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Exodus 17:1-7 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Water From the Rock

17 The Israelites left the western Sinai desert.[a] They traveled all together from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. So they turned against Moses and started arguing with him. They said, “Give us water to drink.”

Moses said to them, “Why have you turned against me? Why are you testing the Lord?”

But the people were very thirsty, so they continued complaining to Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Did you bring us out here so that we, our children, and our cattle will all die without water?”

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

The Lord said to Moses, “Go before the Israelites. Take some of the elders of the people with you. Carry your walking stick with you. This is the stick that you used when you hit the Nile River. I will stand before you on a rock at Horeb.[b] Hit that rock with the walking stick and water will come out of it. Then the people can drink.”

Moses did these things and the elders of Israel saw it. Moses named that place Meribah[c] and Massah,[d] because this was the place that the Israelites turned against him and tested the Lord. The people wanted to know if the Lord was with them or not.

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 17:1 western Sinai desert Literally, “desert of Sin.”
  2. Exodus 17:6 Horeb Another name for Mount Sinai.
  3. Exodus 17:7 Meribah This name means “argument” or “rebellion.”
  4. Exodus 17:7 Massah This name means “trial,” “temptation,” or “test.”
Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Exodus 17:1-7 New International Version (NIV)

Water From the Rock

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

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

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

Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone 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 with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water 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] and Meribah[b] because the Israelites quarreled and because they tested the Lord saying, “Is the Lord among us or not?”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 17:7 Massah means testing.
  2. Exodus 17:7 Meribah means quarreling.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Exodus 17:1-7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Water in the Rock

17 Then all the congregation of the children of Israel moved on from the Wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water so we may [have something to] drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you tempt the Lord and try His patience?” But the people were thirsty for water; and the people murmured against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us up from Egypt to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord for help, saying, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock at [a]Horeb; there you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may [have something to] drink.” And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. He named the place [where this miracle occurred] Massah (test) and [b]Meribah (contention) because of the quarreling of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the [patience of the] Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us, or not?”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 17:6 Horeb may refer to the mountain range of which Sinai is an individual mountain.
  2. Exodus 17:7 A similar incident occurred when the Israelites were in the Wilderness of Zin at Meribah-kadesh (Num 20:8-13; Deut 32:50-52). On that occasion Moses disobeyed God’s specific instruction and paid a terrible price for his action.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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