From what I can tell, Aaron's rod is only used in three places while in Egypt.

First when his rod turned into a serpent. (Exodus 7:8-13 NKJV)

Aaron’s Miraculous Rod

8 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’ ” 10 So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.

11 But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. 12 For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods. 13 And Pharaoh’s heart grew hard, and he did not heed them, as the Lord had said.

Then, the first two plagues:

The First Plague: Waters Become Blood (Exodus 7:19-20 NKJV)

19 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’ ” 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the Lord commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

The Second Plague: Frogs (Exodus 8:5-6 NKJV)

5 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Say to Aaron, ‘Stretch out your hand with your rod over the streams, over the rivers, and over the ponds, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.’ ” 6 So Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt, and the frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.

Aaron's rod is prominently featured in the transformation into a serpent and the first two plagues. However, as the plagues continue, it seems that God and Moses take a more direct role, and Aaron's rod is no longer mentioned. Is there a logical or symbolic significance to the shift away from Aaron's rod? Can it be inferred why God ceased using Aaron and his rod in the subsequent plagues?

  • 2
    We cannot be sure that the rod was not used as not all details are recorded. It is possible that having set the pattern, it should be assumed that the same procedure was used each time. However, we do not know for sure.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jan 25 at 4:42
  • @Dottard - Dang that makes sense! Often don't think about the things not recorded.
    – Jason_
    Commented Jan 25 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


This particular rod is first referred to as "A rod" in Exodus 4:2. In vs 17, God says "And thou shall take this rod in thine hand, where with thou shalt do signs."

Exodus 7:8-9

8 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, 9 When Pharough shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take the rod, and cast it before Pharough, and it shall become a serpent.

This is the same rod, the rod of God, that turned into a serpent before Moses at the burning bush. It is in this verse referred to as Aaron's rod.

Exodus 8:16-17

... Say unto Aaron, stretch out thy rod,...

Again referred to as Aaron's rod.

Numbers 17:3

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.

Because Aaron is the elder, and you only have one rod per tribe, the Levite tribe bears the name of Aaron.

Conclusion: A rod, God's rod, Moses' and Aaron's rod are all the same. It is also the rod that budded and was later put in the Arc of the Covenant.

  • + 1 I've used some of your data to improve my own answer and I want to credit you for that. Thanks. Commented Jan 25 at 13:17
  • @ Dan Fefferman Thank you as well Dan.
    – RHPclass79
    Commented Jan 25 at 15:18

Disclaimer: Please note that I have intentionally written tentatively here. The text is confusing and can certainly be read to indicate that both Moses and Aaron possessed a rod. See my answer to @Jason's follow-up question for a fuller explanation.

Aaron's rod was probably not his alone but was shared with Moses and was also an insignia of his tribe. After Korah's rebellion (Numbers 16) God upheld Aaron's position by causing his rod to bud miraculously and commanding that it be given a place of honor in the tabernacle. This is explained in Numbers 17:

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the sons of Israel, and get from them a rod for each father’s household: twelve rods, from all their leaders according to their fathers’ households. You shall write each name on his rod, 3 and write Aaron’s name on the rod of Levi; for there is one rod for the head of each of their fathers’ households... 8 Now on the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony; and behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. 9 Moses then brought out all the rods from the presence of the Lord to all the sons of Israel; and they looked, and each man took his rod. 10 But the Lord said to Moses, “Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony to be kept as a sign against the rebels, that you may put an end to their grumblings against Me, so that they will not die.” 11 Thus Moses did; just as the Lord had commanded him, so he did.

This rod (also called the "staff of God") was apparently the same rod used from time to time by Moses. It may also be the staff that Moses used in the parting of the Red Sea (Exodus 14:16). Later it was used in the fight against Amalek.

Exodus 17:5-9

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Pass before the people and take with you some of the elders of Israel; and take in your hand your staff with which you struck the Nile, and go... So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us and go out, fight against Amalek. Tomorrow I will station myself on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”

Conclusion: Aaron's rod, which seems to have been shared with Moses and was also called "the staff of God," played an important part in the miraculous events leading up to the Exodus. After Korah's rebellion, God commanded that Aaron's rod be placed in the tabernacle as an sign of His support for Aaron's position.

  • Thanks for taking the time to answer. I've learned a lot going down a steep rabbit trail.
    – Jason_
    Commented Jan 25 at 8:57
  • 1
    Me too. I've updated my answer after learning some new things as well. Commented Jan 25 at 13:16

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