Numbers

Chapter 12

"Murmurings of Miriam and Aaron. [1 - 14]"
"Punishment Inflicted. [4 - 10]"

Numbers 12:1 "And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman."

 

Miriam was the first to show that she was in rebellion of Moses' marriage, and this was the first time she speaks out against this Midianite woman. Of course when their older sister voiced her mind, Aaron and Moses and Miriam's brothers were soon to follow. After all it was only a few months back Miriam and Aaron were all excited about building the golden calf for the people to worship. Aaron was the type of person at this time that would give the people what they wanted, or follow right in behind the crowd.

 

Moses was given Zipporah to be his wife, after he fled from Egypt to the land of Cush and the Kenites. Exodus 2:21 "And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter." After his quick departure, Moses never expected to return to Egypt. The idea of going back to face Pharaoh's judgment was the far from his mind. The Pharaoh wanted to kill Moses because he killed one of his men. However, remember that Moses' father in law was not an Ethiopian, but a Midianite priest, and in the Hebrew text, the land is called "Cushite" or "the land of Cush". Zipporah may have been called a Cushite or Ethiopian here because of the land where she lived, but she was of the Lineage of Abraham, through Midian, the son of Katurah.

 

Numbers 12:2 "And they said, "Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath He not spoken also by us?" And the Lord heard it."

 

Both Miriam and Aaron knew that God had given them gifts, and their pride was in control of their mind. Miriam had thought that her gifts were more important than Moses. She forgot where the gifts came from, and she claimed her gifts are by herself. She was placing herself on an equal level with Moses before God. Miriam is walking in areas where she does not belong. Jesus taught on this same subject in Matthew 23.

 

Matthew 23:1-3 "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to His disciples," [1] "Saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:" [2] "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not." [3]

 

Jesus meant for everybody to hear this, including you and I in these end times. The scribes and Pharisees have taken their seat above Moses' seat, and Miriam was doing this very same thing. She was placing herself on an equal or higher footing as Moses. Has she been given the opportunity, she would have stepped right in and taken over Moses' job. Remember at the time of Christ, the scribes and Pharisees were not the Levitical priesthood, but they were the Nethinims, Kenites, as was pointed out in I Chronicals 2:55.

 

I Chronicles 2:55 "And the families of the scribes which dwelt at Jabez [Jerusalem]; the Tirathites, the Shimeathites, and Suchathites. These are the Kenites that came of Hemath, the father of the house of Rechab."

 

This verse is talking about the priesthood that came out of Babylon captivity about 509 B.C. Notice that though 43,000 were in this wagon train heading back to Jerusalem, over half of those returning were Kenites, not of Abraham, and not of Israel. The Kenites were strangers given to service, doing the job of the Levitical priests. So it become important to know exactly who these Kenites are, for they are the sons of Cain, the offspring of Satan through Eve. After Cain murdered Abel, Cain fled to the land of Nod, a land in the East, and it is important to notice the names of the children in Cain's lineage, for they are close to the names of his half brother Seth's lineage. Kenite means, sons of Cain. Kenite in Strong's Hebrew dictionary is #7017; "Qiyniy (I Chron. 2:55), kee-nee'; patron from #7014, a Kenite or member of the tribe of Kajin:-Kenite." In #7014 reads; "Qayin, kah'-yin; The name of the first child, and a place in Palistine; and of an Oriental tribe: Cain-Kenite."

 

How do we know that the Kenites were now in complete control over the Levitical priesthood? On the way back, his wagon train stopped along the river side to pause three days and take inventory as to who was in the train and what supplies they had. This is Ezra's report.

 

Ezra 8:15 "And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava: and there abode we in tents three days: and I viewed the People, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi."

 

Do you get the picture, there are hundreds of priests and scribes heading back, but none from the tribe of Levi. The Priesthood was given to Aaron and his sons, Levites, and there are none of them here. Sure Ezra sent a Kenite back to get a Levite, but the Kenites by this time controlled the priesthood. When Ezra sent back to get a Levite Priest, Sherebiah with his sons and eighteen brethren of Levi came with him; however 220 Nethinims [Kenites] also came with these few Levites. Do you get the picture? By Jesus time six centuries later, these Kenites, scribes and Pharisees had completely taken over and tried to murder Jesus both as a baby, and when His ministry started. These are the ones that tried to substitute their traditions for Moses' law; and they were successful. The Kenites were the ones that instigated the murder, and forced Pilot to hand Jesus on the tree. However that is what was foretold by Scripture in Psalms 22, in detail.

