The Power of Aaron’s Rod

Numbers 17


The ROD in the hands of Aaron, the high priest, was endowed with miraculous power during the several plagues preceding the Exodus.  The ROD of Moses function was equally potent in its use.

Upon two occasions, however, the singular virtue of spontaneous power, when not in the grasp of its possesor, was exhibited by the Rod of Aaron.  One time, it swallowed the rods of the Egyptian magicians.  At another, it blossomed and bore fruit in the Tabernacle. The ROD was evidence of the exclusive right to the priesthood and the tribe of Levi.

In commemoration, it was commanded that the ROD be put “before the testimony(Numbers 17:10).  A later tradition was given in the New Testament of the Bible:

This [ark] contained a golden jar which held the manna and the rod of Aaron that sprouted and the [two stone] slabs of the covenant”  (Hebrews 9:4 AMP).


The Rod of Aaronthe Staff of Moses had similar miraculous powers (compare Exodus 4:2 and 7:9).  The Haggadah“a homiletic passage of the Talmud” goes a step further [the Talmud is the collection of ancient Rabbinic writings consisting of the Mishnah and the Gemaru].  It identifies the Rod of Aaron with Moses.  The Midrash Yelamdenu states, “the staff with which Jacob crossed the Jordan River is identical with that which Judah gave to his daughter-in-law Tamar.  It is likewise the holy rod Moses worked with (Ex. 4:20, 21), which Aaron performed wonders before Pharoah (Ex. 7:10) and with which, finally David slew the giant Goliath (1 Sam. 17:14).”  The Haggadah goes on to say, “David then left it to his descendants: the Davidic kings used it as a scepter until the destruction of the Temple when it miraculously disappeared.  When Messiah comes, the rod will be given to Him for a scepter in token of His authority over the nations.”


Legend has more to say regarding Aaron’s Rod.  God had created it in the twilight of the sixth day of Creation.  He delivered the rod to Adam after being driven out from Paradise.  After it had passed through the hands of Shem, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob successively, it came to Joseph. 

On Joseph’s death, Egyptian nobles stole some of his belongings and among them, Jethro confiscated the staff.  Jethro then planted the staff in his garden when its marvelous qualities were revealed.  Nobody could withdraw it from the ground; even to touch it endangered one’s life.  This was because the Indescribable Name of God was engraved upon it.

When Moses entered Jethro’s household, he read the Name and by the means of it, was able to draw up the ROD.  Zipporah, Jethro’s daughter was given in marriage to Moses for her father had sworn she would become the wife of the man who should be able to master the miraculous ROD.

It must, however, be pointed out that the Mishnah knew nothing of the miraculous creation of Aaron’s ROD.  This supposed fact, the supernatural origin of the ROD, explains the statement in Hebrews 9:4; that Aaron’s Rod, together with its blossoms and fruit were preserved in the Ark.  King Josiah foresaw the impending national catastrophe and concealed the Ark and it’s contents, its whereabouts still unknown until the Messianic Age where the prophet Elijah shall reveal then.


The Hebrew word for ROD is “mattah“.  It’s no accident that God chose the Hebrew Language for the Old Testament.  What I uncovered this evidence in my detective search, I found God often uses words of double meaning to prove a point in Scripture. 

The wordmattahhas several meanings:

.  a rod or a branch.

.  chastisement with a rod.

.  governing, as with a scepter.

.  a walking staff.

.  represented the support of life.

“Mattah”  used in Scripture: “I will break the staff of bread [by which life is supported] in Jerusalem” (Ezek 4:16).  It can also mean “tribe“; twelve rods are chosen, representing the twelve tribes of Israel.



The ROD of Aaron in this story, contained in Numbers 17, shows two qualities:

1.  It is ALIVE.

2.  It is FRUITFUL


Aaron’s staff represented the tribe of Levi that buds (Numbers 17:8).  William Yates once wondered as I also did, why God chose the tribe of Levi to be the spiritual leader of the nation of Israel.

In the book of Genesis, Levi was one of Jacob’s worse sons (Genesis 49:5-7).  Seems like in this passage, Levi would have been on the bottom of the list of choices.  So why Levi?  Why not Judah or one of the other tribes? 

Today, when names are chosen for newborns, are meanings considered important in the choosing?  What is the meaning, if any, of your name?  The name LEVI means “attached“.  Choosing Levi would mean, the seeking people would be “attached” to God.


What did all the twelve staffs have in common before reaching the Testimony (Numbers 17:2)?  They were ALL dead pieces of wood, broken off from their life source.

In this story, we see the staff of Aaron blooming as the picture above shows.  If a normal staff cannot bloom, it is because it has been severed from its life source.  The staff of Aaron blooms because it is attached to a life source, God Himself.

I believe with other investigators, God chose the tribe of Levi, the spiritual leader of Israel, not based on personal ability or merit but on attachment to Him!


The CROSS at Calvary was made of wood that had been severed from a tree.  Jesus was nailed to that wood and died for us. But unlike the dead wood of the cross, He came back to life in the Resurrection; He blossomed then became the Fruit of our lives through His Spirit.  If we have LIFE (fruit bearing) in our everyday lives as believers, it’s only because we are attached; we are alive and fruitful because of what occurred on the CROSS!

In John 15:5-8, Jesus speaks of branches: “Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.  I am the Vine: your are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit.  However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing”  (verses 4-5 AMP).

God does not intend for His church, His children to be dead wood or branches but rather alive with His Son Jesus.  When the people saw Aaron’s branch, they took notice.  It was different from other rods everyone else carried.  They weren’t just dead sticks!  Aaron’s ROD was full of life!

Just as the rod resurrected with life confirmed Aaron’s position, so the Resurrection of Jesus Christ confirms Him as the true Messiah, the living God over false religious leaders such as Buddha and Mohammed.

Have some churches today become just DEAD STICKS?  They once may have been alive but somewhere in their history they were broken from their Life Source.  Such is also true of individual believers who have fallen away; allowed themselves to be broken away from the Life source.  Their appearance is like every other dead sticks in the world, UNFRUITFUL and “can do nothing”.

We need to ask ourselves the following questions: 

When people see us, what do they see?

Do we all look like the other “dead sticks” in the world?  or…

Do we manifest the life of Jesus?


.  Moses was a type of Jesus.  Acting as a vocal intercessor between God and His People.  Taking it a step further as a parallel, Moses was rejected by men, yet still fulfilled his duty as their advocate before God.

.  When Aaron’s Rod budded, he became a type of Jesus as God’s choice for the Messiah King. who would sprout from the ROD OF JESSE (Isaiah 11:1).

.  Taking the parallel even further, notice Aaron NEVER came to his own defense.  However, God affirmed His choice Aaron for high priest.


Such a Jewish un-Christian story this all seems to be.  Yet, we find Jesus amidst the events of the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New:

“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy spirit has come upon you”  (Acts 1:8 AMP).

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22, 23).

“If we live by the [Holy] Spirit”, if we are notdead sticks“, separated; “let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit]”  (Galatians 5:25 AMP).

“Dead men walking”  isn’t what Jesus died for on the Cross at Calvary.  There is miraculous POWER available for us as believers in Jesus as was Aaron’s Rod miraculous with POWER.