20:10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the community together in front of the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, 1 must we bring 2 water out of this rock for you?” 20:11 Then Moses raised his hand, and struck the rock twice with his staff. And water came out abundantly. So the community drank, and their beasts drank too.
20:12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough 3 to show me as holy 4 before 5 the Israelites, therefore you will not bring this community into the land I have given them.” 6
20:24 “Aaron will be gathered to his ancestors, 8 for he will not enter into the land I have given to the Israelites because both of you 9 rebelled against my word 10 at the waters of Meribah.
1 tn The word is הַמֹּרִים (hammorim, “the rebels”), but here as a vocative: “you rebels.” It was a harsh address, although well-earned.
2 tn The word order and the emphasis of the tense are important to this passage. The word order is “from this rock must we bring out to you water?” The emphasis is clearly on “from this rock!” The verb is the imperfect tense; it has one of the modal nuances here, probably obligatory – “must we do this?”
3 tn Or “to sanctify me.”
sn The verb is the main word for “believe, trust.” It is the verb that describes the faith in the Word of the
4 sn Using the basic meaning of the word קָדַשׁ (qadash, “to be separate, distinct, set apart”), we can understand better what Moses failed to do. He was supposed to have acted in a way that would have shown God to be distinct, different, holy. Instead, he gave the impression that God was capricious and hostile – very human. The leader has to be aware of what image he is conveying to the people.
5 tn Heb “in the eyes of.”
6 tn There is debate as to exactly what the sin of Moses was. Some interpreters think that the real sin might have been that he refused to do this at first, but that fact has been suppressed from the text. Some think the text was deliberately vague to explain why they could not enter the land without demeaning them. Others simply, and more likely, note that in Moses there was unbelief, pride, anger, impatience – disobedience.
7 tn The form is unusual – it is the Niphal preterite, and not the normal use of the Piel/Pual stem for “sanctify/sanctified.” The basic idea of “he was holy” has to be the main idea, but in this context it refers to the fact that through judging Moses God was making sure people ensured his holiness among them. The word also forms a wordplay on the name Kadesh.
8 sn This is the standard poetic expression for death. The bones would be buried, often with the bones of relatives in the same tomb, giving rise to the expression.
9 tn The verb is in the second person plural form, and so it is Moses and Aaron who rebelled, and so now because of that Aaron first and then Moses would die without going into the land.
10 tn Heb “mouth.”