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Exodus

This page was last updated on 11 June, 2017.

Rephidim - site of the rock


This site is (most) know for the water gushing from the rock.


1. Water from a rock

I think we all know that certain plants in the desert contain a lot of drinkable water. A cactus is a good example op that. The soft porous inside contains the water and the hard outside shell stops the water from gushing out. The outer shell has to be cut to reach the water.


The rock from the Exodus story might be something very similar.

Some rocks, like sandstone and limestone, are very porous and can store water like the cactus when it rains.

But without a hard shell like the cactus the water will pour out as fast as it sucks up the rain…

That hard outer shell is formed by all sorts of dirt like sand from sandstorms, plants, etc. The pores simply get clogged up, and the water gets trapped.


When the ‘shell of dirt’ is struck hard it may crack and fall of; exposing the porous rock, so the water gushes out. When the rock it high and the shell is cracked low to the ground there is some water pressure and the stream can be quite strong. The rock must also have been huge to provide water for so many.



2. Pinpointing the rock

Limestone a sandstone are very common in that area, so it’s not possible to use that knowledge to locate the precise spot.


The meaning of the Hebrew word Rephidim is rest.

Moses nicknamed that same place Massah (temptation, testing) and Meribah (strife, contention). None of those words describe the location, so are no use of pinpointing.