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12 And Mary and Aaron spoke against Moses, because of his wife the Ethiopian,

And they said: Hath the Lord spoken by Moses only? hath he not also spoken to us in like manner? And when the Lord heard this,

(For Moses was a man exceeding meek above all men that dwelt upon earth)

Immediately he spoke to him, and to Aaron and Mary: Come out you three only to the tabernacle of the covenant. And when they were come out,

The Lord came down in a pillar of the cloud, and stood in the entry of the tabernacle calling to Aaron and Mary. And when they were come,

He said to them: Hear my words: if there be among you a prophet of the Lord, I will appear to him in a vision, or I will speak to him in a dream.

But it is not so with my servant Moses a who is most faithful in all my house:

For I speak to him mouth to mouth: and plainly, and not by riddles and figures doth he see the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak ill of my servant Moses?

And being angry with them he went away:

10 The cloud also that was over the tabernacle departed: and behold Mary appeared white as snow with a leprosy. And when Aaron had looked on her, and saw her all covered with leprosy,

11 He said to Moses: I beseech thee, my lord, lay not upon us this sin, which we have foolishly committed:

12 Let her not be as one dead, and as an abortive that is cast forth from the mother's womb. Lo, now one half of her flesh is consumed with the leprosy.

13 And Moses cried to the Lord, saying: O God, I beseech thee heal her.

14 And the Lord answered him: If her father had spitten upon her face, ought she not to have been ashamed for seven days at least? Let her be separated seven days without the camp, and after wards she shall be called again.

15 Mary therefore was put out of the camp seven days: and the people moved not from that place until Mary was called again.

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.

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