0 Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses (Num 12)

Episode 58: Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses

(Numbers 12)

12 1 Miriam and Aaron (Moses's sister and brother) criticized Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman.

Miriam and Aaron complain about Moses's Ethiopian wife

2 They said,

Has God only spoken to Moses?

Hasn't he also spoken to us?

And God heard it.

3 (Now Moses was very meek. He was the meekest man on earth.)

4 Suddenly God said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam,

Come to the tabernacle, all three of you.

5 So they went to the tabernacle, and God came down in a cloud-like pillar, stood in front of them, and said,

6 If there's a prophet among you, I'll speak to him in a dream.

7Except for Moses - I speak to him mouth to mouth, and not using dark phrases.

He sees me as I am.

8 So why weren't you afraid to criticize him?

God strikes Miriam with leprosy

9 God was angry with Miriam and Aaron.

10 The cloud left the tabernacle and Miriam became leprous.

God strikes Miriam with leprosy

11 Aaron said to Moses,

Please don't be angry with us.

12 Don't make Miriam like a dead person, whose flesh is half consumed like a newborn baby.

Moses cried out to God, saying,

Please God, heal her now.

14 God said to Moses,

If her father had spit in her face, shouldn't she be ashamed for seven days?

Expel her from the camp for seven days. After that let her come in again.

15 And Miriam was expelled from the camp for seven days. And the people resumed their journey after she returned to camp.

A few more words about this episode

An Ethiopian woman (v.1)
Aaron and Miriam criticize Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman.

So who is Moses's Ethiopian wife? The only wife we know of so far is Zipporah, and she was from Midian not Ethiopia. So did Moses have two wives? And what were Aaron and Miriam complaining about? That he married a non-Hebrew woman? That he married a black woman? Or that he already had a wife (which he apparently abandoned) and was marrying another?

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