(2) And take of every one of them . . . —Better, And take of them a rod for each father’s house.
Twelve rods.—Some suppose that Aaron’s rod was not included amongst the twelve. Others suppose that one rod only was taken for the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. The latter supposition is more accordant with the terms here employed than the former, and is supported by Deuteronomy 27:12-13, where Joseph stands for the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, and Levi is included amongst the twelve tribes.
Write thou every man’s name upon his rod.—This was in accordance with an Egyptian custom. (See Wilkinson’s Ancient Egyptians, III. 388.) The prophet Ezekiel received a similar injunction (Ezekiel 37:16).
And yielded almonds.—Better, and brought almonds to maturity, or yielded ripe almonds. The word shaked (almond-tree) is a cognate form of the verb shakad—to keep watch. The name is supposed to have been given to the almond-tree because it blossoms at a time when vegetation is lying in the sleep of winter. (See Jeremiah 1:11-12; also, The Land and the Book, p. 319.)
Numbers 17:13Whosoever cometh any thing near unto the tabernacle of the LORD shall die: shall we be consumed with dying?