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-Please Read this FIRST- On this site we prefer to use the actual Name of our loving Heavenly Father as it was written in the Word, and thus you will note that we will use the Four Letter “Memorial Name” of - YHVH, which is pronounced as YaHVaH or YaHWaH. In addition we will also use our Heavenly Father’s attribute/title, which is Elohim rather than “God,” which sadly is the name of a pagan god. In addition we also love to use the actual and real Name of our beloved Messiah which is - Yahushua or Yahshua in short, for this is our Saviours original Hebrew Name as given to Him at birth in Lukas - Luke 1:31. This was the only Name ever used when He was on the earth by His family, disciples and His followers OVER THE centuries, even until today! However, it was changed to a foreign name by the founder of the new “pagan church of Rome.” Occasionally, we may also use other Hebrew or Greek names as well as different words in our studies for certain common words used are from pagan backgrounds and thus are not suitable. All names will be translated when they are FIRST used in a study or at various times as needed for clarity. There is a full explanation of YHVH’s blessed “Memorial Name” as well as the wonderful blessed Name of our Messiah and Saviour, thus please read …The Memorial Name.”

 

A Study on Bamidbar - Numbers Chapter 20 - “Decree”

Do you ever remember thinking, “It's just not fair,” when you first read the story about the “waters of Meribah?” What was it that Moshe - Moses really did so wrong for the severe punishment that he received? Many seem to feel that it did seem to be rather harsh for such a faithful servant of YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, for Moshe to be excluded from entering the land he obviously would have longed so greatly to have reached, after so many years and to have come so close, at the very border in fact!

In this study, I will attempt to tackle this rather complicated matter by viewing it from a much wider perspective. But let us now read the Word of Elohim relating to the situation in question.

Bamidbar - Numbers 20:1-13.

“In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and remained at Kadesh and Miriam died and she was buried there. There was no water for the assembly, and the people gathered against Moshe and A’haron - Aaron. They quarrelled with Moshe and said, ‘If only we had perished when our brothers fell dead before YHVH! Why did you bring the congregation of YHVH into this wilderness, that we and our animals should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this evil place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!’

Moshe and A’haron went from the congregation to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting (the Tabernacle) and fell on their faces, and the glory of YHVH appeared to them. YHVH said to Moshe, ‘Take the Rod, and you and your brother A’haron gather the assembly together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, that it shall give its waters. You will bring forth for them water from the rock and give drink to the assembly and their livestock.’ Moshe took the Rod from before YHVH, as He commanded him. Moshe and A’haron gathered the congregation before the rock, and he said to them, ‘Listen, now, you rebels, shall we bring forth water for you from this rock?’ Then Moshe raised his arm and struck the rock with his Rod twice; abundant water came forth, and the assembly and their animals drank.

YHVH said to Moshe and to A’haron, ‘Because you did not believe in Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Children of Israel, you will not bring this congregation to the land I give them.’ These were the waters of Meribah (strife), where the Children of Israel contended with YHVH, and He was sanctified through them.”

Introduction

Although many of us are quite familiar with the event in question as well as some of the various explanations in relation to Moshe’s error at the waters of Meribah - i.e. Moshe being punished for hitting the rock, instead of talking to it. There are other commentators that offer differing opinions. For example: some claim that he hit the rock twice, instead of just once. Another argues, that Moshe “lost his temper and spoke harshly,” or that Moshe was not careful in his speech, for he said: “Can we get water from this rock?” instead of saying: “Can Elohim give water from this rock?” And beloved, believe me, the list seems to go on and on, but take my word for it, for all that is just man attempting to obtain some meaning from it, without having any real understanding of the Word of YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name!

To better understand why there are so many opinions regarding this narrative, let us carefully delve deep into the Word of Elohim and take into consideration some of the earlier events, that took place, which we can read in the book of Bamidbar – Numbers, for these are most relevant indeed.

Thus beloved, we will now join the club of the commentators and offer an interpretation all of our own, but this time it will be one that is based on what the Word tells us and not on “conjecture” and “ideology”!

Part One – Crime and Punishment

Pondering, on the question of Moshe’s obvious error at Meribah, we could ask the question; Does the Crime fit the Punishment?

In order to understand why there are so many opinions, we must begin with the Scriptures own description of Moshe’s and A’haron’s sin.

