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Numbers 12:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married; for he had married a Cushite woman.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman);
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married: for he had married a Cushite woman.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had taken; for he had taken a Cushite as wife.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses, on account of the Cushite woman whom he had taken,—for, a Cushite woman, had he taken.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And Miriam speaketh—Aaron also—against Moses concerning the circumstance of the Cushite woman whom he had taken: for a Cushite woman he had taken;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And Mary and Aaron spoke against Moses, because of his wife the Ethiopian,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses, because of the Ethiophian woman, whom hee had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And Miriam{gr.Mariam} and Aaron spoke against Mosheh{gr.Moses}, because of the Ethiopian woman whom Mosheh{gr.Moses} took; for he had taken an Ethiopian woman.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And Miryam and Aharon spake against Mosheh because of the Kushi woman whom he had married: for he had married a Kushi woman.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And Mirym מִריָם 4813
{4813} Prime
מִרְיָם
Miryam
{meer-yawm'}
From H4805; rebelliously; Mirjam, the name of two Israelitesses.
and Ahrn אַהֲרֹן 175
{0175} Prime
אַהֲרֹן
'Aharown
{a-har-one'}
Of uncertain derivation; Aharon, the brother of Moses.
spake 1696
{1696} Prime
דִּבֵּר
dabar
{daw-bar'}
A primitive root; perhaps properly to arrange; but used figuratively (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue.
z8762
<8762> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 2447
against M מֹשֶׁה 4872
{4872} Prime
מֹשֶׁה
Mosheh
{mo-sheh'}
From H4871; drawing out (of the water), that is, rescued; Mosheh, the Israelitish lawgiver.
because x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
x182
(0182) Complement
אוֹדוֹת
'owdowth
{o-doth'}
From the same as H0181; turnings (that is, occasions); (adverbially) on account of.
of y182
[0182] Standard
אוֹדוֹת
'owdowth
{o-doth'}
From the same as H0181; turnings (that is, occasions); (adverbially) on account of.
the C כּוּשִׁי 3571
{3571} Prime
כֻשִׁית
Kuwshiyth
{koo-sheeth'}
Feminine of H3569; a Cushite woman.
woman 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
whom x834
(0834) Complement
אֲשֶׁר
'asher
{ash-er'}
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
he had married: 3947
{3947} Prime
לָקַח
laqach
{law-kakh'}
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
for x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
he had married 3947
{3947} Prime
לָקַח
laqach
{law-kakh'}
A primitive root; to take (in the widest variety of applications).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
a C כּוּשִׁי 3571
{3571} Prime
כֻשִׁית
Kuwshiyth
{koo-sheeth'}
Feminine of H3569; a Cushite woman.
woman. 802
{0802} Prime
אִשָּׁה
'ishshah
{ish-shaw'}
The first form is the feminine of H0376 or H0582; the second form is an irregular plural; a woman (used in the same wide sense as H0582).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Numbers 12:1

_ _ Numbers 12:1-9. Miriam’s and Aaron’s sedition.

_ _ an Ethiopian womanHebrew, “a Cushite woman” — Arabia was usually called in Scripture the land of Cush, its inhabitants being descendants of that son of Ham (see on Exodus 2:15) and being accounted generally a vile and contemptible race (see on Amos 9:7). The occasion of this seditious outbreak on the part of Miriam and Aaron against Moses was the great change made in the government by the adoption of the seventy rulers [Numbers 11:16]. Their irritating disparagement of his wife (who, in all probability, was Zipporah [Exodus 2:21], and not a second wife he had recently married) arose from jealousy of the relatives, through whose influence the innovation had been first made (Exodus 18:13-26), while they were overlooked or neglected. Miriam is mentioned before Aaron as being the chief instigator and leader of the sedition.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Numbers 12:1-3

_ _ Here is, I. The unbecoming passion of Aaron and Miriam: they spoke against Moses, Numbers 12:1. If Moses, that received so much honour from God, yet received so many slights and affronts from men, shall any of us think such trials either strange or hard, and be either provoked or discouraged by them? But who would have thought that disturbance should be created to Moses, 1. From those that were themselves serious and good; nay, that were eminent in religion, Miriam a prophetess, Aaron the high priest, both of them joint-commissioners with Moses for the deliverance of Israel? Micah 6:4, I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. 2. From those that were his nearest relations, his own brother and sister, who shone so much by rays borrowed from him? Thus the spouse complains (Song of Songs 1:6), My mother's children were angry with me; and quarrels among relations are in a special manner grievous. A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. Yet this helps to confirm the call of Moses, and shows that his advancement was purely by the divine favour, and not by any compact or collusion with his kindred, who themselves grudged his advancement. Neither did many of our Saviour's kindred believe on him, John 7:5. It should seem that Miriam began the quarrel, and Aaron, not having been employed or consulted in the choice of the seventy elders, was for the present somewhat disgusted, and so was the sooner drawn in to take his sister's part. It would grieve one to see the hand of Aaron in so many trespasses, but it shows that the law made men priests who had infirmity. Satan prevailed first with Eve, and by her with Adam; see what need we have to take heed of being drawn into quarrels by our relations, for we know not how great a matter a little fire may kindle. Aaron ought to have remembered how Moses stood his friend when God was angry with him for making the golden calf (Deuteronomy 9:20), and not to have rendered him evil for good. Two things they quarrelled with Moses about: — (1.) About his marriage: some think a late marriage with a Cushite or Arabian; others because of Zipporah, whom on this occasion they called, in scorn, an Ethiopian woman, and who, they insinuated, had too great an influence upon Moses in the choice of these seventy elders. Perhaps there was some private falling out between Zipporah and Miriam, which occasioned some hot words, and one peevish reflection introduced another, till Moses and Aaron came to be interested. (2.) About his government; not the mismanagement of it, but the monopolizing of it (Numbers 12:2): “Hath the Lord spoken only by Moses? Must he alone have the choice of the persons on whom the spirit of prophecy shall come? Hath he not spoken also by us? Might not we have had a hand in that affair, and preferred our friends, as well as Moses his?” They could not deny that God had spoken by Moses, but it was plain he had sometimes spoken also by them; and that which they intended was to make themselves equal with him, though God had so many ways distinguished him. Note, Striving to be greatest is a sin which easily besets disciples themselves, and it is exceedingly sinful. Even those that are well preferred are seldom pleased if others be better preferred. Those that excel are commonly envied.

