Miriam and Aaron Rebel
1Miriam#Ex 15:20–21; Nm 20:1; 26:59; Dt 24:9 and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman). 2They said, “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does he not also speak through us?” And the Lord heard it. 3Moses was a very humble man, more so than anyone on the face of the earth.
4Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, “You three come out to the tent of meeting.” So the three of them went out. 5Then the Lord descended in a pillar of cloud,#Dt 31:15 stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, 6he said:
“Listen to what I say:
If there is a prophet among you from the Lord,
I make myself known to him in a vision;#1Sm 3:15; Ezk 1:1; Dn 10:7–8,16; Rv 1:10–12
I speak with him in a dream.
7Not so with my servant Moses;
he is faithful in#12:7 Or is entrusted with all my household.#Heb 3:2,5
8I speak with him#Ex 33:11; Nm 7:89; Jdg 6:22 directly,#12:8 Lit mouth to mouth
openly, and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.#1Co 13:12
So why were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” 9The Lord’s anger burned against them,#Ex 22:24; 32:10–11; Nm 11:1,10,33; 32:13; Dt 6:15 and he left.
10As the cloud moved away from the tent, Miriam’s skin suddenly became diseased, resembling snow.#12:10 A reference to whiteness or flakiness of the skin When Aaron turned toward her, he saw that she was diseased 11and said to Moses, “My lord, please don’t hold against us this sin we have so foolishly committed. 12Please don’t let her be like a dead baby#12:12 Alt Hb tradition reads baby who comes out of our mother’s womb and our flesh is half eaten away. whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother’s womb.”
13Then Moses cried out to the Lord, “God, please heal her!” #Gn 20:17; Ex 15:26; Lv 14:3; Dt 32:39
14The Lord answered Moses, “If her father had merely spit in her face, wouldn’t she remain in disgrace for seven days? Let her be confined outside the camp#Lv 13:46; Nm 5:1–4; 2Kg 15:5 for seven days;#Lv 13:4 after that she may be brought back in.” 15So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was brought back in.#Lv 14:2,8 16After that, the people set out from Hazeroth and camped in the Wilderness of Paran.