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12:1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
12:2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) 12:4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
12:5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? 12:9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.
12:10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.
12:11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
12:12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb.
12:13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.
12:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.
12:15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
12:16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

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King James Bible:Numbers
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Numbers
Book: Numbers
Chapter: 12

God rebukes the Murmuring of Aaron and Miriam. (1-9) Miriam
struck with Leprosy, and healed at the Prayer of Moses. (10-16)

1-9 The patience of Moses was tried in his own family, as Well
as By the people. The pretence was, that he had married a
foreign Wife; but probably their pride was hurt, and their envy
stirred up, By his superior authority. Opposition from our near
relations, and from religious friends, is most painful. But this
is to be looked for, and it will be Well if in such
circumstances we can preserve the gentleness and Meekness of
Moses. Moses was thus fitted to the work he was called to. God
not only cleared Moses, but praised him. Moses had the Spirit of
Prophecy in a way which set him far above all other prophets;
yet he that is least in the kingdom of Heaven, is greater than
he; and our Lord Jesus infinitely excels him, Heb 3:1. Let
Miriam and Aaron consider whom it was they insulted. We have
reason to be afraid of saying or doing any thing against the
servants of God. And those are presumptuous indeed who are not
afraid to speak evil of dignities, 2Pe 2:10. The removal of
God's presence is the surest and saddest token of God's
displeasure. Woe to us, if he depart! he never departs, till By
Sin and folly we drive him from us.

10-16 The Cloud departed, and Miriam became leprous. When God
goes, evil comes: expect No good when God departs. Her foul
tongue, as Bishop Hall says, was justly punished with a foul
Face. Aaron, as Priest, was Judge of the Leprosy. He could not
pronounce her leprous without trembling, knowing himself to be
equally guilty. But if she was thus punished for speaking
against Moses, what will become of those who Sin against Christ?
Aaron, who joined his sister in speaking against Moses, is
forced for himself and his sister, to beseech him, and to speak
highly of him whom he had So lately blamed. Those who trample
upon the saints and servants of God, will one Day be glad to
make Court to them. It is Well when rebukes produce Confession
of Sin and Repentance. Such offenders, though corrected and
disgraced, shall be pardoned. Moses made it appear, that he
forgave the injury done him. To this pattern of Moses, and that
of our Saviour, who said, "Father, forgive them," we must
conform. A reason is given for Miriam's being Put out of the
Camp for Seven days; because thus she ought to accept the
Punishment of her Sin. When under the tokens of God's
displeasure for Sin, it becomes us to take shame to ourselves.
This hindered the people's progress in their march forward
towards Canaan. Many things oppose us, but nothing So hinders us
in the way to Heaven, as Sin.

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