1)

What was the significance of the twelve springs and seventy date-palms?

1.

Rashi: The twelve springs corresponded to the twelve tribes 1 and the seventy date-palms to the seventy elders. 2

2.

Ramban (citing Ibn Ezra): The Pasuk mentions it to stress the contrast between it and the previous encampment (in Marah) where the water was bitter. 3 Date-palms do not flourish where the water is bitter.

3.

Seforno: Even though the location was so convenient, they did not hesitate to move on when ordered to travel. 4


1

One for each tribe (Ramban and Targum Yonasan). Toras Avigdor (Beshalach p.2) - Hashem wanted each tribe to be by itself. We similarly find (24:4) that Moshe built 12 Matzevos, one for each tribe.

2

Ramban: The seventy elders sat in the shade of the date-palms - all this in praise of Hashem, who miraculously prepared it for them from the day of the creation in an arid land.

3

In fact it was because of the pleasant conditions that they remained there longer than most of the other encampments in the desert - as hinted in the words "Vayachanu Sham" (Ramban).

4

As Hashem stated in praise of Yisrael "You followed Me in the desert" (Yirmiyah (2:20 [Seforno])

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