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The Statement: Bamidbar 20:19 Vayomroo Aylav Bnai Yisroel Bamseelah Naaleh. And Bnai Yisroel said to him on the path we will go. In this Posuk the Taamim are a Munach Zarka and a Munach Segol. Similarly in Perek 20:12 Vayomer Hashem El Moshe Vel Aharon a Munach Zarka and Munach Segol combination is used.
The Reason: The Taamim are divided into Melachim and Mesharsim. The Mealchim denote a pause after the Melech word. They may also be used to denote a stress on the word. In past issues we have mentioned that many times an Esnachta is used to stress a point even if it is not really the place for an Esnachta. Although the famous Melachim are the Sof Posuk and the Esnachta nevertheless the Munach Segol is a Melech that can also denote stress.
In our cases the Torah uses a Munach Segol combination to denote stress and strict adherence to one's word. In the first case concerning the traveling of Bnai Yisroel the Torah uses a Munach Segol combination. This is because of the strict nature of their travel. They had promised not to veer to the right or left. It is because of their promise concerning the strict nature of their travel that a Munach Segol combination was chosen.
Similarly in the instance where Hashem is speaking to Moshe and Aharon a Munach Segol combination is used. Rashi notes that the punishment of not going to Eretz Yisroel was done with an oath making it irrevocable with Prayer. It is for this reason that a Munach Segol is used. It is to stress the statement and punishment that Hashem has given to Moshe and Aharon for not speaking to the rock. The punishment will be strictly adhered to and will not be able to be changed.
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