Numbers chapter 12

Aaron and Mirian complain about Moses. Only Miriam is punished.

 


 

AARON AND MIRIAM COMPLAIN ABOUT MOSES

 

VERSE 1. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.

Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses. They complained.

Complaining is kryptonite to the superpower of our faith. And it is offensive to the LORD God.

Some people are always complaining. Or arguing. Those are destructive habits. They harm the individual. And the community. They need to STOP. Read more »

because of the Cushite woman whom he had married. They complain about the wife of Moses.

However, that was not the real issue, as we see in the next verse …

 

VERSE 2. They said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only with Moses? Hasn’t he spoken also with us?” And the LORD heard it.

Hasn’t he spoken also with us? The real issue was jealousy.

On the one hand, it is true that the LORD God can speak through anyone. However, for the sake of leading the nation, God chose to speak to Moses, and not to Aaron and Miriam.

 

VERSE 3. Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all the men who were on the surface of the earth.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Numbers and from the entire Bible.

Moses was the most humble person alive. To be very humble is the human ideal.

But in our day, very few Christian leaders are humble. Christians want leaders who are confident and strong and powerful.

In practice, that means selecting leaders whose character traits that are the opposite of humble.

 

VERSE 4. The LORD spoke suddenly to Moses, to Aaron, and to Miriam, “You three come out to the Tent of Meeting!” The three of them came out.

 

VERSE 5. The LORD came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the door of the Tent, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forward.

 

VERSE 6. He said, “Now hear my words. If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Book of Numbers and from the entire Bible.

This verse reveals two ways the LORD God communicates with the prophets:

  • I, the LORD, will make myself known to him in a vision.
  • I will speak with him in a dream.

In each case, the mystical experience engages different senses. And accomplishes a different outcome.

VISION. This is a nonverbal encounter. It reveals the LORD God himself.

DREAM. The LORD God speaks. It provides guidance.

 

VERSE 7. My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house.

He is faithful in all my house. Moses alone is a good and faithful servant:

Numbers 12:7. My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house.

Joshua 24:29. After these things, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being one hundred ten years old.

Matthew 25:23. His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

 

VERSE 8. With him, I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles; and he shall see the LORD’s form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?”

he shall see the LORD’s form. Apparently Moses could see the “form” of the LORD God, but not his “face”:

Exodus 33:20. He said, “You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live.”

 

VERSE 9. The LORD’s anger burned against them; and he departed.

The LORD’s anger burned against them. Many people see the LORD God as angry and capricious. Their perception is based on verses such as this.

 

ONLY MIRIAM IS PUNISHED

 

VERSE 10. The cloud departed from over the Tent; and behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. Aaron looked at Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.

Miriam was leprous. Miriam is punished for complaining against Moses.

Aaron looked. Aaron was not published for complaining against Moses.

Why is only the woman punished? This sets the stage for men to blame women for their own sins.

 

VERSE 11. Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord, please don’t count this sin against us, in which we have done foolishly, and in which we have sinned.

we have sinned. Aaron uses the word “we.” In doing so, he admits both he and Miriam are guilty.

Again we wonder why the woman was punished, but not the man.

 

VERSE 12. Let her not, I pray, be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb.”

 

VERSE 13. Moses cried to the LORD, saying, “Heal her, God, I beg you!”

Moses cried to the LORD. The turnaround in the healing of Miriam came when Moses prayed for her.

While the LORD God can (and does) answer anybody’s prayer, in this instance, he waited for the key intercessor to ask.

Heal her, God, I beg you! This is a very humble prayer. It is very simple. It gives God all the credit.

In our day, our miracle-healers credit themselves. Their prayer of healing goes like this: “I heal you, in the name of Jesus.”

 

VERSE 14. The LORD said to Moses, “If her father had but spit in her face, shouldn’t she be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut up outside of the camp seven days, and after that she shall be brought in again.”

 

VERSE 15. Miriam was shut up outside of the camp seven days, and the people didn’t travel until Miriam was brought in again.

 

VERSE 16. Afterward the people traveled from Hazeroth, and encamped in the wilderness of Paran.

 


next chapter »

« previous chapter


NUMBERS

CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 0506, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 3536

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.