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21:16 From there [the Israelites traveled] to the well. This is the well regarding which God said to Moses, 'Gather the people, and I will give them water.'
Umisham Be'erah hi habe'er asher amar Adonay le-Moshe esof et-ha'am ve'etnah lahem mayim.
21:17 It was then that Israel sang this song:

Rise, O well, respond to [this song].
Az yashir Yisra'el et-hashirah hazot ali ve'er enu-lah.


From there
  According to many commentaries, this is not part of the quotation, but merely a continuation of the description of the Israelites' travels, interrupted with Numbers 21:14,15 (Ibn Ezra; Ramban; Adereth Eliahu). According to this, the Israelites came to the well after Aaron's death (Numbers 20:28), and the well was dug by Moses and Eleazar (Lekach Tov). Indeed, according to some, the well was dug at the Israelites' final stop in the Western Plains of Moab (Numbers 22:1; Adereth Eliahu; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). On the basis of this, some say that the well was dug after the wars with Sichon and Og (Yehudah HaChasid). However, the main Israelite camp may have arrived at the well in the Western Plains of Moab before the battles, and only the fighting men may have left the area to fight.

According to other sources, the sentence, 'and from there to the well' is still part of the quotation. The song may thus be saying, 'the valley's rapids... turning aside at the fortress settlement, and from there [providing water] for the well' (Rashi; Lekach Tov; Chizzkuni). According to this, the well may have been dug before Aaron's death, and indeed, according to some, it was dug by Moses and Aaron (Rashi; Rashbam on Numbers 21:18). Some say that this 'well' thus refers to the rock that Moses struck (Numbers 20:11; Baaley Tosafoth; Chizzkuni; Abarbanel).

According to others, the Torah is saying that there on the banks of the Arnon, they were given a well (Targum).

to the well
  B'erah in Hebrew. Possibly a place name (cf. Isaiah 15:8).

this song
  (see Rosh HaShanah 31a). Or, 'a song,' and some say that it was Psalm 136 (Yehudah HaChasid). See next notes. Some say that the entire song is not written (Ibn Ezra).

Rise, O well
  (Rashi). Or, 'Israel sang this song at the well,' (Septuagint), or, 'about the well' (Ralbag).

respond to this song
  (Lekach Tov). Or, 'sing of the well' (Ralbag; Septuagint); 'responding to one another' (Saadia).

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