Bamidbar (Numbers) Chapter 20

7The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:   זוַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־משֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר:
8"Take the staff and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and speak to the rock in their presence so that it will give forth its water. You shall bring forth water for them from the rock and give the congregation and their livestock to drink."   חקַ֣ח אֶת־הַמַּטֶּ֗ה וְהַקְהֵ֤ל אֶת־הָֽעֵדָה֙ אַתָּה֙ וְאַֽהֲרֹ֣ן אָחִ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתֶּ֧ם אֶל־הַסֶּ֛לַע לְעֵֽינֵיהֶ֖ם וְנָתַ֣ן מֵימָ֑יו וְהֽוֹצֵאתָ֙ לָהֶ֥ם מַ֨יִם֙ מִן־הַסֶּ֔לַע וְהִשְׁקִיתָ֥ אֶת־הָֽעֵדָ֖ה וְאֶת־בְּעִירָֽם:
and their livestock: From here we learn that the Holy One, blessed is He, has regard for the property of Israel. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 9, Lev. Rabbah 10:9, Num. Rabbah 19:9]   וְאֶת־בְּעִירָֽם: מִכָּאן שֶׁחָס הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עַל מָמוֹנָם שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל:
9Moses took the staff from before the Lord as He had commanded him.   טוַיִּקַּ֥ח משֶׁ֛ה אֶת־הַמַּטֶּ֖ה מִלִּפְנֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֑ה כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּֽהוּ:
10Moses and Aaron assembled the congregation in front of the rock, and he said to them, "Now listen, you rebels, can we draw water for you from this rock?"   יוַיַּקְהִ֜לוּ משֶׁ֧ה וְאַֽהֲרֹ֛ן אֶת־הַקָּהָ֖ל אֶל־פְּנֵ֣י הַסָּ֑לַע וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָהֶ֗ם שִׁמְעוּ־נָא֙ הַמֹּרִ֔ים הֲמִן־הַסֶּ֣לַע הַזֶּ֔ה נוֹצִ֥יא לָכֶ֖ם מָֽיִם:
assembled: This is one of the places where we find that a small area held a large number [of people]. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 9, Lev. Rabbah 10:9, Num. Rabbah 19:9]   וַיַּקְהִלוּ וגו': זֶה אֶחָד מִן הַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁהֶחֱזִיק מוּעָט אֶת הַמְרֻבֶּה (בראשית רבה ה'):
Shall we draw water… from this rock?: Since they did not recognize it, for the rock had gone and settled among the other rocks when the well departed. The Israelites said to them, “What difference is it to you from which rock you draw water for us?” Therefore, he said to them, הַמּוֹרִים, obstinate ones; in Greek, ‘fools,’ those who teach (מוֹרִים) their teachers. [He said,] “Can we draw water from this rock regarding which we were not commanded?” - [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 9, Num. Rabbah 19:9]   הֲמִן־הַסָּלַע הַזֶּה נוֹצִיא: לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הָיוּ מַכִּירִין אוֹתוֹ, לְפִי שֶׁהָלַךְ הַסֶּלַע וְיָשַׁב לוֹ בֵּין הַסְּלָעִים כְּשֶׁנִּסְתַּלֵּק הַבְּאֵר, וְהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל אוֹמְרִים לָהֶם מַה לָּכֶם מֵאֵי זֶה סֶלַע תּוֹצִיאוּ לָנוּ מַיִם? לְכָךְ אָמַר לָהֶם המרים — סַרְבָנִים, לְשׁוֹן יְוָנִי שׁוֹטִים, מוֹרִים אֶת מוֹרֵיהֶם, הֲמִן הַסֶּלַע הַזֶּה שֶׁלֹּא נִצְטַוִּינוּ עָלָיו נוֹצִיא לָכֶם מַיִם? (תנחומא):
11Moses raised his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, when an abundance of water gushed forth, and the congregation and their livestock drank.   יאוַיָּ֨רֶם משֶׁ֜ה אֶת־יָד֗וֹ וַיַּ֧ךְ אֶת־הַסֶּ֛לַע בְּמַטֵּ֖הוּ פַּֽעֲמָ֑יִם וַיֵּֽצְאוּ֙ מַ֣יִם רַבִּ֔ים וַתֵּ֥שְׁתְּ הָֽעֵדָ֖ה וּבְעִירָֽם:
twice: Because the first time he drew out only a few drops, since God had not commanded him to strike it, but, “you shall speak to the rock.” However, they spoke to a different rock, and nothing came out. They said, “Perhaps we ought to strike it as the first time,” as it says, “and strike the rock” (Exod. 17:6). They came upon that very rock and struck it. — [Midrash Tanchuma Chukath 9, Num. Rabbah 19:9]   פַּֽעֲמָיִם: לְפִי שֶׁבָּרִאשׁוֹנָה לֹא הוֹצִיא אֶלָּא טִפִּין, לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא צִוָּה הַמָּקוֹם לְהַכּוֹתוֹ, אֶלָּא "וְדִבַּרְתֶּם אֶל הַסֶּלַע", וְהֵמָּה דִּבְּרוּ אֶל סֶלַע אַחֵר וְלֹא הוֹצִיא, אָמְרוּ, שֶׁמָּא צָרִיךְ לְהַכּוֹתוֹ כְּבָרִאשׁוֹנָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וְהִכִּיתָ בַצּוּר" (שמות י"ז), וְנִזְדַּמֵּן לָהֶם אוֹתוֹ סֶלַע וְהִכָּהוּ (תנחומא):
12The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Since you did not have faith in Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly to the Land which I have given them.   יבוַיֹּ֣אמֶר יְהֹוָה֘ אֶל־משֶׁ֣ה וְאֶל־אַֽהֲרֹן֒ יַ֚עַן לֹא־הֶֽאֱמַנְתֶּ֣ם בִּ֔י לְהַ֨קְדִּישֵׁ֔נִי לְעֵינֵ֖י בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לָכֵ֗ן לֹ֤א תָבִ֨יאוּ֙ אֶת־הַקָּהָ֣ל הַזֶּ֔ה אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥תִּי לָהֶֽם:
