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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.

Footnotes

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

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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