17 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the ·people [L sons; T children] of Israel and get twelve ·walking sticks [staffs] from them—one from the leader of each ·tribe [family group; L house of their fathers]. Write the name of each man on his ·stick [staff], and 3 on the ·stick [staff] from Levi, write Aaron’s name. There must be one ·stick [staff] for the head of each ·tribe [family; L house of their fathers]. 4 Put them in the Meeting Tent in front of the ·Ark of the Agreement [Treaty; Covenant; L Testimony; Ex. 25:10], where I meet with you. 5 I will choose one man whose ·walking stick [staff] will begin to grow leaves [C indicating God’s affirmation]; in this way I will stop the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] from always ·complaining [grumbling] against you.”
6 So Moses spoke to the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel]. Each of the twelve leaders gave him a ·walking stick [staff]—one from each ·tribe [family; L house of their fathers]—and Aaron’s ·walking stick [staff] was among them. 7 Moses put them before the Lord in the Tent of the ·Agreement [Testimony; Treaty; Covenant].
8 The next day, when Moses entered the Tent of the ·Agreement [Testimony; Treaty; Covenant], he saw that Aaron’s ·stick [staff] (which stood for the family of Levi) had grown leaves. It had even budded, blossomed, and produced almonds. 9 So Moses brought out to the ·Israelites [L sons/T children of Israel] all the ·walking sticks [staffs] from the Lord’s presence. They all looked, and each man took back his ·stick [staff].
10 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Put Aaron’s ·walking stick [staff] back in front of the ·Ark of the Agreement [Treaty; Covenant; L Testimony; Ex. 25:10]. It will ·remind [L serve as a sign to] these people who are always turning against me to stop their ·complaining [grumbling] against me so they won’t die.” 11 So Moses obeyed what the Lord commanded him.
12 The ·people [L sons/T children] of Israel said to Moses, “We ·are going to die [will perish]! We are ·destroyed [lost]. We are all ·destroyed [lost]! 13 Anyone who even comes near the Holy Tent of the Lord will die. Will we all ·die [perish]?”
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