Bamidbar (Numbers): Chukat > Ch 20

Children of Israel arrive to the desert of Zin. Miriam dies there.

  • The entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at the desert of Zin in the first month, and the people settled in Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.

Israelites complain against Moses & Aaron because there is no water

  • The congregation had no water; so they assembled against Moses and Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses, and they said, "If only we had died with the death of our brothers before the Lord. Why have you brought the congregation of the Lord to this desert so that we and our livestock should die there? Why have you taken us out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place; it is not a place for seeds, or for fig trees, grapevines, or pomegranate trees, and there is no water to drink.

G-d tells Moses to speak to a rock and the rock would give water

  • Moses and Aaron moved away from the assembly to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and they fell on their faces. [Then] the glory of the Lord appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: "Take the staff and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and speak to the rock in their presence so that it will give forth its water. You shall bring forth water for them from the rock and give the congregation and their livestock to drink."

Moses strikes the rock TWICE and the rock gives water. Moses & Aaron did not have faith in G-d. They are punished by G-d and will not enter the Promised Land

  • Moses took the staff from before the Lord as He had commanded him. Moses and Aaron assembled the congregation in front of the rock, and he said to them, "Now listen, you rebels, can we draw water for you from this rock?" Moses raised his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, when an abundance of water gushed forth, and the congregation and their livestock drank.
  • The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "Since you did not have faith in Me to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly to the Land which I have given them. These are the waters of dispute [Mei Meribah] where the children of Israel contended with the Lord, and He was sanctified through them.

Moses asks the king of Edom to allow Israelites to pass through his land. King of Edom denies the request

  • Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom: "So says your brother, Israel, 'You know of all the hardship that has befallen us. Our fathers went down to Egypt, and we sojourned in Egypt for a long time. And the Egyptians mistreated us and our forefathers. We cried out to the Lord and He heard our voice. He sent an angel, and he took us out of Egypt, and now we are in Kadesh, a city on the edge of your border. Please let us pass through your land; we will not pass through fields or vineyards, nor will we drink well water. We will walk along the king's road, and we will turn neither to the right nor to the left until we have passed through your territory.'" Edom replied to him, "You shall not pass through me, lest I go out towards you with the sword!" The children of Israel said to him, "We will keep to the highway, and if we drink your water, either I or my cattle, we will pay its price. It is really nothing; I will pass through on foot." But he said, "You shall not pass through!" and Edom came out toward them with a vast force and with a strong hand. Edom refused to allow Israel to cross through his territory; so Israel turned away from him.

Children of Israel arrive at Mount Hor. Aaron dies there. Eleazar, his son, becomes Kohen Gadol

  • They traveled from Kadesh, and the entire congregation of the children of Israel arrived at Mount Hor. The Lord said to Moses and Aaron at Mount Hor, on the border of the land of Edom, saying, "Aaron shall be gathered to his people, for he shall not come to the Land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you defied My word at the waters of dispute [Mei Meribah]. Take Aaron and Eleazar his son and ascend Mount Hor. Strip Aaron of his garments and dress Eleazar his son with them. Then Aaron shall be gathered in [to his people] and die there. Moses did as the Lord commanded him. They ascended Mount Hor in the presence of the entire congregation. Moses then stripped Aaron of his garments and dressed Eleazar his son in them, and Aaron died there on the top of the mountain. [Then] Moses and Eleazar descended from the mountain. The whole congregation saw that Aaron had expired, and the entire house of Israel wept for Aaron for thirty days.