Numbers 12:1
New International Version
Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite.

New Living Translation
While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because he had married a Cushite woman.

English Standard Version
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.

Berean Study Bible
Then Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he had married, for he had taken a Cushite wife.

New American Standard Bible
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman);

King James Bible
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

Christian Standard Bible
Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman).

Good News Translation
Moses had married a Cushite woman, and Miriam and Aaron criticized him for it.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he married (for he had married a Cushite woman).

International Standard Version
Miriam and Aaron rebelled against Moses on account of the Cushite woman that he had married.

NET Bible
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman he had married (for he had married an Ethiopian woman).

New Heart English Bible
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Miriam and Aaron began to criticize Moses because he was married to a woman from Sudan.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.

New American Standard 1977
Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman);

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had taken; for he had taken an Ethiopian woman.

King James 2000 Bible
And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

American King James Version
And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

American Standard Version
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And Mariam and Aaron spoke against Moses, because of the Ethiopian woman whom Moses took; for he had taken an Ethiopian woman.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Mary and Aaron spoke against Moses, because of his wife the Ethiopian,

Darby Bible Translation
And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had taken; for he had taken a Cushite as wife.

English Revised Version
And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married: for he had married a Cushite woman.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married: for he had married a Cushite woman.

World English Bible
Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.

Young's Literal Translation
And Miriam speaketh -- Aaron also -- against Moses concerning the circumstance of the Cushite woman whom he had taken: for a Cushite woman he had taken;
Study Bible
The Murmuring of Miriam and Aaron
1Then Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses because of the Cushite woman he had married, for he had taken a Cushite wife. 2“Does the LORD speak only through Moses?” they said. “Does He not also speak through us?” And the LORD heard this.…
Cross References
Exodus 2:21
Moses agreed to stay with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage.

Numbers 14:22
not one of the men who have seen My glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness--yet have tested Me and disobeyed Me these ten times--

Treasury of Scripture

And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

Miriam

Matthew 10:36
And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

Matthew 12:48
But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?

John 7:5
For neither did his brethren believe in him.

Ethiopian or Cushite

Exodus 2:16,21
Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock…

married.

Genesis 24:3,37
And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: …

Genesis 26:34,35
And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: …

Genesis 27:46
And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these which are of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?







Lexicon
Then Miriam
מִרְיָ֤ם (mir·yām)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4813: Miriam -- a sister of Aaron, also a man of Judah

and Aaron
וְאַהֲרֹן֙ (wə·’a·hă·rōn)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 175: Aaron -- an elder brother of Moses

criticized
וַתְּדַבֵּ֨ר (wat·tə·ḏab·bêr)
Conjunctive waw | Verb - Piel - Consecutive imperfect - third person feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1696: To arrange, to speak, to subdue

Moses
בְּמֹשֶׁ֔ה (bə·mō·šeh)
Preposition-b | Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 4872: Moses -- a great Israelite leader, prophet and lawgiver

because of
עַל־ (‘al-)
Preposition
Strong's Hebrew 5921: Above, over, upon, against

the Cushite
הַכֻּשִׁ֖ית (hak·ku·šîṯ)
Article | Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3569: Cushite -- descendant of Cush

woman
הָאִשָּׁ֥ה (hā·’iš·šāh)
Article | Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 802: Woman, wife, female

he had married,
לָקָ֑ח (lā·qāḥ)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3947: To take

for
כִּֽי־ (kî-)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

he had taken
לָקָֽח׃ (lā·qāḥ)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3947: To take

a Cushite
כֻשִׁ֖ית (ḵu·šîṯ)
Noun - proper - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3569: Cushite -- descendant of Cush

wife.
אִשָּׁ֥ה (’iš·šāh)
Noun - feminine singular
Strong's Hebrew 802: Woman, wife, female
XII.

(1) And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses.--Miriam appears to have been the leader in this insurrection against the authority of Moses. Her name occurs before that of Aaron, either as the nearer or as the more prominent subject; and the verb which is rendered "spake" is in the feminine gender. Moreover, the judgment which was inflicted (Numbers 12:10) fell upon Miriam, not upon Aaron. who seems to have yielded to the suggestions of Miriam, as he had previously done to the request of the Israelites in regard to the golden calf.

