Exodus 17:1 [study!]
American Standard Version (ASV 1901) 
And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, by their journeys, according to the commandment of Jehovah, and encamped in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
Then all the congregation of the sons of Israel journeyed by stages from the wilderness of Sin, according to the command of the LORD, and camped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
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 encamped in Rephidim: and [there was] no water for the people to drink.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
And all the assembly of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, according to their journeys, at the command of Jehovah; and they encamped in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
And all the assembly of the sons of Israel set forward out of the desert of Sin, by their removings, at the bidding of Yahweh,and encamped in Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
And all the company of the sons of Israel journey from the wilderness of Sin, on their journeyings, by the command of Jehovah, and encamp in Rephidim, and there is no water for the people to drink;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
Then all the multitude of the children of Israel setting forward from the desert of Sin, by their mansions, according to the word of the Lord, encamped in Raphidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) 
And all the Congregation of the children of Israel iourneyed from the wildernesse of Sin after their iourneys, according to the commandement of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and [there was] no water for the people to drinke.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the wilderness of Sin, according to their encampments, by the word of the Lord; and they encamped in Raphidin: and there was no water for the people to drink.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008)  
And all the congregation of the children of Yisrael journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of Yahweh, and pitched in Refidim: and [there was] no water for the people to drink.
; properly the whole
; hence all
(in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
Feminine of H5707
in the original sense of fixture
; a stated assemblage
(specifically a concourse
, or generally a family
of the children
; a son
(as a builder
of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson
, etc., (like H0001
; he will rule
, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
A primitive root; properly to pull
up, especially the tent pins, that is, start
on a journey.
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811
Count - 19885
from the wilderness
in the sense of driving
; a pasture
(that is, open field, whither cattle are driven); by implication a desert
; also speech
(including its organs).
; properly a part
of; hence (prepositionally), from
or out of
in many senses.
Of uncertain derivation; Sin
, the name of an Egyptian town and (probably) desert adjoining.
after their journeys,
; a departure
the tents), that is, march (not necessarily a single day's travel); by implication a station
(or point of departure
Properly the same as H5920
used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above
, or against
(yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
; the mouth
(as the means of blowing
), whether literally or figuratively (particularly speech
); specifically edge
; adverbially (with preposition) according to
; (the) self Existent
or eternal; Jehovah
, Jewish national name of God.
A primitive root (compare H2603
); properly to incline
; by implication to decline
(of the slanting rays of evening); specifically to pitch
a tent; generally to encamp
(for abode or siege).
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811
Count - 19885
Plural of the masculine of the same as H7507
, a place in the Desert.
and [there was
As if from a primitive root meaning to be nothing
or not exist
; a non-entity
; generally used as a negative particle.
Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water
; figuratively juice
; by euphemism urine
for the people
; a people
(as a congregated unit
); specifically a tribe
(as those of Israel); hence (collectively) troops
; figuratively a flock
A primitive root; to imbibe
(literally or figuratively).
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812
Count - 4888
_ _ Exodus 17:1-7. The people murmur for water.
_ _ the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin In the succinct annals of this book, those places only are selected for particular notice by the inspired historian, which were scenes memorable for their happy or painful interest in the history of the Israelites. A more detailed itinerary is given in the later books of Moses, and we find that here two stations are omitted (Numbers 33:1-56).
_ _ according to the commandment of the Lord, etc. not given in oracular response, nor a vision of the night, but indicated by the movement of the cloudy pillar. The same phraseology occurs elsewhere (Numbers 9:18, Numbers 9:19).
_ _ pitched in Rephidim now believed, on good grounds, to be Wady Feiran, which is exactly a day’s march from Mount Sinai, and at the entrance of the Horeb district. It is a long circuitous defile about forty feet in breadth, with perpendicular granite rocks on both sides. The wilderness of Sin through which they approached to this valley is very barren, has an extremely dry and thirsty aspect, little or no water, scarcely even a dwarfish shrub to be seen, and the only shelter to the panting pilgrims is under the shadow of the great overhanging cliffs.
