🔼The name Meribah: Summary
- Place Of Strife
- From the noun מריבה (meriba), place of strife, from the verb ריב (rib), to contend.
🔼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:
The very common verb ריב (rib) means to strive or contend and ranges from a mere bickering to full scale combat. Noun ריב (rib) means strife, dispute or plea. Noun יריב (yarib) denotes an opponent or adversary. Noun מריבה (meriba) refers to a place or agent of strife or contention.
The letter מ (mem) with which our name begins expresses "place or agency" of the verb. The form מריבה occurs once as proper word meaning strife, namely in Genesis 13:8. Also note the visual similarity between the names מריבה (Meribah) and מרב (Merab).
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.