Miriam: Sister of Moses & Aaron

Seeds of Promise Series by Shenica Graham

Miriam: Sister of Moses & Aaron

Women of The Bible

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Seeds of Promise Women of the Bible Miriam: Sister of Moses & Aaron Exodus 2:1-10, Numbers 12 Audio

Memory VerseAMP

Devotional Reading: Exodus 2:1-10 AMP

1 Now [Amram] a man of the house of Levi [the priestly tribe] went and took as his wife [Jochebed] a daughter of Levi. And the woman became pregnant and bore a son; and when she saw that he was [exceedingly] beautiful, she hid him three months. And when she could no longer hide him, she took for him an ark or basket made of bulrushes or papyrus [making it watertight by] daubing it with bitumen and pitch. Then she put the child in it and laid it among the rushes by the brink of the river [Nile]. And his sister [Miriam] stood some distance away to learn what would be done to him. Now the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the river, and her maidens walked along the bank; she saw the ark among the rushes and sent her maid to fetch it. When she opened it, she saw the child; and behold, the baby cried. And she took pity on him and said, This is one of the Hebrews’ children! Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call a nurse of the Hebrew women to nurse the child for you? Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the girl went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages. So the woman took the child and nursed it. 10 And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she called him Moses, for she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

Moses’ sister Miriam was the eldest of his siblings and she wisely spoke to Pharaoh’s daughter that she might have the child nursed by a Hebrew woman since the child was Hebrew; and also because nursing was not likely one of the child’s healthy benefits of birth that Bithiah was also looking forward to. Bithiah told Miriam to go and get a Hebrew nurse; and she brought Jochebed, her mother and the child’s mother.

Devotional Reading: Numbers 12 AMP

1 Now Miriam and Aaron talked against Moses [their brother] because of his [a]Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite woman. And they said, Has the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Has He not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek (gentle, kind, and humble) or above all the men on the face of the earth. Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, Come out, you three, to the Tent of Meeting. And the three of them came out. The Lord came down in a pillar of cloud, and stood at the Tent door and called Aaron and Miriam, and they came forward. And He said, Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I the Lord make Myself known to him in a vision and speak to him in a dream. But not so with My servant Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in all My house. With him I speak mouth to mouth [directly], clearly and not in dark speeches; and he beholds the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and He departed. 10 And when the cloud departed from over the Tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow. And Aaron looked at Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous! 11 And Aaron said to Moses, Oh, my lord, I plead with you, lay not the sin upon us in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. 12 Let her not be as one dead, already half decomposed when he comes out of his mother’s womb. 13 And Moses cried to the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech You! 14 And the Lord said to Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed for seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp for seven days, and after that let her be brought in again. 15 So Miriam was shut up without the camp for seven days, and the people did not journey on until Miriam was brought in again. 16 Afterward [they] removed from Hazeroth and encamped in the Wilderness of Paran.

Miriam and Aaron were displeased with the wife Moses had taken from the Cushite peoples. Apparently, Moses’ first wife, Zipporah had passed away some time ago before Moses took this second wife. Moses then, would not have broken any law of God by taking another wife at that time.

It is not recorded here exactly what was said against Moses, yet the words were enough to ignite the anger of the LORD. God called out Miriam and Aaron for their evil speaking and told them to appear before Him at the tent of meeting. After God explained that Moses was not only a servant of God, but a special messenger with whom God spoke with face to face and not in parables as did with others, God left speaking with them and He was angry. Miriam was stricken with leprosy until Moses prayed for her and God said that her shame would be for seven days, whilst she would be shut up outside of the camp of the Israelites. Aaron was not stricken with leprosy. Perhaps Miriam was more emotional and spoke worse against Moses in the heat of the moment, as Job’s wife did while Job suffered.

God is serious about His good servants. He is the Good Shepherd. Those who emulate Him are under His Almighty shadow. God says, “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm.” Touching God’s servant does not have to be a physical slight of the hand. Speaking evil against Moses was the same as personal injury to him. What’s more, Moses was a gentle, humble, and meek person; this seems to have exacerbated the situation of Moses’ own siblings mumbling and complaining about him. It is difficult to imagine that Moses would have had a gossip session about Miriam and Aaron. If he had a problem with them, Moses would have went to God rather than starting a hater huddle as apparently Miriam and Aaron did.

20 When they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people, 21 He allowed no man to do them wrong; yes, He reproved kings for their sakes, 22 Saying, Touch not My anointed, and do My prophets no harm. I Chronicles 16:20-22 AMP

Miriam and Aaron temporarily lost sight of Moses’ consecration and importance to God. They made the mistake of calling Moses common, seeing him as merely their brother and not the ambassador of God to them and their people. The same mistake was made when people belittled the high estate of Jesus, seeing Him as only “Joseph’s son” – when in fact He was the only  begotten son of God.

Thankfully, God was merciful to Miriam and Aaron. He did not afflict Aaron’s body and did not allow Miriam to die of leprosy, but she was apparently healed and reunited within the camp after seven days. It is quite different from the immediate judgment of the sons of Aaron who offered strange fire upon the alter of God – He immediately struck them so that they died.

Miriam died and was buried in the wildernwss of Zin when the Israelites dwelt in Kadesh [1].


[1] Numbers 20:1

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