Bible Commentaries
Numbers 12

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-16

Numbers 12:1-16 (JE). Miriam’ s and Aaron’ s Jealousy of Moses, and Yahweh’ s Vindication of Him.— The challenge of Moses’ prerogative to be Yahweh’ s sole spokesman is strangely combined with a complaint respecting his marriage with a Cushite woman (perhaps another story in which Miriam, without Aaron, figured). Elsewhere Moses’ wife, Zipporah, is represented as a Midianite ( Exodus 2:16-21) or a Kenite ( Judges 1:16; Judges 4:11): so that if Zipporah is here alluded to, this description of her as a Cushite may refer not to the African Cush (= Ethiopia) but to an Arabian Cush (perhaps the Cushan of Habakkuk 3:7). Otherwise it must be assumed that the woman here in question was a second wife. The uniqueness of Moses’ position consisted in his intimacy with Yahweh, who spoke with him not as with other men through visions ( Genesis 15:1) and dreams ( Genesis 20:3, 1 Samuel 28:6), but plainly, face to face ( cf. Exodus 33:11, Deuteronomy 34:10), and revealed to him His form. The latter statement conflicts with the tenor of some other passages, which represent the sight of God as fraught with death to men ( Exodus 33:20, Judges 13:22), though see Exodus 24:11.

Numbers 12:3 . meek: better “ humble,” the proper attitude of man to God.

Numbers 12:6. Render (LXX and Vulg.), “ If there be a prophet of Yahweh among you, I will make, etc.”

Numbers 12:8 . even manifestly . . . speeches: it has been proposed to read, “ not in a vision and not in a dream” ; cf. Numbers 12:6.

Numbers 12:14 . Heal . . . thee: read, “ Now heal her, I beseech thee.”

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 12". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.