Contemporary English Version
Aaron’s Walking Stick Blooms and Produces Almonds
17 The Lord told Moses:
2-3 Call together the twelve tribes of Israel and tell the leader of each tribe to write his name on the walking stick he carries as a symbol of his authority. Make sure Aaron’s name is written on the one from the Levi tribe, then collect all the sticks.
4 Place these sticks in the tent right in front of the sacred chest where I appear to you. 5 I will then choose a man to be my priest, and his stick will sprout. After that happens, I won’t have to listen to any more complaints about you.
6 Moses told the people what the Lord had commanded, and they gave him the walking sticks from the twelve tribal leaders, including Aaron’s from the Levi tribe. 7 Moses took them and placed them in the Lord’s sacred tent.
8 The next day when Moses went into the tent, flowers and almonds were already growing on Aaron’s stick. 9 Moses brought the twelve sticks out of the tent and showed them to the people. Each of the leaders found his own and took it.
10 But the Lord told Moses, “Put Aaron’s stick back! Let it stay near the sacred chest as a warning to anyone who might think about rebelling. If these people don’t stop their grumbling about me, I will wipe them out.” 11 Moses did what he was told.
12 The Israelites cried out to Moses, “We’re done for 13 and doomed if we even get near the sacred tent!”