Numbers 20

Complaint of the people for lack of water 1
Moses' disobedience 7
Moses  would not lead his people into the promised land 12
Edomites denied Israelites passage through their territory 14
Aaron's death 22
.1 ¶ Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.
 2  And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.
 3  And the people chode [contended, NKJV] with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD!
.4  And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?
  1 - Desert of Zin That is, the border of Edom.
  1 - First month That was Abib, later Nisan. The grass was still green from the winter. See on jn0610. They were approaching the end of their 40-year sentence of wandering in the wilderness. nu2714, nu3338.
  1 - Miriam died Probably at age 132 ex0204,7. Aaron would die soon at 123. nu3336. Moses died at 120 de3407.
  2 - No water From the time of the miracle at Horeb ex1701 they had had water. That was around 40 years earlier. Were the people ready to pray for water or to ask Moses and Aaron to pray?
  3 - People [contended] Sadly, they chose not to accept the lesson or the previous rebellion ex1702. "Chode" implies what we would call a noisy demonstration.
 5  And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.
 6  And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.
  6 - Glory No doubt visible to everyone. See nu1410, nu1619, nu1642.
.7  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
 8  Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.
 9  And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.
.10  And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?
 11  And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.
   8 - Take rod ... speak Earlier he was to strike the rock ex1706. The Messiah needed to be wounded for our sins only once he0928. Striking the rock again would misrepresent the plan of salvation. See the Note below. The topic surfaces in the symbols of the 144,000 1402a-mo.
.12  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
 13  This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.

.14 ¶ And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:
 15  How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:
.16  And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border:
 17  Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's high way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders.
 18  And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.
 19  And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing any thing else, go through on my feet.
 20  And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.
 21  Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.

   14 - Edom Also je4916, ob, ps13707, ps10809f.
   14 - Thy brother Israel Edom was the land of the descendants of Esau. Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, was his brother.
   16 - Angel This was Christ ex1419.
   18 - Thou shalt not pass God could have overruled but the rebellion of people and leaders had placed Him at a distance. The conflict continues between the descendants of the two brothers today.
  18 - With the sword They may have feared losing their land ge2740 but a more significant motive may have been national hatred.
  21 - Israel turned This was God's plan although they were to buy provisions de0205.

The picture is from an 1830s lithograph of the "treasury" at Petra, a city in the area occupied by the ancient Edomites although the sculpture above was built much later. Petra, capital of the Nabataean nation, fell to Roman Emperor Trajan in 106 A.D. It had controlled the trade route between India and China. An Edomite village dating from 600 to 700 B.C. has been found in the area on Mount Umm Al Biyara.
.22 ¶ And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor.
 23  And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying,
 24  Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.
.25  Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor:
 26  And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.
 27  And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.
 28  And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.
 29  And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.
  22 - Mount Hor Scholars are unsure of what mountain this is. The popular site with a mosque would not have been the place of Aaron's death because, according to v23 and nu3337, it was outside the borders of Edom.
  24 - Gathered As were Abraham and others ge2508, ge2517, ge3529, ge4933, nu2713, nu3102.

Opportunities lost by rebellion over the water

    1. To show patience (speaking while rod was in hand).
    2. To give God glory (as the true provider even though they could take credit).
    3. To show that Christ was struck only once.
    4. To show that God, not Moses, had brought the people out v.4.
    5. To stand with Joshua and Caleb as the faithful ones among those who rebelled earlier.
    6. To show that the flow of water was a miracle, not simply finding a spring.

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