The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Book of Numbers
Then the Lord said to Moses,
Bid the Israelites bring thee twelve rods, to represent the twelve tribes, each with the name of the tribe’s chieftain written on it;
and Levi, too, must have a rod, a single rod representing all its families, with Aaron’s name written on it.
These thou wilt lay up in the tabernacle, before the ark, my appointed trysting-place with thee.
On one of these names my choice shall fall, and the rod which bears that name will sprout. So I will put an end to these complaints with which the men of Israel assail you.
Moses handed on this message to the Israelites, and the chieftain of each tribe brought him a rod, twelve rods in all, not counting Aaron’s,
all of which he laid up in the Lord’s presence, in the tabernacle.
And when he went back next day he found that the rod of Aaron, representing the tribe of Levi, had sprouted; buds had formed on it and burst into flower, and these flowers, as their petals drooped, turned into almonds.
So Moses carried all the rods away from the Lord’s presence and shewed them to all the people, and each of the chieftains had his rod returned to him;
but Aaron’s rod, the Lord told Moses, was to be taken back into the tabernacle, to be kept there in memory of the rebellious Israelites; there must be no more complaining, no more death-penalties.
Moses did as the Lord had bidden him;
and now the Israelites said to Moses, We have dwindled away; we are dead men, all of us.
None comes near the Lord’s tabernacle, but he dies for it. Surely he will not go on destroying us, till our race is utterly extinguished?
The Holy Bible