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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Numbers 12

 

 

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."

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Numbers 12:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/numbers-12.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, October 20th, 2019
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29
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