Because you (Moshe) did not believe in Me enough to Sanctify Me in the eyes of the Children of Israel, YOU will NOT bring (or lead) this congregation to the land of promise!” Bamidbar - Numbers 20:12.

Even though Numbers 20:1-13 informs us that Moshe & A’haron could have done something much better, the Word in this study does tells in a way what was wrong, but also not in detail what the WRONG really was. Thus, somewhere within the Waters Meribah incident there must be a flaw and error that has been missed by all of the commentators over the centuries. Amazingly, the answer is not as difficult as you would think!

But, without a genuine Scriptural Hebrew understanding and the leading of the Ruach HaKodesh of Elohim, being the Sanctified (holy) Spirit of Elohim, it would be difficult to gain the fullest understanding of the true details and being from an Hebrew background and a believer in Messiah Yahushua, this has given me an advantage with all the factors mentioned combined! Thus, beloved, it is sad that within ‘christian’ circles it has been due to the lack of understanding of the blessed Word that they have a difficulty pinpointing the flaw in question as they have no understanding in Scriptural Hebrew. I am aware that some have learned some Hebrew in their collages, however that will not be of much use, or it will not assist them a great deal, for there is much more to Hebrew than just the actual words and root words, but the reader needs to understand the whole background of the phraseology and thus needs a Hebrew mind, whist ‘christians’ all have what is known as a ‘Greek’ mind. Thus, the full understanding is seldom gained!

However for clarity, let us now do what most of the earlier commentators did, before they wrote all their lengthy commentaries. Check out (1) what Elohim commanded Moshe to do. And then (2) compare that with what Moshe actually did!

Obviously this is the most logical way to figure out what Moshe and A’haron did wrong. In other words, we must take verse 8 and compare it to Verses 9 to 11.

Instructions from Elohim

Elohim’s instructions to Moshe at Meribah appears to be very explicit:

“YHVH said to Moshe, ‘Take the Rod and you and your brother A’haron gather the assembly together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, that it shall give its waters. You will bring forth for them water from the rock and give drink to the assembly and their livestock.’” Verses 7 & 8.

Read these two verses again, paying close attention to the Five commands, which Moshe (and A’haron) had to execute: (1) TAKE the Rod; (2) GATHER the assembly; (3) SPEAK to the rock; (4) TAKE FORTH water from the rock; (5) GIVE DRINK to the people.

Now, to determine Moshe’s error, we must simply examine the verses that follow (verses 9 to 12) in search for any variances in Moshe’s execution of these commands. As we do this, we will find the source for all of the opinions mentioned previously.

Command # 1 & Moshe’s Execution

1. TAKE the Rod.” Verse 8.

Moshe TOOK the Rod from before YHVH, as He commanded him.” Verse 9.

Looking at this, it seems that nothing seems to be wrong here, after all the Word says, As He (Elohim) commanded him.” Certainly, this cannot be a sin. (Later in this study, we will return to this verse).

Command # 2 & Moshe’s Execution

2. “GATHER the assembly” Verse 8.

And Moshe and A’haron GATHERED the congregation together before the rock.” Verse 10.

Again, nothing appears to have been done wrong.

Command # 3 & Moshe’s Execution

3. “SPEAK to the rock … that it should give water.” Verse 20:8.

And he (Moshe) SAID to THEM: Listen now you rebels, shall WE bring forth water from this rock?” Verse 10.

At first glance, you might think that we have hit the jackpot,” please excuse the terminology as it is not one I would normally use, but it seems to fit! Even though Elohim commanded Moshe to “speak” to the ROCK, but it seems that Moshe does NOT do this. Instead, Moshe speaks about the Rock! Based on this discrepancy “Bible teachers” and Rabbis generally claim that Moshe was punished for “hitting the rock,” instead of speaking to it.

Just for interest, we are also going to take in account some ancient Jewish (Hebrew) thoughts on this matter, as they are quite valuable, for who knows the Hebrew Scriptures better than the Hebrews and thus I have spent a great deal of time sharing the precious Word from the Tanach being Hebrew for the Old Covenant, as it contains so many precious gems that are usually missed due to the lack of understanding of 1. Hebrew language, 2. The Hebrew thought and mind, 3. The manner YaHVaH our Elohim spoke to His people Israel and 4. The way they understood it at the time it was spoken and it takes a Hebrew to be able to fully understand it!

