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And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

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).

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