Numbers 20

1The people of Israel arrived at the Zin desert on the first month. The people stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died, and she was buried there. 2There was not enough water for the people at that place. So the people met together to complain to Moses and Aaron. 3The people argued with Moses. They said, “Maybe we should have died in front of the Lord like our brothers did. 4Why did you bring the Lord’s people into this desert? Do you want us and our animals to die here? 5Why did you bring us from Egypt? Why did you bring us to this bad place? There is no grain. There are no figs, grapes, or pomegranates. And there is no water to drink.” 6So Moses and Aaron left the crowd of people and went to the entrance of the Meeting Tent. They bowed down to the ground, and the Glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7The Lord spoke to Moses. He said, 8“Get the ˻special˼ walking stick. Take your brother Aaron and the crowd of people and go to that rock. Speak to the rock in front of the people. Then water will flow from the rock. And you can give that water to the people and to their animals.” 9The walking stick was ˻in the Holy Tent,˼ in front of the Lord. Moses took the walking stick like the Lord said. 10Moses and Aaron told the people to meet together in front of the rock. Then Moses said, “You people are always complaining. Now listen to me. I will cause water to flow from this rock.” 11Moses lifted his arm and hit the rock twice. Water began flowing from the rock. And the people and their animals drank that water. 12But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “All the people of Israel were gathered around. But you did not show me honor. You did not show the people of Israel that the power to make the water came from me. You did not show the people that you trusted in me. I will give those people the land that I promised them. But you will not lead them into that land!” 13This place was called the waters of Meribah. This was the place where the Israelite people argued with the Lord. And this was the place that the Lord showed them that he was holy. 14While Moses was at Kadesh, he sent some men with a message to the king of Edom. The message said: “Your brothers, the people of Israel, say to you: You know about all the troubles that we have had. 15Many, many years ago our ancestors went down into Egypt. And we lived there for many years. The people of Egypt were cruel to us. 16But we asked the Lord for help. The Lord heard us and sent an angel to help us. The Lord has brought us out of Egypt. “Now we are here at Kadesh, where your land begins. 17Please let us travel through your country. We will not travel through any fields or vineyards. We will not drink water from any of your wells. We will travel only along the King’s Road. We will not leave that road to the right or to the left. We will stay on the road until we have traveled through your country.” 18But ˻the king of˼ Edom answered, “You may not travel through our land. If you try to travel through our land, then we will come and fight you with swords.” 19The people of Israel answered, “We will travel along the main road. If our animals drink any of your water, we will pay you for it. We only want to walk through your country. We don’t want to take it for ourselves.” 20But again Edom answered, “We won’t allow you to come through our country.” Then ˻the king of˼ Edom gathered a large and powerful army and went out to fight against the people of Israel. 21˻The king of˼ Edom refused to let the people of Israel travel through his country. And the people of Israel turned around and went another way. 22All the people of Israel traveled from Kadesh to Mount Hor. 23Mount Hor was near the border of Edom. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 24“˻It is time for Aaron to die and˼ go to be with his ancestors. Aaron will not enter the land that I promised to the people of Israel. Moses, I say this to you because both you and Aaron did not fully obey the command I gave you at the waters of Meribah. 25“Now, bring Aaron and his son Eleazar up to Mount Hor. 26Take Aaron’s special clothes from him and put those clothes on his son Eleazar. Aaron will die there on the mountain. And he will go to be with his ancestors.” 27Moses obeyed the Lord’s command. Moses, Aaron, and Eleazar went up on Mount Hor. All the people of Israel watched them go. 28Moses removed Aaron’s special clothes and put those clothes on Aaron’s son Eleazar. Then Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Moses and Eleazar came back down the mountain. 29All the people of Israel learned that Aaron was dead. So every person in Israel mourned for 30 days.

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