[a] The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 Speak to the Israelites, and get twelve staffs from them, one for each ancestral house, from all the leaders of their ancestral houses. Write each man’s name on his staff, 3 and write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each ancestral house. 4 Place them in the tent of meeting before the covenant,[b] where I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will put a stop to the complaints of the Israelites that they continually make against you. 6 Moses spoke to the Israelites; and all their leaders gave him staffs, one for each leader, according to their ancestral houses, twelve staffs; and the staff of Aaron was among theirs. 7 So Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant.[c]
8 When Moses went into the tent of the covenant[d] on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his staff. 10 And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the covenant,[e] to be kept as a warning to rebels, so that you may make an end of their complaints against me, or else they will die.” 11 Moses did so; just as the Lord commanded him, so he did.
12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We are perishing; we are lost, all of us are lost! 13 Everyone who approaches the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all to perish?”
a. Numbers 17:1 Ch 17.16 in Heb
b. Numbers 17:4 Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth
c. Numbers 17:7 Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth
d. Numbers 17:8 Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth
e. Numbers 17:10 Or treaty, or testimony; Heb eduth
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
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