"hands can see cooling fingers invisible swan-throat where less than Moses rod"

In the Book of Numbers, the Israelites' procession to the Promised Land is beset by a terrible drought as they attempt to cross the desert of Zin. With both the travellers and their cattle on the verge of death, Moses prays to God and God appears before him. He bids Moses take his rod and use it to smite a rock. “And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also” (Numbers 20.11).