_ _ Here is, I. The strait that the children of Israel were in for want of water; once before the were in the like distress, and now, a second time, Exodus 17:1. They journeyed according to the commandment of the Lord, led by the pillar of cloud and fire, and yet they came to a place where there was no water for them to drink. Note, We may be in the way of our duty, and yet may meet with troubles, which Providence brings us into for the trial of our faith, and that God may be glorified in our relief.
_ _ II. Their discontent and distrust in this strait. It is said (Exodus 17:3), They thirsted there for water. If they had no water to drink, they must needs thirst; but this intimates, not only that they wanted water and felt the inconvenience of that want, but that their passion sharpened their appetites and they were violent and impatient in their desire; their thirst made them outrageous. Natural desires, and those that are most craving, have need to be kept under the check and control of religion and reason. See what was the language of this inordinate desire. 1. They challenged Moses to supply them (Exodus 17:2): Give us water, that we may drink, demanding it as a debt, and strongly suspecting that he was not able to discharge it. Because they were supplied with bread, they insist upon it that they must be supplied with water too; and indeed to those that by faith and prayer live a life of dependence upon God one favour is an earnest of another, and may be humbly pleaded; but the unthankful and unbelieving have reason to think that the abuse of former favours is the forfeiture of further favours: Let not them think that they shall receive any thing (James 1:7), yet they are ready to demand every thing. 2. They quarrelled with him for bringing them out of Egypt, as if, instead of delivering them, he designed to murder them, than which nothing could be more base and invidious, Exodus 17:3. Many that have not only designed well, but done well, for their generation, have had their best services thus misconstrued, and their patience thereby tried, by unthinking unthankful people. To such a degree their malice against Moses rose that they were almost ready to stone him, Exodus 17:4. Many good works he had shown them; and for which of these would they stone him? John 10:32. Ungoverned passions, provoked by the crossing of unbridled appetites, sometimes make men guilty of the greatest absurdities, and act like madmen, that cast firebrands, arrows, and death, among their best friends. 3. They began to question whether God were with them or not: They tempted the Lord, saying, “Is the Lord among us or not? Exodus 17:7. Is Jehovah among us by that name by which he made himself known to us in Egypt?” They question his essential presence whether there was a God or not; his common providence whether that God governed the world; and his special promise whether he would be as good as his word to them. This is called their tempting God, which signifies, not only a distrust of God in general, but a distrust of him after they had received such proofs of his power and goodness, for the confirmation of his promise. They do, in effect, suppose that Moses was an impostor, Aaron a deceiver, the pillar of cloud and fire a mere sham and illusion, which imposed upon their senses, that long series of miracles which had rescued them, served them, and fed them, a chain of cheats, and the promise of Canaan a banter upon them; it was all so, if the Lord was not among them. Note, It is a great provocation to God for us to question his presence, providence, or promise, especially for his Israel to do it, who are so peculiarly bound to trust him.
_ _ III. The course that Moses took, when he was thus set upon, and insulted. 1. He reproved the murmurers (Exodus 17:2): Why chide you with me? Observe how mildly he answered them; it was well that he was a man of extraordinary meekness, else their tumultuous conduct would have made him lose the possession of himself: it is folly to answer passion with passion, for that makes bad worse; but soft answers turn away wrath. He showed them whom their murmurings reflected upon, and that the reproaches they cast on him fell on God himself: You tempt the Lord; that is, “By distrusting his power, you try his patience, and so provoke his wrath.” 2. He made his complaint to God (Exodus 17:4): Moses cried unto the Lord. This servant came, and showed his Lord all these things, Luke 14:21. When men unjustly censure us and quarrel with us, it will be a great relief to us to go to God, and by prayer lay the case before him and leave it with him: if men will not hear us, God will; if their bad conduct towards us ruffle our spirits, God's consolations will compose them. Moses begs of God to direct him what he should do, for he was utterly at a loss; he could not of himself either supply their want or pacify their tumult; God only could do it. He pleads his own peril: “They are almost ready to stone me; Lord, if thou hast any regard to the life of thy poor servant, interpose now.”
