Moses’ Sin at the Rock
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
The story of how Moses sinned against God by not mentioning His Name when he struck the rock in the Sin Desert and caused it to gush water, has been told and retold over the centuries. However, it appears as though Moses’ reason for doing this has often been overlooked.
For notice the exact words of God to Moses (at Numbers 20:12):
‘Then Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron; Because you didn’t trust in Me enough (gr. ouk episteusate) to mention Me before the children of IsraEl, you won’t be allowed to lead this gathering into the land that I have given to them.’
So while many have concluded that Moses had sinned by taking the credit for this miracle himself, that doesn’t appear to be the case. Rather, God’s words indicate that Moses was unsure of whether this miracle would really happen, and that’s why he didn’t mention God’s Name before he struck the rock. Therefore, the sin of Moses doesn’t appear to be a sin of presumptuousness, but one of a lack of faith.