New English Translation
The Budding of Aaron's Staff
1 The LORD spoke to Moses: 2 "Speak to the Israelites, and receive from them a staff from each tribe, one from every tribal leader, twelve staffs; you must write each man's name on his staff. 3 You must write Aaron's name on the staff of Levi; for one staff is for the head of every tribe. 4 You must place them in the tent of meeting before the ark of the covenant where I meet with you. 5 And the staff of the man whom I choose will blossom; so I will rid myself of the complaints of the Israelites, which they murmur against you."
6 So Moses spoke to the Israelites, and each of their leaders gave him a staff, one for each leader, according to their tribes - twelve staffs; the staff of Aaron was among their staffs. 7 Then Moses placed the staffs before the LORD in the tent of the testimony.
8 On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony - and the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted, and brought forth buds, and produced blossoms, and yielded almonds! 9 So Moses brought out all the staffs from before the LORD to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each man took his staff.
10 The LORD said to Moses, "Bring Aaron's staff back before the testimony to be preserved for a sign to the rebels, so that you may bring their murmurings to an end before me, that they will not die." 11 So Moses did as the LORD commanded him - this is what he did.
12 The Israelites said to Moses, "We are bound to die! We perish, we all perish! 13 (17:28) Anyone who even comes close to the tabernacle of the LORD will die! Are we all to die?"
King James Version
1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man's name upon his rod.
3 And thou shalt write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.
4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
5 And it shall come to pass, that the man's rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
6 ¶ And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers' houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.
7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.
8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod.
10 ¶ 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.
11 And Moses did so: as the LORD commanded him, so did he.
12 And the children of Israel spake unto Moses, saying, Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish.
13 Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?