Water From the Rock

20 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin,(A) and they stayed at Kadesh.(B) There Miriam(C) died and was buried.

Now there was no water(D) for the community,(E) and the people gathered in opposition(F) to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled(G) with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead(H) before the Lord!(I) Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness,(J) that we and our livestock should die here?(K) Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates.(L) And there is no water to drink!(M)

Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting(N) and fell facedown,(O) and the glory of the Lord(P) appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Take the staff,(Q) and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.(R) You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

So Moses took the staff(S) from the Lord’s presence,(T) just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together(U) in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?”(V) 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water(W) gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy(X) in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”(Y)

13 These were the waters of Meribah,[a](Z) where the Israelites quarreled(AA) with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.(AB)

Edom Denies Israel Passage

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh(AC) to the king of Edom,(AD) saying:

“This is what your brother Israel says: You know(AE) about all the hardships(AF) that have come on us. 15 Our ancestors went down into Egypt,(AG) and we lived there many years.(AH) The Egyptians mistreated(AI) us and our ancestors, 16 but when we cried out to the Lord, he heard our cry(AJ) and sent an angel(AK) and brought us out of Egypt.(AL)

“Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory.(AM) 17 Please let us pass through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the King’s Highway and not turn to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory.(AN)

18 But Edom(AO) answered:

“You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.(AP)

19 The Israelites replied:

“We will go along the main road, and if we or our livestock(AQ) drink any of your water, we will pay for it.(AR) We only want to pass through on foot—nothing else.”

20 Again they answered:

“You may not pass through.(AS)

Then Edom(AT) came out against them with a large and powerful army. 21 Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory,(AU) Israel turned away from them.(AV)

The Death of Aaron

22 The whole Israelite community set out from Kadesh(AW) and came to Mount Hor.(AX) 23 At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom,(AY) the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 24 “Aaron will be gathered to his people.(AZ) He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command(BA) at the waters of Meribah.(BB) 25 Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor.(BC) 26 Remove Aaron’s garments(BD) and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people;(BE) he will die there.”

27 Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor(BF) in the sight of the whole community. 28 Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar.(BG) And Aaron died there(BH) on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, 29 and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died,(BI) all the Israelites mourned for him(BJ) thirty days.

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 20:13 Meribah means quarreling.

The Command to Leave Horeb

These are the words Moses spoke to all Israel in the wilderness east of the Jordan(A)—that is, in the Arabah(B)—opposite Suph, between Paran(C) and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth and Dizahab. (It takes eleven days to go from Horeb(D) to Kadesh Barnea(E) by the Mount Seir(F) road.)(G)

In the fortieth year,(H) on the first day of the eleventh month,(I) Moses proclaimed(J) to the Israelites all that the Lord had commanded him concerning them. This was after he had defeated Sihon(K) king of the Amorites,(L) who reigned in Heshbon,(M) and at Edrei had defeated Og(N) king of Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth.(O)

East of the Jordan in the territory of Moab,(P) Moses began to expound this law, saying:

The Lord our God said to us(Q) at Horeb,(R) “You have stayed long enough(S) at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites;(T) go to all the neighboring peoples in the Arabah,(U) in the mountains, in the western foothills, in the Negev(V) and along the coast, to the land of the Canaanites(W) and to Lebanon,(X) as far as the great river, the Euphrates.(Y) See, I have given you this land(Z).(AA) Go in and take possession of the land the Lord swore(AB) he would give to your fathers—to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—and to their descendants after them.”

The Appointment of Leaders

At that time I said to you, “You are too heavy a burden(AC) for me to carry alone.(AD) 10 The Lord your God has increased(AE) your numbers(AF) so that today you are as numerous(AG) as the stars in the sky.(AH) 11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, increase(AI) you a thousand times and bless you as he has promised!(AJ) 12 But how can I bear your problems and your burdens and your disputes all by myself?(AK) 13 Choose some wise, understanding and respected men(AL) from each of your tribes, and I will set them over you.”

