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. Chapter 20.


1 201IN THE FIRST MONTH the whole community of Israel reached the wilderness of Zin and stayed some time at Kadesh; there Miriam died and was buried.

2 2There was no water for the community; so they gathered against Moses and Aaron. 3 3The people disputed with Moses and said, 'If only we had perished when our brothers perished in the presence of the LORD! 4 4Why have you brought the assembly of the LORD into this wilderness for us and our beasts to die here? 5 5Why did you fetch us up from Egypt to bring us to this vile place, where nothing will grow, neither corn nor figs, vines nor pomegranates? There is not even any water to drink.' 6 6Moses and Aaron came forward in front of the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of the Presence. There they fell prostrate, and the glory of the LORD appeared to them.

7 7The LORD spoke to Moses .and said, 8 8'Take a [Or the] staff, and then with Aaron your brother assemble all the community, and, in front of them all, speak to the rock and it will yield its water. Thus you will produce water for the community out of the rock, for them and their beasts to drink.' 9 9Moses left the presence of the LORD with the staff, as he had commanded him. 10 10Then he and Aaron gathered the assembly together in front of the rock, and he said to them, 'Listen to me, you rebels. Must we get water out of this rock for you?' 11 11Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out in abundance and they all drank, men and beasts. 12 12But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 'You did not trust me so far as to uphold my holiness in the sight of the Israelites; therefore you shall not lead this assembly into the land which I promised to give them.' 13 13Such were the waters of Meribah [That is Dispute], where the people disputed with the LORD and through which his holiness was upheld.

The approach to the promised land

Israel refused passage through Edom.

14 14FROM KADESH MOSES SENT ENVOYS to the king of Edom: 'This is a message from your brother Israel. You know all the hardships we have encountered, 15 15how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived there for many years. The Egyptians ill-treated us and our fathers before us, 16 16and we cried to the LORD for help. He listened to us and sent an angel, and he brought us out of Egypt; and now we are here at Kadesh, a town on your frontier. 17 17Grant us passage through your country. We will not trespass on field or vineyard, or drink from your wells. We will keep to the king's highway; we will not turn off to right or left until we have crossed your territory.' 18 18But the Edomites answered, 'You shall not cross our land. If you do, we will march out and attack you in force.' 19 19The Israelites said, 'But we will keep to the main road. If we and our flocks drink your water, we will pay you for it; we will simply cross your land on foot.' 20 20But the Edomites said, 'No, you shall not', and took the field against them with a large army in full strength. 21 21Thus the Edomites refused to allow Israel to cross their frontier, and Israel went a different way to avoid a conflict.

Death of Aaron.

22 22The whole community of Israel set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23 23At Mount Hor, near the frontier of Edom, the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 24 24'Aaron shall be gathered to his father's kin. He shall not enter the land which I promised to give the Israelites, because over the waters of Meribah you rebelled against my command. 25 25Take Aaron and his son Eleazar, and go up Mount Hor. 26 26Strip Aaron of his robes and invest Eleazar his son with them, for Aaron shall be taken from you: he shall die there.' 27 27Moses did as the LORD had commanded him: they went up Mount Hor in sight of the whole community, 28 28and Moses stripped Aaron of his robes and invested his son Eleazar with them. There Aaron died on the mountain-top, and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 29So the whole community saw that Aaron had died, and all Israel mourned him for thirty days.

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NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.