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Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses

12 Miriam and Aaron began to criticize Moses because he was married to a woman from Sudan. They asked, “Did Yahweh speak only through Moses? Didn’t he also speak through us?” Yahweh heard their complaint.

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

Suddenly, Yahweh said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “All three of you come to the tent of meeting.” So all three of them came. Then Yahweh came down in the column of smoke and stood at the entrance to the tent. He called to Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forward.

He said, “Listen to my words: When there are prophets of Yahweh among you, I make myself known to them in visions or speak to them in dreams. But this is not the way I treat my servant Moses. He is the most faithful person in my household.[a] I speak with him face to face, plainly and not in riddles. He even sees the form of Yahweh. Why weren’t you afraid to criticize my servant Moses?”

Yahweh was angry with them, so he left.

10 When the smoke left the tent, Miriam was covered with an infectious skin disease. She was as white as snow. Aaron turned to her and saw she was covered with the disease. 11 So he said to Moses, “Please, sir, don’t punish us for this foolish sin we committed. 12 Don’t let her be like a stillborn baby that’s not completely developed.”

13 So Moses cried to Yahweh, “Please, El, heal her!”

14 Yahweh replied to Moses, “If her own father had spit in her face, wouldn’t she be excluded from the community for seven days? She must be put in isolation outside the camp for seven days. Then she can be brought back.” 15 So Miriam was put in isolation outside the camp for seven days. The people didn’t break camp until she was brought back.

16 After that, the people moved from Hazeroth and set up camp in the Desert of Paran.


  1. Numbers 12:7 Or “He is in charge of my entire household.”