- The flow of water from the famous spring for some reason had ceased. In their distress the people became impatient and petulant. At the door of the tent of meeting Moses and Aaron received the Lord's instructions. In his speech of remonstrance to the people Moses seemed to glorify himself and his brother; and instead of speaking to the rock as God had commanded, he struck it twice with his rod. The flow of water was at once restored; but Moses and Aaron were heavily punished because they did not sanctify God in the eyes of the children of Israel. The "Waters of Meribah" was the name given to this scene of strife. The incident is referred to in Numbers 20:24, and Deuteronomy 32:51 (merobhath qadhesh, the King James Version "Meribah-Kadesh," the Revised Version (British and American) "Meribah of Kadesh"). In Psalm 81:7 God appears as having tested Israel here. The sin of Israel and the ensuing calamity to Moses are alluded to in Psalm 106:32.
- Friction in the Kadesh and Water in Meribah