MERIBAH ( = "strife"):

1. A place in Rephidim in the wilderness; called also "Massah and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the Lord" (Ex. xvii. 7). It is certainly this Meribah which is alluded to in Ps. xcv. 8. 2. A place at Kadesh in the wilderness, the name occurring either as "Me Meribah" (= "the water of Meribah"; Num. xx. 13, 24) or as "Me Meribath-Kadesh" (= "the water of Meribah in Kadesh"; Num. xxvii. 14; Deut. xxxii. 51). The latter name appears as the southern limit of the land of Canaan in Ezek. xlvii. 19, xlviii. 28 (= "the waters of strife in Kadesh"). It must be said, however, that the Septuagint invariably translates the word "Meribah" by λοιδόρησις; and that the Targumim and the later commentators regard it as a common noun.

It may be seen that the two narratives which give the origin of the name differ only in that in Ex. xvii. 7 Moses is ordered by God to strike the rock, while in Num. xxvii. 14 he is ordered to speak to the rock, and for disobeying God's order is punished by not being allowed to enter into the promised land. Otherwise they are similar. It is for this reason that some critics regard the one narrative as a duplicate of the other.

S. M. Sel.
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