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32וַיַּקְצִיפוּ עַל־מֵי מְרִיבָה וַיֵּרַע לְמֹשֶׁה בַּעֲבוּרָם ׃
33: כִּי־הִמְרוּ אֶת־רוּחוֹ וַיְבַטֵּא בִּשְׂפָתָיו׃

32: They provoked wrath at the waters of Meribah and Moses suffered on their account,
33: because they rebelled against Him and he spoke rashly.

Whose spirit and whose lips are referred to in Psalms 106:33: Mechon Mamre's translation says "... and he (Moses) spoke rashly with his lips" and Chabad's translation says "For they rebelled against His (G-d's) spirit, and He (G-d) uttered with His lips?

My question is, what do our rabbis of blessed memory say?

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Indeed different Rabbis interpret it differently, hence the difference in translations, for the list of commentaries see here.

For example, Ebn Ezra: "כי המרו את רוחו - שב אל השם, כמו והמה מרו ועצבו את רוח קדשו.", also Metzudat David: "כי המרו. כי ישראל מרו בדבר ה׳‎:" but "ויבטא. ודבר משה בשפתיו לקרותם ממרים", also Rada"k "ויבטא בשפתיו. האל יתברך שלא יכנסו לארץ בעון זה:"

The Targum does not add clarity, but I've found the English translation of the Sepuagiant says Moses.

  • Is there a majority/minority opinion on this one? – ninamag Jul 16 at 9:30
  • We don't follow the majority on interpretations. All interpretations are equally valid as long as they are personal speculations. – Al Berko Jul 16 at 9:44
  • if that is the case, then why do we sometimes appeal to the fact that such and such is of the majority/minority opinion? – ninamag Jul 16 at 15:54
  • Unlike the Halachah which we have to follow a single opinion (we can't follow two opposing opinions at once), the interpretations are impractical - you can interpret a verse anyway you like, there's no need to pick one true way of interpretation. I asked a question once" can there be a really wrong interpretation" (search for it) and the answer is No. – Al Berko Jul 16 at 18:13
  • so in terms of a halachic question, we follow the majority opinion, whereas in terms of non-halachic question, there is no wrong answer? – ninamag Jul 16 at 18:24

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