THEN THE LORD SAID TO Moses, “Tell the people of Israel that each of their tribal chiefs is to bring you a wooden rod with his name inscribed upon it. Aaron’s name is to be on the rod of the tribe of Levi. Put these rods in the inner room of the Tabernacle where I meet with you, in front of the Ark. I will use these rods to identify the man I have chosen: for buds will grow on his rod! Then at last this murmuring and complaining against you will stop!”
So Moses gave the instructions to the people, and each of the twelve chiefs (including Aaron) brought him a rod. He put them before the Lord in the inner room of the Tabernacle, and when he went in the next day, he found that Aaron’s rod, representing the tribe of Levi, had budded and was blossoming, and had ripe almonds hanging from it! When Moses brought them out to show the others, they stared in disbelief! Then each man except Aaron claimed his rod.
The Lord told Moses to place Aaron’s rod permanently beside the Ark as a reminder of this rebellion. He was to [bring it out and show it to the people again] if there were any further complaints about Aaron’s authority; this would ward off further catastrophe to the people. So Moses did as the Lord commanded him.
(Excerpted from Numbers 17:1-11, Living Bible)