17:8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony – and 1 the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! 2
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 3 before me, that they will not die.” 4
1 tn Here too the deictic particle (“and behold”) is added to draw attention to the sight in a vivid way.
2 sn There is no clear answer why the tribe of Levi had used an almond staff. The almond tree is one of the first to bud in the spring, and its white blossoms are a beautiful sign that winter is over. Its name became a name for “watcher”; Jeremiah plays on this name for God’s watching over his people (1:11-12).
3 tn The verb means “to finish; to complete” and here “to bring to an end.” It is the imperfect following the imperative, and so introduces a purpose clause (as a final imperfect).
4 tn This is another final imperfect in a purpose clause.