Deuteronomy 6:16

Hebrew Bible

14 You must not go after other gods, those of the surrounding peoples, 15 for the Lord your God, who is present among you, is a jealous God—his anger will erupt against you and remove you from the land. 16 You must not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah. 17 Keep his commandments very carefully, as well as the stipulations and statutes he commanded you to observe. 18 Do whatever is proper and good before the Lord so that it may go well with you and that you may enter and occupy the good land that he promised your ancestors,

Isaiah 7:12

Hebrew Bible

10 The Lord again spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask for a confirming sign from the Lord your God. You can even ask for something miraculous.” 12 But Ahaz responded, “I don’t want to ask; I don’t want to put the Lord to a test.” 13 So Isaiah replied, “Pay attention, family of David. Do you consider it too insignificant to try the patience of men? Is that why you are also trying the patience of my God? 14 For this reason the Lord himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.

 Notes and References

"... Psalm 81:7 refers to the Massah and Meribah episode and reverses the roles of God and the people, ignoring Moses’s role. Psalm 106:32–33 also criticizes Moses’s role as leader, together with the people. The Israelites make God angry at Meribah but also entice Moses to say “words that were rash.” The Book of Deuteronomy includes several passages with the testing theme, which may even go back to traditions that are earlier than the Exodus passages. Nevertheless, they read like flashbacks to episodes in the wilderness narrated before in Exodus and Numbers. Moses’s instructions to the Israelites for the period in the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 6:4–8:20) include the commandment not to test God in the future and refers twice to the Massah and Meribah episode: “Do not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah” (compare Ahaz's implementation of this commandment in Isaiah 7:12) ..."

Castelli, Silvia and Jan Willem van Henten "Massah and Meribah Re-interpreted: Biblical Accounts, Judith, and Josephus" in De Troyer, Kristin, et al. (eds.) The Early Reception of the Torah (pp. 19-48) De Gruyter, 2020

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.