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Free Bible Version - Numbers

Numbers 20

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1It was during the first month of the year that all the Israelites arrived in the Desert of Zin and set up camp in Kadesh. (This was where Miriam died and was buried.)
2However, there was no water there for anyone to drink, so the people gathered to confront Moses and Aaron.
3They argued with Moses, saying, “If only we'd died with our relatives in the Lord's presence!
4Why have you brought the Lord's people into this desert just so we and our livestock can die here?
5Why did you lead us out of Egypt to come to this awful place? Nothing grows here—no grain or figs or vines or pomegranates. And there's no water to drink!”
6Moses and Aaron left the people and went to entrance of the Tent of Meeting. There they fell facedown on the ground, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them.
7The Lord told Moses,
8“Take the walking stick and have the people gather around you. As they watch, you and your brother Aaron will order the rock and it will pour out water. You will bring water from the rock so the people and their livestock can drink.”
9Moses picked up the walking stick that was kept in the Lord's presence, as he had been ordered.
10Moses and Aaron had everyone gather in front of the rock. Moses said to them, “Listen, you bunch of rebels! Do we have to bring water out of this rock for you?”
11Then Moses picked up the walking stick and hit the rock twice. Streams of water gushed out so that the people and their livestock could drink.
12But the Lord told Moses and Aaron, “Because you didn't trust me enough to demonstrate how holy I am to the Israelites, you will not be the ones to lead them into the country I've given them.”
13The place where the Israelites argued with the Lord was called the waters of Meribah, and was where he revealed his holiness to them.
14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, telling him, “This is what your brother Israel says. You know all about the difficulties we've faced.
15Our forefathers went to Egypt and we lived there for a long time. The Egyptians treated us and our forefathers badly,
16so we called out to the Lord for help, and he heard our cries. He sent an angel and led us out of Egypt. Listen, now we are in Kadesh, a town on the border of your territory.
17Please allow us to travel through your country. We won't cross any of your fields or vineyards, or drink water from any of your wells. We will stay on the King's Highway; we won't turn off either to the right or to the left until we have passed through your country.”
18But the king of Edom replied, “You are forbidden to travel through our country, otherwise we will come out and stop you by force.”

19“We'll keep to the main road,” the Israelites persisted. “If we or our livestock drink your water, we'll pay you for it. That's all we want—just to pass through on foot.”
20But the king of Edom insisted, “You are forbidden to travel through our country!” He came out with his large and powerful army to meet the Israelites head-on.
21Since the king of Edom refused to allow Israel to travel through his territory, the Israelites had to turn back.
22The Israelites all left Kadesh and traveled to Mount Hor.
23At Mount Hor, near the border with the country of Edom, the Lord told Moses and Aaron,
24“Aaron will shortly join his forefathers in death. He will not enter the country I have given the Israelites, because you both disobeyed my command at the waters of Meribah.
25Have Aaron and his son Eleazar join you and climb up Mount Hor together.
26Take off Aaron's priestly clothes and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron is going to die there and join his forefathers in death.”
27Moses did as the Lord ordered: They climbed up Mount Hor in full view of all the Israelites.
28Moses removed the priestly clothes that Aaron was wearing and put them on Aaron's son Eleazar. Aaron died there, on the top of the mountain. Then Moses and Eleazar went back down.
29When the people realized that Aaron had died, they all mourned for him for thirty days.