Exodus 17:7 MEANING

Exodus 17:7
(7) Massah means trial, or temptation, being formed from the root used in Exodus 17:2 ("Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord ?") It is the word translated by "trial" in Job 9:23, and by "temptation" in Deuteronomy 4:34; Deuteronomy 7:19; Deuteronomy 29:3, and Psalm 95:8.

Meribah means chiding, or quarrel, and is from the root rub, or rib, translated "chide" in Exodus 17:2, and rendered elsewhere generally by "strive," or "contend." The name Meribah was given also to the place where water was again produced miraculously by Moses striking the rock (Numbers 20:13.) It is this latter "Meribah" to which reference is made in Deuteronomy 33:8, and Psalm 81:7, and which is called by way of distinction in Deuteronomy 32:51, "Meribah-Kadesh."

Verse 7. - He called the name of the place Massah. Massah is from the root nasah, "to try," or "tempt," and means "trial" or "temptation." Meribah is from rub, "to chide, quarrel," and means "contention, chiding, strife." Moses gave the same name to the place near Kadesh, where water was once more brought out of the rock, near the end of the wanderings. (See Numbers 20:13; Deuteronomy 32:51; Psalm 106:32.)

CHAPTER 17:8-16

17:1-7 The children of Israel journeyed according to the commandment of the Lord, led by the pillar of cloud and fire, yet they came to a place where there was no water for them to drink. We may be in the way of duty, yet may meet with troubles, which Providence brings us into, for the trial of our faith, and that God may be glorified in our relief. They began to question whether God was with them or not. This is called their tempting God, which signifies distrust of him after they had received such proofs of his power and goodness. Moses mildly answered them. It is folly to answer passion with passion; that makes bad worse. God graciously appeared to help them. How wonderful the patience and forbearance of God toward provoking sinners! That he might show his power as well as his pity, and make it a miracle of mercy, he gave them water out of a rock. God can open fountains for us where we least expect them. Those who, in this wilderness, keep to God's way, may trust him to provide for them. Also, let this direct us to depend on Christ's grace. The apostle says, that Rock was Christ, 1Co 10:4, it was a type of him. While the curse of God might justly have been executed upon our guilty souls, behold the Son of God is smitten for us. Let us ask and receive. There was a constant, abundant supply of this water. Numerous as believers are, the supply of the Spirit of Christ is enough for all. The water flowed from the rock in streams to refresh the wilderness, and attended them on their way towards Canaan; and this water flows from Christ, through the ordinances, in the barren wilderness of this world, to refresh our souls, until we come to glory. A new name was given to the place, in remembrance, not of the mercy of their supply, but of the sin of their murmuring: Massah, Temptation, because they tempted God; Meribah, Strife, because they chid with Moses. Sin leaves a blot upon the name.And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah,.... The former signifies "temptation", and the latter "contention": the reason of which names being given by Moses, or whoever was the name of the place, follows: "because of the chiding of the children of Israel"; that was the reason why it was called by the last name, Meribah, because here, the Israelites chid and contended with Moses, and used him opprobriously:

and because they tempted the Lord; therefore it had the former name of Massah:

saying, is the Lord among us or not? as if they should say, if we perish through thirst, the Lord is not among us, nor takes any care of us; nor was it he that brought us out of Egypt, but Moses; nor is he in the pillar of cloud and fire, as is said; but if he works a miracle, and gives us water, for us, our children, and cattle, then it will appear he is among us; and thus they tempted the Lord, though without this they had full proof, by many instances, that he was among them, and even in a very extraordinary manner.

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