. . . don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness.Hebrews 3:8
Our List of the Places of Rebellion in Order
- Mt Sinai
- Kadesh Barnea
At the LORD’s command, the whole community of Israel left the wilderness of Sin and moved from place to place. Eventually they camped at Rephidim, but there was no water there for the people to drink. So once more the people complained against Moses. “Give us water to drink!” they demanded. “Quiet!” Moses replied. “Why are you complaining against me? And why are you testing the LORD?”
But tormented by thirst, they continued to argue with Moses. “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Are you trying to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?”
Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What should I do with these people? They are ready to stone me!”
The LORD said to Moses, “Walk out in front of the people. Take your staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile, and call some of the elders of Israel to join you. I will stand before you on the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come gushing out. Then the people will be able to drink.”
So Moses struck the rock as he was told, and water gushed out as the elders looked on. Moses named the place Massah (which means “test”) and Meribah (which means “arguing”) because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD here with us or not?” While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them.Exodus 17:1-8
Exactly two months after the Israelites left Egypt, they arrived in the wilderness of Sinai. After breaking camp at Rephidim, they came to the wilderness of Sinai and set up camp there at the base of Mount Sinai.Exodus 19:1-2
They left the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin. They left the wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah. They left Dophkah and camped at Alush. They left Alush and camped at Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink. They left Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai.Numbers 33:11-15
I would also recommend that you look at two related, past Nuggets I wrote:
Here are the locations for Rephidim, Massah and Meribah which I have taken from the various atlases and E-Sword. I am sure after you have read the accounts from the Bible verses, like me you will have questions you want to ask. There is quite a spread of locations for these three place names which in reality ought to yield the same location.
Especially so, with the second set of three maps below which come from the E-Sword location system which matches the two distinctly different location clusters in the map above.
I think what I need to do at this point is to leave you here beside the rock at Rephidim to take in the surroundings as you partake of the life-giving water. Ponder on these things for a while. You will have noticed by now that this place has three different names: Rephidim, Massah and Meribah. Now you will understand why I named this place in the Numbers 33 list in Gem 2064 Rephidim (aka Massah and Meribah). The name Rephidim means “rest, delightful”. But, don’t rest and relax too long; you had better do your pondering and meditating before the Amalekites attack.
As you ponder I am sure questions will arise. Feel free to share such questions with me if you wish. I will address the questions in the Nugget series rather than this Gem series. That will give us more time to sift through the issues and work out the complexity of all of this information, enabling me to move more quickly through the Gems series to cover this portion from the letter to the Hebrews:
That is why the Holy Spirit says, “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled, when they tested me in the wilderness. There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years. So I was angry with them, and I said, ‘Their hearts always turn away from me. They refuse to do what I tell them.’ So in my anger I took an oath: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.’”Hebrews 3:7-11
You will understand now that this is a meaty-byte.
When God is testing your faith and trust in Him, the longer it takes the bigger the blessings.Ian
If we are willing to go through the testings God will often reveal Himself with miracles big and small.Ian
God’s delay is not the same as denial; when a trial takes longer than you expected it usually means that God knows the length of the preparation time you need for what’s ahead.Ian
Like the Israelites in the wilderness, sometimes the places we get ourselves in are of our own doing.Ian
why such a spread of locations for these three Rephidim, Massah, and Meribah which are one and the same?
I think the place name actually Rephidim -> but it named Massah and Meribah because of Israel arguing and testing God there.
I agree with you Regan. It is clear with the place named “rest” and “delightful” that the name was sparked in some way by their rebellion. So it was likely to be named that before what happened there. Whereas all the other names given to the places where they stopped with the exception of Kadesh Barnea and Paran, were of their own causing. In other words the places were named after what happened there.
Yes Ross, that is the million dollar question still to be explored.
i await with interest the exploration.
just wondering Ian, why do you put Mt Sinai at the first in the order of Israel rebellion?
if we look on Exo 16:1 where the Israel reach wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt -> this place reached after Marah in Exo 15:23
and Marah supposed to be three days journey from the Red Sea based on Exo 15:22.
Yes I will deal with this issue was I pursue the difficulties in the text. We are told clearly in Numbers 10:33 that Taberah and the other places came after leaving Sinai, not before as most maps have them. So I want to look into the detail of all that as there are some difficulties there.