|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 16. - In the wilderness of Paran. It is somewhat strange that this note of place should be used a second time without explanation (see chapter Numbers 10:12, 33). Probably it is intended to mark the fact that they were still within the limits of Paran, although on the very verge of their promised laud. In the list of stations given in chapter Numbers 33, it is said (verse 18), "They departed from Hazeroth, and pitched in Rithmah." This is with some probability identified with the Wady Redemat, which opens front the mountain mass of the Azazimat into the singular plain of Kudes, or Kadesh, the scene of the decisive events which followed.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And afterwards the people removed from Hazeroth,.... After seven days, where they had been so long at least; the cloud being returned to the tabernacle, and having been taken up, which was the signal for motion, the camps of Israel, in their order, removed and marched forward:
and pitched in the wilderness of Paran; at a place in it called Rithmah, Numbers 33:18; which, according to Bunting (m), was eight miles from Hazeroth, near to which was another place called Kadesh, or else this was another name of Rithmah, see Numbers 13:3; and now the Israelites were very near the land of promise, and from hence they sent spies to make their observations on it, and bring a report of it; and had it not been for their ill conduct in that affair, in all probability would have been quickly in it, but on that account were kept out thirty eight years longer: it was on the twenty eighth or twenty ninth of the month Sivan the Israelites came to this place, according to the Jewish writers (n), which month answers part of our May and part of June.
(m) Travels, &c. p. 82. (n) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 8. p. 24. & Meyer. Annotat. in ib. p. 338.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. pitched in the wilderness of Paran—The station of encampments seems to have been Rithma (Nu 33:19).
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