Exodus 17:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
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?"

New Living Translation
So once more the people complained against Moses. "Give us water to drink!" they demanded. "Quiet!" Moses replied. "Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the LORD?"

English Standard Version
Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?”

New American Standard Bible
Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water that we may drink." And Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?"

King James Bible
Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So the people complained to Moses, "Give us water to drink."" Why are you complaining to me?" Moses replied to them. "Why are you testing the LORD?"

International Standard Version
The people quarreled with Moses: "Give us water to drink." Moses told them, "Why are you quarreling with me? Why are you testing the LORD?"

NET Bible
So the people contended with Moses, and they said, "Give us water to drink!" Moses said to them, "Why do you contend with me? Why do you test the LORD?"

New Heart English Bible
Therefore the 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 LORD?"

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So they complained to Moses by saying, "Give us water to drink!" Moses said to them, "Why are you complaining to me? Why are you testing the LORD?"

JPS Tanakh 1917
Wherefore the people strove with Moses, and said: 'Give us water that we may drink.' And Moses said unto them: 'Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye try the LORD?'

New American Standard 1977
Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water that we may drink.” And Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the people chided with Moses and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? Why do ye tempt the LORD?

King James 2000 Bible
Therefore the people did strive with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why do you strive with me? why do you test the LORD?

American King James Version
Why the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, Why chide you with me? why do you tempt the LORD?

American Standard Version
Wherefore the people stove with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why strive ye with me? Wherefore do ye tempt Jehovah?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And they chode with Moses, and said: Give us water, that we may drink. And Moses answered them: Why chide you with me? Wherefore do you tempt the Lord?

Darby Bible Translation
And the people contended with Moses, and said, Give us water, that we may drink! And Moses said to them, Why do ye dispute with me? Why do ye tempt Jehovah?

English Revised Version
Wherefore the people strove with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why strive ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD?

Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore the people contended with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, Why chide you with me? why do ye tempt the LORD?

World English Bible
Therefore the 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 Yahweh?"

Young's Literal Translation
and the people strive with Moses, and say, 'Give us water, and we drink.' And Moses saith to them, 'What? -- ye strive with me, what? -- ye try Jehovah?'
Study Bible
Water from the Rock
1Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink. 2Therefore the people quarreled with Moses and said, "Give us water that we may drink." And Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?" 3But the people thirsted there for water; and they grumbled against Moses and said, "Why, now, have you brought us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and our livestock with thirst?"…
Cross References
Matthew 4:7
Jesus replied, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

1 Corinthians 10:9
We should not test Christ, as some of them did, and were killed by snakes.

Exodus 14:11
Then they said to Moses, "Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt?

Exodus 16:8
Moses said, "This will happen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the LORD hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD."

Numbers 14:22
"Surely all the men who have seen My glory and My signs which I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to the test these ten times and have not listened to My voice,

Numbers 20:2
There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron.

Numbers 20:3
The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, "If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD!

Deuteronomy 6:16
"You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested Him at Massah.

Psalm 78:18
And in their heart they put God to the test By asking food according to their desire.

Psalm 78:41
Again and again they tempted God, And pained the Holy One of Israel.
Treasury of Scripture

Why the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said to them, Why chide you with me? why do you tempt the LORD?

the people

Exodus 5:21 And they said to them, The LORD look on you, and judge; because you …

Exodus 14:11,12 And they said to Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have …

Exodus 15:24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink?

Exodus 16:2,3 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against …

Numbers 11:4-6 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the …

Numbers 14:2 And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against …

Numbers 20:3-5 And the people strived with Moses, and spoke, saying, Would God that …

Numbers 21:5 And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Why have you …

give us

Genesis 30:1,2 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied …

1 Samuel 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to …

Luke 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion …

wherefore

Exodus 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because …

Exodus 16:2 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against …

Numbers 14:22 Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, …

Deuteronomy 6:16 You shall not tempt the LORD your God, as you tempted him in Massah.

Psalm 78:18,41,56 And they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust…

Psalm 95:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.

Psalm 106:14 But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.

Isaiah 7:12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD.

Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yes, they that work wickedness are …

Matthew 4:7 Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God.

