B'midbar 20:8 shows that G-d instructs Moshe and Aharon to speak to the rock, and it will bring forth water.

Usually, when G-d instructs Moshe to speak to B'nai Yisra'el he indicates what Moshe should tell them. Here, it doesn't seem apparent what G-d wanted Moshe and Aharon to say to the rock. What's missing? What words were they supposed to say?

  • Probably something like 'Please give us water'.
    – Mithical
    Jul 13, 2016 at 18:36
  • They were given the verb form "dabeir," which always connotes a harsher form of speech. More like "Give us water...or else..."
    – DonielF
    Jul 17, 2016 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


Yalkut Shimoni (763) says Moshe was told to learn a perek (mishnah) and the rock would give water. See Alshich for explanation


The ramban says their chet was they implied the rock should give water because of their instruction, so they should have said to the rock, Hashem says you should give water.

  • 1
    Please either edit a link to the source or complete where Ramba"n says this. Also, when you say "instruction" what instruction did Moshe and Aharon actually say? That's not obvious.
    – DanF
    Jul 14, 2016 at 1:02
  • Friendly reminder ... please edit / link a source.
    – DanF
    Jun 27, 2017 at 17:00

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