For you rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To sanctify me . . . —See Numbers 20:12-13, where the same expression is used.Numbers 21:20 note.
12. The Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land—Although the Israelites were now on the confines of the promised land, Moses was not privileged to cross the Jordan, but died on one of the Moabitic range of mountains, to which the general name of Abarim was given (Nu 33:47). The privation of this great honor was owing to the unhappy conduct he had manifested in the striking of the rock at Meribah [Nu 20:12]; and while the pious leader submitted with meek acquiescence to the divine decree, he evinced the spirit of genuine patriotism in his fervent prayers for the appointment of a worthy and competent successor [Nu 27:15-17].In Kadesh: this is added to distinguish this miscarriage of Moses from that of the people in Rephidim, Exodus 17:7. Numbers 20:12, and is next suggested:
in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me before their eyes; when the congregation of Israel strove against the Lord for want of water, they did not sanctify the Lord by believing in him; but expressed some degree of diffidence before the congregation about fetching water out of the rock, or questioning whether the Lord would give it to such a rebellious people, though they had his order for it:
that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; so called to distinguish it from another Meribah, or water of strife, at Rephidim, Exodus 17:7.For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. because ye acted unfaithfully against my word] The verb is characteristic of P . It is different from that in Numbers 20:24. And see note on Numbers 20:10-11.
in the strife … to sanctify me] The same play on the words Meribah (‘strife’) and Kadesh (‘sacred’) as in Numbers 20:3; Numbers 20:13. The words ‘to sanctify me’ (cf. Numbers 20:12) are connected with ‘my word,’ i.e. my commandment. Ye rebelled against the command which I gave you to vindicate my holiness by speaking to the rock.Verse 14. - For ye rebelled against my commandment. Rather, "as ye rebelled." The same word, כַּאֲשֶׁר, quomodo, is used here as in the previous clause. That is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin. These words have all the appearance of an explanatory gloss intended to make the reference more plain to the reader or hearer. It is impossible to suppose that they formed part of the Divine message; nor does it seem probable that Moses would have added them to the narrative as it stands, because, in view of Numbers 20:13, no necessity for explanation existed. It is quite possible that both Numbers 20:13 and the present clause are subsequent additions to the text intended to clear up an obvious confusion between the "strife" at Rephidim (Exodus 17:7) and that at Kadesh.
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