Because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married.--Some suppose that the reference is to Zipporah, who may have been included amongst the Asiatic division of the Ethiopians, or Cushites (comp. Habakkuk 3:7, where the tents of Cushan, or Cush, are coupled with the curtains of Midian), and that the occasion of the opposition to Moses was the undue influence which he is supposed to have allowed Hobab and other members of Zipporah's family to exercise over him. This supposition, however, seems improbable on many accounts. The words, "for he had married an Ethiopian (or Cushite) woman," naturally point to some recent occurrence, not to one which had taken place more than forty years previously, and which is, therefore, very unlikely to have given occasion to the murmuring of Miriam and Aaron at this time. Moreover, the murmuring is expressly connected with the Cushite herself, not with any of the subsequent or incidental results of the marriage. It seems, therefore, much more probable that Zipporah was dead, and that Moses had married one of the African Cushites who had accompanied the Israelites in their march out of Egypt, or one of the Cushites who dwelt in Arabia, and who were found at this time in the neighbourhood of Sinai. A similar marriage had been contracted by Joseph, and such marriages were not forbidden by the Law, which prohibited marriage with the Canaanites (Exodus 34:16).

Verse 1. - And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses. While the people were encamped at Hazeroth (see verse 16), and therefore probably very soon after the events of the last chapter. That Miriam's was the moving spirit in the matter is sufficiently evident,

(1) because her name stands first;

(2) because the verb "spake" is in the feminine (יַתְּדַבֵּר, "and she said");

(3) because the ground of annoyance was a peculiarly feminine one, a mesalliance;

(4) because Miriam alone was punished;

(5) because Aaron never seems to have taken the lead in anything.

He appears uniformly as a man of weak and pliable character, who was singularly open to influence from others, for good or for evil. Superior to his brother in certain gifts, he was as inferior to him in force of character as could well be. On the present occasion there can be little question that Aaron simply allowed himself to be drawn by his sister into an opposition with which he had little personal sympathy; a general discontent at the manifest inferiority of his position inclined him to take up her quarrel, and to echo her complaints. Because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman. Hebrew, a Cushite woman. The descendants of Cush were distributed both in Africa (the Ethiopians proper) and in Asia (the southern Arabians, Babylonians, Ninevites, etc.). See Genesis 10. Some have thought that this Ethiopian woman was none other than the Midianite Zipporah, who might have been called a Cushite in some loose sense by Miriam. The historian, however, would not have repeated in his own name a statement so inaccurate; nor is it at all likely that that marriage would have become a matter of contention after so many years. The natural supposition undoubtedly is that Moses (whether after the death of Zipporah, or during her lifetime, we cannot tell) had taken to himself a second wife of Hamite origin. Where he found her it is useless to conjecture; she may possibly have been one of the "mixed multitude" that went up out of Egypt. It is equally useless to attribute any moral or religious character to this marriage, of which Holy Scripture takes no direct notice, and which was evidently regarded by Moses as a matter of purely private concern to himself. In general we may say that the rulers of Israel attached neither political, social, nor religious significance to their marriages; and that neither law nor custom imposed any restraint upon their choice, so long as they did not ally themselves with the daughters of Canaan (see Exodus 34:16). It would be altogether beside the mark to suppose that Moses deliberately married a Cushite woman in order to set forth the essential fellowship between Jew and Gentile. It is true that such marriages as those of Joseph, of Salmon, of Solomon, and others undeniably became invested with spiritual importance and evangelical significance, in view of the growing narrowness of Jewish feeling, and of the coming in of a wider dispensation; but such significance was wholly latent at the time. If, however, the choice of Moses is inexplicable, the opposition of Miriam is intelligible enough. She was a prophetess (Exodus 15:20), and strongly imbued with those national and patriotic feelings which are never far removed from exclusiveness and pride of race. She had - to use modern words - led the Te Deum of the nation after the stupendous overthrow of the Egyptians. And now her brother, who stood at the head of the nation, had brought into his tent a Cushite woman, one of the dark-skinned race which seemed oven lower in the religious scale than the Egyptians themselves. Such an alliance might easily seem to Miriam nothing better than an act of apostasy which would justify any possible opposition. 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.
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OT Law: Numbers 12:1 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because (Nu Num.) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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