Numbers 12:15
And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
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(15) And the people journeyed not . . . —The law for the purification of the leper, as prescribed in Leviticus 14, had already been delivered.

Numbers 12:15. Journeyed not — Which was a testimony of respect to her both from God and from the people; God so ordering it, partly lest she should be overwhelmed by such a public rebuke from God, and partly lest, she being a prophetess, the gift of prophecy should come into contempt.

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.If her father ... - i. e. If her earthly parent had treated her with contumely (compare Deuteronomy 25:9) she would feel for a time humiliated, how much more when God has visited her thus?

And the Lord spake - The mission of the spies was first suggested by the Israelites themselves. See Deuteronomy 1:22.

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. Which was a testimony of respect to her both from God and from the people, God so ordering it, partly lest she should be overwhelmed by such a public rebuke from God, and partly lest, she being a prophetess, together with her person, the gift of prophecy should come into contempt.

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.

And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
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. Numbers 12:15The people did not proceed any farther till the restoration of Miriam. After this they departed from Hazeroth, and encamped in the desert of Paran, namely at Kadesh, on the southern boundary of Canaan. This is evident from ch. 13, more especially v. 26, as compared with Deuteronomy 1:19., where it is stated not merely that the spies, who were sent out from this place of encampment to Canaan, returned to the congregation at Kadesh, but that they set out from Kadesh-barnea for Canaan, because there the Israelites had come to the mountains of the Amorites, which God had promised them for an inheritance.

With regard to the situation of Kadesh, it has already been observed at Genesis 14:7, that it is probably to be sought for in the neighbourhood of the fountain of Ain Kades, which was discovered by Rowland, to the south of Bir Seba and Khalasa, on the heights of Jebel Helal, i.e., at the north-west corner of the mountain land of Azazimeh, which is more closely described at Numbers 10:12, where the western slopes of this highland region sink gently down into the undulating surface of the desert, which stretches thence to El Arish, with a breadth of about six hours' journey, and keeps the way open between Arabia Petraea and the south of Palestine. "In the northern third of this western slope, the mountains recede so as to leave a free space for a plain of about an hour's journey in breadth, which comes towards the east, and to which access is obtained through one or more of the larger wadys that are to be seen here (such as Retemat, Kusaimeh, el Ain, Muweileh)." At the north-eastern background of this plain, which forms almost a rectangular figure of nine miles by five, or ten by six, stretching from west to east, large enough to receive the camp of a wandering people, and about twelve miles to the E.S.E. of Muweileh, there rises, like a large solitary mass, at the edge of the mountains which run on towards the north, a bare rock, at the foot of which there is a copious spring, falling in ornamental cascades into the bed of a brook, which is lost in the sand about 300 or 400 yards to the west. This place still bears the ancient name of Kudēṡ. There can be no doubt as to the identity of this Kudēṡ and the biblical Kadesh. The situation agrees with all the statements in the Bible concerning Kadesh: for example, that Israel had then reached the border of the promised land; also that the spies who were sent out from Kadesh returned thither by coming from Hebron to the wilderness of Paran (Numbers 13:26); and lastly, according to the assertions of the Bedouins, as quoted by Rowland, this Kudes was ten or eleven days' journey from Sinai (in perfect harmony with Deuteronomy 1:2), and was connected by passable wadys with Mount Hor. The Israelites proceeded, no doubt, through the wady Retemat, i.e., Rithmah (see at Numbers 33:18), into the plain of Kadesh. (On the town of Kadesh, see at Numbers 20:16.)

(Note: See Kurtz, History of the Old Covenant, vol. iii. p. 225, where the current notion, that Kadesh was situated on the western border of the Arabah, below the Dead Sea, by either Ain Hasb or Ain el Weibeh, is successfully refuted.)

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