Old Testament

Numbers 20
The Death of Miriam
201The people of Israel, the entire community, came to the Wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.
Water From the Rock
2There was no water for the community, so they assembled together against Moses and Aaron. 3The people quarreled with Moses and said, “If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! 4Why have you brought the Lord's assembly into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5Why have you taken us up out of Egypt to bring us into this horrible place? This place does not have grain, figs, vines, or pomegranates. There is no water to drink!”
6Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. They fell facedown. The Glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7The Lord spoke to Moses: 8“Take the staff and assemble the community. You and Aaron, your brother, speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will pour out its water. You will bring water for them from the rock and provide water for the community and their livestock.”
9Moses took the staff from the Lord's presence just as the Lord commanded him. 10Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen now, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff two times, and a great amount of water gushed out. The congregation and their livestock drank.
12Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust me enough to honor me as holy in the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you will not bring this assembly into this land which I have given to them.”
13These are the waters of Meribah,[] because the Israelites quarreled with the Lord there, and he showed himself to be holy through them.
Edom Denies Israel Passage
14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom to say, “This is what your brother Israel says: You know all the hardship that has come upon us. 15Our ancestors went down to Egypt, and we lived in Egypt for a long time. The Egyptians mistreated us and our ancestors. 16When we cried to the Lord, he heard our voice, sent an angel, and brought us out of Egypt. So look, here we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your territory. 17Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through any field or vineyard. We will not drink water from any well. We will go on the King's Highway. We will not turn to the right or to the left until we have passed through your territory.”
18Edom said to him, “You must not pass through our territory, or we will go out to meet you with the sword.”
19The Israelites said to them, “We will go up on the main road. If we drink your water, we and our herds of livestock, then we will pay for it. Just let us pass through on foot, nothing else.”
20Edom said, “You will not pass through.” Edom went out to meet them with a large force of many people. 21Edom refused to give Israel passage through their territory, so Israel turned away from them.
The Death of Aaron
22The entire community of the Israelites set out from Kadesh and came to Mount Hor. 23The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor along the border of Edom's territory. He said, 24“Aaron will be gathered to his people, because he cannot enter into the land which I have given to the Israelites, because you rebelled against my command at the waters of Meribah. 25Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and bring them up to the top of Mount Hor. 26Remove Aaron's garments and put them on Eleazar his son. Aaron will be gathered to his fathers and die there.”
27Moses did just as the Lord commanded. They went up to the top of Mount Hor in the sight of the entire community. 28Moses removed Aaron's garments and put them on Eleazar his son. Aaron died there on the top of the mountain, and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29When the entire community saw that Aaron had passed away, the entire house of Israel wept for Aaron for thirty days.


  • 20:13 Meribah means quarreling.