14 You answered me, “What you propose to do is good.”

15 So I took(AM) the leading men of your tribes,(AN) wise and respected men,(AO) and appointed them to have authority over you—as commanders(AP) of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens and as tribal officials.(AQ) 16 And I charged your judges at that time, “Hear the disputes between your people and judge(AR) fairly,(AS) whether the case is between two Israelites or between an Israelite and a foreigner residing among you.(AT) 17 Do not show partiality(AU) in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone,(AV) for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”(AW) 18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do.(AX)

Spies Sent Out

19 Then, as the Lord our God commanded us, we set out from Horeb and went toward the hill country of the Amorites(AY) through all that vast and dreadful wilderness(AZ) that you have seen, and so we reached Kadesh Barnea.(BA) 20 Then I said to you, “You have reached the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God is giving us. 21 See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession(BB) of it as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, told you. Do not be afraid;(BC) do not be discouraged.”(BD)

22 Then all of you came to me and said, “Let us send men ahead to spy(BE) out the land(BF) for us and bring back a report about the route we are to take and the towns we will come to.”

23 The idea seemed good to me; so I selected(BG) twelve of you, one man from each tribe. 24 They left and went up into the hill country, and came to the Valley of Eshkol(BH) and explored it. 25 Taking with them some of the fruit of the land, they brought it down to us and reported,(BI) “It is a good land(BJ) that the Lord our God is giving us.”(BK)

Rebellion Against the Lord

26 But you were unwilling to go up;(BL) you rebelled(BM) against the command of the Lord your God. 27 You grumbled(BN) in your tents and said, “The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. 28 Where can we go? Our brothers have made our hearts melt in fear. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller(BO) than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites(BP) there.’”

29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid(BQ) of them.(BR) 30 The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight(BS) for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried(BT) you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”(BU)

32 In spite of this,(BV) you did not trust(BW) in the Lord your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day,(BX) to search(BY) out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.

34 When the Lord heard(BZ) what you said, he was angry(CA) and solemnly swore:(CB) 35 “No one from this evil generation shall see the good land(CC) I swore to give your ancestors, 36 except Caleb(CD) son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the Lord wholeheartedly.(CE)

37 Because of you the Lord became angry(CF) with me also and said, “You shall not enter(CG) it, either. 38 But your assistant, Joshua(CH) son of Nun, will enter it. Encourage(CI) him, because he will lead(CJ) Israel to inherit(CK) it. 39 And the little ones that you said would be taken captive,(CL) your children who do not yet know(CM) good from bad—they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it. 40 But as for you, turn around and set out toward the desert along the route to the Red Sea.[a](CN)

41 Then you replied, “We have sinned against the Lord. We will go up and fight, as the Lord our God commanded us.” So every one of you put on his weapons, thinking it easy to go up into the hill country.

42 But the Lord said to me, “Tell them, ‘Do not go up and fight, because I will not be with you. You will be defeated by your enemies.’”(CO)

43 So I told you, but you would not listen. You rebelled against the Lord’s command and in your arrogance you marched up into the hill country. 44 The Amorites who lived in those hills came out against you; they chased you like a swarm of bees(CP) and beat you down from Seir(CQ) all the way to Hormah.(CR) 45 You came back and wept before the Lord,(CS) but he paid no attention(CT) to your weeping and turned a deaf ear(CU) to you. 46 And so you stayed in Kadesh(CV) many days—all the time you spent there.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 1:40 Or the Sea of Reeds

Joshua Installed as Leader

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord,(A) the Lord said to Joshua(B) son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River(C) into the land(D) I am about to give to them(E)—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot,(F) as I promised Moses.(G) Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon,(H) and from the great river, the Euphrates(I)—all the Hittite(J) country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.(K) No one will be able to stand against you(L) all the days of your life. As I was with(M) Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake(N) you. Be strong(O) and courageous,(P) because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors(Q) to give them.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey(R) all the law(S) my servant Moses(T) gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left,(U) that you may be successful wherever you go.(V) Keep this Book of the Law(W) always on your lips;(X) meditate(Y) on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.(Z) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;(AA) do not be discouraged,(AB) for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”(AC)

10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people:(AD) 11 “Go through the camp(AE) and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions(AF) ready. Three days(AG) from now you will cross the Jordan(AH) here to go in and take possession(AI) of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”

12 But to the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,(AJ) Joshua said, 13 “Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you after he said, ‘The Lord your God will give you rest(AK) by giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives,(AL) your children and your livestock may stay in the land(AM) that Moses gave you east of the Jordan, but all your fighting men, ready for battle,(AN) must cross over ahead of your fellow Israelites.(AO) You are to help them 15 until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land the Lord your God is giving them. After that, you may go back and occupy your own land, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you east of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”(AP)

16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.(AQ) 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you.(AR) Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your word and does not obey(AS) it, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!(AT)