Miriam and Aaron Oppose Moses

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

(Now Moses was a very humble man,(E) 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;(F) 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(G) myself to them in visions,(H)
    I speak to them in dreams.(I)
But this is not true of my servant Moses;(J)
    he is faithful in all my house.(K)
With him I speak face to face,
    clearly and not in riddles;(L)
    he sees the form of the Lord.(M)
Why then were you not afraid
    to speak against my servant Moses?”(N)

The anger of the Lord burned against them,(O) and he left them.(P)

10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent,(Q) Miriam’s skin was leprous[a]—it became as white as snow.(R) Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease,(S) 11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed.(T) 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!(U)

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

16 After that, the people left Hazeroth(Z) and encamped in the Desert of Paran.(AA)

Footnotes

  1. Numbers 12:10 The Hebrew for leprous was used for various diseases affecting the skin.

Go now, write it on a tablet(A) for them,
    inscribe it on a scroll,(B)
that for the days to come
    it may be an everlasting witness.(C)
For these are rebellious(D) people, deceitful(E) children,
    children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction.(F)
10 They say to the seers,(G)
    “See no more visions(H)!”
and to the prophets,
    “Give us no more visions of what is right!
Tell us pleasant things,(I)
    prophesy illusions.(J)
11 Leave this way,(K)
    get off this path,
and stop confronting(L) us
    with the Holy One(M) of Israel!”

12 Therefore this is what the Holy One(N) of Israel says:

“Because you have rejected this message,(O)
    relied on oppression(P)
    and depended on deceit,
13 this sin will become for you
    like a high wall,(Q) cracked and bulging,
    that collapses(R) suddenly,(S) in an instant.
14 It will break in pieces like pottery,(T)
    shattered so mercilessly
that among its pieces not a fragment will be found
    for taking coals from a hearth
    or scooping water out of a cistern.”

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All who make idols(A) are nothing,
    and the things they treasure are worthless.(B)
Those who would speak up for them are blind;(C)
    they are ignorant, to their own shame.(D)
10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol,(E)
    which can profit nothing?(F)
11 People who do that will be put to shame;(G)
    such craftsmen are only human beings.
Let them all come together and take their stand;
    they will be brought down to terror and shame.(H)

12 The blacksmith(I) takes a tool
    and works with it in the coals;
he shapes an idol with hammers,
    he forges it with the might of his arm.(J)
He gets hungry and loses his strength;
    he drinks no water and grows faint.(K)
13 The carpenter(L) measures with a line
    and makes an outline with a marker;
he roughs it out with chisels
    and marks it with compasses.
He shapes it in human form,(M)
    human form in all its glory,
    that it may dwell in a shrine.(N)
14 He cut down cedars,
    or perhaps took a cypress or oak.
He let it grow among the trees of the forest,
    or planted a pine,(O) and the rain made it grow.
15 It is used as fuel(P) for burning;
    some of it he takes and warms himself,
    he kindles a fire and bakes bread.
But he also fashions a god and worships(Q) it;
    he makes an idol and bows(R) down to it.
16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire;
    over it he prepares his meal,
    he roasts his meat and eats his fill.
He also warms himself and says,
    “Ah! I am warm; I see the fire.(S)
17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol;
    he bows down to it and worships.(T)
He prays(U) to it and says,
    “Save(V) me! You are my god!”
18 They know nothing, they understand(W) nothing;
    their eyes(X) are plastered over so they cannot see,
    and their minds closed so they cannot understand.
19 No one stops to think,
    no one has the knowledge or understanding(Y) to say,
“Half of it I used for fuel;(Z)
    I even baked bread over its coals,
    I roasted meat and I ate.
Shall I make a detestable(AA) thing from what is left?
    Shall I bow down to a block of wood?”(AB)
20 Such a person feeds on ashes;(AC) a deluded(AD) heart misleads him;
    he cannot save himself, or say,
    “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?(AE)

21 “Remember(AF) these things, Jacob,
    for you, Israel, are my servant.(AG)
I have made you, you are my servant;(AH)
    Israel, I will not forget you.(AI)
22 I have swept away(AJ) your offenses like a cloud,
    your sins like the morning mist.
Return(AK) to me,
    for I have redeemed(AL) you.”

23 Sing for joy,(AM) you heavens, for the Lord has done this;
    shout aloud, you earth(AN) beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,(AO)
    you forests and all your trees,(AP)
for the Lord has redeemed(AQ) Jacob,
    he displays his glory(AR) in Israel.

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God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity

18 The wrath of God(A) is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.(B) 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made,(C) so that people are without excuse.(D)

21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.(E) 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools(F) 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images(G) made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them over(H) in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.(I) 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie,(J) and worshiped and served created things(K) rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.(L) Amen.(M)

26 Because of this, God gave them over(N) to shameful lusts.(O) Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.(P) 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.(Q)

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over(R) to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,(S) 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;(T) 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love,(U) no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death,(V) they not only continue to do these very things but also approve(W) of those who practice them.

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