BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 19, Day 4: Numbers 12:1-3

Summary of passage:  Miriam and Aaron, Moses’ siblings, wonder if God has only spoken through him and if God has spoken through them as well.  They talk about Moses’ wife.  God heard them.

Questions:

8a)  Miriam helped save Moses’ life.  Once his mom placed him in the basket and set him afloat (Exodus 2), Miriam watched over the baby until it was found.  She’s the one who suggested to Pharaoh’s daughter if she should get a Hebrew wet nurse for the baby.

Miriam becomes a prophetess (Exodus 15:20) and lead the women in a song of praise to the Lord after their harrowing escape from Egypt.  She’s a leader of the Israelites as well.

b)  Moses’ Cushite wife.  She is jealous and probably looks down on foreigners and believes herself superior.

9a)  He says nothing.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Anger.

Conclusions:  Again we study just the first three verses of the chapter like Day 2.  Short and sweet. We see jealousy here on full display and probably a yearning for power and prestige among the people.  A universal human emotion that gets us all at times.

End Notes:  Scholars believe Miriam is the leader here.  In the Greek, a feminine singular verb is used here.  Also, her name before Aaron’s indicate she is foremost here.  Furthermore, she is one singled out for punishment by the Lord (Numbers 12:10).

Exodus 2:16-22 says that Moses’ wife is from Midian.  This is a contradiction in the Bible and scholars can only guess here.  Was this a possible second wife of Moses’?  Was Zipporah originally from Cush?  Was Zipporah’s family from Cush originally and then they moved to Midian?  All are possible.

Cush is modern-day Ethiopia so Moses’ wife would have had dark skin and would have stood out amongst the olive-complexion of the Israelites.

The real reason God is upset here is that Miriam and Aaron attack Moses’ spiritual authority. This is where God draws the line and says that Moses is special.

God hears everything always.

Since Moses wrote these words, did he call himself the humblest man on earth?  That would be pride, the opposite of humbleness.  Scholars think these words were added later possibly by Joshua who knew Moses so well.

Scholars question the translation of “humble” here.  The origins of the word suggest “meekness” or “afflicted” and elsewhere in the Bible, it is translated as such.

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2 comments on “BSF Study Questions The Life of Moses Lesson 19, Day 4: Numbers 12:1-3

  1. everlyne imbosa says:

    Miriam and Aaron criticized Moses on marrying a cushite woman for it was a custom for Israelite used to marry at their uncles side,they saw it strange for them,e.g Jacob went for a wife at the uncles in Genesis 28;1-3

    Moses had escaped in Egypt for killing an Egyptian, but still God saw him the best in rescuing the Israelite, when the favor of God is upon someone in a family even the family members envies, instead of rejoicing like Aaron& Miriam.

    The same incident happens to Joseph and his brothers in Genesis 37 God does not look at the physical as most people think, He looks at Heart, as much as Aaron and Miriam could complain there could be no reverse.

    When God says Yes no man can

  2. Carlamcs says:

    Another observation of Moses’ wife: Jealously/envious can certainly be a part of their questioning, but also, God has been giving a lot of lessons on being set apart, etc.
    This *rule* was challenged.. right there with the leaders’ wife.
    God is unchanging.. but then he seem to change…. this confuses me sometimes.

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