1The Israelites, the whole community, arrived in the first month at the desert of Zin. The people settledat Kadesh. There Miriam died and was buried. 2There was no water for the community, so they banded together against Moses and Aaron. 3The people laid the blame on Moses. 'We would rather have died', they said, 'as our brothers diedbefore Yahweh! 4Why have you brought Yahweh's community into this desert, for us and our livestock to die here? 5Why did you lead us out of Egypt, only to bring us to this wretched place? It is a place unfit forsowing, it has no figs, no vines, no pomegranates, and there is not even water to drink!' 6Leaving the assembly, Moses and Aaron went to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. They threwthemselves on their faces, and the glory of Yahweh appeared to them. 7Yahweh then spoke to Moses and said, 8'Take the branch and call the community together, you and your brother Aaron. Then, in full view ofthem, order this rock to release its water. You wil release water from the rock for them and provide drink for thecommunity and their livestock.' 9Moses took up the branch from before Yahweh, as he had directed him. 10Moses and Aaron then cal ed the assembly together in front of the rock. He then said to them,'Listen now, you rebels. Shall we make water gush from this rock for you?' 11Moses then raised his hand and struck the rock twice with the branch; water gushed out inabundance, and the community and their livestock drank. 12Yahweh then said to Moses and Aaron, 'Because you did not believe that I could assert my holinessbefore the Israelites' eyes, you wil not lead this assembly into the country which I am giving them.' 13These were the Waters of Meribah, where the Israelites laid the blame on Yahweh and where, bytheir means, he asserted his holiness. 14Moses sent messengers from Kadesh: 'To the king of Edom. Your brother Israel says this: You areaware of the great hardships we have encountered. 15Our ancestors went down to Egypt and there we stayed for a long time. But the Egyptians treated usbadly, as they had our ancestors. 16When we appealed to Yahweh, he heard our cry and, sending an angel, brought us out of Egypt,and here we are, now, at Kadesh, a town on the borders of your territory. 17We ask permission to pass through your country. We shall not go through the fields or vineyards; weshall not drink the water from the wel s; we shal keep to the king's highway without turning to right or left until wehave passed through your territory.' 18To which, Edom replied, 'You wil not pass through my country; if you do, I shal oppose you by forceof arms.' 19To which the Israelites replied, 'We shal keep to the high road; if I and my flocks drink any of yourwater, I am wil ing to pay for it. Al I am asking is to pass through on foot.' 20Edom replied: 'You shal not pass,' and Edom opposed them in great numbers and great force. 21At Edom's refusal to grant Israel passage through his territory, Israel turned away. 22They set out from Kadesh, and the Israelites, the whole community, came to Mount Hor. 23Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the frontier of Edom, and said, 24'Aaron is to be gathered to his people; he will not enter the country which I have given to theIsraelites, since you both disobeyed my order at the Waters of Meribah. 25Take Aaron and his son Eleazar and bring them up Mount Hor. 26Then take Aaron's robes off him and dress his son Eleazar in them. Aaron wil then be gathered tohis people; that is where he will die.' 27Moses did as Yahweh ordered. With the whole community watching, they went up Mount Hor. 28Moses took Aaron's robes off him and dressed his son Eleazar in them, and there Aaron died, onthe mountain-top. Moses and Eleazar then came back down the mountain. 29The whole community saw that Aaron had died, and for thirty days the whole House of Israelmourned for Aaron.
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