These Kenites were also the ones that altered the Massorah into the Sopherim, changing the meanings of word, both adding and subtracting many words to fit their desires. Is it any wonder that many people as so misled, for most Christians have never heard of the Massorah. In 134 passages of the Sopherim, the word "Yahoveh" has been altered to "Adonai". The name "Yahoveh" or YHVH showes the extreme reverence to our Creator, and Almighty Father, yet within the intentional changes the Kenites have altered in the Sopherim to have the our Heavenly Father reduced to an earthly Lord, through the word "Adonai".

 

In the side remarks of the Companion Bible, it draws our attention, that "All things" that the scribes and Pharisees do that are in God's Word, that ye shall do. The problem was that they would tell you to observe the Word, but they would not do it themselves. Jesus knew that these Kenites, the scribes and Pharisees do not practice what they preach.

 

Matthew 23:4 "For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers."

 

Remember from John 8 that God's Word doesn't bind you, but sets you free. The truth sets you free, but these scribes and Pharisees were binding the people with their traditions. Not only will they not bear the burden that they set on other, they wouldn't touch that burden with their finger.

 

Matthew 23:5-7 "But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments," [5] "And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues." [6] "And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." [7]

 

Do you see what Jesus is talking about, they want all the credit and praise from the people, and be boosted to the front of all men's minds. They want to be the Master [Rabbi] of all the people. Then Jesus set the record straight for His disciples and followers.

 

Matthew 23:8-10 "But be not ye called Rabbi: for One is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren." [8] "And call not man your father upon the earth: for One is your Father, Which is in heaven." [9] "Neither be ye called masters: for One is your Master, even Christ." [10]

 

Everything that the Kenites did was to please themselves, and not God. Jesus is telling you not to be like them. Call no man Master, for Christ is our only Master, and our Heavenly Father is in heaven, not here on earth. We are all equal in the sight of God, and brethren. The least on earth shall be greatest in the kingdom of God, and the greatest here on earth shall be least in in God's kingdom. Miriam lost sight of her position and the use of her gifts. Moses was a humble man, and following all of his instruction from God. Yet, Miriam and Aaron thought themselves to be greater here on earth. God doesn't like their attitude. Our Lord Jesus Christ paid an awesome price with His own life to earn the respect to be called Master. Jesus was a servant to all.

 

Matthew 23:11, 12 "But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant." [11] "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased [brought low]; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." [12]

 

Many preachers and teachers today think that God needs their help to accomplish His plan of Salvation, and they think God couldn't do it with out their help, needs to pay attention to what Miriam needs to do. For God will give her a vital lesson that she would never forget. Miriam tried to exalt herself, and God will abase her, and bring her low and humble her before this chapter ends. We must realize that it is God that gives all gifts, and the gifts are His, not yours. He did the creating, and He gets the honor and praise for what you do.

 

Revelation 4:11 "Thou art worthy, O lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created."

 

This verse sets the record straight where all the glory and honor and power that you have goes. It is not yours, but God's. If you take the glory for what you do, then you are stealing from God. God gives blessings and pleasure to those that please Him, and seek to be faithful servants to Him. The Master of a house receives all the credit for what is done in His household, not the servant, and we are His servants. If you hear someone whispering how great you are, that is Satan; for Satan's downfall was his pride, and that is the same tool that he will use against you; your pride. This is the tool Satan used on both Miriam and Aaron, and Aaron repented, but Miriam did not. When people brag you up, and try to tell you that you are something that you know your not, look out for Satan is using that person to attack you spiritually. Friend, before God we are all brethren, equal in the sight of the Lord. If you have gifts and use them for the Lord's work, what ever rewards come from those gifts are God, not yours.

 

Numbers 12:3 "(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)"

 

Moses was a very patient [meek"] man, and Moses was willing to suffer the criticism of of Miriam's bad remarks. Moses was a humble man, for remember that when God called him, the reason he did not want to be the leader of the children of Israel, was his inability to speak before people. God set up a chain of command, that He would speak to Moses, then Moses relay the message to Aaron, and Aaron would be the public speaker before Pharaoh, and the people. Moses was willing to give God all the credit, and humbly follow the Lord's instructions to him. He was a faithful servant to the Lord.

