Rephidim — supports, one of the stations of the Israelites, situated in the Wady Feiran, near its junction with the Wady esh-Sheikh. Here no water could be found for the people to drink, and in their impatience they were ready to stone Moses, as if he were the cause of their distress. At the command of God Moses smote “the rock in Horeb,” and a copious stream flowed forth, enough for all the people. After this the Amalekites attacked the Israelites while they were here encamped, but they were utterly defeated (Ex. 17:1, 8–16). They were the “first of the nations” to make war against Israel (Num. 24:20).
Leaving Rephidim, the Israelites advanced into the wilderness of Sinai (Ex. 19:1, 2; Num. 33:14, 15), marching probably through the two passes of the Wady Solaf and the Wady esh-Sheikh, which converge at the entrance to the plain er-Rahah, the “desert of Sinai,” which is two miles long and about half a mile broad. (See SINAI ; MERIBAH.)