James Hastings Dictionary of the Bible: Aaron's Rod

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James Hastings Dictionary of the Bible: Aaron's Rod


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AARON’S ROD.—In a very complicated section of the Hexateuch (Num_16:1-50; Num_17:1-13; Num_18:1-32), dealing with various revolts against the constituted authorities in the wilderness period, the exclusive right of the tribe of Levi to the duties and privileges of the priesthood is miraculously attested by the blossoming and fruit-bearing of Aaron’s rod. As representing his tribe, it had been deposited by Divine command before the ark along with 12 other rods representing the 12 secular tribes, in order that the will of J″ [Note: Jahweh.] in this matter might be visibly made known (see Num_16:1-11 with G. B. Gray’s Com.). The rod was thereafter ordered to be laid up in perpetuity ‘before the (ark of the) testimony for a token against the rebels’ (Num_17:10). Later Jewish tradition, however, transferred it, along with the pot of manna, to a place within the ark (Heb_9:4).

A. R. S. Kennedy.