1)

Why did they specifically mention their children and animals?

1.

Ramban: They mentioned animals, because animals need a lot of water, and children, so that Moshe should pray quickly, since children cannot survive at all without water. 1


1

See Ramban, , who briefly discusses (here and in Pasuk 5 [DH 've'ha'Sela']) the second incident where they had no water (in, Bamidbar 20:11).

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