Numbers 16:41-17:11New International Version (NIV)
41 The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “You have killed the Lord’s people,” they said.
42 But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared.43 Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting,44 and the Lord said to Moses,45 “Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.” And they fell facedown.
46 Then Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer and put incense in it, along with burning coals from the altar, and hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them. Wrath has come out from the Lord; the plague has started.”47 So Aaron did as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly. The plague had already started among the people, but Aaron offered the incense and made atonement for them.48 He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped.49 But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who had died because of Korah.50 Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.[a]
The Budding of Aaron’s Staff
17 [b]The Lord said to Moses,2 “Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff.3 On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe.4 Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you.5 The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them.7 Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant law.
8 The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds.9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord’s presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff.
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.”11 Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.
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