_ _ IV. God's gracious appearance for their relief, Luke 14:5, Luke 14:6. He orders Moses to go on before the people, and venture himself in his post, though they spoke of stoning him. He must take his rod with him, not (as God might justly have ordered) to summon some plague or other to chastise them for their distrust and murmuring, but to fetch water for their supply. O the wonderful patience and forbearance of God towards provoking sinners! He loads those with benefits that make him to serve with their sins, maintains those that are at war with him, and reaches out the hand of his bounty to those that lift up the heel against him. Thus he teaches us, if our enemy hunger, to feed him, and if he thirst, as Israel did now, to give him drink, Romans 12:20; Matthew 5:44, Matthew 5:45. Will he fail those that trust him, when he was so liberal even to those that tempted him? If God had only shown Moses a fountain of water in the wilderness, as he did Hagar not far hence (Genesis 21:19), that would have been a great favour; but that he might show his power as well as his pity, and make it a miracle of mercy, he gave them water out of a rock. He directed Moses whither to go, and appointed him to take some of the elders of Israel with him, to be witnesses of what was done, that they might themselves be satisfied, and might satisfy others, of the certainty of God's presence with them. He promised to meet him there in the cloud of glory (to encourage him), and ordered him to smite the rock; Moses obeyed, and immediately water came out of the rock in great abundance, which ran throughout the camp in streams and rivers (Psalms 78:15, Psalms 78:16), and followed them wherever they went in that wilderness: it is called a fountain of waters, Psalms 114:8. God showed the care he took of his people in giving them water when they wanted it; he showed his power in fetching the water out of a rock; and he put an honour upon Moses in appointing the water to flow out upon his smiting the rock. This fair water, that came out of the rock, is called honey and oil (Deuteronomy 32:13), because the people's thirst made it doubly pleasant; coming when they were in extreme want, it was like honey and oil to them. It is probable that the people digged canals for the conveyance of it, and pools for the reception of it, in like manner as, long afterwards, passing through the valley of Baca, they made it a well, Psalms 84:6; Numbers 21:18. Let this direct us to live in a dependence, 1. Upon God's providence, even in the greatest straits and difficulties. God can open fountains for our supply where we least expect them, waters in the wilderness (Isaiah 43:20), because he makes a way in the wilderness, v. 19. Those who, in this wilderness, keep to God's way, may trust him to provide for them. While we follow the pillar of cloud and fire, surely goodness and mercy shall follow us, like the water out of the rock. 2. Upon Christ's grace: That rock was Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:4. The graces and comforts of the Spirit are compared to rivers of living water, John 7:38, John 7:39; John 4:14. These flow from Christ, who is the rock smitten by the law of Moses, for he was made under the law. Nothing will supply the needs, and satisfy the desires, of a soul, but water out of this rock, this fountain opened. The pleasures of sense are puddle-water; spiritual delights are rock-water, so pure, so clear, so refreshing rivers of pleasure.
_ _ V. A new name was, upon this occasion, given to the place, preserving the remembrance, not of the mercy of their supply (the water that followed them was sufficient to do that), but of the sin of their murmuring Massah, temptation, because they tempted God; Meribah, strife, because they chid with Moses, Exodus 17:7. There was thus a remembrance kept of sin, both for the disgrace of the sinners themselves (sin leaves a blot upon the name) and for warning to their seed to take heed of sinning after the similitude of their transgression.
They journeyed according to the commandment of the Lord, led by the pillar of cloud and fire, and yet they came to a place where there was no water for them to drink We may be in the way of our duty, and yet meet with troubles, which Providence brings us into for the trial of our faith.
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 (a) Rephidim: and [there was] no water for the people to drink.
(a) Moses does not note every place where they camped as in Numbers 33, but only those places where some notable thing was done.
Exodus 16:1 And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which [is] between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt.
Numbers 33:12-14 And they took their journey out of the wilderness of Sin, and encamped in Dophkah. ... And they removed from Alush, and encamped at Rephidim, where was no water for the people to drink.
Exodus 17:8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim.
Exodus 19:2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come [to] the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.
WWW Chat Bible Commentary
User-Posted Comments on Exodus 17:1