Números 20

1 In the first month the whole congregation of Israel came into the Desert of Zin, and they stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there.

2 The congregation was without water. So they gathered to confront Moses and Aaron.

3 The people complained to Moses. They said: »If only we had died when the other Israelites died in Jehovah’s presence!

4 »Did you bring Jehovah’s assembly into this desert just to have us all die and our animals?

5 »Why did you make us leave Egypt and bring us into this terrible place? This is no place to plant crops. Even figs, grapes, and pomegranates will not grow here. And there is no water to drink!«

6 Moses and Aaron went from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting. They bowed with their faces touching the ground. The glory of Jehovah appeared to them.

7 Jehovah said to Moses:

8 »Take your staff and you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation. Right before their eyes, tell the rock to give up its water. In this way you will give the congregation water from the rock for them and their animals to drink.«

9 Moses took his staff out of the tent in Jehovah’s presence as he had been commanded.

10 Moses and Aaron assembled the congregation in front of the rock and said to them: »Listen, you rebels, must we bring water out of this rock for you?«

11 Moses raised his hand and hit the rock twice with the staff. Water came pouring out! All the people and their animals drank.

12 Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron: »You did not trust me! You did not show the Israelites how holy I am! So you will not bring this congregation into the land I am giving them.«

13 This was the oasis of Meribah Complaining, where the Israelites complained about Jehovah and where he showed them he was holy.

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom. He said: »This is what your brother Israel says: ‘You know all the hardships we have had.

15 »‘Our ancestors went to Egypt. We lived there for many years. The Egyptians mistreated our ancestors and us.

16 »‘We cried to Jehovah for help. He heard our cry and sent an angel, who led us out of Egypt. Now we are at Kadesh, a town at the border of your territory.

17 »‘Please permit us to pass through your land. We, including our cattle, will not leave the road or go into your fields or vineyards. We will not drink from your wells. We will stay on the main king’s road until we are out of your territory.’«

18 But the Edomites answered: »We refuse to let you pass through our country! If you try, we will march out and attack you.«

19 The people of Israel said: »We will stay on the main road. If we, or our animals, drink any of your water we will pay for it. All we want is to pass through.«

20 The Edomites repeated: »We refuse!« Then they marched out with a powerful army to attack the people of Israel.

21 The Edomites would not let the Israelites pass through their territory. So the Israelites turned and went another way.

22 The whole congregation of Israel left Kadesh and arrived at Mount Hor,

23 on the border of Edom. There Jehovah said to Moses and Aaron:

24 »Aaron is not going to enter the land I promised to give to Israel. He is going to die, because the two of you rebelled against my command at Meribah.

25 »Take Aaron and his son Eleazar to Mount Hor.

26 »Remove Aaron’s priestly robes and put them on Eleazar. Aaron is going to die there.«

27 Moses did what Jehovah commanded. They went up Mount Hor in the sight of the entire congregation.

28 Moses removed Aaron’s priestly robes and put them on Eleazar. There on the top of the mountain Aaron died, and Moses and Eleazar came back down.

29 The entire congregation learned that Aaron had died. They all mourned for him for thirty days.