Numbers Chapter 20  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Commentary on Num 20
The Death of Miriam

1The children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there.

Water from the Rock

2There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
  3The people quarreled with Moses and spoke, saying, “We wish that we had died when our brothers died before Yahweh!
  4Why have you brought the assembly of Yahweh into this wilderness that we should die there, we and our animals?
  5Why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us into this evil place? It is not a place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink.”

6Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces, and the glory of Yahweh appeared to them.
  7Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
  8“Take the walking staff and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock while they watch, and it will pour out its water and you will bring water out of the rock for them. So you will give the congregation and their livestock drink.”

Moses Strikes the Rock

9So Moses took the staff from before Yahweh as he commanded him.
  10Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels; must we bring water out of this rock for you?”
  11Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock.

12Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me to treat me as holy in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you will not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”
  13These are the waters of Meribah, because the children of Israel quarreled with Yahweh and he proved himself holy among them.

Edom Refuses Passage

14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying, “This is what your brother Israel says: you know all the travail that has happened to us,
  15how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers,
  16and when we cried out to Yahweh he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt; and behold, we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your border.
  17Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or through vineyard, nor will we drink the water from the wells. We will go along the king’s highway, we will not turn aside to the right hand nor to the left until we have passed your border.”

18Edom said to him, “You must not pass through me, lest I come out with the sword against you.”

19The children of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay its price. Let me only pass through on foot; nothing more.”

20He said, “You must not pass through.” Edom came out against him with many people and with a strong hand.
  21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.

The Death of Aaron

22They traveled from Kadesh, and the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor.
  23Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor by the border of the land of Edom, saying,
  24“Aaron will be gathered to his people, for he will not enter into the land that I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against my word at the waters of Meribah.
  25Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to Mount Hor,
  26and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son; and Aaron will be taken and will die there.”

27Moses did as Yahweh commanded, and they went up into Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.
  28Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son, and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. And Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain.
  29When all the congregation saw that Aaron had breathed his last, the whole house of Israel wept for Aaron for 30 days.

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