|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:10-16 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.
Verse 15. - Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days. It does not say that Miriam was healed forthwith of her leprosy, but the presumption is to that effect. Not the punishment itself, but the shame of it, was to last according to the answer of God. Her ease, therefore, would not fall under the law of Numbers 5:2, or of Leviticus 13:46, but would be analogous to that treated of in Leviticus 14. No doubt size had to submit to all the rites there prescribed, humiliating as they must have been to the prophetess and the sister of the law-giver; and these rites involved exclusion from her tent for a period of seven days (Leviticus 14:8). By God's command exclusion from her tent was made exclusion from the camp.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Miriam was shut out of the camp seven days,.... And so in later times lepers dwelt alone, and in a separate house, as long as the leprosy was upon them, see 2 Chronicles 26:21; Miriam no doubt was healed at once, but, as a punishment for her sin, she was obliged to keep out of the camp of Israel for such a space of time:
and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again; partly out of respect unto her, she being a prophetess, and one that went before them, and led them with Moses and Aaron, Micah 6:4; and partly for want of the cloud to direct them, which had departed at a distance from them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again—Either not to crush her by a sentence of overwhelming severity or not to expose her, being a prophetess, to popular contempt.
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