View Numbers 17 in the note window.
The blossoming of Aaron's rod, ver. 1 - 9.
It is laid up for a memorial, ver. 10,11.
The people are terrified, ver. 12,13.
2: Of every one - Not of every person, but of every tribe. A rod
- That staff, or rod, which the princes carried in their hands as tokens of
their dignity and authority. Every man's name - Every prince's: for they
being the first - born, and the chief of their tribes might above all others
pretend to the priesthood, if it was communicable to any of their tribes,
and besides each prince represented all his tribe: so that this was a full
decision of the question. And this place seems to confirm, that not only
Korah and the Levites, but also those of other tribes contested with
Moses and Aaron about the priesthood, as that which belonged to all
the congregation they being all holy.
3: Aaron's name - Rather than Levi's, for that would have left
the controversy undecided between Aaron and the other Levites,
whereas this would justify the appropriation of the priesthood to
Aaron's family. One rod - There shall be in this, as there is in all
the other tribes, only one rod, and that for the head of their tribe,
who is Aaron in this tribe: whereas it might have been expected that
there should have been two rods, one for Aaron, and another for his
competitors of the same tribe. But Aaron's name was sufficient to
determine both the tribe, and that branch or family of the tribe, to whom
this dignity should be affixed.
4: Before the testimony - That is, before the ark of the testimony,
close by the ark. I will meet with you - And manifest my mind to you, for
the ending of this dispute.
6: Among their rods - Was laid up with the rest, being either one of
the twelve, as the Hebrews affirm, or the thirteenth, as others think.
8: Into the tabernacle - Into the most holy place, which he might
safely do under the protection of God's command, though otherwise none but
the high - priest might enter there, and that once in a year.
10: To be kept for a token - it is probable, the buds and blossoms
and fruit, all which could never have grown together, but by miracle,
continued fresh, the same which produced them in a night preserving them
12: We perish - Words of consternation, arising from the remembrance
of these severe and repeated judgments, from the threatening of death upon
any succeeding murmurings, and from the sense of their own guilt and
weakness, which made them fear lest they should relapse into the same
miscarriages, and thereby bring the vengeance of God upon themselves.
13: Near - Nearer than be should do; an error which we may easily
commit. Will God proceed with us according to his strict justice, till
all the people be cut off?