41On the next day, however, the whole congregation of the Israelites rebelled against Moses and against Aaron, saying, “You have killed the people of the Lord.”42And when the congregation had assembled against them, Moses and Aaron turned toward the tent of meeting; the cloud had covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared.43Then Moses and Aaron came to the front of the tent of meeting,44and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying,45“Get away from this congregation, so that I may consume them in a moment.” And they fell on their faces.46Moses said to Aaron, “Take your censer, put fire on it from the altar and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them. For wrath has gone out from the Lord; the plague has begun.”47So Aaron took it as Moses had ordered, and ran into the middle of the assembly, where the plague had already begun among the people. He put on the incense, and made atonement for the people.48He stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped.49Those who died by the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the affair of Korah.50When the plague was stopped, Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting.Chapter 17The Budding of Aaron's Rod
1 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:2Speak to the Israelites, and get twelve staffs from them, one for each ancestral house, from all the leaders of their ancestral houses. Write each man's name on his staff,3and write Aaron's name on the staff of Levi. For there shall be one staff for the head of each ancestral house.4Place them in the tent of meeting before the covenant, where I meet with you.5And the staff of the man whom I choose shall sprout; thus I will put a stop to the complaints of the Israelites that they continually make against you.6Moses spoke to the Israelites; and all their leaders gave him staffs, one for each leader, according to their ancestral houses, twelve staffs; and the staff of Aaron was among theirs.7So Moses placed the staffs before the Lord in the tent of the covenant.8When Moses went into the tent of the covenant on the next day, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted. It put forth buds, produced blossoms, and bore ripe almonds.9Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the Israelites; and they looked, and each man took his staff.10And the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the staff of Aaron before the covenant, to be kept as a warning to rebels, so that you may make an end of their complaints against me, or else they will die.”11Moses did so; just as the Lord commanded him, so he did.12The Israelites said to Moses, “We are perishing; we are lost, all of us are lost!