1When they were in Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses on account of the Cushite woman whom he had married—for he had married a Cushite woman. 2They said, "Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t he also spoken through us?" The Lord heard it. 3Now the man Moses was humble, more so than anyone on earth.
The Lord defends Moses
4Immediately, the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, "You three go out to the meeting tent." So the three of them went out. 5Then the Lord descended in a column of cloud, stood at the entrance of the tent, and called to Aaron and Miriam. The two of them came forward. 6He said, "Listen to my words: If there is a prophet of the Lord among you,#Heb uncertain; LXX If there is a prophet of you for the Lord I make myself known to him in visions. I speak to him in dreams. 7But not with my servant Moses. He has proved to be reliable with all my household. 8I speak with him face-to-face, visibly, not in riddles. He sees the Lord’s form. So why aren’t you afraid to criticize my servant Moses?" 9The Lord’s anger blazed against them, and they went back.
The Lord punishes Miriam
10When the cloud went away from over the tent, Miriam suddenly developed a skin disease flaky like snow. Aaron turned toward Miriam and saw her skin disease. 11Then Aaron said to Moses, "Oh, my master, please don’t punish us for the sin that we foolishly committed. 12Please don’t let her be like the stillborn, whose flesh is half eaten as it comes out of the mother’s womb."
13So Moses cried to the Lord, "God, please heal her!"
14The Lord said to Moses, "If her father had spit in her face, would she not be shamed for seven days? Let her be shut out of the camp for seven days, and afterward she will be brought back." 15So they shut Miriam out of the camp seven days. And the people didn’t march until Miriam was brought back. 16Afterward the people marched from Hazeroth, and they camped in the Paran desert.
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