There were two highly respected 10th.Century Rabbis, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon who was also known as Maimonides (1135-1204), and Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman (1179-1270), who disagreed with the “strike the rock” theory. Instead, they took issue with the rebuke itself, which Moshe seems to be adding on his own initiative. Maimonides takes issue with “the TONE of this rebuke,” whilst Moshe ben Nahman takes issue with “its CONTENT.

Maimonides claims that the tone of Moshe’s statement – “listen now you rebels...” reflects an unnecessary anger, which caused a desecration of the Name of the Almighty. Whereas Moshe ben Nahman claims, that by saying “we” in their rhetorical question, “shall WE bring forth water from this rock?” Moshe caused the people to conclude that it was “THEY” (and not Elohim) who would cause the water to come forth from the rock.

Nonetheless, it remains possible to understand that Moshe’s rebuke was indeed in place, for he may have misunderstood Elohim’s command … “speak TO the rock” as meaning “speak ABOUT the rock,” about the possibility that the rock could “give water.” After all, rocks do not have ears, but people do!

Would it not make more sense that Elohim wants Moshe to speak to the people about the rock, rather than to the rock itself? Later we will return to this question.

Command # 4 & Moshe’s Execution

4. “BRING FORTH” or “Take out for them water from the rock …” Verse 8.

“And Moshe lifted his hand and STRUCK the rock with his Rod TWICE, abundant water came out...” Verse 11.

Another well respected Rabbi, Rabbi Shelomoh Yitchaki as known as Rashi (1040-1105), sees this as Moshe’s primary transgression for he was “STRIKING” the rock INSTEAD of “talking” to it. However, based on our explanation above, it is possible that “striking the rock” was exactly what Elohim expected Moshe to do. After all, this is exactly how He had instructed Moshe to take water from the Rock at Horeb – Mt Sinai many years earlier.

“‘I (YHVH) will stand there before you by the rock at Horeb. STRIKE the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.’ So Moshe did this in the sight of the elders of Israel.” Shemos - Exodus 17:6.

After all, Moshe is commanded to “TAKE OUT” water from the rock. Why else did Elohim tell him to take the Rod? Furthermore, once Moshe understands that “speak TO the rock” means, “speak ABOUT the rock” then obviously “take out water” must imply to take a certain action to extract the water i.e. to “Hit,” or to “strike the rock!” Certainly, this would be no less of a miracle than it was forty years earlier!

However, let us focus on the word “pa'amayim” which means “twice.” Is it that Moshe transgressed because he hit the rock TWICE instead of just ONCE? Some say this line of reasoning must win by default.”

Command # 5 & Moshe’s Execution

5. “Give drink to the assembly and to their animals. Verse 8.

“... and the assembly and their animals drank.” Verse 11.

Clearly, Moshe does nothing wrong in this final stage.

Thus, by comparing Moshe's actions to the command of Elohim, we have seen the underlying reasons for the opinions of the Rabbis of the past, and many “christian theologians” to this day.

Nonetheless, no matter how we explain WHAT Moshe's sin was, the more basic question (which was raised in the introduction) remains – “WHY was Moshe’s punishment so severe?

Did Moshe really do Something so Terribly Wrong?

From the above analysis, a very interesting possibility arises. If we combine all of the reasons advanced by each commentator to reject the other explanations, we could conclude that Moshe really did nothing wrong at all!

Some have taken yet another path of reasoning, based on Davarim - Deuteronomy 1:37, and concluded that Moshe and A’haron are really being punished for earlier sins. However, this interpretation remains difficult, because the text states explicitly that Moshe is punished because of the events that took place at Meribah! Therefore, we should look for the PRIMARY reason, for where else can we look to find Moshe’s sin?

It must be at the events of Meribah, but when we examined the relative verses, it was hard to pinpoint a specific “sin” and certainly not a sin, which deserved such a harsh punishment.

Let us go back to the very beginning!

The answer to our original question is actually quite simple. So far, in this incident, which took place at “the Waters of Meribah,” we have overlooked the six opening verses (verses 1 to 6), most probably because they are usually understood as being the background that leads to Moshe’s sin. BUT, when we examine these verses more carefully, we will find that they may contain “just what we are looking for.”

Let us look closer at the OPENING events at Meribah.

