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
3 sn Massah. See note on this term in Deut 6:16.
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).