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Numbers 17:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and put forth buds, and produced blossoms, and bare ripe almonds.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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 had budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And it came to pass, when on the morrow Moses went into the tent of the testimony, behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and ripened almonds.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And it came to pass, on the morrow, that Moses entered into the tent of the testimony; and lo! the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi, had budded,—yea it had brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and borne ripe almonds.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And it cometh to pass, on the morrow, that Moses goeth in unto the tent of the testimony, and lo, the rod of Aaron hath flourished for the house of Levi, and is bringing out flourishing, and doth blossom blossoms, and doth produce almonds;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— He returned on the following day, and found that the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi, was budded: and that the buds swelling it hid bloomed blossoms, which spreading the leaves, were formed into almonds.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And it came to passe that on the morrow Moses went into the Tabernacle of Witnesse, and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Leui was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossomes, and yeelded almonds.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And it came to pass on the morrow, that Mosheh{gr.Moses} and Aaron went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi blossomed, and put forth a bud, and bloomed blossoms and produced almonds.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And it came to pass, that on the morrow Mosheh went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aharon for the house of Lewi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And it came to pass, x1961
(1961) Complement
A primitive root (compare H1933); to exist, that is, be or become, come to pass (always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
that on the morrow 4283
{4283} Prime
Feminine from the same as H4279; the morrow or (adverbially) tomorrow.
(4480) Complement
For H4482; properly a part of; hence (prepositionally), from or out of in many senses.
M מֹשֶׁה 4872
{4872} Prime
From H4871; drawing out (of the water), that is, rescued; Mosheh, the Israelitish lawgiver.
went 935
{0935} Prime
A primitive root; to go or come (in a wide variety of applications).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
into x413
(0413) Complement
(Used only in the shortened constructive form (the second form)); a primitive particle, properly denoting motion towards, but occasionally used of a quiescent position, that is, near, with or among; often in general, to.
the tabernacle 168
{0168} Prime
From H0166; a tent (as clearly conspicuous from a distance).
of witness; 5715
{5715} Prime
Feminine of H5707; testimony.
and, behold, x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
the rod 4294
{4294} Prime
From H5186; a branch (as extending); figuratively a tribe; also a rod, whether for chastising (figuratively correction), ruling (a sceptre), throwing (a lance), or walking (a staff; figuratively a support of life, for example bread).
of Ahrn אַהֲרֹן 175
{0175} Prime
Of uncertain derivation; Aharon, the brother of Moses.
for the house 1004
{1004} Prime
Probably from H1129 abbreviated; a house (in the greatest variation of applications, especially family, etc.).
of Lw לֵוִי 3878
{3878} Prime
From H3867; attached; Levi, a son of Jacob.
was budded, 6524
{6524} Prime
A primitive root; to break forth as a bud, that is, bloom; generally to spread; specifically to fly (as extending the wings); figuratively to flourish.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
and brought forth 3318
{3318} Prime
A primitive root; to go (causatively bring) out, in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, direct and proximate.
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
buds, 6525
{6525} Prime
From H6524; calyx (natural or artificial); generally bloom.
and bloomed 6692
{6692} Prime
A primitive root; to twinkle, that is, glance; by analogy to blossom (figuratively flourish).
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
blossoms, 6731
{6731} Prime
From H6692; properly glistening, that is, a burnished plate; also a flower (as bright colored); a wing (as gleaming in the air).
and yielded 1580
{1580} Prime
A primitive root; to treat a person (well or ill), that is, benefit or requite; by implication (of toil) to ripen, that is, (specifically) to wean.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
almonds. 8247
{8247} Prime
From H8245; the almond (tree or nut; as being the earliest in bloom).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Numbers 17:8

_ _ 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.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Numbers 17:8-13

_ _ Here is, I. The final determination of the controversy concerning the priesthood by a miracle, Numbers 17:8, Numbers 17:9. The rods or staves were brought out from the most holy place where they were laid up, and publicly produced before the people; and, while all the rest of the rods remained as they were, Aaron's rod only, of a dry stick, became a living branch, budded, and blossomed, and yielded almonds. In some places there were buds, in others blossoms, in others fruit, at the same time. This was miraculous, and took away all suspicion of a fraud, as if in the night Moses had taken away Aaron's rod, and put a living branch of an almond tree in the room of it; for no ordinary branch would have buds, blossoms, and fruits upon it, all at once. Now,

_ _ 1. This was a plain indication to the people that Aaron was chosen to the priesthood, and not any other of the princes of the tribes. Thus he was distinguished from them and manifested to be under the special blessing of heaven, which sometimes yields increase where there is neither planting nor watering by the hand of man. Bishop Hall here observes that fruitfulness is the best evidence of a divine call, and that the plants of God's setting, and the boughs cut off from them, will flourish. See Psalms 92:12-14. The trees of the Lord, though they seem dry trees, are full of sap.

_ _ 2. It was a very proper sign to represent the priesthood itself, which was hereby confirmed to Aaron. (1.) That it should be fruitful and serviceable to the church of God. It produced not only blossoms, but almonds; for the priesthood was designed, not only for an honour to Aaron, but for a blessing to Israel. Thus Christ ordained his apostles and ministers that they should go and bring forth fruit, and that their fruit should remain, John 15:16. (2.) That there should be a succession of priests. Here were not only almonds for the present, but buds and blossoms promising more hereafter. Thus has Christ provided in his church that a seed should serve him from generation to generation. (3.) That yet this priesthood should not be perpetual, but in process of time, like the branches and blossoms of a tree, should fail and wither. The flourishing of the almond-tree is mentioned as one of the signs of old age, Ecclesiastes 12:5. This character was betimes put upon the Mosaic priesthood, which soon became old and ready to vanish away, Hebrews 8:13.

