Numbers 12

Miriam and Aaron speak against Moses

1 Moses had married a woman who was a descendant of Cush. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because he had married that woman. 2 They said, ‘We do not believe that the Lord has really spoken only by Moses. We believe that he has spoken by us too.’ The Lord heard what they said.

12:2Aaron and Miriam were Moses' brother and sister. They were leaders too. They helped Moses.

3 Moses was a very humble man. He was the most humble person in the whole world.

4 Immediately the Lord said to Moses and Aaron and Miriam, ‘You three people come out to the Tent of Meeting.’ So those three people went there. 5 Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud. He stood at the door of the tent. He said that Aaron and Miriam should come nearer. They both came nearer. 6 Then he said, ‘Listen to my words! If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, will show myself to him in a vision. Or I will speak to him in a dream. 7 But it is different when I speak to Moses. He is the one that I trust to lead all my people. 8 I speak clearly to him, as I come near to him. I do not say things to him that are hard to understand. He even sees the shape of the Lord. So you should have been afraid to speak against my servant Moses!’

9 So the Lord was very angry with Aaron and Miriam and he left them. 10 But when the cloud had gone away from over the tent, Miriam's skin became white, like snow. She now had the bad illness called leprosy in her skin. Aaron looked at her and he saw that she had leprosy.

11 Then Aaron said to Moses, ‘My master, please do not punish us because we have done this very silly thing. We have done a bad thing. 12 But do not let Miriam be like a baby that is born dead, with a body that is only half there.’

13 So Moses called loudly to the Lord, ‘Please God, make her well again!’ 14 But the Lord said to Moses, ‘Even if her father had spat on her face, she would have to be ashamed for seven days. So you must keep her outside the camp for seven days. After that you can let her come back inside the camp.’

15 So Moses kept Miriam outside the camp for seven days. The people did not start to travel again until they had brought Miriam back into the camp again.

16 After that, the people left Hazeroth. They went to the desert called Paran and they camped there.