Numbers 19 & 20 – Reading Note

  • Foreigners were included in Israelite practices as we have seen in the previous chapters (19: 10).
  • The people complained again when they had no water just like they had been doing (20: 2- 5).
  • God instructed Moses and Aaron to perform a miracle to produce water in front of the people (20: 7, 8).
  • God said to take the staff. What staff (20: 7, 8)? The commentaries I have read say it was not the staff of Aaron that had blossomed, but the staff with which Moses had performed miracles in Egypt
  • Moses and Aaron did something wrong and God said they would not enter the land of Canaan (20: 9 – 12). Once again, I consulted several commentaries and they say Moses did several things wrong.
    1. He struck the rock rather than speak to it as God commanded seemingly because he did not think that speaking to it would be enough and he did it twice apparently because he was angry
    2. He spoke angrily to the people “Hear now, you rebels”.
    3. He suggested in his speech that he was the one bringing water from the rock rather than God, “Must we bring you water out of this rock?”, which of course does not honor God.

I think those are speculative, but they might be pretty good guesses.

  • Moses said that God sent and angel and rescued them from Egypt (20:16).
  • The Edomites would not let the Israelites pass through their territory, for unstated reasons (20:18, 20). Israel did not attack them, but went their own way.
  • I wonder whether Moses asked God for directions about such things.
  • When God said it was time for Aaron to die, because of what he and Moses had done at Meribah, there are no recorded protests from either of them, no pleas, nothing. They just did as they were instructed (20: 23 – 27).
  • Aaron died on Mount Hor, but it is not said what killed him (20: 27 – 29).

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I’m Tracy

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