Since you did not have faith in Me: Scripture reveals that if it were not for this sin alone, they would have entered the Land, so that it should not be said of them, “The sin of Moses and Aaron was like the sin of the generation of the desert against whom it was decreed that they should not enter [the Land].” But was not [the question asked by Moses] “If sheep and cattle were slaughtered for them…” (11:22) [a] more grievous [sin] than this? However, there he [Moses] said it in private, so Scripture spares him [and refrains from punishing him]. Here, on the other hand, it was said in the presence of all Israel, so Scripture does not spare him because of the sanctification of the Name. — [Tanchuma Chukath 10, Num. Rabbah 19:10]   יַעַן לֹא־הֶֽאֱמַנְתֶּם בִּי: גִּלָּה הַכָּתוּב שֶׁאִלּוּלֵי חֵטְא זֶה בִּלְבַד הָיוּ נִכְנָסִין לָאָרֶץ, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֹאמְרוּ עֲלֵיהֶם כַּעֲוֹן דּוֹר הַמִּדְבָּר שֶׁנִּגְזַר עֲלֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יִכָּנְסוּ, כָּךְ הָיָה עֲוֹן מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן; וַהֲלֹא "הֲצֹאן וּבָקָר יִשָּׁחֵט" (במדבר יא, כב) קָשָׁה מִזּוֹ? אֶלָּא לְפִי שֶׁבַּסֵּתֶר, חִסֵּךְ עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב, וְכָאן שֶׁבְּמַעֲמַד כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֹא חִסֵּךְ עָלָיו הַכָּתוּב מִפְּנֵי קִדּוּשׁ הַשֵּׁם:
to sanctify Me: For had you spoken to the rock and it had given forth [water], I would have been sanctified in the eyes of the congregation. They would have said, "If this rock, which neither speaks nor hears, and does not require sustenance, fulfills the word of the Omnipresent, how much more should we!" - [Midrash Aggadah]   לְהַקְדִּישֵׁנִי: שֶׁאִלּוּ דִּבַּרְתֶּם אֶל הַסֶּלַע וְהוֹצִיא, הָיִיתִי מְקֻדָּשׁ לְעֵינֵי הָעֵדָה, וְאוֹמְרִים מַה סֶּלַע זֶה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר וְאֵינוֹ שׁוֹמֵעַ וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְפַרְנָסָה מְקַיֵּם דִּבּוּרוֹ שֶׁל מָקוֹם, קַל וָחֹמֶר אָנוּ:
therefore, you shall not bring: Heb. לָכֵן, by an oath, as in, “Therefore (וְלָכֵן), I have sworn to the house of Eli” (I Sam. 3:14) [Tanchuma Va’era 2]. He hurried to take an oath so that they should not engage in lengthy prayer concerning it [i.e. to repeal the decree].   לָכֵן לֹא־תָבִיאוּ: בִּשְׁבוּעָה, כְּמוֹ "וְלָכֵן נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לְבֵית עֵלִי" (שמואל א ג'), נִשְׁבַּע בִּקְפִיצָה שֶׁלֹּא יַרְבּוּ בִתְפִלָּה עַל כָּךְ:
13These are the waters of dispute [Mei Meribah] where the children of Israel contended with the Lord, and He was sanctified through them.   יגהֵ֚מָּה מֵ֣י מְרִיבָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־רָב֥וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶת־יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיִּקָּדֵ֖שׁ בָּֽם:
These are the waters of dispute: These are the ones mentioned elsewhere. Pharaoh’s astrologers saw these [when they foresaw that] the savior of Israel would be smitten through water, and that is why they decreed: "Every son who is born you shall cast into the Nile." — [Sanh. 101b]   הֵמָּה מֵי מְרִיבָה: הֵם הַנִּזְכָּרִים בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר; אֶת אֵלּוּ רָאוּ אִצְטַגְנִינֵי פַרְעֹה, שֶׁמּוֹשִׁיעָן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל לוֹקֶה בַמַּיִם, לְכָךְ גָּזְרוּ (שמות א') "כָּל הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד הַיְאֹרָה תַּשְׁלִיכֻהוּ" (סנהדרין ק"א):
and He was sanctified through them: For Moses and Aaron died because of them. When God judges His holy ones, He is feared and sanctified by mankind. Similarly, it says, “You are awesome, O God, because of Your holy ones” (Ps. 68:36). And likewise it says, “I am sanctified by those close to Me” (Lev. 10:3) - [Zev. 115b]   וַיִּקָּדֵשׁ בָּֽם: שֶׁמֵּתוּ מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן עַל יָדָם; כְּשֶׁהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא עוֹשֶׂה דִּין בִּמְקֻדָּשָׁיו הוּא יָראוּי וּמִתְקַדֵּשׁ עַל הַבְּרִיּוֹת, וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר "נוֹרָא אֱלֹהִים מִמִּקְדָּשֶׁיךָ" (תהילים ס"ח), וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר "בִּקְרֹבַי אֶקָּדֵשׁ" (ויקרא י'):