1 The Israelites,I the wholeII congregation,III
cameIV into the wildernessV of ZinVI in the firstVII month,VIII
and the peopleIX stayedX in Kadesh.XI
MiriamXII diedXIII there and was buriedXIV there.
2 Now there wasXV no waterXVI for the congregation, so they gathered togetherXVII against MosesXVIII and against Aaron.XIX
3 The people quarreledXX with Moses and said, “Would thatXXI we had diedXXII
when our kindredXXIII diedXXIV beforeXXV the Lord!XXVI
4 Why have you broughtXXVII the assemblyXXVIII of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestockXXIX to dieXXX here?
5 Why have you brought us upXXXI out of EgyptXXXII to bringXXXIII us to this wretchedXXXIV place?XXXV
It is no place for grainXXXVI or figsXXXVII or vinesXXXVIII or pomegranates,XXXIX and there is no water to drink.”XL
6 Then Moses and Aaron went awayXLI fromXLII the assembly to the entranceXLIII of the tentXLIV of meeting;XLV
they fellXLVI on their faces,XLVII and the gloryXLVIII of the Lord appearedXLIX to them.
7 The Lord spokeL to Moses, saying, 8 “TakeLI the staff,LII and assembleLIII the congregation, you and your brotherLIV Aaron,
and commandLV the rockLVI before their eyesLVII to yieldLVIII its water. Thus you shall bringLIX water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drinkLX for the congregation and their livestock.”
9 So Moses took the staff from beforeLXI the Lord, as he had commandedLXII him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together beforeLXIII the rock, and he said to them, “Listen,LXIV, LXV you rebels;LXVI shall we bringLXVII water for you out of this rock?”
11 Then Moses liftedLXVIII up his handLXIX and struckLXX the rock twiceLXXI with his staff; water came outLXXII abundantly,LXXIII and the congregation and their livestock drank.
12 But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “BecauseLXXIV you did not trustLXXV in me, to show my holinessLXXVI before the eyes of the Israelites,
thereforeLXXVII you shall not bringLXXVIII this assembly into the landLXXIX that I have givenLXXX them.”
13 These are the waters of Meribah,LXXXI where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord and through which he showed himself to be holy.LXXXII
14 Moses sentLXXXIII messengersLXXXIV from Kadesh to the kingLXXXV of Edom,LXXXVI
“ThusLXXXVII says your brother Israel: You knowLXXXVIII allLXXXIX the adversityXC that has befallenXCI us,
15 how our ancestorsXCII went downXCIII to Egypt, and we livedXCIV in Egypt a longXCV time,XCVI and the EgyptiansXCVII oppressedXCVIII us and our ancestors,
16 and when we criedXCIX to the Lord, he heardC our voiceCI and sent an angelCII and broughtCIII us out of Egypt,
and hereCIV we are in Kadesh, a townCV on the edgeCVI of your territory.CVII
17 NowCVIII let us passCIX through your land. We will not pass through fieldCX or vineyardCXI or drink water from any well;CXII
we will go alongCXIII the King’s Highway,CXIV not turning asideCXV to the right handCXVI or to the leftCXVII until we have passed through your territory.”
18 But Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through, orCXVIII we will come outCXIX with the swordCXX againstCXXI you.”
19 The Israelites said to him, “We will stayCXXII on the highway,CXXIII and if we drink of your water, we and our livestock,CXXIV
then we will payCXXV forCXXVI it. It is onlyCXXVII
aCXXVIII small matter;CXXIX just let us pass through on foot.”CXXX
20 But he said, “You shall not pass through.” And Edom came outCXXXI againstCXXXII them with a largeCXXXIII force,CXXXIV
heavilyCXXXV armed.CXXXVI 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passageCXXXVII through their territory, so Israel turned awayCXXXVIII from them.
22 They set outCXXXIX from Kadesh, and the Israelites, the whole congregation, cameCXL to MountCXLI Hor.CXLII
23 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the borderCXLIII of the land of Edom, 24 “Let Aaron be gatheredCXLIV to his people. For he shall not enterCXLV the land that I have given to the Israelites, because you rebelled against my commandCXLVI at the waters of Meribah.
25 Take Aaron and his sonCXLVII Eleazar,CXLVIII and bring them upCXLIX Mount Hor;
26 stripCL Aaron of his vestments,CLI and put them onCLII his son Eleazar. But Aaron shall be gatheredCLIII to his people and shall dieCLIV there.”
27 Moses didCLV as the Lord had commanded;CLVI they went upCLVII Mount Hor in the sightCLVIII of the whole congregation. 28 Moses stripped Aaron of his vestments and put them on his son Eleazar, and Aaron diedCLIX there on the topCLX of the mountain. Moses and Eleazar came downCLXI from the mountain.
29 When all the congregation sawCLXII that Aaron had died,CLXIII all the houseCLXIV of Israel mournedCLXV for Aaron thirtyCLXVI days.CLXVII
Image credit: “Moses Striking Water in the Desert” in the interior of Saint Nicasius Church of Reims in Marnes, France by Maurice Denis, 1934.