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Numbers 20 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

The Lord Gives Israel Water Out of the Rock

20 In the first month the whole community of Israel arrived at the Desert of Zin. They stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.

The people didn’t have any water. So they gathered together to oppose Moses and Aaron. They argued with Moses. They said, “We wish we had died when our people fell dead in front of the Lord. Why did you bring the Lord’s people into this desert? We and our livestock will die here. Why did you bring us up out of Egypt? Why did you bring us to this terrible place? It doesn’t have any grain or figs. It doesn’t have any grapes or pomegranates. There isn’t even any water for us to drink!”

Moses and Aaron left the people. They went to the entrance to the tent of meeting. There they fell with their faces to the ground. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord said to Moses, “Get your walking stick. You and your brother Aaron gather the people together. Then speak to that rock while everyone is watching. It will pour out its water. You will bring water out of the rock for the community. Then they and their livestock can drink it.”

So Moses took the walking stick from the tent. He did just as the Lord had commanded him. 10 He and Aaron gathered the people together in front of the rock. Moses said to them, “Listen, you who refuse to obey! Do we have to bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Then Moses raised his arm. He hit the rock twice with his walking stick. Water poured out. And the people and their livestock drank it.

12 But the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said, “You did not trust in me enough to honor me. You did not honor me as the holy God in front of the Israelites. So you will not bring this community into the land I am giving them.”

13 Those were the waters of Meribah. That’s where the Israelites argued with the Lord. And that’s where he was proven to be holy among them.

Edom Doesn’t Let Israel Pass Through Its Territory

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. The messengers said,

“The nation of Israel is your brother. They say, ‘You know about all the hard times we’ve had. 15 Long ago our people went down into Egypt. We lived there for many years. The Egyptians treated us and our people badly. 16 But we cried out to the Lord. He heard our cry. He sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.

“ ‘Now here we are at the town of Kadesh. It’s on the edge of your territory. 17 Please let us pass through your country. We won’t go through any field or vineyard. We won’t drink water from any well. We’ll travel along the King’s Highway. We won’t turn to the right or the left. We’ll just go straight through your territory.’ ”

18 But the people of Edom answered,

“We won’t let you pass through here. If you try to, we’ll march out against you. We’ll attack you with our swords.”

19 The Israelites replied,

“We’ll go along the main road. We and our livestock won’t drink any of your water. If we do, we’ll pay for it. We only want to walk through your country. That’s all we ask.”

20 Again the people of Edom answered,

“We won’t let you pass through here.”

Then the people of Edom marched out against them. They came with a large and powerful army. 21 Edom refused to let Israel go through their territory. So Israel turned away from them.

Aaron Dies

22 The whole community of Israel started out from Kadesh. They arrived at Mount Hor. 23 It was near the border of Edom. There the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron. He said, 24 “Aaron will join the members of his family who have already died. He will not enter the land I am giving to the Israelites. Both of you refused to obey my command. You did it at the waters of Meribah. 25 So get Aaron and his son Eleazar. Take them up Mount Hor. 26 Take Aaron’s official robes off of him. Put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron will die on Mount Hor. He will join the members of his family who have already died.”

27 Moses did just as the Lord had commanded. The three men went up Mount Hor while the whole community was watching. 28 Moses took Aaron’s official robes off of him. He put them on Aaron’s son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 The whole community found out that Aaron had died. So all the Israelites mourned for him for 30 days.

New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Numbers 20 New International Version (NIV)

Water From the Rock

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

Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron. They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord! Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here? Why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this terrible place? It has no grain or figs, grapevines or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink!

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. The Lord said to Moses, “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.”

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

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

13 These were the waters of Meribah,[a] where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.

Edom Denies Israel Passage

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:

“This is what your brother Israel says: You know about all the hardships that have come on us. 15 Our ancestors went down into Egypt, and we lived there many years. The Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors, 16 but when we cried out to the Lord, he heard our cry and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt.

“Now we are here at Kadesh, a town on the edge of your territory. 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.

18 But Edom answered:

“You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.

19 The Israelites replied:

“We will go along the main road, and if we or our livestock drink any of your water, we will pay for it. We only want to pass through on foot—nothing else.”

20 Again they answered:

“You may not pass through.

Then Edom came out against them with a large and powerful army. 21 Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.

The Death of Aaron

22 The whole Israelite community set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23 At Mount Hor, near the border of Edom, the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 24 “Aaron will be gathered to his people. He will not enter the land I give the Israelites, because both of you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25 Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor. 26 Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there.”

27 Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community. 28 Moses removed Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar. And Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain, 29 and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 20:13 Meribah means quarreling.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Numbers 20 King James Version (KJV)

20 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.

And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.

And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord!

And why have ye brought up the congregation of the Lord into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?

And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.

And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the Lord appeared unto them.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

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.

And Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as he commanded him.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

12 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and he was sanctified in them.

14 And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:

15 How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:

16 And when we cried unto the Lord, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border:

17 Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders.

18 And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.

19 And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing anything else, go through on my feet.

20 And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.

21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.

22 And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor.

23 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying,

24 Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.

25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor:

26 And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.

27 And Moses did as the Lord commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.

28 And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.

29 And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.

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