Moses Provides Water

Moses provides water for the assembly before the Tabernacle (Num 20:2-13). From the Dura Europos Synagogue, third century C.E.

The Dura-Europos synagogue was an important discovery because of what it was able to tell us about early synagogue architecture. It looked like a typical house and was built into the outer wall of the city, along with several worship houses of mystery cults and a Christian church. These buildings were completely filled in and buried not long after they were finished in the third century, and they lay forgotten until the site was excavated in 1930. Panels covering the synagogue walls in three registers comprise some of the earliest narrative paintings of biblical images.

This panel from the west wall depicts the story told in Exod 17:1-7 and Num 20:1-13. While wandering in the desert, the people of Israel complained to Moses that they did not have water for themselves and their livestock. At God's suggestion, Moses struck a rock with his staff, and water came forth from the rock to meet the people’s needs. The people are shown here divided into the 12 tribes.

A replica of some of the Dura-Europos synagogue murals is in the National Museum of Damascus. Dura-Europos has since been destroyed in the Syrian Civil War.

Moses provides water for the assembly before the Tabernacle (Num 20:2-13). From the Dura Europos Synagogue, third century C.E.

Dug up, often from an archaeological site.

A written, spoken, or recorded story.

An alternate spelling for "tel" meaning a mound or hill-shaped site containing several occupational layers one on top of the other over milennia.

Num 20:2-13

2Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron.3The people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that w ... View more

Exod 17:1-7

Water from the Rock
1From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, bu ... View more

Num 20:1-13

The Waters of Meribah
1The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died ... View more

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