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17:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 17:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod.
17:3 And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.
17:4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
17:5 And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
17:6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.
17:7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.
17:8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
17:9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.
17:10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.
17:11 And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.
17:12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.
17:13 Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?

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King James Bible:Numbers
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Numbers
Book: Numbers
Chapter: 17

Overview:
Twelve rods laid up before the Lord. (1-7) Aaron's rod buds,
and is kept for a memorial. (8-13)

1-7 It is an instance of the Grace of God, that, having wrought
divers miracles to punish Sin, he would work one more to prevent
it. Twelve rods or staves were to be brought in. It is probable
that they were the staves which the princes used as ensigns of
their authority; old dry staves, that had No sap in them. They
were to expect that the rod of the Tribe, or Prince, whom God
chose to the priesthood, should bud and blossom. Moses did not
object that the matter was sufficiently settled already; he did
not undertake to determine it; but left the case before the
Lord.

8-13 While all the other rods remained as they were. Aaron's
rod became a living Branch. In some places there were buds, in
others blossoms, in others Fruit, at the same time; all this was
miraculous. Thus Aaron was manifested to be under the special
blessing of Heaven. Fruitfulness is the best evidence of a
Divine Call; and the plants of God's setting, and the boughs cut
off them, will flourish. This rod was preserved, to take away
the murmurings of the people, that they might not die. The
design of God, in all his providences, and in the memorials of
them, is to take away Sin. Christ was manifested to take away
Sin. Christ is expressly called a rod out of the stem of Jesse:
little prospect was there, according to human views, that he
should ever flourish. But the dry rod revived and blossomed to
the confusion of his adversaries. The people cry, Behold, we
die, we perish, we all perish! This was the language of a
repining people, quarrelling with the Judgments of God, which By
their own pride and obstinacy they brought upon themselves. It
is very wicked to fret against God when we are in affliction,
and in our distress thus to trespass yet more. If we die, if we
perish, it is of ourselves, and the blame will be upon our own
heads. When God Judges, he will overcome, and will oblige the
most obstinate gainsayers to confess their folly. And how great
are our mercies, that we have a clearer and a better
Dispensation, established upon better promises!

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