Rephidim and surrounding area

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Exodus 17:1 All the congregation of the children of Israel traveled from the wilderness of Sin, by their journeys, according to Yahweh's commandment, and encamped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink.

Exodus 17:3 The people were thirsty for water there; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?"

Exodus 17:5 Yahweh said to Moses, "Walk on before the people, and take the elders of Israel with you, and take the rod in your hand with which you struck the Nile, and go.

Exodus 17:8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim.

Exodus 17:9 Moses said to Joshua, "Choose men for us, and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with God's rod in my hand."

Exodus 17:10 So Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.

Exodus 17:11 It happened, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed.

Exodus 17:13 Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword.

Exodus 17:14 Yahweh said to Moses, "Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under the sky."

Exodus 17:16 He said, "Yah has sworn:'Yahweh will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.'"

Exodus 18:1 Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses' father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses, and for Israel his people, how that Yahweh had brought Israel out of Egypt.

Exodus 19:2 When they had departed from Rephidim, and had come to the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mountain.

Numbers 33:14 They traveled from Alush, and encamped in Rephidim, where there was no water for the people to drink.

Numbers 33:15 They traveled from Rephidim, and encamped in the wilderness of Sinai.


ref'-i-dim (rephidhim, "rests"; Rhaphidin): A station in the Wanderings, between the wilderness of Sin and the wilderness of Sinai (Exodus 17:1, 8; Exodus 19:2 Numbers 33:14). The host expected to find water here; to their distress the streams were dry, and water was miraculously provided. Palmer (Desert of the Exodus, 158;) states cogent reasons for identifying Rephidim with Wady Feiran. It is the most fertile part of the peninsula, well watered, with a palm grove stretching for miles along the valley. Palmer speaks of passing through the palm grove as a "most delightful" walk; "the tall, graceful trees afforded a delicious shade, fresh water ran at our feet, and, above all, bulbuls flitted from branch to branch uttering their sweet notes." His camp was pitched at "the mouth of Wady `Aleyat, a large open space completely surrounded by steep, shelving mountains of gneiss, the fantastic cleavage of which added greatly to the beauty of the scene. Palms and tamarisks were dotted all around, and on every knoll and mountain slope were ruined houses, churches, and walls, the relics of the ancient monastic city of Paran. Behind our tents rose the majestic mass of Serbal, and beneath the rocky wall opposite ran a purling brook, only a few inches in depth, but still sufficiently cool, clear, and refreshing."

Such a place as this the Amalekites would naturally wish to preserve for themselves against an invading people. For these desert dwellers, indeed, the possession of this watered vale may well have been a matter of life and death.

If this identification is correct, then Jebel Tachuneh, "Mount of the mill," a height that rises on the North of the valley, may have been the hill from which Moses, with Aaron and Hur, viewed the battle.

W. Ewing

Strong's Hebrew
H7508: Rephidim

a place in the desert

Rephaim (Golan)
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