_ _ II. The wonderful patience of Moses under this provocation. The Lord heard it (Numbers 12:2), but Moses himself took no notice of it, for (Numbers 12:3) he was very meek. He had a great deal of reason to resent the affront; it was ill-natured and ill-timed, when the people were disposed to mutiny, and had lately given him a great deal of vexation with their murmurings, which would be in danger of breaking out again when thus headed and countenanced by Aaron and Miriam; but he, as a deaf man, heard not. When God's honour was concerned, as in the case of the golden calf, no man more zealous than Moses; but, when his own honour was touched, no man more meek: as bold as a lion in the cause of God, but as mild as a lamb in his own cause. God's people are the meek of the earth (Zephaniah 2:3), but some are more remarkable than others for this grace, as Moses, who was thus fitted for the work he was called to, which required all the meekness he had and sometimes more. And sometimes the unkindness of our friends is a greater trial of our meekness than the malice of our enemies. Christ himself records his own meekness (Matthew 11:29, I am meek and lowly in heart), and the copy of meekness which Christ has set was without a blot, but that of Moses was not.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Numbers 12:1

Miriam — Miriam seems to be first named, because she was the first mover of the sedition; wherefore she is more eminently punished. The Ethiopian — Either, Zipporah, who is here called an Ethiopian, in the Hebrew a Cushite, because she was a Midianite: the word Cush being generally used in scripture, not for Ethiopia properly so called below Egypt, but for Arabia. If she be meant, probably they did not quarrel with him for marrying her, because that was done long since, but for being swayed by her and her relations, by whom they might think he was persuaded to chose seventy rulers, by which co — partnership in government they thought their authority and reputation diminished. And because they durst not accuse God, they charge Moses, his instrument, as the manner of men is. Or, some other woman, whom he married either whilst Zipporah lived, or rather because she was now dead, though that, as many other things, be not recorded. For, as the quarrel seems to be about his marrying a stranger, it is probable it was a fresh occasion about which they contended. And it was lawful for him as well as any other to marry an Ethiopian or Arabian woman, provided she were, a sincere proselyte.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Numbers 12:1

And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married (a) an Ethiopian woman.

(a) Zipporah, Moses' wife, was a Midianite, and because Midian bordered on Ethiopia, it is sometimes referred to in the scriptures by this name.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Miriam:

Matthew 10:36 And a man's foes [shall be] they of his own household.
Matthew 12:48 But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren?
John 7:5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.
John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Galatians 4:16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

Ethiopian:
or, Cushite,
Exodus 2:16 Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters: and they came and drew [water], and filled the troughs to water their father's flock.
Exodus 2:21 And Moses was content to dwell with the man: and he gave Moses Zipporah his daughter.

married:
Heb. taken,
Genesis 24:3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
Genesis 24:37 And my master made me swear, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife to my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell:
Genesis 26:34-35 And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: ... Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah.
Genesis 27:46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth: if Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these [which are] of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me?
Genesis 28:6-9 When Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob, and sent him away to Padanaram, to take him a wife from thence; and that as he blessed him he gave him a charge, saying, Thou shalt not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan; ... Then went Esau unto Ishmael, and took unto the wives which he had Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael Abraham's son, the sister of Nebajoth, to be his wife.
Genesis 34:14-15 And they said unto them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one that is uncircumcised; for that [were] a reproach unto us: ... But in this will we consent unto you: If ye will be as we [be], that every male of you be circumcised;
Genesis 41:45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over [all] the land of Egypt.
Exodus 34:16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.
Leviticus 21:14 A widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, [or] an harlot, these shall he not take: but he shall take a virgin of his own people to wife.
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Gn 24:3, 37; 26:34; 27:46; 28:6; 34:14; 41:45. Ex 2:16, 21; 34:16. Lv 21:14. Mt 10:36; 12:48. Jn 7:5; 15:20. Ga 4:16.

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