And Bnei Yisroel (the Children of Israel) arrived at wilderness of Zin and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. Now there was no water for the assembly, and they (Israel) gathered against Moshe and Aaron. They quarrelled with Moshe saying, ‘If we only had perished as our brethren perished before YHVH. Why have you brought the congregation of YHVH to this wilderness to die here, we and our animals? And why did you have us come out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place, with not a seed, or fig, or grape, or pomegranate, and there is no water to drink.” Verses 1-5.

Now, we may ask, how do Moshe and A’haron respond to these blasphemous complaints? Did they take a firm stand against the evil accusations? And did Moshe defend the Elohim of their father’s Avraham - Abraham, Yitzchak - Isaac and Ya’akov - Jacob? Did Moshe or A’haron encourage the people to remain faithful to YaHVaH Elohim and trust Him to provide All their needs as He had always done?

Beloved, let me tell you the sad truth, both Moshe and A’haron did not and they turned around and departed from their presence leaving them alone and departed for the Tabernacle.

Let us see how Our Heavenly Father describes their rather “pathetic” reaction in verse 6.

“Moshe and A’haron went from the congregation (and I might add here - in fear) to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces” verse 6.

It is in situations such as these, leadership simply has to take a strong stand. As per example during a similar incident, when the Children of Israel demanded water at “Rephidim” all those years earlier as we can read in Shemos - Exodus 17:2.

“… they quarrelled with Moshe and said, ‘Give us water to drink.’ Moshe replied, ‘Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you put YHVH to the TEST?

Note Moshe's immediate response, “Mah trivun iylmadi, Mah t’nasun et YHVH” - “Why are you arguing with me, why are you TESTING YHVH?”

At Rephidim,” In response to Israel’s complaints, Moshe immediately challenged them and stood on solid ground, and in the Name of the Almighty and reprimanded them, he told them clearly that their complaint reflected a lack of faith in their Elohim. Afterward, when the people continued to complain, Moshe cried out to Elohim asking Him for a solution.

“Then Moshe cried out to YHVH, ‘What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.’” Shemos - Exodus 17:4.

But this time at “Meribah” Moshe’s reaction was completely different. Instead of confronting the people who had the same complaints, both Moshe & A’haron just departed and went” to the “Tent of the Congregation and fell on their faces Verse 6. Even if this means that they prayed, but was it the appropriate time for prayer?

Again, compare this event with the one in Shemos - Exodus 14:15, and its context! Was “running away” the proper reaction? Should Moshe and A’haron not have assured the people that Elohim would always take care of their needs! Should they not have challenged the people’s irreverent and sinful statements they had made, that “it would have been better that they had remained in Egypt,” etc? Verses 5 & 6.

We can see that at this stage in the narrative, that Moshe and A’haron had already failed as national leaders, for they did not SANCTIFY Elohim’s most Sacred Name when the opportunity arose. In fact, this may be precisely what Elohim is referring to when He states,

Because you did not trust Me enough to Sanctify Me in the eyes of the Children of Israel.” Verse 12.

However, if this interpretation is correct, why do we need the story of hitting the rock in between?

Does YaHVaH Elohim first inform us of Moshe’s punishment and then provide water for the people? NO, first Elohim allows the rock to give its water, He then announces the punishment! Such is His love for the Children of Israel, even at a time when they so sinfully rebelled!

But, beloved there is a far greater point to this study and it is directly related to what? … THE Rod!

Question - Who’s Rod was It?

It may surprise you but the key to understanding this complicated study lies in its connection to another story related to Korah found in Bamidbar - Numbers chapter 16:1 to 18:32 and I will come back to this shortly. To appreciate this connection, please pay careful attention to how the narrative continues after Moshe & A’haron ran away to the Tent of the congregation:

“And Elohim spoke to Moshe saying: ‘kach et ha'mate’ - take THE ROD and gather the people...” verse 8.

It is commonly assumed that Moshe is instructed to take his rod, the very same Rod he split the sea with, etc. However, in this case it cannot be Moshe’s Rod, which is spoken of, for the Word states explicitly:

“And Moshe took the Rod from before YHVH (HaMatteh Mi'Lifney YHVH) as Elohim had commanded him...” Verse 9.

In the Word, Lifnei YHVH refers to being “in front of the Aron HaKodesh,” or “in front of the Ark of the Covenant,” in the holiest domain of the Tabernacle. Now, Moshe would not keep the Lifnei YHVH in his own tent. Note that Elohim commands Moshe - Ha'Mateh” - THE Rod,” not just, “mateh,” “YOUR Rod.” Compare with Shemos - Exodus - 14:16, 17:5.

