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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Numbers 17

Verses 1-13

Numbers 17:1-13 . The Budding of Aaron’ s Rod (from P).— The superiority of Levi over the other tribes is finally vindicated through the budding of the rod of Aaron (the representative of that tribe) when a rod for each tribe is laid up before the Ark. Rods (or staves) were usually carried by persons of distinction among the Hebrews ( Numbers 21:18, Genesis 38:18, 1 Samuel 14:43) as among the Babylonians (Herodotus, i. 195). Fanciful stories, which are in some degree parallel to this story, and describe the sprouting of sapless staves or shafts, occur in the classical tales of Hercules’ club and Romulus’ spear (which took root and grew)

Numbers 17:2 . fathers’ house: i.e. tribe (not, as usual, family).— twelve rods: i.e. one from each of the twelve secular tribes.

Numbers 17:4 . the testimony: short for “ the ark of the testimony” ( cf. Exodus 16:34).

Numbers 17:10 . Contrast Hebrews 9:4.

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 17". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.