MembersMiriam, the woman and water.

Part II

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: WOMEN OF THE BIBLE
Miriam and Aaron
Photo: (Julius August Brewer, public domain)

Miriam and Aaron spoke against the woman that Moses had taken as his wife. The text twice uses the word kushit, referring to the color of her skin, which disturbed them both. The fact that she was black was unmistakably apparent to all.

In addition, they seemed resentful that God preferred Moses to them. Coming to Moses’ defense was none other than God himself, who summoned the three of them, expressed His love and appreciation towards Moses, and called Miriam and Aaron to order.

Following that encounter, we read that “when the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow” (Numbers 12:10a). Her skin became so extremely white that no one could ignore her illness. Pay attention to the like-for-like punishment meted out to her. Miriam took exception to the color of Moses’ wife’s skin (black) and was punished with a disease that changed the color of her skin white. Black versus white, the difference being that Miriam’s condition was a contagious and frightening disease that led to her solitary confinement.

Another question that...

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