua,(T) “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff(U) of God in my hands.”

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur(V) went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning,(W) but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.(X) 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite(Y) army with the sword.

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write(Z) this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out(AA) the name of Amalek(AB) from under heaven.”

15 Moses built an altar(AC) and called(AD) it The Lord is my Banner. 16 He said, “Because hands were lifted up against[c] the throne of the Lord,[d] the Lord will be at war against the Amalekites(AE) from generation to generation.”(AF)

Footnotes

  1. Exodus 17:7 Massah means testing.
  2. Exodus 17:7 Meribah means quarreling.
  3. Exodus 17:16 Or to
  4. Exodus 17:16 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

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