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Exodus 17: 1-16  The Rock and YeHoVaH-Nissi

The Israelites murmured, complained, and lodged one complaint after another against Moses, Aaron, and YeHoVaH. Somehow, many of the Israelites had it made up in their minds that YeHoVaH had led them out into the wilderness to kill them when He could have done so while they were still in Egypt.

After complaining about being hungry, YeHoVaH fed them with manna and Quail. Once they had their stomachs filled and set out from the desert of Sin, they complained to such a degree about being thirsty, it made Moses concerned that the Israelites would do harm to him.

Once again YeHoVaH responded to their complaints, grumblings, and threats by giving them what they wanted. But immediately following His response to their requests, the Israelites were confronted with warfare from the Amalekites. 

Join us in this battle of the ages as YeHoVaH demonstrates, once again, His power and deliverance in the message, The Rock and YeHoVaH-Nissi.

Ex 17:1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.  

The people chided Moses and complained about thirst. Moses' response to the people was that they were tempting YeHoVaH.

Ex 17:2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? 

Ex 17:3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst? 

From Moses’ point of view, the people seemed ready to commit violence against Moses and stone him as if Moses had the ability to give them water. The people looked to Moses for their provisions, even though it was YeHoVaH who provided for them. Moses became the mediator between the Israelites and YeHoVaH.

It seemed dumb for them to chide Moses and threaten him with stoning because they would have been left without a mediator and have to face an Elohim they feared and did not know.

Ex 17:4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me. 

Moses was instructed once again what to do.  But this time, the elders were involved. It appears YeHoVaH is broadening the Israelites focus as to who to look to besides Moses.

Ex 17:5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. 

YeHoVaH and the rock.

  • Ex 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 
  • The first time, YeHoVaH stood on the rock and commanded Moses to strike it.
  • The second time, Moses would strike the rock after being told to speak to the rock.
  • Nu 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink. 
  • Nu 20:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him. 
  • Nu 20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 
  • Nu 20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. 
  • Nu 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Moses would write later about the rock in Deuteronomy.

  • Dt 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. 
  • Dt 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; 
  • Dt 32:15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked: thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered with fatness; then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. 
  • Dt 32:18 Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful, and hast forgotten God that formed thee. 
  • Dt 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up? 
  • Dt 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. 
  • Dt 32:37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted,


David Wrote:

Ps 105:41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river. 

Ps 105:42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant. 

Paul wrote concerning the Rock:

1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Ex 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not? 

Moses named the place after the strife and tempting of YeHoVaH of Israel as a reminder of what happened that day.

 Massah – 04532 מִסָּה Maccah {mas-saw'} 

Meaning:  Massah = "temptation" 1) the place in the wilderness where the Israelites tested Jehovah 1a) also 'Meribah' 

Origin:  the same as 04531;; n pr loc

Usage:  AV - Massah 4; 4

Meribah – 04809 מְרִיבָה Meriybah {mer-ee-baw'} 

Meaning:  Meribah = "strife" or "contention" 1) a fountain at Rephidim, in the desert of Sin; so called because the Israelites murmured against God 2) the name of the water supply at Kadesh on the southern border of the promised land; the people also murmured here against God 

Usage:  AV - Meribah 7, strong's synonym 2; 9

Soon after threatening Moses and tempting YeHoVaH, Amalek came to do battle with Israel. 

Ex 17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 

Rephidim – 07508 רְפִידִים Rephiydiym {ref-ee-deem'} 

Meaning:  Rephidim = "rests" or "stays" or "resting places" 1) a station of Israel in the wilderness between Egypt and Sinai 

Usage:  AV - Rephidim 5; 5

Ex 17:9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in mine hand. Ex 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 

Ex 17:11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 

Ex 17:12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 

Ex 17:13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 

Discomfited – 02522 חָלַשׁ chalash {khaw-lash'} 

Meaning:  1) to be weak, be prostrate 1a) (Qal) to be prostrate 2) to weaken, disable, prostrate 2a) (Qal) to disable, prostrate 

Usage:  AV - discomfit 1, waste away 1, weaken 1; 3

 Joshua and his army of warriors weakened Amalek. Because Amalek would become an ongoing adversary of Israel, Moses wanted Joshua to know that he needed to always be prepared to do battle with Amalek.

YeHoVaH prepares Joshua to succeed Moses.

Ex 17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 

03071 יְהוָה נִסִּי Yehovah nicciy {yeh-ho-vaw' nis-see'} 

Meaning:  Jehovah-nissi = "Jehovah is my banner" 1) the name given by Moses to the altar which he built in commemoration of the discomfiture of the Amalekites 

Origin:  from 03068 and 05251 with the prononimal suffix;;

Usage:  AV - Jehovahnissi 1; 1

Ex 17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi: 

This term is used once in the Bible.

03068 יְהֹוָה 

Yehovah {yeh-ho-vaw'} 

Meaning:  Jehovah = "the existing One" 1) the proper name of the one true God 1a) unpronounced except with the vowel pointings of 0136 

Usage:  AV - LORD 6510, GOD 4, JEHOVAH 4, variant

05251 נֵס nec {nace} 

Meaning:  1) something lifted up, standard, signal, signal pole, ensign, banner, sign, sail 1a) standard (as rallying point), signal 1b) standard (pole) 1c) ensign, signal 

Origin:  from 05264; 

Usage:  AV - standard 7, ensign 6, pole 2, banner 2, sail

05264 נָסַס nacac {naw-sas'} 

Meaning:  1) to be lifted up (meaning dubious) 1a) (Hithpoel) to be lifted up, be displayed 

Usage:  AV - lifted up

Ex 17:16 For he said, Because the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.

Last Updated on October 19, 2021 by

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