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Sleeping In The Desert Sands
Amram and Jochebed were the parents of "Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister."
"26:59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi [see Levites], whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister." (Numbers 26:59 KJV)
The firstborn of the children was Miriam (a Hebrew name from which the Latin name Mary originated). Miriam's age is not recorded, however she was obviously older than her helpless three-month old infant brother Moses when he was put into the Nile.
"2:3 And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein [see also Arks Of The Covenant]; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink. 2:4 And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him." (Exodus 2:3-4 KJV)
Aaron was the second-born. He was three years older than Moses.
"7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old [i.e. 80], and Aaron fourscore and three years old [i.e. 83], when they spake unto Pharaoh." (Exodus 7:7 KJV)
All three of them were given positions of responsibility in the Exodus, as the LORD stated. Moses was in charge overall, under Christ (see 'The God Of The Old Testament'), Aaron was given to pre-figure the high priest (see What Is Jesus Christ Doing Right Now?), and Miriam was a prophetess ("15:20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances" Exodus 15:20 KJV).
"6:4 For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam." (Micah 6:4 KJV)
"But no man knows the place of his burial to this day"
The Biblical record does not state when or where Amram and Jochebed died. With Moses being eighty at the time of the Exodus, Amram and Jochebed would have been very old if they came out of Egypt, and even if they did, they did not survive to enter the promised land (see Milk and Honey) forty years after that - nor did Miriam, Aaron or Moses. The entire family of Amram and Jochebed are therefore buried in Egypt or the Sinai.
Being the oldest by a substantial margin (Moses was eighty at the time of the Exodus, Miriam would have been perhaps ten to fifteen years older), it might be expected that Miriam would have been the first to die during the forty years in the Sinai.
"20:1 Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there." (Numbers 20:1 KJV)
Next was Aaron. He died after a formal transfer of responsibility to his son Eleazar.
"20:25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up unto mount Hor: 20:26 And strip Aaron of his garments, and put them upon Eleazar his son: and Aaron shall be gathered unto his people, and shall die there.
And then Moses too was laid to "rest" (another reason why "sleep" is used - see the Fact Finder question below) in the desert sands. Moses was alone with the LORD when he died (just as he often had been before that - see The Trysting Tent), and then the LORD Himself buried Moses, the reason why "34:6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day" (Deuteronomy 34:6 KJV)
"34:1 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, 34:2 And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, 34:3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. 34:4 And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.
Fact Finder: The photograph above (taken by the author in 2009 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada) shows an actual Egyptian "mummy" that was found in the sands of Egypt. Does the Holy Bible plainly say that the dead are "asleep"?