Numbers 17:8

Numbers 17:8

And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the
tabernacle of witness
Where none but he could go at any time; this was the day after the rods had been placed there:

and, behold, the rod of Aaron, for the house of Levi;
the rod that had Aaron's name upon it, which was to represent the tribe of Levi, of which he was:

was budded, and brought forth buds;
knobs of blossom, such that are seen on trees before they open; for the almond tree puts forth its blossoms before its leaves; though the Targum of Jonathan renders it "branches", as do some versions; and some think this is to be understood of its putting out its leaves first, contrary to the nature of the almond tree, and so makes the miracle the greater; thus Ben Melech:

and blossomed blossoms;
open flowers or blossoms, such as appear on the almond tree in the spring, and look very beautiful:

and yielded almonds;
ripe almonds, in their full perfection, as the Targums of Jerusalem and Jonathan; the latter of which is,

``in the same night it perfected and brought forth almonds:''

the word used has the signification of weaning, and alludes to children grown up to some ripeness and maturity, ( Genesis 21:8 ) ; the case seems to be this, that in one part of the rod were buds, swelling and just putting out, in another part open flowers quite blown, and in others full ripe fruit: now this clearly showed it to be supernatural, since the almond tree, though quick and early in its production of buds and flowers, yet never has those and ripe fruit on it at the same time; to which may be added, that this was not the time of year the almond tree blossoms; not the spring, but rather autumn, as it should seem, since it was after the affair of the spies and the murmurs of the people on their report; now it was the time of the first ripe grapes, when they went into the land, and they were forty days searching it, and it was after their return the insurrections before recorded were: the design of this was to confirm the priesthood in Aaron's family, and show that it would continue there, in a flourishing condition, and that there would be a succession of priests from him to the time of the Messiah, as there were; and the almond tree having its name in Hebrew from watchfulness and haste, see ( Jeremiah 1:11 Jeremiah 1:12 ) ; may denote the vigilance of the priests in their office, and the haste punishment makes to come upon such that should oppose them, or usurp the priesthood, as in the case of Uzziah; so Jarchi remarks: this rod of Aaron's may be an emblem of the Gospel ministry of that rod that should come out of Zion, ( Psalms 110:2 ) ; which in the eyes of men is mean and despicable, like a dry stick, but becomes a fruitful one through the power of divine grace; and an almond tree rod may denote the vigilance and watchfulness of Gospel ministers over themselves and others, and their doctrine; and oftentimes whom God puts into the ministry he early calls them by his grace, and frequently makes the first part of their ministry most useful, and fruit is brought forth which remains: moreover, this rod may be considered as a type of Christ; it being a dry rod or stick, may denote the meanness of his descent and appearance in the world, and the unpromising aspect of his being the King, Messiah, and Saviour of men; and being an almond tree rod, may signify his speedy incarnation in the fulness of time, which the Lord hastened; his being the firstborn, and his right to the priesthood, and his vigilance in it; its lying among other rods, and budding, and blossoming, and bringing forth fruit, may point at Christ's assuming the common nature or man, his being cut off by death, his resurrection from the dead, and the fruits arising from thence, justification, peace, pardon, and eternal life; and as Aaron's priesthood was confirmed by the budding of this rod, so the deity and Messiahship of Christ are, by his resurrection from the dead; (See Gill on Hebrews 9:4).