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Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron oppose Moses

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Barry and Helen Setterfield, Feb 11, 2003.

  1. Barry and Helen Setterfield

    Dec 28, 2002
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    the NIV notes here are very good, so they are typed below as full quotes. Read in your own Bible and check the verses with the verse references here for extra information.

    12:1 -- his Cushite wife, Cush was the first son of Ham, the father of the southernmost peoples ...living in the sourthern Nile valley. Moses' wife Zipporah may be referred to here (see Exodus 2:15-22); if so the term "Cushite" is used in contempt of her Midiantie ancestry. It is more likely, however, that the reference is to a new wife taken by Moses, perhaps after the death of his first wife. The attack on the woman was a pretext; its focus was the prophetic gift of Moses and his special relationship with the Lord.

    12:2 -- Hasn't he also spoken through us? Of course he had. Micah 6:4 speaks of Moses, Aaron and Miriam as God's gracious provision for Israel. The prophetic gifting of the 70 elders (11:24-30) seems to have been the immediate provocation for the attack of Miriam and Aaron on their brother.

    12:3 -- perhaps a later addition to the text [this verse is considered an editorial comment put in by Joshua or a scribe -- someone who knew Moses personally].

    12:6-8 – The poetic cast of these words adds a sense of solemnity to them. The point of the poem is clear: All true prophetic vision is from the Lord, but in the case of Moses his position and faithfulness enhance his special relationship with the Lord.

    12:8 – clearly and not in riddles – God’s revelation does not come with equal clarity to his servants. There may be oracles of the Lord that a prophet might not fully understand at the time; to him they may be riddles and mysteries (see 1 Peter 1:10-11). But to Moses, God spoke with special clarity, as though face to face.

    12:10 – The Hebrew word often translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin, not necessarily leprosy. In this verse Miriam, the principal offender against her brother Moses, has become an outcast, as she now suffers from a skin disease that would exclude her from the community of Israel.

    12:11 – Please, my lord – Aaron’s repentance for the sin of presumption is touching, mboth in its intensity and in his concern for his (and Moses’ ) sister.

    12:14-15 – An act of public rebuke (see Deuteronomy 25:9) demands a period of public shame. A period of seven days was a standard time for uncleanness occasioned by being in contact with a dead body.

    12:16 – The Desert of Paran was the southernmost region of the Promised Land. The people’s opportunity to conquer this land God was going to give them would be coming soon.

    Except….. read on, folks!
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Oct 10, 2001
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    Bible in a year forum:

    March - Reading 6