The Budding of Aaron’s Staff
1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 2 “Speak to the Israelites, and receive from them a staff from each tribe, one from every tribal leader, twelve staffs; you must write each man’s name on his staff. 3 You must write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi; for one staff is for the head of every tribe. 4 You must place them in the tent of meeting before the ark of the covenant where I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man whom I choose will blossom; so I will rid myself of the complaints of the Israelites, which they murmur against you.”
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a staff, one for each leader, according to their tribes – twelve staffs; the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 7 Then Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony.
8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony – and the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! 9 So Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each man took his staff.
10 The Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s staff back before the testimony to be preserved for a sign to the rebels, so that you may bring their murmurings to an end before me, that they will not die.” 11 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him – this is what he did.
12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We are bound to die! We perish, we all perish! 13 (17:28) Anyone who even comes close to the tabernacle of the Lord will die! Are we all to die?”