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Water from the Rock


From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the L ord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the L ord?” 3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” 4So Moses cried out to the L ord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” 5The L ord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7He called the place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and tested the L ord, saying, “Is the L ord among us or not?”

Amalek Attacks Israel and Is Defeated

8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. 9Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some men for us and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.” 10So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set. 13And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.

14 Then the L ord said to Moses, “Write this as a reminder in a book and recite it in the hearing of Joshua: I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” 15And Moses built an altar and called it, The L ord is my banner. 16He said, “A hand upon the banner of the L ord! The L ord will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.”

15. And Moses built an altar. The purpose of this was that not he alone, but the whole people should testify, by solemn sacrifice, their gratitude; which the very name of the altar proves. For neither did he wish to erect a statue to God, nor to honor the altar by God’s name, but he shows that this was the object he proposed to himself, that the Israelites, being inflated by their good success, should not boast of their own strength, but glory only in God. I see not why some should translate it “miracle,” for the word נס,193193     It was in S M ’s version that C. found this clause rendered Dominus miraculum meum; and Munster cites Onkelos, the Chaldee paraphrast, as his authority for so translating the word נסי; but the text of that paraphrase, as given in Elias Hutter’s Heptateuch, does not justify this singular rendering. — W nis, is undoubtedly always rendered “banner.” Yet I do not deny that the word is here used metaphorically for “exaltation;” as if Moses had said, that the God who had sustained His people was worthy only to be exalted among them.

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