New Defender's Study Bible Notes
17:5 whom I shall choose. The man whom God chooses must be uniquely associated with resurrection life, as typified by the one rod out of all the rest. These rods were nothing but dead sticks of wood as they were placed before the Lord, yet the one miraculously brought to life and “brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds” (Numbers 17:8)–all in just one night! Similarly, Paul told the pagans who worshipped many “gods” that the true God will judge the whole world by that one “man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).
17:10 kept for a token. Thus Aaron’s rod that budded, demonstrated to the people once and for all that the priesthood appertained only to Aaron and his descendants. Any others who tried to intrude on the priesthood would die like the dead sticks of their leaders. Aaron was already aged and only two sons, Ithamar and Eleazar, were left (Nadab and Abihu had died because of their disobedience–Leviticus 10:1-2). Nevertheless, God had shown in no uncertain terms that He had ordained the Aaronic Priesthood only. Aaron’s rod eventually join the manna and the tables of the law in the ark (Hebrews 9:4).