And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod.
3 And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.
4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
5 And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.
7 And Moses laid up the rods before the Lord in the tabernacle of witness.
8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the Lord unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.
10 And the Lord said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.
11 And Moses did so: as the Lord commanded him, so did he.
12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.
13 Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the Lord shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?
Public Domain KJV text from Wordproject.org
God mercifully gave Israel another evidence of his will, to correct their perverted judgment. They were still convinced that Moses and Aaron had “killed the people of the Lord.”
God commanded that each tribe take a rod, and write on it the name of the house of their fathers. The rods were then left in the presence of the Lord. That night God worked a miracle which was sufficient to silence the complaints of the Israelites. All the remarkable changes in the rod were to convince them that God had positively distinguished between Aaron and the rest of the children of Israel. After this miracle of divine power, the authority of the priesthood was no longer called in question.
It is always difficult to undeceive those who have permitted themselves to be led into rebellion. It was also difficult to convince the rebellious Israelites that they were wrong, and Moses and Aaron were right, even after the earth swallowed up Korah and his company.
E.G. White mentions this incident, stating that the story of Korah’s rebellion is “recorded for a warning to God’s people, especially those who live upon the earth near the close of time." (Spiritual Gifts, Vol 4A, pp. 35-38).
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