Numbers 12:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

New Living Translation
(Now Moses was very humble--more humble than any other person on earth.)

English Standard Version
Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.

New American Standard Bible
(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)

King James Bible
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Moses was a very humble man, more so than any man on the face of the earth.

International Standard Version
Now the man Moses was very humble—more than any person on earth.

NET Bible
(Now the man Moses was very humble, more so than any man on the face of the earth.)

GOD'S WORD® Translation
(Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on earth.)

Jubilee Bible 2000
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

King James 2000 Bible
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth.)

American King James Version
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were on the face of the earth.)

American Standard Version
Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
(For Moses was a man exceeding meek above all men that dwelt upon earth)

Darby Bible Translation
But the man Moses was very meek, above all men that were upon the face of the earth.

English Revised Version
Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.

Webster's Bible Translation
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth.)

World English Bible
Now the man Moses was very humble, above all the men who were on the surface of the earth.

Young's Literal Translation
And the man Moses is very humble, more than any of the men who are on the face of the ground.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:1-9 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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. For the Hebrew עָנָו the Septuagint has πραὺς here; the Vulgate, mitis. The Targum Palestine has "bowed down in his mind," i.e., overwhelmed ("plagued," Luther). The ordinary version is undoubtedly' right; the object of the parenthesis was either to explain that there was no real ground for the hostility of Miriam and Aaron, or to show that the direct interference of the Lord himself was necessary for the protection of his servant. The verse bears a difficulty on its very face, because it speaks of Moses in terms which could hardly have been used by Moses of himself. Nor is this difficulty in the least degree diminished by the explanations which are offered by those who are determined to maintain at any cost the Mosaic authorship of every word in the Pentateuch. It is no doubt true to some extent that when a great and good man is writing of himself (and especially when he writes under the influence of the Holy Spirit), he can speak of himself with the same calm and simple truthfulness with which he would speak of any other. It is sufficient, however, to refer to the example of St. Paul to show that neither any height of spiritual privilege and authority, nor any intensity of Divine inspiration, obliterates the natural virtue of modesty, or allows a really humble man to praise himself without pain and shrinking. It is also to be observed that while St. Paul forces himself to speak of his privileges, distinctions, and sufferings, all of which were outward to himself, Moses would here be claiming for himself the possession of an inward virtue in greater measure than any other living soul. Surely it is not too much to say that if he did possess it in such measure, he could not possibly have been conscious that he did; only One was thus conscious of his own ineffable superiority, and this very consciousness is one of the strongest arguments for believing that he was infinitely more than a mere man, howsoever good and exalted. There is but one theory that will make it morally possible for Moses to have written this verse, viz., that in writing he was a mere instrument, and not morally responsible for what he did write. Such a theory will find few upholders. But, further, it is necessary to prove not only that Moses might have made this statement, but also that he might have made it in this form. Granted that it was necessary to the narrative to point out that he was very meek; it was not necessary to assert that he was absolutely the meekest man living. And if it was unnecessary, it was also unnatural. No good man would go out of his way to compare himself to his own advantage with all men upon the face of the earth. The whole form of the sentence, indeed, as well as its position, proclaim it so clearly to be an addition by some later hand, that the question may be left to the common sense and knowledge of human nature of every reader; for the broad outlines of human character, morality, and virtue are the same in every age, and are not displaced by any accident of position, or even of inspiration. A slight examination of passages from other sacred writers, which are sometimes adduced as analogous, will serve to show how profound is the difference between what holy men could say of themselves and what they could not (cf. Daniel 1:19, 20; Daniel 5:11, 12; Daniel 9:23; Daniel 10:11). On the question of the inspiration of this verse, supposing it to be an interpolation, and as to the probable author of it, see the Preface. As to the fact of Moses' meekness, we have no reason to doubt it, but we may legitimately look upon the form in which it is stated as one of those conventional hyperboles which are not uncommon even in the sacred writings (cf. Genesis 7:19; John 21:25). And we cannot avoid perceiving that Moses' meekness was far from being perfect, and was marred by sinful impatience and passion on more than one recorded occasion.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now the man Moses was very meek,.... So that they might say anything against him, and he not be affronted, nor resent any injury; and this therefore is introduced as a reason why the Lord undertook the cause, and vindicated him, resenting the obloquies of Miriam and Aaron against him; because he knew he was so exceeding meek, that he himself would pass it by without taking notice of it, though he might hear it: hence the Targum of Jonathan"and he cared not for their words;''they gave him no concern or uneasiness, so meek, mild, and gentle was he: and this is to be considered; not as a self-commendation of Moses, but as a testimony of his character by God himself, by whom he was inspired in writing it; though it is possible this might be added by another hand, Joshua or Ezra, under the same direction and inspiration of the Spirit of God; who chose that such a character of Moses should stand here, in opposition to the calumnies cast upon him, and as giving a reason why not he himself, but the Lord, appeared in his vindication, he being so meek and lowly, as is said of his antitype, and by himself, Matthew 11:29,

above all the men which were upon the face of the earth; being seldom angry, and when he was, it was generally, if not always, when the honour of God was concerned, and not on account of his own person and character; though it must not be said of him that he was perfect in this respect, or free from passion, or from blame at any time on account of it, but, when compared with others, he was the meekest man that ever lived; whereby he became the fittest person to have to do with such a peevish, perverse, and rebellious people as the Israelites were, whom no other man could well have bore with.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. the man Moses was very meek—(Ex 14:13; 32:12, 13; Nu 14:13; 21:7; De 9:18). This observation might have been made to account for Moses taking no notice of their angry reproaches and for God's interposing so speedily for the vindication of His servant's cause. The circumstance of Moses recording an eulogium on a distinguishing excellence of his own character is not without a parallel among the sacred writers, when forced to it by the insolence and contempt of opponents (2Co 11:5; 12:11, 12). But it is not improbable that, as this verse appears to be a parenthesis, it may have been inserted as a gloss by Ezra or some later prophet. Others, instead of "very meek," suggest "very afflicted," as the proper rendering.

Numbers 12:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Murmuring of Miriam and Aaron
2and they said, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has He not spoken through us as well?" And the LORD heard it. 3(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.) 4Suddenly the LORD said to Moses and Aaron and to Miriam, "You three come out to the tent of meeting." So the three of them came out.…
Cross References
Matthew 11:29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Numbers 12:4
At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you." So the three of them went out.
Treasury of Scripture

(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were on the face of the earth.)

very

Psalm 147:6 The LORD lifts up the meek: he casts the wicked down to the ground.

Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek …

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in …

Matthew 21:5 Tell you the daughter of Sion, Behold, your King comes to you, meek, …

2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, …

1 Thessalonians 2:7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherishes her children:

James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show …

1 Peter 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, …

above

Numbers 11:10-15 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every …

Numbers 20:10-12 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the …

Psalm 106:32,33 They angered him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill …

2 Corinthians 11:5 For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very most chief apostles.

2 Corinthians 12:11 I am become a fool in glorying; you have compelled me: for I ought …

James 3:2,3 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, …

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