Exodus 17

1From the wilderness of Sin the whole Israelite community continued by stages as Hashem would command. They encamped at Rephidim, and there was no water for the people to drink.

אוַיִּסְעוּ כָּל־עֲדַת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּדְבַּר־סִין לְמַסְעֵיהֶם עַל־פִּי יְהֹוָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּרְפִידִים וְאֵין מַיִם לִשְׁתֹּת הָעָם׃

2The people quarreled with Moshe. “Give us water to drink,” they said; and Moshe replied to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you try Hashem?”

בוַיָּרֶב הָעָם עִם־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמְרוּ תְּנוּ־לָנוּ מַיִם וְנִשְׁתֶּה וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה מַה־תְּרִיבוּן עִמָּדִי מַה־תְּנַסּוּן אֶת־יְהֹוָה׃

3But the people thirsted there for water; and the people grumbled against Moshe and said, “Why did you bring us up from Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”

גוַיִּצְמָא שָׁם הָעָם לַמַּיִם וַיָּלֶן הָעָם עַל־מֹשֶׁה וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָּה זֶּה הֶעֱלִיתָנוּ מִמִּצְרַיִם לְהָמִית אֹתִי וְאֶת־בָּנַי וְאֶת־מִקְנַי בַּצָּמָא׃

4Moshe cried out to Hashem, saying, “What shall I do with this people? Before long they will be stoning me!”

דוַיִּצְעַק מֹשֶׁה אֶל־יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לָעָם הַזֶּה עוֹד מְעַט וּסְקָלֻנִי׃

5Then Hashem said to Moshe, “Pass before the people; take with you some of the elders of Yisrael, and take along the rod with which you struck the Nile, and set out.

הוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה עֲבֹר לִפְנֵי הָעָם וְקַח אִתְּךָ מִזִּקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמַטְּךָ אֲשֶׁר הִכִּיתָ בּוֹ אֶת־הַיְאֹר קַח בְּיָדְךָ וְהָלָכְתָּ׃

6I will be standing there before you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock and water will issue from it, and the people will drink.” And Moshe did so in the sight of the elders of Yisrael.

והִנְנִי עֹמֵד לְפָנֶיךָ שָּׁם עַל־הַצּוּר בְּחֹרֵב וְהִכִּיתָ בַצּוּר וְיָצְאוּ מִמֶּנּוּ מַיִם וְשָׁתָה הָעָם וַיַּעַשׂ כֵּן מֹשֶׁה לְעֵינֵי זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

7The place was named Massah and Meribah, because the Israelites quarreled and because they tried Hashem, saying, “Is Hashem present among us or not?”

va-yik-RA SHAYM ha-ma-KOM ma-SAH um-ree-VAH al REEV b'-NAY yis-ra-AYL v'-AL na-so-TAM et a-do-NAI lay-MOR ha-YAYSH a-do-NAI b'-kir-BAY-nu im A-yin

זוַיִּקְרָא שֵׁם הַמָּקוֹם מַסָּה וּמְרִיבָה עַל־רִיב בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַל נַסֹּתָם אֶת־יְהֹוָה לֵאמֹר הֲיֵשׁ יְהֹוָה בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ אִם־אָיִן׃

17:7   Is Hashem present among us or not?

The People of Israel are not questioning their faith in Hashem. Rather, they are wondering to what extent He is involved in their everyday lives. In Egypt, and in other civilizations at that time, God was understood as a static force, and nature as governed by unchanging rules. The newly freed Children of Israel are therefore questioning God’s involvement in their day-to-day affairs. In turn, Hashem is educating the Nation about His supremacy and control over nature and all the workings of the world. Not only did Hashem create water, but He also controls its supply, providing it or withholding it as He sees fit. This message becomes embedded in the psyche of the Chosen Nation and its practical application bears fruit in the Chosen Land where the Jews pray daily to God for water and see His active involvement in everyday life.

8Amalek came and fought with Yisrael at Rephidim.

חוַיָּבֹא עֲמָלֵק וַיִּלָּחֶם עִם־יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּרְפִידִם׃

9Moshe said to Yehoshua, “Pick some men for us, and go out and do battle with Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill, with the rod of Hashem in my hand.”

טוַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בְּחַר־לָנוּ אֲנָשִׁים וְצֵא הִלָּחֵם בַּעֲמָלֵק מָחָר אָנֹכִי נִצָּב עַל־רֹאשׁ הַגִּבְעָה וּמַטֵּה הָאֱלֹהִים בְּיָדִי׃

10Yehoshua did as Moshe told him and fought with Amalek, while Moshe, Aharon, and Chur went up to the top of the hill.

יוַיַּעַשׂ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמַר־לוֹ מֹשֶׁה לְהִלָּחֵם בַּעֲמָלֵק וּמֹשֶׁה אַהֲרֹן וְחוּר עָלוּ רֹאשׁ הַגִּבְעָה׃

11Then, whenever Moshe held up his hand, Yisrael prevailed; but whenever he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

יאוְהָיָה כַּאֲשֶׁר יָרִים מֹשֶׁה יָדוֹ וְגָבַר יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכַאֲשֶׁר יָנִיחַ יָדוֹ וְגָבַר עֲמָלֵק׃

12But Moshe' hands grew heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it, while Aharon and Chur, one on each side, supported his hands; thus his hands remained steady until the sun set.

יבוִידֵי מֹשֶׁה כְּבֵדִים וַיִּקְחוּ־אֶבֶן וַיָּשִׂימוּ תַחְתָּיו וַיֵּשֶׁב עָלֶיהָ וְאַהֲרֹן וְחוּר תָּמְכוּ בְיָדָיו מִזֶּה אֶחָד וּמִזֶּה אֶחָד וַיְהִי יָדָיו אֱמוּנָה עַד־בֹּא הַשָּׁמֶשׁ׃

13And Yehoshua overwhelmed the people of Amalek with the sword.

יגוַיַּחֲלֹשׁ יְהוֹשֻׁעַ אֶת־עֲמָלֵק וְאֶת־עַמּוֹ לְפִי־חָרֶב׃

14Then Hashem said to Moshe, “Inscribe this in a document as a reminder, and read it aloud to Yehoshua: I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven!”

ידוַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה כְּתֹב זֹאת זִכָּרוֹן בַּסֵּפֶר וְשִׂים בְּאָזְנֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ כִּי־מָחֹה אֶמְחֶה אֶת־זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם׃

15And Moshe built a mizbayach and named it Adonai-nissi.

טווַיִּבֶן מֹשֶׁה מִזְבֵּחַ וַיִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ יְהֹוָה נִסִּי׃

16He said, “It means, ‘Hand upon the throne of Hashem!' Hashem will be at war with Amalek throughout the ages.”

טזוַיֹּאמֶר כִּי־יָד עַל־כֵּס יָהּ מִלְחָמָה לַיהֹוָה בַּעֲמָלֵק מִדֹּר דֹּר׃