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Massah meaning

מסה
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🔼The name Massah in the Bible

The name Massah belongs to the place near Rephidim where Moses famously drew water from a rock after the Israelites tested YHWH (Exodus 17:7, Deuteronomy 33:8). The place at which this happened became endowed with two names, namely Massah and Meribah, which is a rarity in the Bible. The name Massah occurs without Meribah in Deuteronomy 6:16.

🔼Etymology of the name Massah

The name Massah is identical to the feminine noun מסה (massah), meaning test, trial or proving, from the verb נסה (nasa) means to try or test:

🔼Massah meaning

For a meaning of the name Massah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List has Testing, and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads the paraphrased Temptation. BDB Theological Dictionary does not offer an interpretation of our name but does confirm that it is identical to the noun מסה (massah), meaning test or trial.

Note the obvious connection between the testing of the Lord and the "melting" of the rock. Since the quest for knowledge is often compared to a "thirst" for knowledge, and the time of Moses was dominated by great advances in metallurgy (a nation's knowledge of metallurgy was directly proportional with its chances of survival), the portent of the story of Massah and Meribah goes far beyond that of a cute legend.

Also remember that the battle against Amalek was fought at Rephidim, and commemorated by the altar called YHWH-nesi, which is related to our name Massah.

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