A A A A A
Bible Book List

Numbers 20 International Standard Version (ISV)

The Meribah Springs

20 The entire community of the Israelis entered the Zin wilderness during the first month. The people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.

But there was no water for the community, so they gathered together against Moses and Aaron. As the people argued with Moses, they told him, “We wish that we had died when our relatives died in the Lord’s presence! Why did you bring the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness? So we and our cattle could die here? Why did you take us out of Egypt and bring us to this terrible place? There’s no place to plant seeds, fig trees, vines, or pomegranates! And there’s no water to drink!”

Then Moses and Aaron went into the presence of the community at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the Lord appeared to them.

The Lord told Moses, “Take the rod, gather the community together, and then you and your brother Aaron are to speak to the rock right before their eyes. It will release water. As you bring water to them from the rock, the community and the cattle will be able to drink.” So Moses took the rod in the Lord’s presence, just as he had commanded.

10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the community together in front of the rock. “Pay attention, you rebels!” Moses told them. “Are we to bring you water from this rock?” 11 Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod. Lots of water gushed out, and both the community and their cattle were able to drink.

The Lord Disciplines Moses

12 But the Lord rebuked Moses and Aaron, telling Moses: “Because you both[a] didn’t believe me, because you didn’t consecrate me as holy[b] in the presence[c] of the Israelis, you won’t be the ones to bring this congregation into the land that I’m about to give them.” 13 Because the Israelis argued with the Lord and he was set apart among them, this place was called the Meribah Springs.[d]

The Israelis Approach Edom

14 Later, Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom with this message: “This is what your relative Israel says: ‘You know all the hardships we’ve encountered.[e] 15 Our ancestors went down to Egypt, where we lived for many[f] years. But the Egyptians treated us and our ancestors viciously. 16 Then we cried to the Lord and he heard our voice, sending us a messenger who brought us out of Egypt. Now look! We’ve arrived in Kadesh, a city at the extreme end of your territory. 17 Permit us now to pass through your land. We won’t pass through your fields or vineyards, and we won’t drink water[g] from your wells. We’ll keep to the King’s Highway without turning either right or left until we have passed through your territory.’”

18 But Edom replied, “You are not to pass through my land.[h] If you do, I’ll come out and start a war with you.”

19 Then the Israelis replied, “Permit us to travel on the highway. If we and our cattle drink your water, we’ll pay the price you ask. Only please let us walk through, and nothing more.”[i]

20 But still he replied, “No. You’re not to pass through.” Then Edom went out to meet Moses with a vast army and a lot of military might.[j] 21 That’s how Edom refused Israel passage through their territory. So Israel turned away from there.[k]

The Death of Aaron

22 They traveled from Kadesh, and then the entire community of the Israelis arrived at Mount Hor. 23 Then the Lord told Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, near the territory of Edom, 24 “Aaron is to be gathered to his people, since he is not to enter the land that I’m about to give the Israelis. After all, you both rebelled against my command[l] at the Meribah Springs. 25 So take Aaron and his son Eleazar and ascend Mount Hor. 26 Remove Aaron’s vestments and place them on his son Eleazar, because Aaron is to be gathered to his people[m] and die there.”

27 So Moses did just what the Lord had commanded. They ascended Mount Hor right in front of the entire community. 28 As Moses was stripping Aaron’s garments from him and clothing Aaron’s son Eleazar with them, Aaron died there on top of the mountain. Afterwards, Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When the entire community saw that Aaron had died, they mourned in memory of Aaron for 30 days.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 20:12 Lit. you (pl.)
  2. Numbers 20:12 Lit. to set apart
  3. Numbers 20:12 Lit. eyes
  4. Numbers 20:13 The Heb. Name Meribah means Place of Strife
  5. Numbers 20:14 Lit. hardships that found us
  6. Numbers 20:15 The Heb. lacks many
  7. Numbers 20:17 Lit. waters
  8. Numbers 20:18 Lit. through me
  9. Numbers 20:19 Lit. through without anything
  10. Numbers 20:20 Lit. a mighty hand
  11. Numbers 20:21 Lit. him
  12. Numbers 20:24 Lit. my mouth
  13. Numbers 20:26 The Heb. lacks to his people
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

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.

Viewing of
Cross references
Footnotes