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Reference: Massah And Meribah


Ex 17:1-7 (Jewish Encyclopedia) tells of a miraculous gift of water at a spot near Horeb, which was called Massah and Meribah ('testing' and 'contention') because the people tested Jahweh by doubting His providence and contended with Moses. It is implied that this occurred about a year after the Exodus. Nu 20:1-18, a later narrative (Priestly Narrative), gives a similar account, but puts it thirty-seven years later, and with important variations. The scene is now laid at Kadesh, which receives the name Meribah from the contention of Israel with Jahweh. Moses and Aaron also sin against Him. There are references to the first passage in De 6:16; 9:22; Ps 95:8; and to the second in De 32:51; Ps 106:32; in Ps 81:7 the two are apparently confused. De 33:8 regards the events at Kadesh in a peculiar light: here Jahweh proves Levi at Massah and strives with (or for) him at Meribah. The tendency of recent criticism is to consider Ex 17 and Nu 20 as duplicate records of the same event, the locality of which must be fixed at Kadesh, where the spring 'Ain Kad

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