If it is not Moshe’s own Rod that he had to take we could ask, what or which Rod are we then speaking about in these scriptures? Was there another Rod that was kept in the Kodesh Ha'Kedoshim - the “Sanctified (Holy) of Holies”?

The answer beloved is really rather simple and yet this truth is missed by 99.9% of ‘christian’ and Jewish commentators, men who claim to be the scholars. The fact is that there was only one Rod that was ever stored in the Sanctified of Holies and that was THE Rod of A’haron and believe me this Rod was very special indeed, far more than many realise!

Let us recall the time when Elohim had commanded Moshe to conduct a test between the Rods of each of the tribal leaders (see chapter 17) to establish that the tribe of Levi was indeed chosen. Carefully note Elohim’s command to Moshe after A’haron’s Rod miraculously buds and thus wins it the test.

Return the Rod of A’haron - Lifnei ha'eydutin front of the ‘Tablets of Testimony,’ (i.e. the “Sanctified of Holies”) for safe keeping, in order that it be a sign for any rebellious group, so that they will stop complaining and not die...” Bamidbar - Numbers 17:25-26.

In other words, Elohim tells Moshe,

“Next time the Children of Israel complain or rebel, take out A’haron’s Rod from before Sanctified of Holies and remind them of what happened regarding the rebellion of Korah.”

And indeed, the next time the Children of Israel complained was right here at Meribah, which means “strife,” or “contention,” for Israel

“And the people quarrelled with Moshe saying: if only we had perished with our brethren …” Verse 3.

This complaint echoes the cry of Israel in the aftermath of Korah’s rebellion, which occurred after A’haron’s Rod was set aside, before the Sanctified of Holies, “having budded.”

“And the Children of Israel said to Moshe: ‘Lo, we perish, we are lost … anyone who comes close to the Tabernacle will die, we are doomed to perish …” Bamidbar - Numbers 17:27-28. Compare also chapter 20:4-5 with 16:13-14.

In fact, once we explain that Moshe is commanded to take “the Rod of A’haron,” almost every following action he takes, now makes perfect sense. Let me explain why.

As explained earlier, because “the Rod of Aaron” is a ROD, which has been used by Elohim for a recent miracle to correct a rebellion, it is only logical that Moshe understands the words “speak TO the rock” as meaning “speak ABOUT the rock” and therefore begins his rebuke with “Hear now, O you rebels.”

Then, Moshe’s next statement: “Shall WE bring forth water from this rock?” … Can be explained as (1) Moshe is saying “Can WE (Moshe and Aaron) bring water from this Rock, no of course not.” With the implication being, “only Elohim can do that, like He has done before!” (2) Therefore Moshe did precisely what Elohim had commanded him to do, to speak about (or at) the rock, that it should pour out the water. In other words, Elohim instructs Moshe to challenge the people’s belief, to ask them, “is it possible for a rock to give water?” That is exactly what Moshe did!

This also explains why Moshe “smites” the rock. Once he understands that “speak TO the rock” means “speak ABOUT the rock,” then Elohim's next instruction, “you shall bring forth water from the rock” must imply that Moshe himself must cause the water to come out. How?The same way he did forty years earlier, when Israel stood at the rock in Horeb (Mt Sinai). There Moshe had to use his own Rod, and not Aaron's, this also tells us that there were actually two Rods forty years later at the waters of Meribah: (1) The Rod of A’haron, which was taken by Moshe, and most likely then given to Aaron to hold it up before the people as a sign during this entire event. (2) Moshe’s Rod, which he used to smite the rock at Sinai.

The only detail, which remains to be explained, is why Moshe hit the rock TWICE. But, is the miracle any less impressive if the rock was struck once or twice? Furthermore, Elohim did not tell Moshe to hit the rock ONCE or TWICE! He just commanded him to “bring forth the water.” Certainly, we might give Moshe a little leeway here and he would have to hit the rock as many times as required to bring forth the water. Even at Horeb (Mt Sinai), it does not actually mention, how many times Moshe stuck that rock. And here at Meribah, if striking was wrong, why then was it not the first time at Sinai, it would have been a relatively small transgression to warrant such severe punishment?

The explanation regarding “the Rod of A’haron” only strengthens the claim that Moshe indeed followed Elohim's instructions correctly. The fact is, Moshe and A’haron received the punishment due to not having “Sanctified Elohim's Name” when they should have done so, the very moment the people started to complain at the place YHVH would later call “Meribah,” which means “rebellion” and “Strife.”

