Numbers 20:1-13

Water comes from a rock

1 In the first month, the Israelites came to the Zin desert. They put up their tents at Kadesh. Miriam died there and the people buried her.

2 The people did not have any water to drink. They complained to Moses and Aaron. 3 They said to Moses, ‘We would rather be dead! When the Lord killed our brothers, he should have killed us too. 4 We are the Lord's people. Have you brought us and our animals here to die? 5 You should not have brought us to this very bad place. When we were in Egypt, we had grain, figs, grapes and pomegranates. There is no food like that here! And there is no water to drink!’

6 Moses and Aaron went away from the people to the door of the Tent of Meeting. They threw themselves down with their faces towards the ground. The glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7 The Lord said to Moses, 8 ‘Get the stick. Take your brother Aaron with you and go to the whole group of the Israelites. Then speak to that rock that you can all see. Water will pour out from it. Then the people and their animals can drink it.’

9 So Moses did what the Lord had told him. He took the stick from its place in the Lord's Tent of Meeting. 10 Then Moses and Aaron brought all the people to meet in front of the rock. Moses said to them, ‘Listen now, you people who refuse to obey God. It seems that we must bring water out of this rock for you!’ 11 Moses lifted up his arm. He hit the rock twice with his stick. Water poured out from the rock. The people and their animals drank the water.

12 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, ‘You did not trust me enough to show the Israelites that I am holy. So you will not lead them into the land that I have promised to give to them.’

13 The place where this happened was called ‘Meribah’, because the Israelites quarrelled with the Lord there. But he showed them there that he was their holy God.

20:13The word Meribah means ‘to quarrel’. God showed the people that they could trust him to give them what they needed.