Numbers 20:11
And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
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20:1-13 After thirty-eight years' tedious abode in the wilderness, the armies of Israel advanced towards Canaan again. There was no water for the congregation. We live in a wanting world, and wherever we are, must expect to meet with something to put us out. It is a great mercy to have plenty of water, a mercy which, if we found the want of, we should more own the worth of. Hereupon they murmured against Moses and Aaron. They spake the same absurd and brutish language their fathers had done. It made their crime the worse, that they had smarted so long for the discontent and distrusts of their fathers, yet they venture in the same steps. Moses must again, in God's name, command water out of a rock for them; God is as able as ever to supply his people with what is needful for them. But Moses and Aaron acted wrong. They took much of the glory of this work of wonder to themselves; Must we fetch water? As if it were done by some power or worthiness of their own. They were to speak to the rock, but they smote it. Therefore it is charged upon them, that they did not sanctify God, that is, they did not give to him alone that glory of this miracle which was due unto his name. And being provoked by the people, Moses spake unadvisedly with his lips. The same pride of man would still usurp the office of the appointed Mediator; and become to ourselves wisdom, righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. Such a state of sinful independence, such a rebellion of the soul against its Saviour, the voice of God condemns in every page of the gospel.The command Numbers 20:8 was "Speak ye unto the rock." The act of smiting, and especially with two strokes, indicates violent irritation on the part of Moses; as does also his unseemly mode of addressing the people: "Hear now, ye rebels." The form too of the question, "must we, etc.," directs the people not, as ought to have been the case, to God as their deliverer, but to Moses and Aaron personally. In fact the faithful servant of God, worn out by the reiterated perversities of the people, breaks down; and in the actual discharge of his duty as God's representative before Israel, acts unworthily of the great function entrusted to him. Thus, Moses did not "sanctify God in the eyes of the children of Israel." Aaron might have checked the intemperate words and acts of Moses, and did not. Hence, God punishes both by withdrawing them from their work for Him, and handing over its accomplishment to another. 11. the congregation drank, and their beasts—Physically the water afforded the same kind of needful refreshment to both. But from a religious point of view, this, which was only a common element to the cattle, was a sacrament to the people (1Co 10:3, 4)—It possessed a relative sanctity imparted to it by its divine origin and use. To the men it was a sacrament, 1 Corinthians 10:3,4, but to the beasts it was no holy, but a common thing. So that the elements in the sacraments have no inherent and inseparable holiness, but only a relative holiness with respect to their use, out of which they are unholy and common. And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice,.... At first it only brought out some drops, as Jarchi conjectures, and therefore Moses smote again, when it brought forth water plentifully: the Targum of Jonathan says,"at the first time it dropped blood, at the second time came out much water.''Could this be credited, it would make the agreement between this rock and Christ appear very manifest, from whom, when his side was pierced with a spear, there came out blood and water, John 19:34 for justification and sanctification. In what respect this rock was a type of Christ, as the other at Horeb, and the smiting of it an emblem of Christ being smitten with the rod of justice, according to the law of God, and of the abundance of water flowing from it, as typical of the abundance of grace, and the blessings of it, as coming through a smitten wounded Saviour; see Gill on Exodus 17:6, where the same things are said of another rock as of this, and both types of Christ:

and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also; there was enough for them and their cattle; for it came out in great quantities, in large streams, so that it ran down like a river, and which gave them drink as out of the great depths, Psalm 78:15, where the Psalmist makes mention of rocks in the plural number, for there were two that were smitten in two different places, and at two different times; the one was at Rephidim, the other, as here, in Kadesh; the one was in the first year of Israel's coming out of Egypt, this in the fortieth year of it; that was struck but once, this twice; of this second stone no mention is made by any traveller but one (a), who coming from Mount Sinai, says,"we passed by a large rock on our left hand, in which, as in the other rock which Moses struck with his rod, appear, from the bottom to the top, openings where water hath gushed out.''

(a) See a Journal from Cairo to Mount Sinai, 1722. p. 42, 43. Ed. 2.

And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
Sin of Moses and Aaron at the Water of Strife at Kadesh. - In the arid desert the congregation was in want of water, and the people quarrelled with Moses in consequence. In connection with the first stay in Kadesh there is nothing said about any deficiency of water. But as the name Kadesh embraces a large district of the desert of Zin, and is not confined to one particular spot, there might easily be a want of water in this place or the other. In their faithless discontent, the people wished that they had died when their brethren died before Jehovah. The allusion is not to Korah's company, as Knobel supposes, and the word גּוע, "to expire," would be altogether inapplicable to their destruction; but the reference is to those who had died one by one during the thirty-seven years. "Why," they murmured once more against Moses and Aaron, "have ye brought the congregation of God into this desert, to perish there with their cattle? Why have ye brought it out of Egypt into this evil land, where there is no seed, no fig-trees and pomegranates, no vines, and no water to drink?"
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