Numbers 20:8

8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”

Numbers 20:8 in Other Translations

KJV
8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
ESV
8 "Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle."
NLT
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.”
MSG
8 "Take the staff. Assemble the community, you and your brother Aaron. Speak to that rock that's right in front of them and it will give water. You will bring water out of the rock for them; congregation and cattle will both drink."
CSB
8 "Take the staff and assemble the community. You and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock while they watch, and it will yield its water. You will bring out water for them from the rock and provide drink for the 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 went from the assembly to the entrance to the tent of meeting and fell facedown, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them.
7 The LORD said to Moses,
8 “Take the staff, and you and your brother Aaron gather the assembly together. Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community so they and their livestock can drink.”
9 So Moses took the staff from the LORD’s presence, just as he commanded him.
10 He and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?”

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Exodus 4:2; S Exodus 10:12-13; Exodus 4:17,20
  • 2. Exodus 17:6; Isaiah 41:18; Isaiah 43:20; Jeremiah 31:9