However, our original question remains. “Why was their punishment so harsh?” Why did Elohim not permit them to enter the Promised Land?

Punishment or Demotion?

To answer this question, we must take a closer look at precisely WHAT their punishment was.

It is commonly understood that Moshe and A’haron’s punishment was that they were forbidden from ENTERING the land of Promise. However, this popular assumption is not quite precise. Let us take a look once again how the Word explains the situation.

“And Elohim told Moshe … because you did not trust Me enough to sanctify Me … therefore, you shall NOT LEAD THIS NATION into the LAND, which I promised them...” Verse 12.

This punishment implies that Moshe and A’haron have failed as leaders. Elohim informs them that because of their behaviour, they will not be able to LEAD the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. They are not being punished as INDIVIDUALS, but rather as NATIONAL LEADERS.

Thus, they are not punished because of a ‘technical’ flaw in their execution of Elohim's command at Meribah, but rather due to a more ‘significant flaw’ in the character of their leadership.

In fact, the very verse, which explains their punishment, hints to this flaw of their leadership.

“BECAUSE you did not trust Me enough TO SANCTIFY ME in the eyes of the Children of Israel” Verse 12.

Elohim's statement implies that He had expected Moshe and A’haron to take the rebellion head-on right at the beginning, and somehow create from the situation, a Kiddush YHVH" - “To Sanctify the Name of YaHVaH” (Verse 12). But sadly, Moshe seems unable to do this and A’haron just followed him, thus they failed their duty as Elohim’s appointed leaders of the people!

Failure in leadership is not necessarily because the leader does something “wrong.” Leadership, as its name implies, must LEAD the people. Leadership must always take the initiative. As individuals, Moshe and A’haron did not really sin at Meribah, but as the Leaders appointed by Elohim they failed miserably!

Based on this thought, may I suggest an alternate understanding of the word Emunah which is used in this study. This word explains the reason for their punishment.

Ya’an Lo He’Emantem Bi” – “because you did not TRUST ME in the EYES of the Children of Israel” Verse 12.

Eman” orEmunah in this verse does not refer to belief in Elohim, in the theological sense. Without doubt, both Moshe and A’haron fully believed in their Elohim. Although they completely believed in YaHVaH Elohim, but during this incident they simply did not fully support their Elohim in front of the Children of Israel. The Hebrew word Emunah means to support” “stand up for,” or “sustain.”

Even though Elohim immediately gives Moshe & A’haron specific instructions on how to deal with the situation, it was already too late for them. As soon as the incident is over, even though Moshe and A’haron may have properly fulfilled all of Elohim's instructions after hitting the rock, Elohim informs them that their days as the nation's leaders are now numbered. Before the Children of Israel are to begin their entry into the land of Promise, it will be necessary to appoint new leadership. Therefore, note that in Davarim - Deuteronomy Chapter 3:23-26, when Moshe begs that he be allowed to SEE the land, he does not ask to LEAD, only to GO Up and see it for himself.

In hindsight, the reason for Moshe’s punishment may even be quite logical. Considering the many difficulties that will face Israel once they begin conquest of the Land, it is only inevitable that other rebellious situations would arise. Leadership, which can deal with such complaints, is thus essential.

The Final Straw!

Had this been the ONLY incident when Moshe and A’haron’s leadership faltered, most likely their punishment would not have been so harsh. However, this problem of leadership had already surfaced numerous times in the Book of Bamidbar - Numbers. In fact, it could almost be considered its secondary theme. Recall, that from the time the Children of Israel leave Mt Sinai, almost every event that the Scriptures records seem to reflect this pattern of faltering leadership.

Moshe in 11:11-15 is the one who claims that he can no longer lead the people. Later, even Miriam, Moshe’s own sister, complains about his leadership Bamidbar - Numbers - 12:1-3.

As I have explained, surely as individuals, both Moshe and A’haron are righteous and faithful servants of YaHVaH Elohim; and in the general execution of Elohim’s commands at Meribah they did nothing wrong. However, as happens again, and again, in this book, their leadership so often fails. At Meribah, Elohim gave Moshe a final opportunity to give the people an example of stamina, confidence, by calmly rebuking the people in the Name of YaHVaH, which would have created a Kiddush YaHVaH” to “Sanctity the Name of YaHVaH” amongst the people, but sadly this did not happen.

