Numbers 20 International Standard Version (ISV)
The Meribah Springs
20 The entire community of the Israelis entered the Zin wilderness during the first month. The people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.
2 But there was no water for the community, so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. 3 As the people argued with Moses, they told him, “We wish that we had died when our relatives died in the Lord’s presence! 4 Why did you bring the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness? So we and our cattle could die here? 5 Why did you take us out of Egypt and bring us to this terrible place? There’s no place to plant seeds, fig trees, vines, or pomegranates! And there’s no water to drink!”
6 Then Moses and Aaron went into the presence of the community at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them.
7 The Lord told Moses, 8 “Take the rod, gather the community together, and then you and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock right before their eyes. It will release water. As you bring water to them from the rock, the community and the cattle will be able to drink.” 9 So Moses took the rod in the Lord’s presence, just as he had commanded.
10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the community together in front of the rock. “Pay attention, you rebels!” Moses told them. “Are we to bring you water from this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. Lots of water gushed out, and both the community and their cattle were able to drink.
The Lord Disciplines Moses
12 But the Lord rebuked Moses and Aaron, telling Moses: “Because you both[a] didn’t believe me, because you didn’t consecrate me as holy[b] in the presence[c] of the Israelis, you won’t be the ones to bring this congregation into the land that I’m about to give them.” 13 Because the Israelis argued with the Lord and he was set apart among them, this place was called the Meribah Springs.[d]
The Israelis Approach Edom
14 Later, Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom with this message: “This is what your relative Israel says: ‘You know all the hardships we’ve encountered.[e] 15 Our ancestors went down to Egypt, where we lived for many[f] years. But the Egyptians treated us and our ancestors viciously. 16 Then we cried to the Lord and he heard our voice, sending us a messenger who brought us out of Egypt. Now look! We’ve arrived in Kadesh, a city at the extreme end of your territory. 17 Permit us now to pass through your land. We won’t pass through your fields or vineyards, and we won’t drink water[g] from your wells. We’ll keep to the King’s Highway without turning either right or left until we have passed through your territory.’”
18 But Edom replied, “You are not to pass through my land.[h] If you do, I’ll come out and start a war with you.”
19 Then the Israelis replied, “Permit us to travel on the highway. If we and our cattle drink your water, we’ll pay the price you ask. Only please let us walk through, and nothing more.”[i]
20 But still he replied, “No. You’re not to pass through.” Then Edom went out to meet Moses with a vast army and a lot of military might.[j] 21 That’s how Edom refused Israel passage through their territory. So Israel turned away from there.[k]
The Death of Aaron
22 They traveled from Kadesh, and then the entire community of the Israelis arrived at Mount Hor. 23 Then the Lord told Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, near the territory of Edom, 24 “Aaron is to be gathered to his people, since he is not to enter the land that I’m about to give the Israelis. After all, you both rebelled against my command[l] at the Meribah Springs. 25 So take Aaron and his son Eleazar and ascend Mount Hor. 26 Remove Aaron’s vestments and place them on his son Eleazar, because Aaron is to be gathered to his people[m] and die there.”
27 So Moses did just what the Lord had commanded. They ascended Mount Hor right in front of the entire community. 28 As Moses was stripping Aaron’s garments from him and clothing Aaron’s son Eleazar with them, Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Afterwards, Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When the entire community saw that Aaron had died, they mourned in memory of Aaron for 30 days.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to choose a monthly or yearly subscription, and then enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.