Bible Commentaries
Numbers 20

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-29

Numbers 20:1-13 Moses Disobeys the Lord and Strikes the Rock - This story illustrates how the murmuring of the people caused their leader to make a wrong choice. Because Moses struck the rock twice in his anger, he was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Of course, the Lord had Moses appoint Joshua in his place, but this did not means that it was God perfect and most effective plan for the children of Israel. This wrong choice ultimately affected the entire congregation. When the people of a church begin to murmur and gossip against their pastor and church leaders, it has a very negative effect upon their entire church. They harm themselves in the process.

Numbers 20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

Numbers 20:8 “and speak ye to the rock before their eyes” - Comments - The rod of Moses was not only used to bring ten plagues upon Egypt and part the Red Sea, but it was used by God through Moses to strike the Rock. 1 Corinthians 10:4 says that the Rock was Christ. Moses striking the Rock with the rod is a type of God using man to crucify Jesus on the Cross. God, through man, brought about this act. When Moses struck the rock the second time out of anger (Numbers 20:11), it was a type of crucifying the Son of God a second time (Hebrews 6:6).

1 Corinthians 10:4, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

Numbers 20:11, “And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.”

Hebrews 6:6, “If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

God struck Jesus once for all that we might have living water. Note Numbers 20:8, “speak to rock.” Now man can speak to Jesus, call upon his name, so that we may have living water (eternal life).

Note that the same rock that was used to write the Ten Commandments was also used to produce the Living Water.

1 Corinthians 10:4, “And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.”

Numbers 20:13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.

Numbers 20:13 Word Study on “Meribah” PTW tells us that the name “Meribah” means, “quarrel.”

Numbers 20:28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.

Numbers 20:28 Comments - According to Numbers 33:38-39 this was the fortieth year of the Exodus. Aaron was now 123 years old, 3 years older than Moses at death (Deuteronomy 34:7).

Numbers 33:38-39, “And Aaron the priest went up into mount Hor at the commandment of the LORD, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the first day of the fifth month. And Aaron was an hundred and twenty and three years old when he died in mount Hor.”

Deuteronomy 34:7, “And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.”

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Numbers 20". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.