Torah Mosheh 4 Bamidbar / Numbers Chapter 20

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Mosheh  disbelief, death of Aharon and Miriyam

20:1 Then benai Yisrael, kol HaEdah, came into the Midbar Tzin ba chodesh ha rishon: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriyam died there, and was buried there.

20:2 And there was no mayim for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Mosheh and against Aharon.

20:3 And the people complained to Mosheh, and spoke, saying, Would Elohim (אלהים) that we had died when our brethren died before YEHOVAH (יהוה)!

20:4 Why have you brought up the congregation of YEHOVAH (יהוה) into this wilderness, that we and our livestock should die here?

20:5 And wherefore have you made us to come up out of Mitzrayim, to bring us in to this evil place? it [is] no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither [is] there any mayim to drink.

20:6 And Mosheh and Aharon went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the Oleh Moed, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of YEHOVAH (יהוה) appeared to them.

20:7 (RY:ii, LY:iii)

And YEHOVAH (יהוה) spoke to Mosheh, saying:

20:8 "Take the rod, you and your brother Aharon and gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth its mayim for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their livestocks.

20:9 And Mosheh took the rod from before YEHOVAH (יהוה), as he commanded him.

20:10 And Mosheh and Aharon gathered the assembly  together before the rock, and he said to them,

"Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring mayim for you out of this rock?

20:11 Then Mosheh lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.

20:12 And YEHOVAH (יהוה) spoke to Mosheh and Aharon, Because you believed Me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of benai Yisrael, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the eretz which I have given them.

20:13 This [is] mayim of Merivah; because benai Yisrael strove with YEHOVAH (יהוה), and he was sanctified in them.

Edom refuses passage to Yisrael

20:14 (LY:iv)

Now Mosheh sent messengers from Kadesh to melekh Edom, "Thus says your brother Yisrael:'You know all the hardship has befallen us:

20:15 How our avot went down into Mitzrayim, and we have dwelt in Mitzrayim a long time; and the Mitzrites vexed us, and our avot:

20:16 And when we cried to YEHOVAH (יהוה), he heard our voice, and sent an messenger, and has brought us forth out of Mitzrayim: and, Hinei, we [are] in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of your border:

20:17 Let us pass, I pray you, through your country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink [of] mayim of the wells: we will go by the king's [high] way, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed your borders.

20:18 And Edom said to him, You shall not pass by me land, lest I come out against you with the sword.

20:19 And benai Yisrael said to him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of your mayim, then I will pay for it: I will only, without [doing] any thing [else], go through on my feet.

20:20 And he said, "You shall not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.

20:21 Thus Edom refused to give Yisrael passage through his border: wherefore Yisrael turned away from him.

20:22 (RY:iii, LY:v)

And benai Yisrael, [even] the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came to mount Hor.

Aharon's priesthood transfer to El Azar and Aharon's death

20:23 And YEHOVAH (יהוה) spoke to Mosheh and Aharon in mount Hor, by the coast of the eretz of Edom, saying,

20:24 Aharon shall be gathered to his people: for he shall not enter into the eretz which I have given to benai Yisrael, because you rebelled against My word at mayim of Merivah.

20:25 Take Aharon and El Azar (אלעזר) his son, and bring them up to mount Hor:

20:26 And strip Aharon of his garments, and put them upon El Azar (אלעזר) his son: and Aharon shall be gathered [to his people], and shall die there.

20:27 And Mosheh did as YEHOVAH (יהוה) commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.

20:28 And Mosheh stripped Aharon of his garments, and put them upon El Azar (אלעזר) his son; and Aharon died there in the top of the mount: and Mosheh and El Azar (אלעזר) came down from the mount.

20:29 And when all the congregation saw that Aharon was dead, they mourned for Aharon thirty days, [even] all the house of Yisrael.


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First, Mosheh spoke unadvisedly with his lips, calling the people rebels (v. 10).

Secondly, Mosheh struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it.

The instruction to "speak" to the rock is in contrast to previous incident that was 40 years earlier, when Mosheh followed Elohim's instruction to hit the rock – and water gushed out (Shemot 17:6). This time was different, it's test of obedience and faith. Mosheh was suppose to speak. Yet he again hits the rock. Nothing happens, so Mosheh hits the rock a second time, and water comes out. Elohim's response: "Since you HIT the rock rather than speaking to it, you will not lead the Jewish people into the Land of Israel" (Numbers 20:11-12). It was an act of disbelief and disobedience.

Why did Mosheh hit the rock?

Two Strikes And They're Out?

The Sin of Mosheh and Aharon

From the Messianic view that the rock smitten in Shemot 17 was a type of Mashiach, being stricken. But Mashiach was only to be struck once. After His death, the Ruach HaKodesh would be given, of which the mayim in verse 11 is a type.

And Mosheh did as YEHOVAH (יהוה) commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. Mosheh stripped Aharon of his garments, and put them upon El Azar (אלעזר) his son; and Aharon died there in the top of the mount: and Mosheh and El Azar (אלעזר) came down from the mount.

 

 

Mount Hor (Hebrew: הֹר הָהָר, Hor Ha-Har), in Edom the scene in the Torah account Aharon's death, situated "in the edge of the land of Edom" (Numbers 33:37).Since the time of Josephus it has been identified with the Jebel Nebi Harun ("Mountain of the Prophet Aaron" in Arabic), a twin-peaked mountain 4780 feet above the sea-level (6072 feet above the Dead Sea) in the Edomite Mountains on the east side of the Jordan-Arabah valley. On the summit is a shrine said to cover the grave of Aharon.