Exodus 17:5-7 finishes up the second water story arc with a bang. God tells Moses to gather the elders and walk ahead of the group to Horeb. Horeb was also the name of the mountain where Moses saw the burning bush, but there’s no way to tell if we’re still talking about the same place. God tells Moses that he will be standing by a rock waiting for them. This must have been a big deal to the elders! I can bet they were giddily talking amongst themselves the whole way there, “We’re finally going to meet God! I can’t believe it!” It also must have pissed off the rest of the Israelites, but I guess when you’re going to do magical God stuff, it’s best that there aren’t a bunch of people around to see it, I mean, you don’t want to ruin their faith, right? ;-)
So, Moses heads over to Horeb, and, as expected, God is nowhere to be seen. Although, it’s probably for the best since to look upon God’s face is to sacrifice your life (except all the times when it isn’t). How Moses found the correct rock without God to guide him is not in the bible, so you’ll have to use your imagination. But when he did find the correct rock, he struck it with his staff, per God’s command, and a great deluge of water was released. Enough water flowed out to service all of the Israelites. Of course, they’re all back in Rephidim, so this doesn’t do them a lick of good. Again, use your imagination, maybe the magic water created a magic river that magically flowed to the Israelites… magically.
Finally, Moses decides to give this new wellspring a fitting name. He settles on Massah, which means “temptation”, because the Israelites, in their cowardly desire not to die of thirst, tempted God (and I bet you didn’t even know it was possible to tempt God!). But one name just isn’t good enough for Moses, so he adds a second and calls the place Meribah, which means “contention”, because the Israelites struggled with the Lord. I trust I don’t have to point out that giving two names to the same place at the same time isn’t how things are normally done? Two different tribes having two names for the same place seems just a tad more likely.