9:22 Moreover, you continued to provoke the Lord at Taberah, 2 Massah, 3 and Kibroth-Hattaavah. 4
33:8 Of Levi he said:
whose authority you challenged at Massah, 7
and with whom you argued at the waters of Meribah. 8
1 sn The place name Massah (מַסָּה, massah) derives from a root (נָסָה, nasah) meaning “to test; to try.” The reference here is to the experience in the Sinai desert when Moses struck the rock to obtain water (Exod 17:1-2). The complaining Israelites had, thus, “tested” the
2 sn Taberah. By popular etymology this derives from the Hebrew verb בָעַר (ba’ar, “to burn”), thus, here, “burning.” The reference is to the
4 sn Kibroth-Hattaavah. This place name means in Hebrew “burial places of appetite,” that is, graves that resulted from overindulgence. The reference is to the Israelites stuffing themselves with the quail God had provided and doing so with thanklessness (Num 11:31-35).
5 sn Thummim and Urim. These terms, whose meaning is uncertain, refer to sacred stones carried in a pouch on the breastplate of the high priest and examined on occasion as a means of ascertaining God’s will or direction. See Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8; Num 27:21; 1 Sam 28:6. See also C. Van Dam, NIDOTTE 1:329-31.
6 tn Heb “godly man.” The reference is probably to Moses as representative of the whole tribe of Levi.