1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,Oh, good: a quick one after I was away.
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?
Not though, as I was hoping, the inspiration for the Hitchcock film. But that wasn't one of The Master's better efforts, anyway.
#1: YHWH tells Moses...
#2: Get a dozen sticks from the Israelites, one for each of the twelve houses, and each labeled with the name of the head of the family.
#3: "Write Aaron's name upon the rod of Levi." (I guess Moe hadn't distinguished himself enough to earn that honor. Slacker!).
#4: "And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you."
#5: I will choose one of the rods to blossom (Calling Dr. Freud!). And this will keep the Israelites from bitching about you. (Does this make any sense? Forget it, he's rolling).
#6: Aaron and the eleven princes hand their rods to Moses. (Hey-o! And cancel that call. Sometimes twelve guys handing you their rods is just twelve guys handing you their rods.)
#7: Moses "laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle."
#8: "The rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds." (If your rod buds for more than four hours, seek immediate medical attention. Unless you need the almonds.)
#9: Moses returned the nutless sticks to their owners.
#10: Yaweh told Moses to "bring Aaron's rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels," which should keep them from murmuring against me and they won't die. (Interesting how this shifts between who is the target of the murmurs, Moses or the Boss Man. And God conveniently says that the grumblers would die, rather than admitting that He would — lovingly and morally, of course — burn or bury them alive, as opposed to them meeting with, like, an accident.)
#11: Moses did as he was commanded.
#12: The Israelites said to to Moses, "Behold, we die, we perish, we all perish." (I hope that doesn't count as murmuring.)
#13: "Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?" (Seems to me, they have nothing to fear but fear itself. And an insane, vengeful, self-centered, all-powerful being. That, too.)