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Moses Strikes the Rock

20 Then the children of Israel, the whole assembly, came to the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people dwelt in Kadesh, and Miriam died there and was buried there.

And there was no water for the assembly, and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. The people argued with Moses, and spoke, saying, “O that we had died when our brothers died before the Lord! And why have you brought up the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? And why have you brought us up from Egypt, to bring us into this evil place? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates. Nor is there any water to drink.”

Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tent of meeting, and they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Take the rod, and gather the assembly together, you and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will give its water, and you will bring out to them water from the rock; so you will give the assembly and their livestock drink.

So Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as He commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels. Will we bring out water from this rock for you?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and he struck the rock twice with his rod, and plenty of water came out, and the assembly drank, and their livestock.

12 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you will not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

13 This is the water of Meribah because the children of Israel argued with the Lord, and He was sanctified among them.

Edom Denies Israel Passage

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

“Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that has found us, 15 how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time, and the Egyptians distressed us and our fathers. 16 And when we cried out to the Lord, He heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.

“And here 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 the fields or the vineyards, or drink of the water of the wells. We will travel the king’s highway. We will not turn to the right hand nor the left, until we have passed through your territory.”

18 Edom said to him,

“You will not pass through me, lest with the sword I come out against you.”

19 The children of Israel said to him,

“We will travel the highway, and if we and our livestock drink of your water, then we will pay for it. I will only go through on my feet without doing anything else.”

20 He said,

“You will not go through.”

And Edom came out against them with many people and with a strong hand. 21 Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him.

The Death of Aaron

22 They journeyed from Kadesh, and the children of Israel, even the whole assembly, came to Mount Hor. 23 The Lord 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 because he will not enter into the land which I have given to the children of Israel because you rebelled against Me at the water 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, and Aaron will be gathered to his people, and he will die there.”

27 Moses did as the Lord commanded, and they went up onto Mount Hor in the sight of all the assembly. 28 Moses 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. 29 When all the assembly saw that Aaron was dead, they wept for Aaron thirty days, all the house of Israel.