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Numbers 20 Modern English Version (MEV)

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.

Modern English Version (MEV)

The Holy Bible, Modern English Version. Copyright © 2014 by Military Bible Association. Published and distributed by Charisma House.

Numbers 20 New 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)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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