_ _ 3. It was a type and figure of Christ and his priesthood: for he is the man, the branch, that is to be a priest upon his throne, as it follows (Zechariah 6:12); and he was to grow up before God, as this before the ark, like a tender plant, and a root out of a dry ground, Isaiah 53:2.

_ _ II. The record of this determination, by the preserving of the rod before the testimony, in perpetuam rei memoriamthat it might be had in perpetual remembrance, Numbers 17:10, Numbers 17:11. It is probable that the buds, and blossoms, and fruit, continued fresh; the same divine power that produced them in a night preserved them for ages, at least so long as it was necessary for a token against the rebels. So it was a standing miracle, and the continuance of it was an undeniable proof of the truth of it. Even the leaf of God's trees shall not wither, Psalms 1:3. This rod was preserved, as the censers were, to take away their murmurings, that they die not. Note, 1. The design of God in all his providences, both mercies and judgments, and in the memorials of them, is to take away sin, and to prevent it. These things are done, these things written, that we sin not, 1 John 2:1. Christ was manifested to take away sin. 2. What God does for the taking away of sin is done in real kindness to us, that we die not. All the bitter potions he gives, and all the sharp methods he uses with us, are for the cure of a disease which otherwise would certainly be fatal. Bishop Hall observes here that the tables of the law, the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod, were preserved together in or about the ark (the apostle takes notice of them all three together, Hebrews 9:4), to show to after-ages how the ancient church was taught, and fed, and ruled; and he infers how precious the doctrine, sacraments, and government, of the church are to God and should be to us. The rod of Moses was used in working many miracles, yet we do not find that this was preserved, for the keeping of it would serve only to gratify men's curiosity; but the rod of Aaron, which carried its miracle along with it, was carefully preserved, because that would be of standing use to convince men's consciences, to silence all disputes about the priesthood, and to confirm the faith of God's Israel in his institutions. Such is the difference between the sacraments which Christ has appointed for edification and the relics which men have devised for superstition.

_ _ III. The outcry of the people hereupon (Numbers 17:12, Numbers 17:13): Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish. Shall we be consumed with dying? This may be considered as the language either, 1. Of a repining people quarrelling with the judgments of God, which, by their own pride and obstinacy, they had brought upon themselves. They seem to speak despairingly, as if God was a hard Master, that sought advantage against them, and took all occasions to pick quarrels with them, so that if they trod every so little awry, if they stepped ever so little beyond their bounds, they must die, they must perish, they must all perish, basely insinuating that God would never be satisfied with their blood and ruin, till he had made an end of them all and they were consumed with dying. Thus they seem to be like a wild bull in a net, full of the fury of the Lord (Isaiah 51:20), fretting that God was too hard for them and that they were forced to submit, which they did only because they could not help it. Note, It is a very wicked thing to fret against God when we are in affliction, and in our distress thus to trespass yet more. If we die, if we perish, it is owing to ourselves, and the blame will lie upon our own heads. Or, 2. Of a repenting people. Many interpreters take it as expressing their submission: “Now we see that it is the will of God we should keep our distance, and that it is at our peril if we draw nearer than is appointed. We submit to the divine will in this appointment; we will not contend any more, lest we all perish:” and they engage Moses to intercede for them, that they may not be all consumed with dying. Thus the point was gained, and in this matter God quite took away their murmurings, and henceforward they acquiesced. Note, When God judges he will overcome, and, one way or other, will oblige the most obstinate gainsayers to confess their folly sooner or later, and that wherein they dealt proudly he was above them. Vicisti GalilaeeO Galilaean, thou hast conquered!

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Numbers 17:8

Into the tabernacle — Into the most holy place, which he might safely do under the protection of God's command, though otherwise none but the high — priest might enter there, and that once in a year.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Numbers 17:8

And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron (d) for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.

(d) To declare that God chose the house of Levi to serve him in the tabernacle.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
the rod of Aaron:
This fact was so unquestionably miraculous, that no doubt could remain on the minds of the people, or the envious chiefs, of the divine appointment of Aaron, and as there were buds, blossoms, and fruit on the rod at the same time, which was never the case with branches in the natural and ordinary course, this evidently proved the miracle, and took away all suspicion of the fraud which has been impiously suggested, that Moses had taken away Aaron's rod in the night time, and put a living branch of an almond tree in the room of it. A sceptre or staff of office resuming its vegetative life, was considered an absolute impossibility among the ancients; and as they were accustomed to swear by their sceptres, this circumstance was added to confirm the oath.


Numbers 17:5 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.
Genesis 40:10 And in the vine [were] three branches: and it [was] as though it budded, [and] her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
Psalms 110:2 The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.
Psalms 132:17-18 There will I make the horn of David to bud: I have ordained a lamp for mine anointed. ... His enemies will I clothe with shame: but upon himself shall his crown flourish.
Song of Songs 2:3 As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so [is] my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit [was] sweet to my taste.
Isaiah 4:2 In that day shall the branch of the LORD be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth [shall be] excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.
Ezekiel 17:24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done [it].
Ezekiel 19:12 But she was plucked up in fury, she was cast down to the ground, and the east wind dried up her fruit: her strong rods were broken and withered; the fire consumed them.
Ezekiel 19:14 And fire is gone out of a rod of her branches, [which] hath devoured her fruit, so that she hath no strong rod [to be] a sceptre to rule. This [is] a lamentation, and shall be for a lamentation.
John 15:1-6 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. ... If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.
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Gn 40:10. Nu 17:5. Ps 110:2; 132:17. So 2:3. Is 4:2. Ezk 17:24; 19:12, 14. Jn 15:1.

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