Exegesis: Numbers 20: 11-13

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Upon reading the passage in Numbers: 20, a lot of information is revealed that is very similar to another part of the Bible, Exodus: 17. In fact, Numbers: 20 is the same story, just explained in a different sense, as the one in Exodus: 17. The story described in these two chapters is the taking of the “Water from the Rock” in Meribah. The following question will be answered throughout the paper: what important variations are there in the Numbers story, and why did the redactor of the story include these variations? In the story of Numbers 20:1-13, the story is a recreation of a story earlier in the Bible (Exodus: 17). In Exodus, the story goes as told: The people of Israel were thirsting for drink, and began to get angry with Moses, complaining that they left Egypt to die of thirst. The Lord told Moses to strike a rock and retrieve water to prove to the people that they were there for a reason. Moses did so and proved to the people they were among God (Exodus 17). Form criticism is used in this story because there is an oral tradition hidden in the text. The oral tradition used is that the Israelites have to trust in God. He led them through Moses out of Egypt to freedom. If the Israelites learn from the exodus from Egypt, then they should know that God wouldn’t let them thirst to death. The story of Numbers is told somewhat differently: The Israelites had no water while in the wilderness, and complained to Moses and Aaron. They again asked Moses why he would bring them there to die. Moses and Aaron then went to talk to the Lord, and the Lord got very angry with Moses and Aaron for not trusting in the Lord to take care of the Israelites (Numbers 20). There are a few differences in the stories, such as the involvement of Aaron. In the Exodus story, Aaron isn’t even mentioned, but in the Numbers story, Aaron is belong side Moses for the
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