The Bible Slam: Numbers Chapter 20

Moses and Aaron's sister Miriam dies in this chapter.

Despite thousands of people getting killed by God for questioning in Numbers 16 and despite and Aaron's magic trick in Number 17 to prove that no one is  allowed to complain, the people are complaining again.  In this chapter, they are upset because there is no water.  Moses strikes a rock and water comes out.

The people of Israel continue their travels and are denied passage through Edom.

Apparently because of the "water rebellion," God decrees that Aaron is to die.  The chapter concludes with Aaron dying after Moses strips him of all of his priestly garments and gives them to Eleazar, Aaron's son.

(First time visitors – see the quick tips and navigation section below re: swear words and other information).

Discussion Points.

As pointed out in the King James translation provided by Skeptics Annotated, the bible gives conflicting stories about Aaron's death.

Numbers 20 is confusing.

20:6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.

20:7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

20:8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.

20:9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.

20:10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?

20:11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.

20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

20:24 Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.

The way this is written, it appears that God is very angry because Moses struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it.

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