Aaron's rod

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A reference to Numbers 17:8, the Authorized / KJV translation of which is "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." (spelling modernized).[1]



Aaron's rod (countable and uncountable, plural Aaron's rods)

  1. Any of various plants with a tall flowering stem, especially:
    1. Verbascum thapsus, the great mullein, common mullein, or hag-taper. [First attested in the mid 18th century.][2]
      Synonyms: torchwort, hag-taper, common mullein, great mullein, Adam's flannel, Jacob's staff, Jupiter's staff, cow's lungwort
    2. Goldenrod, the Solidago genus of North American plants with yellow flowers.
    3. Hylotelephium telephium (syn. Sedum telephium; orpine, livelong, or live-forever).
  2. (architecture) A rod-shaped molding decorated with an entwined snake, and sometimes leaves, vines, and/or scrolls.
  3. (archaic) A rod with one serpent twined around it, as used by Aaron (differing from the caduceus of Mercury, which has two serpents).


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. ^ The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], 1611, OCLC 964384981, Numbers 17:8, column 2: “And it came to paſſe that on the morrow Moſes went into the Tabernacle of Witneſſe, and behold, the rod of Aaron for the houſe of Leui was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed bloſſomes, and yeelded almonds.”
  2. ^ Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “Aaron's rod”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 2.

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