1)

Why did Hashem order Moshe to pass before of the people?

1.

Rashi: To show him that they would not stone him, as he claimed they would.

2.

Ramban: The people were stationed in Refidim, whereas rock was situated in Chorev, 1 in which case he had to pass before the people in order to reach it.

3.

Seforno: Because when they saw him making efforts on their behalf, they would stop complaining.


1

Which is either alias Har Sinai (See Shabbos, 89b) or a town close to the mountain (Ramban).

2)

Why did He tell Moshe to take some of the elders with him?

1.

Rashi: To testify that he had produced water from the rock, so that the people should not claim that there had been ancient fountains there.

3)

Why did He instruct Moshe to take with him the staff with which he had struck the River Nile?

1.

Rashi: Because the people were claiming that the staff was only good for punishments; 1 Now they would witness how it was capable of doing good as well.

2.

Ramban and Seforno: To show that the staff was able to perform opposite functions - in Egypt it prevented the Egyptians from drinking, whilst here it enabled the people to drink. 2


1

Bearing in mind all the Makos Par'oh and the Egyptians had suffered at its hand in Egypt (Rashi).

2

A sign that its performance was supernatural, seeing as natural objects possess a fixed function, and cannot perform the opposite (Seforno, Pasuk 6).

4)

Where was Moshe supposed to go?

1.

Ramban: He was to take some of the elders and his staff with him and go to the rock at Chorev, 1 where he would find Hashem waiting for him. 2


1

Refer to 17:5:1:2.

2

As the next Pasuk explains.

5)

Although the Pasuk does not record that "the congregation and their animals drank" (as it will do later in Chukas), it is obvious that they did (Ramban). Where did they drink it?

1.

Ramban #1: Clearly, they did not arrive at Har Sinai (Chorev) before the first of Sivan. Consequently, they could not have gone to the rock to drink. They must therefore have sent their young men with their animals to fill pitchers with water and bring back to the camp.

2.

Ramban #2: The water that emerged from the rock after Moshe struck it was cold and miraculously flowed all the way to Refidim, 1 where the people collected and drank it.


1

Where, throughout the forty years (until the second episode), rivers flowed from it, from which the people drew water and drank (Ramban).

6)

Why does it say "the staff with which you struck the river"? Aharon struck it, and not Moshe!

1.

Moshav Zekenim (14:7) #1: One's Shali'ach is like himself.

2.

Moshav Zekenim (14:7) #2: Moshe raised the staff, and Aharon struck with it.

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