English Standard Version
With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”
King James Bible
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
American Standard Version
with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of Jehovah shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?
For I speak to him mouth to mouth: and plainly, and not by riddles and figures doth he see the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak ill of my servant Moses?
English Revised Version
with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?
Webster's Bible Translation
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: why then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
Numbers 12:8 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
Miriam and Aaron said, "Hath Jehovah then spoken only by Moses, and not also by us?" Are not we - the high priest Aaron, who brings the rights of the congregation before Jehovah in the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:30), and the prophetess Miriam (Exodus 15:20) - also organs and mediators of divine revelation? "They are proud of the prophetic gift, which ought rather to have fostered modesty in them. But such is the depravity of human nature, that they not only abuse the gifts of God towards the brother whom they despise, but by an ungodly and sacrilegious glorification extol the gifts themselves in such a manner as to hide the Author of the gifts" (Calvin). - "And Jehovah heard." This is stated for the purpose of preparing the way for the judicial interposition of God. When God hears what is wrong, He must proceed to stop it by punishment. Moses might also have heard what they said, but "the man Moses was very meek (πραΰ́ς, lxx, mitis, Vulg.; not 'plagued,' geplagt, as Luther renders it), more than all men upon the earth." No one approached Moses in meekness, because no one was raised so high by God as he was. The higher the position which a man occupies among his fellow-men, the harder is it for the natural man to bear attacks upon himself with meekness, especially if they are directed against his official rank and honour. This remark as to the character of Moses serves to bring out to view the position of the person attacked, and points out the reason why Moses not only abstained from all self-defence, but did not even cry to God for vengeance on account of the injury that had been done to him. Because he was the meekest of all men, he could calmly leave this attack upon himself to the all-wise and righteous Judge, who had both called and qualified him for his office. "For this is the idea of the eulogium of his meekness. It is as if Moses had said that he had swallowed the injury in silence, inasmuch as he had imposed a law of patience upon himself because of his meekness" (Calvin).
The self-praise on the part of Moses, which many have discovered in this description of his character, and on account of which some even of the earlier expositors regarded this verse as a later gloss, whilst more recent critics have used it as an argument against the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, is not an expression of vain self-display, or a glorification of his own gifts and excellences, which he prided himself upon possessing above all others. It is simply a statement, which was indispensable to a full and correct interpretation of all the circumstances, and which was made quite objectively, with reference to the character which Moses had not given to himself but had acquired through the grace of God, and which he never falsified from the very time of his calling until the day of his death, either at the rebellion of the people at Kibroth-hattaavah (ch. 11), or at the water of strife (at Kadesh (ch. 20). His despondency under the heavy burden of his office in the former case (ch. 11) speaks rather for than against the meekness of his character; and the sin at Kadesh (ch. 20) consisted simply in the fact, that he suffered himself to be brought to doubt either the omnipotence of God, or the possibility of divine help, in account of the unbelief of the people.
(Note: There is not a word in Numbers 20:10 or Psalm 106:32 to the effect, that "his dissatisfaction broke out into evident passion" (Kurtz). And it is quite a mistake to observe, that in the case before us there was nothing at all to provoke Moses to appeal to his meekness, since it was not his meekness that Miriam had disputed, but only his prophetic call. If such grounds as these are interpolated into the words of Moses, and it is to be held that an attack upon the prophetic calling does not involve such an attack upon the person as might have excited anger, it is certainly impossible to maintain the Mosaic authorship of this statement as to the character of Moses; for the vanity of wishing to procure the recognition of his meekness by praising it, cannot certainly be imputed to Moses the man of God.)
No doubt it was only such a man as Moses who could speak of himself in such a way, - a man who had so entirely sacrificed his own personality to the office assigned him by the Lord, that he was ready at any moment to stake his life for the cause and glory of the Lord (cf. Numbers 11:15, and Exodus 32:32), and of whom Calmet observes with as much truth as force, "As he praises himself here without pride, so he will blame himself elsewhere with humility,"-a man or God whose character is not to be measured by the standard of ordinary men (cf. Hengstenberg, Dissertations, vol. ii. pp. 141ff.).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered."
"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.
And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.
Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.
Jump to PreviousAfraid Apparently Appearance Attentively Beholds Clearly Dark Evil Eyes Riddles Sayings Servant Similitude Speak Speech Speeches Talk Wherefore
Jump to NextAfraid Apparently Appearance Attentively Beholds Clearly Dark Evil Eyes Riddles Sayings Servant Similitude Speak Speech Speeches Talk Wherefore
LinksNumbers 12:8 NIV
Numbers 12:8 NLT
Numbers 12:8 ESV
Numbers 12:8 NASB
Numbers 12:8 KJV
Numbers 12:8 Bible Apps
Numbers 12:8 Biblia Paralela
Numbers 12:8 Chinese Bible
Numbers 12:8 French Bible
Numbers 12:8 German Bible
ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.