 

Numbers 12:4 "And the Lord spake suddenly unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, "Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation." And they three came out."

 

Immediately when Aaron and Miriam started to degrade and speak against Moses, the Lord spoke directly to these two. He told all three of them to go to the tabernacle of the congregation now, and Moses, Aaron and Miriam went to the tabernacle. Moses was humble enough to let the criticism go, but would God allow His appointed and anointed servant take the criticism?

 

Numbers 12:5 "And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth."

 

Notice that God "stood in the door of the tabernacle", normally God would speak from the mercy seat over the ark of the covenant, in the holy of holies. This was a serious thing that Aaron and Miriam had committed. God is about to set the record straight and they would never forget who was in command; and it wasn't them.

 

Numbers 12:6 "And He said, "Hear now My words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream."

 

This is YHVH the almighty God speaking to Aaron and Miriam. God is telling them that if you have a prophet among you, only God will make Himself known unto that prophet, and the message will be given him in a dream. The point here is that God will not speak directly to the prophet face to face, as He did with Moses.

 

Numbers 12:7 "My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all Mine house."

 

"Faithful", as used here means "approved". Moses was selected, qualified by God for the position that he was ordained to serve. Aaron and Miriam were were given gifts to serve, but the final authority for leadership was upon Moses. God did not like His appointed man being challenged.

 

Numbers 12:8 "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?" "

 

God let it be know right from the start what His conversation "will be mouth to mouth", direct and to the point. You speak face to face with a person as a friend, and by the word "apparently", means that this conversation with Moses will not be in a vision. The "similitude" of what God is, Moses will see directly in person. God is telling Aaron of Miriam that Moses is this special to Me, and none of the other prophets will I speak face to face to. Of course Aaron and Miriam stood speechless to God's remarks.

 

Numbers 12:9 "And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and He departed."

 

Judgment made and the punishment for their criticism is forth coming.

 

Numbers 12:10 "And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow; and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold she was leprous."

 

Aaron was always a follower, from the things that happened in Egypt, to the building of the golden calf back at Sinai. This fact that Miriam received the punishment of leprosy, and Aaron didn't points to that fact. Miriam the older sister, liked to control here little brothers, and she could become very pushy. When God departed in a cloud, the three of them stood at the tabernacle door, and Miriam was covered with leprosy. the word "Leper", comes from the Hebrew word "zara". meaning "to strike"; so a leprous person is one that is seen to be struck by God. Miriam has been abased, brought down.

 

Numbers 12:11 "And Aaron said unto Moses, "Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned."

 

Aaron is pleading with Moses and acknowledging that he and Miriam has sinned against God. Pride and being on an ego trip will make you act and think foolishly. This was the thing that brought Satan down, and it is also the tool that he uses to bring you down. Satan will build you up to where you shed all your righteous defenses, to here you are open for a frontal attack, and he will come at you when your guard is down. Jesus told us that when you humble yourself; you will be exalted in the kingdom.

 

Numbers 12:12 "Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb."

 

Aaron pleaded with Moses, let her not be as one still born, for he is comparing Miriam's condition with a still born child born with its flesh in a decomposition stage. This is just as leprosy works in decomposing the body while the person still has breath.

 

Numbers 12:13 "And Moses cried unto the Lord, saying, "Heal her now, O God, I beseech Thee." 

 

Moses is crying to the Lord as the intercessor.

 

Numbers 12:14 "And the Lord said unto Moses, "If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out of the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again."

 

This is referring to the fact that the supreme insult was when a father spit in his child's face; but this showed the Lord didn't just spit in Miriam's face but struck her down with leprosy.

 

Numbers 12:15 "And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the People journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again."

 

This was a very fitting punishment for Miriam, for she was trying to place herself on an equal position with Moses, and ahead of Aaron the high priest, and over the entire congregation. God not only separated her from her position in the congregation, but she is not even a part of the camp for seven days. This was the law of the leper as given in Leviticus 14.

 

Numbers 12:16 "And afterward the People removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran.

 

After the seven day period of Miriam's separation from the camp, the People packed up and moved on into the wilderness of Paran. This point were they are setting up camp was on the outskirts of the land of Canaan and on the southern border of the promise land.

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