Numbers 19:11


The Bible says in Numbers 19:11-22, “He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days.[12] He shall purify himself with it on the third day, and on the seventh day he shall be clean: but if he purify not himself the third day, then the seventh day he shall not be clean.[13] Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the LORD; and that soul shall be cut off from Israel: because the water of separation was not sprinkled upon him, he shall be unclean; his uncleanness is yet upon him.[14] This is the law, when a man dieth in a tent: all that come into the tent, and all that is in the tent, shall be unclean seven days.[15] And every open vessel, which hath no covering bound upon it, is unclean.[16] And whosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open fields, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.[17] And for an unclean person they shall take of the ashes of the burnt heifer of purification for sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vessel:[18] And a clean person shall take hyssop, and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it upon the tent, and upon all the vessels, and upon the persons that were there, and upon him that touched a bone, or one slain, or one dead, or a grave:[19] And the clean person shall sprinkle upon the unclean on the third day, and on the seventh day: and on the seventh day he shall purify himself, and wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and shall be clean at even.[20] But the man that shall be unclean, and shall not purify himself, that soul shall be cut off from among the congregation, because he hath defiled the sanctuary of the LORD: the water of separation hath not been sprinkled upon him; he is unclean.[21] And it shall be a perpetual statute unto them, that he that sprinkleth the water of separation shall wash his clothes; and he that toucheth the water of separation shall be unclean until even.[22] And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean; and the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even.” Some of the laws that God gave had practical reasons as well as spiritual reasons. The practical reason to not touch a dead body is that if death was caused by a contagious disease, the action was to keep the disease from spreading. Of course, all of this took place before the knowledge of modern medical science, and so such a restriction would have helped to keep diseases from spreading even though they did not have knowledge of diseases like we do. Also, several times in these verses the Israelites are told that anyone who touched a dead body would be unclean for “seven days.” This quarantine was important to keep any disease from spreading. Seven days would be sufficient time to determine if this person was getting sick too. Even ion the modern world diseases are held in check when quarantines are used properly.


The Bible says in Numbers 20:1-5, “Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.[2] And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.[3] And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD![4] And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there?[5] And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neither is there any water to drink.” Remember that God said that none of the Israelites except for Caleb and Joshua would enter into the Promised Land. Miriam’s death is recorded in verses one. Many more would die over the forty years journey. We also will all die unless the rapture takes place first. Make sure you are ready by confessing your sins to Jesus.


Verse two tells us: “there was no water.” What should the reaction of believers be when they have a need? They should turn to the Lord and ask the Lord for help. Jesus promised in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” But the children of Israel did not turn to the Lord. It says in verse two that “they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.” They opposed God’s servants. And in verse three they said they would be better off dead. In verse five they asked a question: “And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place?” They became negative about everything. We all know the miracles that God did to bring them out of Egypt, and we all know the promises that God made about the land of Canaan where they were headed. They described their current location as an “evil place.” People who do not remember what Jesus has already done for them, and people who do not think about the promises that God has made for the future will become negative people not living by faith just like the Israelites.


The Bible says in Numbers 20:6-13, “And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.[7] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,[8] Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.[9] And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.[10] And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock?[11] And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.[12] And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.[13] This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.” What did Moses and Aaron do in this situation? They prayed. It says in verse six that “they fell upon their faces.” And God made it known immediately that He was going to help them because it also says in verse six that “the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.” They had the power of God through prayer. That is exactly what we need.


Notice that God told Moses exactly what to do in verse eight, “speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water.” God told Moses to “speak” to the rock. But then it says in verses eleven that “Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice.” Evidently, the water did not come out of the rock immediately, and Moses became angry and impatient. God said in verse twelve that Moses and Aaron “believed me not.” It was a lack of faith. If we believe God’s promise, then we do not get angry and take things into our own hands just because God’s will is that we wait a little while, and sometimes we must wait even more than a little while.


Moses and Aaron paid a big price for their lack of faith and anger. God said to them at the end of verse twelve, “ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.” We are blessed to live in the time of the New Testament when the grace and mercy of God are showered upon us through Christ. But the law was like that: obey or suffer the consequences. Christians are given so many chances to grow in Christ and learn from their mistakes. Jesus is so very forgiving daily to us. His death on the cross carries so many benefits for us. When God looks at Christians, God does not see our sins and many failures. He sees the righteousness of Christ. How blessed we are because of Jesus. The punishments fell on Christ instead of on us.


The Bible says in Numbers 20:14-21, “And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom, Thus saith thy brother Israel, Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us:[15] How our fathers went down into Egypt, and we have dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians vexed us, and our fathers:[16] And when we cried unto the LORD, he heard our voice, and sent an angel, and hath brought us forth out of Egypt: and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border:[17] Let us pass, I pray thee, through thy country: we will not pass through the fields, or through the vineyards, neither will we drink of the water of the wells: we will go by the king's highway, we will not turn to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed thy borders.[18] And Edom said unto him, Thou shalt not pass by me, lest I come out against thee with the sword.[19] And the children of Israel said unto him, We will go by the high way: and if I and my cattle drink of thy water, then I will pay for it: I will only, without doing any thing else, go through on my feet.[20] And he said, Thou shalt not go through. And Edom came out against him with much people, and with a strong hand.[21] Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border: wherefore Israel turned away from him.” Moses sent messengers to the king of Edom with a very good description of what had happened to the children of Israel over the past four hundred years. In verse fifteen Moses’ message was “we have dwelt in Egypt a long time.” I would agree that four hundred years is a long time. In verse sixteen Moses used this occasion to testify of what the Lord had done for the children of Israel. God answered their prayers, but it is important to note that God was not in a hurry, at least not the way that humans measure time. They were in Egypt four hundred years. Remember this when you pray. Do not give up just because you do not see God’s answers right away. He hears your prayers and He loves you. Moses very politely asks the King of Edom to give them passage through the land of Edom. But the King of Edom threatens them with violence and war. But Moses backs away and finds another way to their destination.  If a door does not open for you, the Lord will open another door.


The Bible says in Numbers 20:22-29, “And the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, journeyed from Kadesh, and came unto mount Hor.[23] And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron in mount Hor, by the coast of the land of Edom, saying,[24] Aaron shall be gathered unto his people: for he shall not enter into the land which I have given unto the children of Israel, because ye rebelled against my word at the water of Meribah.[25] Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor:[26] And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.[27] And Moses did as the LORD commanded: and they went up into mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation.[28] And Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son; and Aaron died there in the top of the mount: and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mount.[29] And when all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they mourned for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.” It is interesting that when the Lord spoke about the death of Aaron, the Lord said, “Aaron shall be gathered unto his people.” The greatest gathering of people is in heaven. Now we have small and temporary gatherings of the people of God when we meet with them in church congregations. But when God knows that it is time, we are taken off the earth and gathered with Jesus and with all our brothers and sisters in Christ.


It is also important to notice that when God took Aaron off the earth, God replaced Aaron with Eleazar. If God has given you something to do for His glory on this earth, God can easily replace you at any time. It is a gift and an honor and a privilege to be given a work to do for the Lord Jesus. Every Christian has a calling. But do not take it for granted. The Lord can take you off the earth too, and replace you with someone else.




Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved