Numbers 20:8

8 “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.”

Numbers 20:8 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 20:8

Take thy rod
The rod of miracles, as the Targum of Jonathan; not the rod of Aaron, miraculous for its blossom and fruit, as some Jewish writers think; but the rod of Moses, with which he had done many wonders in Egypt, and at the Red sea, and in the wilderness, and particularly by smiting the rock at Horeb, when the Israelites wanted water, as they did now:

and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother;
not only the heads of the people, but the body of them, as many as could be got together to see the miracle, and to receive the benefit of it:

and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes;
which was near, but a little way off, within sight, and might be pointed to: it was not the same rock that was smote before; that was in Horeb, this in the extremity of the land of Edom, as Aben Ezra observes; this was to be spoken to, and by a word speaking it would give out water; which was a trial of the faith of Moses and Aaron, as well as of the people, before whom, in a public manner, the rock was to be addressed, as if it was intelligent and all-sufficient:

and it shall give forth his water;
not as though there was a fountain of water in it, but that water should flow from it, or God by it give water:

and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock;
by speaking to it: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink; sufficient for them both.

Numbers 20:8 In-Context

6 Moses and Aaron turned away from the people and went to the entrance of the Tabernacle, where they fell face down on the ground. Then the glorious presence of the LORD appeared to them,
7 and the LORD said to Moses,
8 “You and Aaron must take the staff and assemble the entire community. As the people watch, speak to the rock over there, and it will pour out its water. You will provide enough water from the rock to satisfy the whole community and their livestock.”
9 So Moses did as he was told. He took the staff from the place where it was kept before the LORD .
10 Then he and Aaron summoned the people to come and gather at the rock. “Listen, you rebels!” he shouted. “Must we bring you water from this rock?”