1In the first month the whole Israelite community arrived at the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried.2Now there was no water for the community, and the people gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron.3They quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had died when our brothers fell dead before the Lord!4Why did you bring the Lord’s community into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here?5Why 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!”6Moses 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.7The Lord said to Moses,8“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.”9So Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, just as he commanded him.10He 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?”11Then Moses raised his arm and struck the rock twice with his staff. Water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank.12But 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.”13These were the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and where he was proved holy among them.
Edom Denies Israel Passage
14Moses 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.15Our ancestors went down into Egypt, and we lived there many years. The Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors,16but 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.17Please 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.”18But Edom answered: “You may not pass through here; if you try, we will march out and attack you with the sword.”19The 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.”20Again they answered: “You may not pass through.” Then Edom came out against them with a large and powerful army.21Since Edom refused to let them go through their territory, Israel turned away from them.
The Death of Aaron
22The whole Israelite community set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor.23At 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.25Get Aaron and his son Eleazar and take them up Mount Hor.26Remove Aaron’s garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there.”27Moses did as the Lord commanded: They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the whole community.28Moses 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,29and when the whole community learned that Aaron had died, all the Israelites mourned for him thirty days.
English Standard Version
The Death of Miriam
1And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there. (Ex 15:20; Nu 12:1; Nu 13:21; Nu 26:59)
The Waters of Meribah
2Now there was no water for the congregation. And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. (Ex 17:1; Nu 16:19; Nu 16:42)3And the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! (Ex 17:2; Nu 11:1; Nu 11:33; Nu 14:2; Nu 14:37; Nu 16:32; Nu 16:35; Nu 16:49)4Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle?5And why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.” (Ex 17:3)6Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, (Le 9:23; Nu 14:5; Nu 16:4; Nu 16:22; Nu 16:45)7and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,8“Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” (Ex 17:5; Ex 17:6)9And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. (Nu 17:10)
Moses Strikes the Rock
10Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” (Ps 106:32)11And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. (Nu 20:8)12And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” (Nu 27:14; De 1:37; De 3:26; De 32:51; Eze 20:41; Eze 36:23; Eze 38:16)13These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy. (Ex 17:7; Nu 27:14; De 32:51; De 33:8; Ps 81:7; Ps 95:8; Ps 106:32)
Edom Refuses Passage
14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: “Thus says your brother Israel: You know all the hardship that we have met: (Ge 36:31; De 2:4; De 2:8; De 23:7; Jud 11:16; Ob 1:10; Ob 1:12)15how our fathers went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. And the Egyptians dealt harshly with us and our fathers. (Ge 46:6; Ex 1:11; Ex 12:40; De 26:6; Ac 7:15)16And when we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice and sent an angel and brought us out of Egypt. And here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. (Ex 2:23; Ex 3:2; Ex 3:7; Ex 14:19; Ex 23:20; Ex 33:2)17Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or vineyard, or drink water from a well. We will go along the King’s Highway. We will not turn aside to the right hand or to the left until we have passed through your territory.” (Nu 20:19; Nu 21:22; De 2:27)18But Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through, lest I come out with the sword against you.”19And the people of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway, and if we drink of your water, I and my livestock, then I will pay for it. Let me only pass through on foot, nothing more.” (Nu 20:17; De 2:6; De 2:28)20But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came out against them with a large army and with a strong force. (Jud 11:17; Am 1:11)21Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his territory, so Israel turned away from him. (Nu 21:4; De 2:8; De 2:29; Jud 11:18)
The Death of Aaron
22And they journeyed from Kadesh, and the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. (Nu 21:4; Nu 33:37)23And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom,24“Let Aaron be gathered to his people, for he shall not enter the land that I have given to the people of Israel, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. (Ge 25:8; Nu 20:12; Nu 27:13; Nu 31:2; De 32:50)25Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to Mount Hor.26And strip Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron shall be gathered to his people and shall die there.” (Nu 20:24)27Moses did as the Lord commanded. And they went up Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.28And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments and put them on Eleazar his son. And Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. (Ex 29:29; Nu 33:38; De 10:6; De 32:50)29And when all the congregation saw that Aaron had perished, all the house of Israel wept for Aaron thirty days. (De 34:8)