In a few places, the Torah seems to imply that Aharon had his own stick. Some examples:

Shmot 7:9 "Tell Aharon take your stick..."

verse 10 "... Aharon cast his stick..."

verse 12 ... "Aharon's stick swallowed their sticks"

Is this the way to translate it, that Aharon possessed his own stick, or is it that when he used Moshe's stick, it was as if it were his own?

  • I've always read that as Moshe's staff, but I can't source that assumption. If I find anything, I'll post an answer.
    – MTL
    Jan 13, 2015 at 4:18
  • @Shokhet - my assumption, too, until I thought it over. I may be over analyzing.
    – DanF
    Jan 13, 2015 at 4:19
  • 4
    He was 83. Wouldn't surprise me if he had a stick.
    – Double AA
    Jan 13, 2015 at 4:43
  • 2
    @DoubleAA on the other hand, his brother Moshe was not of impaired health when he was 120. Jan 13, 2015 at 4:48
  • 1
    Korach,Mateh Ahron
    – sam
    Jan 15, 2015 at 2:02

2 Answers 2


According to various meforshim (such as Rabbi Sorotzkin, Rav Hirsch, etc) all shepherds had their own staffs. Also, a staff was a symbol of authority and every major person had his own. See the statement by Yaakov or Yehudah and Tamar as an example.

The magicians also had their own staffs as well which they used when performing magic (as when Moshe and Aharon first came to Par'o).

This was also stated in that way to show that there was nothing "magical" about the staffs, as opposed to what the magicians tried to convince everyone. Even nowadays we have stage magicians using a "magic wand" to perform their tricks.

Rav Hirsch Va'eira 7:19

Your staff, not the staff of Moses, the implement does not matter, there is no magic in the staff, it was Hashem's action.

UPDATE @Danny Schoemann suggested that I incorporate the answer from Did Aaron's staff turned into a snake or a crocodile? into this answer. There we see that Aharon specifically threw down his staff to turn into a "tanin" at the initial confrontation with Par'o. There again we see that the particular staff itself did not matter.


A couple of sources prove that Aharon did have his own staff.

The Midrash in Bamidbar Rabbah 18:23 tries to trace the origins of Aharon's staff and notes a machlokes (argument) as to who it came from:

וּמַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן (במדבר יז, כא), יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים הוּא הַמַּטֶּה שֶׁהָיָה בְּיַד יְהוּדָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית לח, יח): וּמַטְךָ אֲשֶׁר בְּיָדֶךָ. וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים הוּא הַמַּטֶּה שֶׁהָיָה בְּיַד משֶׁה וּמֵעַצְמוֹ פָּרַח, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יז, כג): וְהִנֵּה פָּרַח מַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן

And the staff of Aharon (Bamidbar 17:21). Some say that it is the staff that was in the hand of Yehudah, as it is stated (Genesis 38:18), "And the staff in your hand." And some say that it is the staff that was in the hand of Moshe. And it blossomed on its own, as it is stated (Numbers 17:23), "Behold the staff of Aharon sprouted."

So according to the first view, Aharon did in fact have his own staff which originally belonged to Yehudah.

However, perhaps more convincingly, another support for the fact that he had his own staff can be provided by the Zohar on the verse you note in Shemos 7:9. The Zohar 2:28a clearly delineates between Moshe and Aharon's sticks. It writes there as follows:

שמות ז׳:ט׳ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֶל אַהֲרֹן קַח אֶת מַטְּךָ. מַאי טַעֲמָא מַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן, וְלא מַטֵּה מֹשֶׁה. אֶלָּא, הַהוּא דְּמֹשֶׁה אִיהוּ קַדִּישָׁא יַתִּיר, דְּאִתְגְּלִיף בְּגִנְתָּא עִלָּאָה בִּשְׁמָא קַדִּישָׁא, וְלָא בָּעֵי קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא לְסָאֳבָא לֵיהּ בְּאִינּוּן חוּטְרִין דְּחַרְשַׁיָּא

"And you shall say to Aharon: Take your stick" (Shemos 7:9). What is the reason (he was told to take) the stick of Aharon and not the stick of Moshe? Rather it was because Moshe's (staff) was more holy since it was cut/forged for the sake of a higher purpose with a holy name, and Hashem did not want it to become defiled (through touching) the staffs of the Egyptian magicians.

So it would seem from the Zohar that Aharon very clearly had his own staff, and his stick was chosen above Moshe's to perform the sign in front of Pharaoh and his court, lest Moshe's staff, which was of a holier nature, would become defiled in some way.

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