Exodus 17:3
And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Why is this that you have brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(3) To kill us.—This was no exaggeration. Thirst kills as surely as hunger, and more quickly. Whole armies have died of it. (Herod. iii. 26.) Ships’ crews have perished of it on the ocean, with “water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.” Unless a supply could somehow or other have been provided speedily, the whole people must have been exterminated.

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.Tempt the Lord - It is a general characteristic of the Israelites that the miracles, which met each need as it arose, failed to produce a habit of faith: but the severity of the trial, the faintness and anguish of thirst in the burning desert, must not be overlooked in appreciating their conduct. 2, 3. the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink, &c.—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. No text from Poole on this verse. And the people thirsted there for water,.... They saw there was no water when they first came thither, and therefore chid Moses for bringing them to such a place, where they could not subsist; and having stayed some little time here, and all the water they brought with them from Alush being spent, and having none to drink, began to be very thirsty:

and the people murmured against Moses; became more impatient and enraged, and threw out their invectives against him with much acrimony and severity:

wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt? where it would have been much better for us to have continued:

to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst: which is intolerable to any, and especially to children and cattle, which require frequent drinking: they could not suppose that Moses had such a murderous view in bringing them out of Egypt, or that this was his intention in it, but that this would be the issue and event of it.

And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?
3. murmured] see on Exodus 15:24.

Wherefore, &c.] cf. Numbers 20:4-5; also Exodus 14:11 f., Exodus 16:3.

brought us up] into the high ground of the Sin. Peninsula.

us, &c.] Heb. me, and my children, and my cattle,—the first pers. sing denoting the people. So Numbers 20:19 al.

Verse 3. - The people thirsted there for water. There is probably no physical affliction comparable to intense thirst. His thirst was the only agony which drew from the Son of Man an acknowledgment of physical suffering, in the words "I thirst." Descriptions of thirst in open boats at sea are among the most painful of the records of afflicted humanity. Thirst in the desert can scarcely be less horrible. The people murmured and said When the worst comes on men, if they are alone, they bear it silently; but if they can find a scapegoat, they murmur. To lay the blame of the situation on another is a huge satisfaction to the ordinary human mind, which shrinks from responsibility, and would fain shift the burthen on some one else. To kill us. Compare Exodus 14:11, 16:3. The circumstances of their life in the wilderness were such, that, until accustomed to them, the people thought that, at each step, they must perish. It may be freely admitted, that without continual miraculous aid this would have been the natural denouement. And our cattle. It is interesting to see that the "cattle" still survived, and were regarded as of great importance. How far they served as a secondary head of subsistance to the people during the 40 years, is a point not yet sufficiently elaborated. As a constant memorial of this bread of God for succeeding generations, Jehovah commanded Moses to keep a bowl full (העמר מלא, the filling of a bowl) of the manna. Accordingly Aaron placed a jar of manna (as it is stated in Exodus 16:34, Exodus 16:35, by way of anticipation, for the purpose of summing up everything of importance relating to the manna) "before Jehovah," or speaking still more exactly, "before the testimony," i.e., the tables of the law (see Exodus 25:16), or according to Jewish tradition, in the ark of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4). צנצנת, from צנן to guard round, to preserve, signifies a jar or bottle, not a basket. According to the Jerusalem Targum, it was an earthenware jar; in the lxx it is called στάμνος χρυσοῦς, a golden jar, but there is nothing of this kind in the original text.
Exodus 17:3 Interlinear
Exodus 17:3 Parallel Texts

Exodus 17:3 NIV
Exodus 17:3 NLT
Exodus 17:3 ESV
Exodus 17:3 NASB
Exodus 17:3 KJV

Exodus 17:3 Bible Apps
Exodus 17:3 Parallel
Exodus 17:3 Biblia Paralela
Exodus 17:3 Chinese Bible
Exodus 17:3 French Bible
Exodus 17:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Exodus 17:2
Top of Page
Top of Page