We find the actual words of God which forbade Moses and Aaron and the people of Israel from entering into the promised land. Once again, like an old record that keeps repeating itself, we see that the people of Israel complain. This time the complaint is about not having water and the complaint goes something like this: you don’t really love us, if you did love us then you would have given us water to drink. You would rather us die in the desert, if not you would have kept us in Egypt to live.
We have heard this before where the Israelites complain and God reacts. Well, this time his reaction is found in vs.12 after he performs the miracle through Moses of bringing water out of a rock. The punishment is a result of the people of Israel not trusting in the Lord, and so because of that: “you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” But it just kind of sits there and there is no real reaction from the people or from Moses. That is a bit strange.
The chapter then transitions to Edom refusing passage for Israel, and Israel just being willing to take that. And then it transitions to the death of Aaron and the passing on of his high priest responsibilities to his son Eleazar. A lot happens in one chapter which will impact the future of the people of Israel.