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Numbers 20:13-15 New English Translation (NET Bible)

13 These are the waters of Meribah, because the Israelites contended with the Lord, and his holiness was maintained[a] among them.

Rejection by the Edomites

14 [b] Moses[c] sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom:[d] “Thus says your brother Israel: ‘You know all the hardships we have experienced,[e] 15 how our ancestors went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time,[f] and the Egyptians treated us and our ancestors badly.[g]


  1. Numbers 20:13 tn The form is unusual—it is the Niphal preterite, and not the normal use of the Piel/Pual stem for “sanctify/sanctified.” The basic idea of “he was holy” has to be the main idea, but in this context it refers to the fact that through judging Moses God was making sure people ensured his holiness among them. The word also forms a wordplay on the name Kadesh.
  2. Numbers 20:14 sn For this particular section, see W. F. Albright, “From the Patriarchs to Moses: 2. Moses out of Egypt,” BA 36 (1973): 57-58; J. R. Bartlett, “The Land of Seir and the Brotherhood of Edom,” JTS 20 (1969): 1-20, and “The Rise and Fall of the Kingdom of Edom,” PEQ 104 (1972): 22-37, and “The Brotherhood of Edom,” JSOT 4 (1977): 2-7.
  3. Numbers 20:14 tn Heb “And Moses sent.”
  4. Numbers 20:14 sn Some modern biblical scholars are convinced, largely through arguments from silence, that there were no unified kingdoms in Edom until the 9th century, and no settlements there before the 12th century, and so the story must be late and largely fabricated. The evidence is beginning to point to the contrary. But the cities and residents of the region would largely be Bedouin, and so leave no real remains.
  5. Numbers 20:14 tn Heb “found.”
  6. Numbers 20:15 tn Heb “many days.”
  7. Numbers 20:15 tn The verb רָעַע (raʿaʿ) means “to act or do evil.” Evil here is in the sense of causing pain or trouble. So the causative stem in our passage means “to treat wickedly.”
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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