Numbers 12

An editor added  notes that we accept as inspired text.  In Numbers 12 they told us that no-one was as humble as Moses.  Most people who lead large groups develop some ego of significant proportion.  Leaders like Napoleon, Hitler, or Saddam Hussein take leadership to assert their own authority not their humility.  However, Moses is always mindful of the fact that he is a leader under God.  In its best moments America remembers that it is one nation under God.  Its citizens remember that God raises up and tears down.  When we accept leadership we must hold the eternal God in mind.  We are like grass that passes away.  we are a mist that comes in the morning a disappears.  We should be seeking to obey rather than be obeyed.

Numbers 12

1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this.

 3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

 4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, “Listen to my words:
       “When a prophet of the LORD is among you,
       I reveal myself to him in visions,
       I speak to him in dreams.

 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses;
       he is faithful in all my house.

 8 With him I speak face to face,
       clearly and not in riddles;
       he sees the form of the LORD.
       Why then were you not afraid
       to speak against my servant Moses?”

 9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.

 10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam—leprous, [a] like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy; 11 and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, do not hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. 12 Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

 13 So Moses cried out to the LORD, “O God, please heal her!”

 14 The LORD replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” 15 So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back.

 16 After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.


  1. Who opposed Moses?
  2. What was their relationship to Moses?
  3. Why might the fact that Moses just delegated power be significant?
  4. Are they being racist?
  5. When have you seen that a loss of power has led to rivalry, racism and rebellion?
  6. How could you be more humble ‘under God’?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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