13 walking sticks
- 1 The LORD told Moses,
- 2 “Tell the Israelite people that you want one walking stick from every tribe. That’s 12 walking sticks—one from each of the 12 tribes. Write the name of each tribe’s current leader on that tribe’s stick.
- 3 Add another walking stick for Levi’s tribe. Write Aaron’s name on it. There needs to be one walking stick from the head of every tribe.
- 4 Put them in the Most Sacred Room1 in the tent worship center. Place them in front of the Box of the Law,2 where I come to talk with you.
- 5 I will choose one man whose stick will blossom and grow leaves. I’ll use this sign to convince the people to stop constantly criticizing you.”
- 6 Moses delivered the message. Leaders from all 12 tribes gave him their walking sticks. Moses added Aaron's walking stick to the other 12.
- 7 Moses left the walking sticks with the LORD, in the tent worship center.
Almonds from a dead walking stick
- 8 The next day, Moses went into the tent worship center and discovered that Aaron's walking stick, which represented the tribe of Levi, had sprouted and produced buds. Some buds had even produced almonds.
- 9 Moses picked up all 13 walking sticks and carried them outside for the Israelites to see. Each tribal leader took back his own walking stick.
- 10 But the Lord told Moses, “I want you to keep Aaron’s walking stick in front of the Box of the Law. I want it there as a permanent warning to rebellious people, to remind them to stop grumbling so I can stop killing them.
- 11 Moses did what the LORD told him to do.
Less than optimistic
- 12 But the Israelites told Moses, “We’re not going to make it. We’re going to die here. We’re good as dead already.
- 13 If we walk too close to the LORD’s worship center, we’ll drop dead. We’re going to die here.”
This is the holiest place on earth to Israelite ancestors of the Jewish people. It’s where they kept the gold-plated box that held the two stones containing the Ten Commandments. The box is best known as the Ark of the Covenant. A curtain separated this room from the main room in the tent worship center sometimes known as the Tabernacle and sometimes as the Meeting Tent. The Sacred Room was the main sanctuary inside the tent worship center. Aaron’s sons were allowed to go in this room. But the Most Sacred Room was off limits to everyone but Aaron and Moses. That’s where God met with Moses to give him instructions.
Better known as the Ark of the Covenant, a sacred chest that held the Ten Commandments.