Meribah meaning | Meribah etymology

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Meribah in Biblical Hebrew
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The name Meribah in the Bible

There are two places called Meribah in the Bible:

  • The first one is the Meribah near Rephidim, where Moses brings forth water from a rock. This place is also known as Massah (Exodus 17:7). The first time God tells Moses to strike the rock (Exodus 17:6). The second time, He tells him to speak to it but Moses strikes it like he did before (Numbers 20:8). For this little stunt God prohibits Moses from entering the promised land (Numbers 20:12), but allows him look at it from mount Abarim (Deuteronomy 32:49).
  • The second Meribah is located near Kadesh, where Moses' sister Miriam dies (Numbers 20:1 — 13).

Etymology of the name Meribah

The name Meribah comes from the verb ריב (rib), meaning to contend:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

It should be noted that the name Meribah also holds some similarity to the word מרה (mara) meaning rebellious, disobedient:

Abarim Publications Theological Dictionary

There is also a visual similarity between the names מריבה (Meribah) and מרב (Merab).

Meribah meaning

For a meaning of the name Meribah, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Quarrel. Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Chiding. BDB Theological Dictionary suggests Place Of Strife.

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