A character from the Hebrew Bible
. Miriam is the sister of Aaron
. She lead the women in song and dance to celebrate the victory over the Egyptians at the Red Sea
. The Song of Miriam
is one of the oldest poetic couplet
s in the Old Testament.
Later she is struck with leprosy (or some sort of skin disease) for criticising Moses. (Though interestingly enough he brother Aaron who also spoke against Moses is not punished.) She was expelled from the camp for seven days since she was ritually unclean. Perhaps only Miriam was punished because as a prophetess she was a greater threat to Moses' authority.