Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
 

17:6 smite the rock. Critics are repeatedly confounded when they try to explain the many miracles of the Exodus on a naturalistic basis. This was a uniquely significant period in world history and God was once again revealing Himself as the world’s Creator, miraculously creating bread and water in the desert for a whole generation of Israelites. Moses was not a gifted “water witch,” locating an underground stream of water, but God’s prophet. God created a river of water that followed their itinerary throughout the forty years of wandering, “for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (I Corinthians 10:4).

17:6 rock in Horeb. This is the first mention of “rock” in Scripture, and it is significantly taken by Paul as a type of Christ (see adjacent note). Just as Moses smote the rock with his rod of judgment (Exodus 17:5), so Christ had to be “smitten of God” (Isaiah 53:4) before He could invite men to “come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).


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