Exodus 17

God gives water out of a rock

1 Then all the Israelites travelled away from the desert called Sin. They moved from one place to another, when the LORD commanded them. When they came to Rephidim, there was no water. The people had nothing to drink. 2 Because of this, the people quarrelled with Moses. They said: ‘Give us water to drink!’ And Moses said to them: ‘You should not quarrel with me! You should not try to make the LORD angry!’

3 But the people needed water very much and they said bad things against Moses. They said: ‘You should not have brought us out of Egypt! You will kill us and our children and our animals. We will die, because we have no water.’

4 Then Moses shouted aloud to the LORD. ‘What will I do with these people? They will throw stones at me soon. Then they will throw them until I am dead.’

5 The LORD said to Moses: ‘Walk in front of the people. Bring some of the leaders of the Israelites with you. Take your stick in your hand, the stick with which you hit the River Nile. Go! 6 I will stand there, in front of you, by the rock at Horeb. Hit the rock, and water will come out of it. Then the people can drink.’ So Moses did this, while the leaders of the Israelites watched him. 7 And he called that place Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarrelled there. And they tried to make the LORD angry. They said: ‘Is the LORD with us, or is he not with us?’

17:7‘Massah’ means ‘try to make a person angry’. ‘Meribah’ means ‘a quarrel’.

The Israelites beat the Amalekites

8 At Rephidim, the Amalekites came out and they fought against the Israelites. 9 Moses said to Joshua: ‘Choose some of our men. Then go out and fight with the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill. And I will hold God's stick in my hand.’

10 So Joshua fought against the Amalekites. He obeyed the words of Moses. Moses, Aaron and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 When Moses lifted up his hand, the Israelites were winning in the fight. But when Moses brought his hand down, the Amalekites were winning in the fight. 12 Moses hands became tired. So Aaron and Hur put a stone under Moses and he sat on the stone. Then Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands. Aaron stood on one side of Moses and Hur stood on the other side. They held his hands up, until sunset. 13 So Joshua and his men beat the Amalekite army in the fight.

14 Then the LORD said to Moses: ‘Write these things on a scroll. Then you will remember them. Joshua must hear my words because I will kill all of the Amalekites. Nobody in the whole world will remember them.’

15 Then Moses built a stone table and he called it ‘The LORD is my banner’. 16 Moses said: ‘I lifted up my hands to the LORD on his seat, where he rules. I prayed to him. Now the LORD has said that he will always fight against the Amalekites.’

17:16A ‘banner’ is a large piece of cloth that someone fixes to a stick. Soldiers carry banners when they go to fight. The banner is like a sign. It tells the enemy that you are coming.