Matthew 16:1-3 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired …

Luke 4:12 And Jesus answering said to him, It is said, You shall not tempt …

Acts 5:9 Then Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together to …

Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt you God, to put a yoke on the neck of the …

1 Corinthians 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were …

Hebrews 3:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.

(2) The people did chide.--Water is scanty along the route by which we have supposed Rephidim to have been reached. Such a supply as the people may have brought with them from Elim would have been exhausted. They would have looked forward to Rephidim both for their immediate necessity and for replenishing their water-skins. They would be suffering both from thirst and disappointment. The needs of their children and their cattle (Exodus 17:3) would be an aggravation of their pain. They would see no hope in the future. Under the circumstances we cannot be surprised at their "chiding." Nothing but a very lively faith, or an utter resignation to the will of God, could have made a people patient and submissive in such an extremity.

Give us water.--It was not faith that spoke in these words, but wrath. They had no belief that Moses could give them water, and "were almost ready to stone" him (Exodus 17:4).

Verse 2. - The people did chide. I.e. "quarrelled," made open murmurs and complaint - as before frequently (Exodus 14:11, 12; Exodus 15:24; Exodus 16:2, 3). Give us water. As Moses had already given them flesh (the quails) and bread (the manna), so it perhaps seemed to the people easy that he should give them such a common thing as water. Stanley notices (p. 70) that the wadys suggest the idea of water, and make its absence the more intolerable - they are "exactly like rivers," with "torrent bed, and banks, and clefts in the rock for tributary streams, and at times even rushes and shrubs fringing their course" - signs of "water, water everywhere, yet not a drop to drink." Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord? To "tempt the Lord" is to try his patience by want of faith, to arouse his anger, to provoke him to punish us. It was the special sin of the Israelites during the whole period of their sojourn in the wilderness. They "tempted and provoked the most high God" (Psalm 78:56); "provoked him to anger with their inventions" (Psalm 106:29), "murmured in their tents" (ib, 25), "provoked him at the sea" (ib, 7), "tempted him in the desert" (ib, 14). God's long-suffering, notwithstanding all, is simply amazing! Wherefore the people did chide with Moses,.... Contended with him by words, expostulating with him in a very angry and indecent manner for bringing them thither; loading him with reproaches and calumnies, wrangling and quarrelling with him, and using him very ill, giving hard words and bad language:

and said, give us water, that we may drink; directing their speech both to Moses and Aaron, as the word "give" (g) being in the plural number shows; which was requiring that of them which only God could do and signifying as if they were under obligation to do it for them, since they had brought them out of Egypt, and had the care of them; and having seen so many miracles wrought by them, might conclude it was in their power to get them water when they pleased: had they desired them to pray to God for them, to give them water, and exercised faith on him, that he would provide for them, they had done well; which they might reasonably conclude he would, who had brought them out of Egypt, led them through the Red sea, had sweetened the waters at Marah for them, conducted them to fountains of water at Elim, and had rained flesh and bread about their tents in the wilderness of Sin, and still continued the manna with them:

and Moses said unto them, why chide ye with me? as if it was I that brought you hither, whereas it is the Lord that goes before you in the pillar of cloud and fire, and as if I kept water from you, or could give it you at pleasure; how unreasonable, as well as how ungenerous is it in you to chide with me on this account

wherefore do you tempt the Lord? the Lord Christ, as appears from 1 Corinthians 10:9 who with the Father and Spirit is the one Jehovah; him they tempted or tried; they tried whether he was present with them or not, Exodus 17:7, they tried his power, whether he could give them water in a dry and desert land; and they tried his patience by chiding with his servants, and showing so much distrust of his power and providence, of his goodness and faithfulness; and by their wretched ingratitude and rebellion they tempted him to work a miracle for them.

(g) "Date", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. 2, 3. the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink, etc.—The want of water was a privation, the severity of which we cannot estimate, and it was a great trial to the Israelites, but their conduct on this new occasion was outrageous; it amounted even to "a tempting of the Lord." It was an opposition to His minister, a distrust of His care, an indifference to His kindness, an unbelief in His providence, a trying of His patience and fatherly forbearance.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.
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