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Nu 17:1-13. AARON'S ROD FLOURISHES.
2-5. Speak unto the children of Israel--The controversy with Moses and
Aaron about the priesthood was of such a nature and magnitude as
required a decisive and authoritative settlement. For the removal of
all doubts and the silencing of all murmuring in the future regarding
the holder of the office, a miracle was wrought of a remarkable
character and permanent duration; and in the manner of performing it,
all the people were made to have a direct and special interest.
6. the rod of Aaron was among their rods--either one of the twelve, or, as many suppose, a thirteenth in the midst (Heb 9:4). The rods were of dry sticks or wands, probably old, as transmitted from one head of the family to a succeeding.
8. Moses went into the tabernacle--being privileged to do so on this occasion by the special command of God. And he there beheld the remarkable spectacle of Aaron's rod--which, according to JOSEPHUS, was a stick of an almond tree, bearing fruit in three different stages at once--buds, blossoms, and fruit.
10. Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels--For if, after all admonitions and judgments, seconded by miracles, the people should still rebel, they would certainly pay the penalty by death.
12, 13. Behold, we die, we perish--an exclamation of fear, both from the remembrance of former judgments, and the apprehension of future relapses into murmuring.
13. cometh any thing near--that is, nearer than he ought to do; an error into which many may fall. Will the stern justice of God overtake every slight offense? We shall all be destroyed. Some, however, regard this exclamation as the symptom or a new discontent, rather than the indication of a reverential and submissive spirit. Let us fear and sin not.