17:1 The Lord spoke to Moses: 17:2 “Speak to the Israelites, and receive from them a staff from each tribe, one from every tribal leader, twelve staffs; you must write each man’s name on his staff. 17:3 You must write Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi; for one staff is for the head of every tribe. 17:4 You must place them in the tent of meeting before the ark of the covenant where I meet with you. 17:5 And the staff of the man whom I choose will blossom; so I will rid myself of the complaints of the Israelites, which they murmur against you.”
17:6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a staff, one for each leader, according to their tribes – twelve staffs; the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 17:7 Then Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the testimony.
17:8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony – and the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! 17:9 So Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each man took his staff.
17:10 The Lord said to Moses, “Bring Aaron’s staff back before the testimony to be preserved for a sign to the rebels, so that you may bring their murmurings to an end before me, that they will not die.” 17:11 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him – this is what he did.
17:12 The Israelites said to Moses, “We are bound to die! We perish, we all perish! 17:13 (17:28) Anyone who even comes close to the tabernacle of the Lord will die! Are we all to die?”