Numbers 20
GOD'S WORD® Translation

1In the first month the whole community of Israel came into the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.

2Since the community was without water, they came together to confront Moses and Aaron. 3The people complained to Moses and said, "If only we had died when the other Israelites died in the LORD's presence! 4Did you bring the LORD's assembly into this desert just to have us and our animals die here? 5Why did you make us leave Egypt and bring us into this terrible place? This is no place to plant crops. Even figs, grapes, and pomegranates won't grow here. And there's no water to drink!" 6Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting. Immediately, they bowed with their faces touching the ground, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them. 7The LORD said to Moses,

8"Take your staff, then you and your brother Aaron gather the community. Right before their eyes, tell the rock to give up its water. In this way you will give the community water from the rock for them and their animals to drink."

9Moses took his staff out of [the tent in] the LORD's presence as he had been commanded. 10Then Moses and Aaron assembled the community in front of the rock and said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring water out of this rock for you?" 11Moses raised his hand and hit the rock twice with the staff. Water came pouring out, and all the people and their animals drank. 12But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "You didn't trust me! You didn't show the Israelites how holy I am! So you will not bring this congregation into the land I'm giving them." 13This was the oasis of Meribah [Complaining], where the Israelites complained about the LORD and where he showed them he was holy.

14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. He said, "This is what your brother Israel says: You know all the hardships we've had. 15Our ancestors went to Egypt, and we lived there for many years. The Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors. 16When we cried out to the LORD, he heard us, sent a messenger, and brought us out of Egypt. "Now we're here in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. 17Please let us go through your country. We won't go through any of your fields or vineyards, or drink any of the water from your wells. We'll stay on the king's highway and never leave it until we've passed through your territory."

18But the Edomites answered, "You may not pass through our country. If you try, we'll come out and attack you." 19The Israelites replied, "We'll stay on the main road, and if we or our livestock drink any of your water, we'll pay for it. We want to pass through on foot. That's all." 20But the Edomites said, "You may not pass through." Then they came out and attacked with many well-armed troops. 21Since the Edomites refused to let Israel go through their territory, the Israelites turned around and went a different way.

22The whole community of Israel left Kadesh and came to Mount Hor.

23At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 24"Aaron must now join his ancestors [in death], since he cannot enter the land I'm giving the Israelites. This is because you both rebelled against my command at the oasis of Meribah. 25Bring Aaron and his son Eleazar up on Mount Hor. 26Take off Aaron's priestly clothes, and put them on his son Eleazar. Then Aaron will die there and join [his ancestors]." 27Moses did as the LORD commanded. The whole community saw them go up on Mount Hor. 28Moses took off Aaron's priestly clothes and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29The whole community saw that Aaron had died, and all the Israelites mourned for Aaron 30 days.

GOD'S WORD® is a copyrighted work of God's Word to the Nations. Quotations are used by permission. Copyright 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. All rights reserved.

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