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Numbers 12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Miriam and Aaron Are Jealous of Moses

12 1-3 Although Moses was the most humble person in all the world, Miriam and Aaron started complaining, “Moses had no right to marry that woman from Ethiopia![a] Who does he think he is? The Lord has spoken to us, not just to him.”

The Lord heard their complaint and told Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to come to the entrance of the sacred tent. There the Lord appeared in a cloud and told Aaron and Miriam to come closer. Then after commanding them to listen carefully, he said:

“I, the Lord, speak to prophets
    in visions and dreams.
But my servant Moses
    is the leader of my people.
He sees me face to face,
and everything I say to him
    is perfectly clear.
You have no right to criticize
    my servant Moses.”

The Lord became angry at Aaron and Miriam. And after the Lord left 10 and the cloud disappeared from over the sacred tent, Miriam’s skin turned white with leprosy.[b] When Aaron saw what had happened to her, 11 he said to Moses, “Sir, please don’t punish us for doing such a foolish thing. 12 Don’t let Miriam’s flesh rot away like a child born dead!”

13 Moses prayed, “Lord God, please heal her.”

14 But the Lord replied, “Miriam would be disgraced for seven days if her father had punished her by spitting in her face. So make her stay outside the camp for seven days, before coming back.”

15 The people of Israel did not move their camp until Miriam returned seven days later. 16 Then they left Hazeroth and set up camp in the Paran Desert.

Footnotes:

  1. 12.1-3 Ethiopia: The Hebrew text has “Cush,” which was a region south of Egypt that included parts of the present countries of Ethiopia and Sudan.
  2. 12.10 leprosy: See the note at 5.2,3.

Numbers 12 New 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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