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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Numbers 17

Chapter 17

Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod.

a rod

The word matteh signifies a staff, or sceptre, which the prince or chief of each tribe bore, and which was the sign of office or royalty among almost all the people of the earth.

all their princes

1:5-16 2:3-30 10:14-27

twelve rods

Genesis 49:10 Exodus 4:2,17 Psalms 110:2 125:3 Ezekiel 19:14 21:10,13 Ezekiel 37:16-20 Micah 7:14

And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.

3:2,3 18:1,7 Exodus 6:16,20

And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.

Exodus 25:16-22 29:42,43 30:6,36

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.

Whom I



8 Isaiah 5:24 11:1 27:6 35:1,2 Hosea 14:5

I will

10 Isaiah 13:11 Ezekiel 16:41 23:27

they murmur


And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.

a rod a-piece, for each prince one

Heb. a rod for one prince, a rod for one prince. See on ver.

And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.

18:2 Exodus 38:21 Acts 7:44

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.

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.


5 Genesis 40:10 Psalms 110:2 132:17,18 Song of Solomon 2:3 Isaiah 4:2 Ezekiel 17:24 Ezekiel 19:12,14 John 15:1-6

And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

Bring Aaron's

Hebrews 9:4

for a token

16:38,40 Exodus 16:32 Deuteronomy 31:19-26


Heb. children of rebellion.

1 Samuel 2:12 30:22 Psalms 57:4 Isaiah 1:2 Hosea 10:9 Ephesians 2:2,3 5:6

and thou

Verse 12

And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.


26:11 Psalms 90:7 Proverbs 19:3 Isaiah 57:16 Hebrews 12:5

we die

Gawanoo, "we expire:" it signifies not so much to die simply, as to feel an extreme difficulty in breathing, which producing suffocation, ends at last in death. See the folly and extravagance of this sinful people, in thus rebelling against the authority of those whom Jehovah had appointed to be their rulers.

Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?


1:51-53 18:4-7

any thing

Genesis 3:3 1 Samuel 6:19-21 2 Samuel 6:6-12 1 Chronicles 13:11-13 15:13 Psalms 130:3,4 Acts 5:5,11-14 Ephesians 2:13 Hebrews 10:19-22


16:26 32:13 Deuteronomy 2:16 Job 34:14,15 Psalms 90:7 Isaiah 28:22