The question is, can we really be critical of Moshe, and A’haron for their behaviour? Should we consider their actions as sinful? No I think not! This leadership crisis does not have to be considered a question of good or bad behaviour. Rather, it could be considered a problem of compatibility. To meet the challenges of taking the people of Israel into the Promised Land, a new leadership was essential. Not because Moshe and A’haron really did anything greatly wrong in the past forty years in the wilderness, but, rather because the people of Israel were not worthy of their leadership.

Therefore, as a conclusion, “Striking the Rock,” was not the sin Moshe was punished for, as is generally believed. But, Moshe’s error at Meribah was; that He did NOT CONFRONT the people of Israel, in the Name of YaHVaH and take a mighty stand of faith as Elohim’s chosen leader, just as he had done forty years back at that other Rock at Mt Sinai.

It was to be the final straw! It is wonderful to know, that Yahushua - Joshua was to be the new leader of Israel. This Yahushua – Joshua who was a great man of faith led the Children of Israel like a shepherd into the land of Promise!

Praise YaHVaH Elohim, many years later there would be another Yahushua – but He was the One who was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim, He was with Elohim in the beginning, the blessed Messiah our Saviour who gave His perfect and sinless life in order that all who would believe and repent would have their sins covered by the shed Blood of the “Ha’Seh Elohim” - “The Lamb of Elohim” - “The Passover Sacrificed for us!” Both the Yahushua of the Tanach, the Old Covenant and Yahushua in the Brit Chadashah, the New Covenant lead people into the promised land, for the faithful in Him will enter the “Kingdom of Elohim” for Yahushua told us that He came to share the Kingdom with us!

Again, whilst Messiah Yahushua preached the Word, many of the nation of Israel rebelled and rejected Him, but He took them head on, but blessed be Elohim, there were many of the faithful of Israel that believed and followed Him and became believers as we know from the Word! Then after our Redeemer died and was risen from the dead so many more of Israel did believe and His Hebrew (Judean) Apostles, such as Shim'on ben Yochanan also called Peter and Mattityahu - Matthew and later Shaul of Tarsus - Paul and the others went forth as leaders of the faith and spread “The Good News” to the Hebrews and the world! They all continued in good and faithful leadership revealing their stand and faith in Messiah and the Elohim of Israel, all upholding the Seventh Day Sabbath and the Feasts of YHVH!

But, as we have learnt, Meribah was Moshe’s final straw! But let us learn to always stand up for our faith, no matter what and strive to the very end. At least we have one thing in our favour, and myself being from a Hebraic/Jewish background I can say this. The wilderness experience certainly proved that the “Israelites” in the wilderness should have been called “Grizzelites.” Let me give you an amazing truth here that came from the Israel’s wilderness experience!

I personally believe that it was easy for our loving Elohim to take the Children of Israel out of Egypt. Yet, it is extremely difficult to take Egypt out of the Children of Israel, for so many tend to hold onto the ill begotten things in our old lives!

But I also ask this. Is this not also the case with us all, for when we came to Messiah it is easy for Messiah to redeem us from the world and prepare us for the Kingdom of Elohim, but, it is very difficult for us to get the ways of the world out of us! Please pray about this issue and ask the Father what you need to dispose of in your life!

Thankfully we do not have to lead Israel for 40 very long years, thus I am sure that we will endure, but if the things of the world hold us back, be it fear (which is from Satan, for it can lead to depression and the self and looking back will lead to sin). Remember it was a form of fear with Moshe and thus he did not stand up for the Almighty and ran like a coward. Do not let fear or the world hold you back for it can! I pray it that it will not!

Beloved, search your hearts, and seek YaHVaH Elohim, blessed be His Sanctified Name, regarding this subject and always do whatever the blessed Word tells you!

“Teach me Your way, O YHVH. I will walk in Your truth.
UNITE MY HEART TO FEAR YOUR NAME!”

Tehillim – Psalms 86:11

May YHVH Elohim bless and keep you in the palm of His hand always, in Messiah Yahushua’s loving Name!

 

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Yahushua said; “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: They will all be taught by Elohim. Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me. No one has seen the Father except the One who is from Elohim; only He has seen the Father. I tell you the truth he who believes has everlasting life.” Yochanan (John) 6:43-48.

 

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