And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.…
The serpent's trail was found in Eden, and "a devil" among the apostles. No wonder then at this narrative of strife in a godly family. We notice -
I. AN UNJUST INSINUATION. Neither Moses' marriage nor his conduct to his relatives (verse 3) had given fair cause of provocation. If his wife had done so, the charge Aaron and Miriam brought against the man who chose her was utterly irrelevant (verse 2). "The wife of Moses is mentioned, his superiority is shot at" (Bp. Hall). No wonder if the most conscientious and cautious are calumniated since false charges were brought against Moses, Job, Jeremiah, and Jesus Christ. The assault was aggravated because -
1. It came from his nearest kindred (Psalm 65:12-14; Jeremiah 12:6). Miriam apparently began it, perhaps through a misunderstanding between the sisters-in-law, and drew Aaron into the plot (1 Timothy 2:14).
2. Because it was in the form of an unjust insinuation that Moses claimed exclusive prophetic gifts (verse 2; cf. Exodus 15:20; Micah 6:4).
II. A TRIUMPHANT VINDICATION. Moses apparently had taken no notice of the charge; perhaps acting on Agricola's rule, "omnia scire, non omnia exsequi" (cf. Psalm 38:12-15; John 8:50). But the Lord heard it and interposed.
1. The three are summoned before an impartial judge, but with what different feelings.
2. The calumniated servant of God is distinguished by special honours (verses 6-8).
3. The murmurers are rebuked, and a humiliating punishment is inflicted on the chief offender. The punishment of Aaron, the accomplice, only less severe (through sympathy with his sister) than that of Miriam (Job 12:16).
4. They are indebted for deliverance to the intercession of the man they have wronged. Illustration) Jeroboam (1 Kings 13:6; Job's friends, Job 42:7-10). Thus God will vindicate all his calumniated servants (Psalm 37:5, 6). Protection (Psalm 31:20); peace (Proverbs 16:7); honour (Isaiah 60:14; Revelation 3:9); and final reward (Psalm 91:14-16; and Romans 8:31). Such are the privileges of the faithful but maligned servants of God. - P.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.