Numbers 20 NIV

Water From the Rock

1 In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin,1 and they stayed at Kadesh.2 There Miriam3 died and was buried.

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2 Now there was no water4 for the community,5 and the people gathered in opposition6 to Moses and Aaron.

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3 They quarreled7 with Moses and said, "If only we had died when our brothers fell dead8 before the LORD!9

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4 Why did you bring the LORD's community into this desert,10 that we and our livestock should die here?11

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5 Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates.12 And there is no water to drink!13"

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6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting14 and fell facedown,15 and the glory of the LORD 16 appeared to them.

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7 The LORD said to Moses,
8 "Take the staff,17 and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water.18 You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink."

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9 So Moses took the staff19 from the LORD's presence,20 just as he commanded him.

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10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together21 in front of the rock and Moses said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?"22

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11 Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water23 gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.

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12 But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not trust in me enough to honor me as holy24 in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this community into the land I give them."25

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13 These were the waters of Meribah,a26 where the Israelites quarreled27 with the LORD and where he showed himself holy among them.28

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    • a 20:13 - "Meribah" means "quarreling".

      Edom Denies Israel Passage

      14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh29 to the king of Edom,30 saying: "This is what your brother Israel says: You know31 about all the hardships32 that have come upon us.

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          15 Our forefathers went down into Egypt,33 and we lived there many years.34 The Egyptians mistreated35 us and our fathers,

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          16 but when we cried out to the LORD, he heard our cry36 and sent an angel37 and brought us out of Egypt.38 "Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory.39

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          17 Please let us pass through your country. We will not go through any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the king's highway and not turn to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory.40"

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          18 But Edom41 answered: "You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.42"

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          19 The Israelites replied: "We will go along the main road, and if we or our livestock43 drink any of your water, we will pay for it.44 We only want to pass through on foot--nothing else."

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          20 Again they answered: "You may not pass through.45" Then Edom46 came out against them with a large and powerful army.

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              21 Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory,47 Israel turned away from them.48

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              The Death of Aaron

              22 The whole Israelite community set out from Kadesh49 and came to Mount Hor.50

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              23 At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom,51 the LORD said to Moses and Aaron,

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              24 "Aaron will be gathered to his people.52 He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command53 at the waters of Meribah.54

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                  25 Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor.55

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                  26 Remove Aaron's garments56 and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people;57 he will die there."

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                  27 Moses did as the LORD commanded: They went up Mount Hor58 in the sight of the whole community.

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                  28 Moses removed Aaron's garments and put them on his son Eleazar.59 And Aaron died there60 on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain,

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                  29 and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died,61 the entire house of Israel mourned for him62 thirty days.

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