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Numbers 20Amplified Bible (AMP)

Death of Miriam

20 Then the Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the Wilderness of Zin in the first month [in the fortieth year after leaving Egypt]. And the people lived in Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.

Now there was no water for the congregation, and they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. The people contended with Moses, and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished [in the plague] before the Lord! Why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness to die here, we and our livestock? Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or of figs or of vines or of pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.” Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle) and fell on their faces [before the Lord in prayer]. Then the glory and brilliance of the Lord appeared to them; and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,

The Water of Meribah

“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock [a]in front of them, so that it will pour out its water. In this way you shall bring water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their livestock drink [fresh water].”

So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, just as He had commanded him; 10 and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. Moses said to them, “Listen now, you rebels; must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand [in anger] and with his rod he struck the rock twice [instead of speaking to the rock as the Lord had commanded]. And the water poured out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank [fresh water]. 12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you have not believed (trusted) Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, you therefore [b]shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah (contention, strife), where the sons of Israel contended with the Lord, and He showed Himself holy among them.

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of [c]Edom: “Thus says your brother Israel, ‘You know all the hardship that has come upon us [as a nation]; 15 that our fathers (ancestors) went down to Egypt, and we lived there for a long time, and the Egyptians treated [both] us and our fathers badly. 16 But when we cried out to the Lord [for help], He heard us and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. Now look, we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through a field or through a vineyard; we will not even drink water from a well. We will go along the [d]king’s highway, not turning [off-course] to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory.’”

18 But [the king of] Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through my territory, or I will come out against you with the sword.” 19 Again, the Israelites said to him, “We will go by the highway [trade route], and if I and my livestock drink any of your water, then I will pay for it. Only let me pass through on foot, nothing else.” 20 But the king of Edom said, “You shall not pass through [my territory].” And Edom came out against Israel with many people and a strong hand. 21 Thus [the king of] Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.

22 Now when they set out from Kadesh, the Israelites, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor.

Death of Aaron

23 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 24 “Aaron will be gathered to his people [in death]; for he shall not enter the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you [both] rebelled against My command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26 and strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. So Aaron will be gathered to his fathers, and will die there.” 27 So Moses did just as the Lord had commanded; and they went up Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 After Moses stripped Aaron of his [priestly] garments and put them on Eleazar his son, Aaron died there on the mountain top. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When all the congregation saw that Aaron had died, all the house of Israel wept (mourned) for him thirty days.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 20:8 Lit before their eyes.
  2. Numbers 20:12 Moses apparently allowed his anger and frustration with the Israelites to blind him to the significance of what God had instructed. Although thoroughly exasperated by the Israelites, Moses was still held accountable for his behavior.
  3. Numbers 20:14 The Edomites were descendants of Esau, Jacob’s (Israel’s) twin brother.
  4. Numbers 20:17 This major trade route extended from the Gulf of Aqabah (south) to Damascus (north).
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Numbers 20New International Version (NIV)

Water From the Rock

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

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

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

So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water 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 in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them.”

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

Edom Denies Israel Passage

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:

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

“Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 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.

18 But Edom answered:

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

19 The Israelites replied:

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

20 Again they answered:

“You may not pass through.

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

The Death of Aaron

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

27 Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. 28 Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there 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, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 20:13 Meribah means quarreling.
New International Version (NIV)

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