Numbers 17 Living Bible (TLB)
17 1-3 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the people of Israel that each of their tribal chiefs is to bring you a wooden rod with his name inscribed upon it. Aaron’s name is to be on the rod of the tribe of Levi. 4 Put these rods in the inner room of the Tabernacle where I meet with you, in front of the Ark. 5 I will use these rods to identify the man I have chosen: for buds will grow on his rod! Then at last this murmuring and complaining against you will stop!”
6 So Moses gave the instructions to the people, and each of the twelve chiefs (including Aaron) brought him a rod. 7 He put them before the Lord in the inner room of the Tabernacle, 8 and when he went in the next day, he found that Aaron’s rod, representing the tribe of Levi, had budded and was blossoming, and had ripe almonds hanging from it!
9 When Moses brought them out to show the others, they stared in disbelief! Then each man except Aaron claimed his rod. 10 The Lord told Moses to place Aaron’s rod permanently beside the Ark as a reminder of this rebellion. He was to bring it out and show it to the people again[a] if there were any further complaints about Aaron’s authority; this would ward off further catastrophe to the people. 11 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him.
12-13 But the people of Israel only grumbled the more. “We are as good as dead,” they whined. “Everyone who even comes close to the Tabernacle dies. Must we all perish?”
Numbers 17 New International Version (NIV)
The Budding of Aaron’s Staff
17 [a]The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and get twelve staffs from them, one from the leader of each of their ancestral tribes. Write the name of each man on his staff. 3 On the staff of Levi write Aaron’s name, for there must be one staff for the head of each ancestral tribe. 4 Place them in the tent of meeting in front of the ark of the covenant law, where I meet with you. 5 The staff belonging to the man I choose will sprout, and I will rid myself of this constant grumbling against you by the Israelites.”
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and their leaders gave him twelve staffs, one for the leader of each of their ancestral tribes, and Aaron’s staff was among them. 7 Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant law.
8 The next day Moses entered the tent and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the tribe of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord’s presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each of the leaders took his own staff.
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Put back Aaron’s staff in front of the ark of the covenant law, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die.” 11 Moses did just as the Lord commanded him.
12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We will die! We are lost, we are all lost! 13 Anyone who even comes near the tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to die?”