Works of art by Kaspar Schockholz, Unknown Master, and Unknown artist
Commentaries by Laura Llewellyn
Bible passage (Revised Standard Version)
17 The Lord said to Moses, 2“Speak to the people of Israel, and get from them rods, one for each fathers’ house, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods. Write each man’s name upon his rod, 3and write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi. For there shall be one rod for the head of each fathers’ house. 4Then you shall deposit them in the tent of meeting before the testimony, where I meet with you. 5And the rod of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the people of Israel, which they murmur against you.” 6Moses spoke to the people of Israel; and all their leaders gave him rods, one for each leader, according to their fathers’ houses, twelve rods; and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7And Moses deposited the rods before the Lord in the tent of the testimony.
8 And on the morrow Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds, and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. 9Then Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord to all the people of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod. 10And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept as a sign for the rebels, that you may make an end of their murmurings against me, lest they die.” 11Thus did Moses; as the Lord commanded him, so he did.
12 And the people of Israel said to Moses, “Behold, we perish, we are undone, we are all undone. 13Every one who comes near, who comes near to the tabernacle of the Lord, shall die. Are we all to perish?”