Events at Rephidim (17:1-16)
When the people arrived at Rephidim and found no water, they again complained against God and against Moses. Once more Moses prayed for them and once more God miraculously provided. The names by which the place became known, Massah and Meribah, reminded the people of how they 'tested' God (Massah) and 'argued with' Moses (Meribah) (17:1-7).
The Amalekites, a race of wild desert nomads descended from Esau (see Genesis 36:12; Genesis 36:16), saw the migration of the Israelites to their region as a threat to their security. They attacked Israel but, again in response to Moses' prayer, God gave Israel a notable victory (8-13). Israel could expect further trouble from the Amalekites in the future. For the benefit of future leaders, Moses recorded that God would fight for Israel until Amalek was entirely wiped out (14-16; cf. Deuteronomy 25:17-19; 1 Samuel 15:2-23; 1 Chronicles 4:41-43).
On looking back over the weeks since Israel left the Red Sea, we can see how God proved that he could meet all his people's needs. He had preserved them through all dangers and hardships, whether from thirst, disease, hunger or war.
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Exodus 17". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany