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Miriam

Numbers 12:1-15 

 “Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman). [2] They said, ‘Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does He not also speak through us?’ And the Lord heard [it]. [3] Moses was a very humble man, more so than any man on the face of the earth. [4] Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, ‘You three come out to the tent of meeting.’ So the three of them went out. [5] Then the Lord descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, [6] He 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; I speak with him in a dream. [7] Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My household. [8] I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?’ [9] The Lord’s anger burned against them, and He left. [10] As the cloud moved away from the tent, Miriam’s [skin] suddenly became diseased, as [white] as snow. When Aaron turned toward her, he saw that she was diseased [11] and said to Moses, ‘My lord, please don’t hold against us this sin we have so foolishly committed. [12] Please don’t let her be like a dead [baby] whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother’s womb.’ [13] Then Moses cried out to the Lord, ‘God, please heal her!’ [14] The 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 for seven days; after that she may be brought back in.’ [15] So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on until Miriam was brought back in.” (HCSB)

 Miriam was an important member of Moses’ ministry team.  Her ministry to Moses began when he was a small child.  Moses was born into difficult times.  Not only was his family in Egyptian captivity, but Pharaoh had issued an extermination decree against all male babies.  Moses’ mother hid him as long as she could, then placed him in a papyrus basket and set him afloat in the portion of the Nile River where Pharaoh’s daughter bathed.  When she discovered the child, Pharaoh’s daughter had pity on him. Miriam, Moses’ sister immediately walked up to her and asked if she’d like for her to find one of the Hebrew women to nurse Moses for her.  Mesopotamian adoptions of abandoned children often included a paid wet nurse who cared for them until they were weaned.  (Bible Background Commentary)  Miriam assumed that Pharaoh’s daughter was willing to adopt Moses, or perhaps she was using subtle persuasion with her question.  Regardless, Pharaoh’s daughter agreed and Miriam took Moses to his own home where his mother cared for him during his formative years.

 In Micah 6:4, her name is mentioned right along with Moses and Aaron as people God sent to deliver His people.  It says, “Indeed, I brought you up from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from that place of slavery. I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam ahead of you.” (Micah 6:4 HCSB)

 Miriam was a leader among the women.  After God rescued the children of Israel by opening the Red Sea, allowing them to safely reach the Eastern Shore out of the reach of Pharaoh’s armies, Moses and the people sang a song of praise unto the Lord.  After God closed the Red Sea upon their pursuers; Miriam led the women in a celebratory dance before the Lord.  Exodus 15:20-21 says, “Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her with tambourines and dancing. [21] Miriam sang to them: Sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted; He has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.”

. Undoubtedly, she was an important member of the team, but something went horribly wrong in this text.

 Aaron was Moses' right hand man; Miriam was his sister. With Moses out of earshot, they began trashing him because they didn't approve of his wife-she was a Cushite, and they didn't like her. I suppose it is a 

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