1The Lord told Moses,
2“Tell the Israelites to bring twelve walking sticks, one from the leader of each tribe. Write the name of each man on the walking stick,
3and write Aaron's name on the walking stick of the tribe of Levi, because there has to be a walking stick for the head of each tribe.
4Place the walking sticks in the Tent of Meeting in front of the Testimony where I meet with you.
5The walking stick that belongs to the man I choose will sprout buds, and I will put a stop to the Israelites' constant complaints against you.”
6Moses explained this to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a walking stick, one for each of the leaders of their tribes. So there were twelve walking sticks including the one belonging to Aaron.
7Moses placed the walking sticks before the Lord in the Tent of the Testimony.
8The next day Moses went into the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron's walking stick that represented the tribe of Levi, had sprouted and developed buds, flowered and produced almonds.
9Moses took all the walking sticks from the presence of the Lord and showed them to all the Israelites. They saw them, and each man collected his own walking stick.
10The Lord told Moses, “Put Aaron's walking stick back in front of the Testimony, to be kept there as a reminder to warn anyone who wants to rebel, so that you may stop their complaining against me. Otherwise they'll die.”
11Moses did what the Lord ordered him to do.
12Then the Israelites came and told Moses, “Can't you see we're all going to die? We'll be destroyed! We're all going to be killed!
13Anyone who dares to approach the Tabernacle of the Lord will die. Are we all going to be completely wiped out?”