17:1 And the LORD spake unto a Moses, saying,
(a) While he was in the door of the tabernacle. 17:5 And it shall come to pass, [that] the mans rod, whom I shall b choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
(b) To be the chief priest. 17:6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers houses, [even] twelve rods: and the rod c of Aaron [was] among their rods.
(c) Though Josephs tribe was divided into two in the distribution of the land, yet here it is but one and Levi makes a tribe. 17:8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron d for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
(d) To declare that God chose the house of Levi to serve him in the tabernacle. 17:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aarons rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their e murmurings from me, that they die not.
(e) Grudging that Aaron should be high priest. 17:12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, f we die, we perish, we all perish.
(f) The Chaldea text describes their complaining in this way; "We die by the sword, the earth swallows us up, the pestilence consumes us."