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Numbers 12Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Murmuring of Miriam and Aaron

12 Now [a]Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the [b]Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said, “Has the Lord really spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken also through us?” And the Lord heard it. ([c]Now the man Moses was very humble (gentle, kind, devoid of self-righteousness), more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle).” And the three of them came out. The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tabernacle, and He called Aaron and Miriam, and they came forward. And He said,

“Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I the Lord will make Myself known to him in a vision
And I will speak to him in a dream.

“But it is not so with My servant Moses;
He is entrusted and faithful in all My house.

“With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly],
Clearly and openly and not in riddles;
And he beholds the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Miriam and Aaron, and He departed. 10 But when the cloud had withdrawn from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron turned and looked at Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. 11 Then Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, I plead with you, do not account this sin to us, in which we have acted foolishly and in which we have sinned. 12 Oh, do not let her be like one dead, already half decomposed when he comes from his mother’s womb.” 13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “Heal her please, O God, I plead with You!” 14 But the Lord said to Moses, “If her father had but [d]spit in her face, would she not bear her shame for seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp for seven days, and afterward she may return.” 15 So Miriam was shut up outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was brought in again [and declared ceremonially clean from her leprosy].

16 Afterward the people moved on from Hazeroth and camped in the Wilderness of Paran.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 12:1 Miriam is presumed to be the leader of the attack on Moses’ authority because she is mentioned before Aaron and because of the severity of her punishment.
  2. Numbers 12:1 Because the ancient borders of Cush and Midian sometimes overlapped Miriam may have considered Moses’ wife, Zipporah, a Cushite instead of a Midianite (Ex 2:21); however, it is also possible that Zipporah had died and this refers to a second wife. Marriage with a Canaanite was forbidden (Ex 34:11, 16), but not marriage with an Egyptian or Cushite. Joseph’s wife was an Egyptian (Gen 41:45).
  3. Numbers 12:3 Some scholars believe this comment was added to the text after Moses’ death.
  4. Numbers 12:14 I.e. rebuked her publicly.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Numbers 12New International Version (NIV)

Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses

12 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.

(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, he said, “Listen to my words:

“When there is a prophet among you,
    I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
    I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
    he is faithful in all my house.
With him I speak face to face,
    clearly and not in riddles;
    he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
    to speak against my servant Moses?”

The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them.

10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous[a]—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, 11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!

14 The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” 15 So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.

16 After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.

Footnotes:

  1. Numbers 12:10 The Hebrew for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
New International Version (NIV)

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