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Tuesday, February 26 2019

A Bible Journey, 129: Sibling Rivalry

"And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us?"

Moses was the youngest of a family of three children. Aaron was three years older than Moses ("7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh." Exodus 7:7 KJV), while Miriam (to understand the origin of the English name Mary, see What Does The Bible Really Say About Mary?) was substantially older than both of them. When the infant Moses was placed into the Nile River by his mother (see Exodus 2: The Drawing Of Moses), Miriam followed the basket along the river (unlike the classic Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston, the Scriptures do not say that Moses' mother told Miriam to follow the basket along the river) to look over his safety in the powerful and crocodile-infested waters of the Nile - something that a little girl would be incapable of doing without being in as much danger as the baby in the basket. Miriam's quick-thinking, relatively-mature response to the Pharaoh's daughter also shows that she was at least in the mid or late teens when Moses was only three months old.

Miriam and Moses

"2:2 And the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.

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; 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.

2:5 And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it. 2:6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.

2:7 Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

2:8 And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go.

And the maid went and called the child's mother." (Exodus 2:4-8 KJV)

Over eighty years later ("7:7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spake unto Pharaoh." Exodus 7:7 KJV), Miriam was a prominent Israelite woman, 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.

15:21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea." (Exodus 15:20-21 KJV)

A year after the Exodus, when the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) had completed the assignment of tasks and responsibilities, Miriam and Aaron became resentful toward their younger brother. It began with disapproval of Moses' choice of a wife, or choice of another wife (it is unclear whether this is referring to Zipporah; see Moses And Zipporah).

"12:1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman." (Numbers 12:1 KJV)

The root cause of their resentment then became evident; they were jealous of the responsibility that the LORD gave to Moses - that Moses neither asked for, nor wanted. Moses repeatedly pleaded with the LORD to send someone else to begin with (see Exodus 3: The Sign Of The Flaming Bush) and then later repeatedly pleaded with the LORD to replace him when he realized that the Israelites were unable to free themselves of their slave mentality (see Numbers 11: Winners and Whiners).

"12:2 And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it." (Numbers 12:2 KJV)

Moses did not respond to their rebellion.

"12:3 Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth." (Numbers 12:3 KJV)

The LORD however did respond.


"12:4 And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out." (Numbers 12:4 KJV)

The LORD made it clear that Moses was His chosen servant. Moses spoke the Word of God because the LORD had chosen to speak to Moses.

"12:5 And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.

12:6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 12:7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 12:8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" (Numbers 12:5-8 KJV)

Miriam and Aaron survived their rebellion, but not without wrath. Miriam was made "leprous." Some debate why Miriam was inflicted while Aaron was not. The most-likely and obvious reason was that Miriam was apparently the leader - the reason that it is stated as "Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses." The other reason is pragmatic; if Aaron had been made leprous, he would not have been able to carry out his daily responsibilities as the High Priest. It's plain however that "the fear of the LORD" was instilled in him just as well as it was in Miriam - neither of them rebelled against Moses again.

"12:9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed." (Numbers 12:9 KJV)

12:10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and, behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous. 12:11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned. 12:12 Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother's womb." (Numbers 12:9-12 KJV)

Moses prayed for Miriam's healing.

"12:13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee." (Numbers 12:13 KJV)

The LORD responded with a reiteration of the health laws that permitted Miriam's natural healing (see Leviticus 13: Bacteria).

"12:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

12:15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp seven days: and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again." (Numbers 12:14-15 KJV)

The Israelites thereafter continued their northward journey to the Promised Land (see Numbers 10: North To The Promised Land).

"12:16 And afterward the people removed from Hazeroth, and pitched in the wilderness of Paran." (Numbers 12:16 KJV)

Fact Finder: When and where did sibling rivalry begin?
See What Proof Is There That Cain And Abel Were Twins?


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This Day In History

This Day In History, February 26

364: Valentinian I was proclaimed the Emperor of Rome (see also Who Were Valentine And Cupid?).

1266: The Battle of Benevento. Charles, Count of Anjou, defeated German and Sicilian forces under King Manfred of Sicily. Manfred died in the battle; Pope Clement IV the proclaimed Charles as king of Sicily and Naples (see also Emperors and Popes and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1443: Alfonso of Aragon entered Rome, where he later became king (see also The Founding Of Rome: The Curious Tale Of Romulus and Remus).

1616: The Roman Catholic "Inquisition" delivered an injunction to Galileo to stop correctly teaching that the Earth orbited the Sun.


1658: The Treaty of Roskilde. After a decisive defeat during the Northern Wars (1655-1661), the King of Denmark-Norway lost almost half his territory to Sweden.

1797: One-pound and two-pound notes were first used in England (see also The Birth Of The Dollar).

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte departed from the island of Elba with 1,200 followers. Within 3 weeks, France rallied to its former emperor but his last hope of keeping his crown ended in Belgium with the Battle of Waterloo in June. The British government subsequently banished Napoleon to the island of St. Helena where he died in 1821 at age 52 (see also Russia Or Europe - Who Has Been The Invader?).


1832: The Polish constitution was abolished and replaced by one imposed by Czar Nicholas I.

1848: The Second French Republic was proclaimed after the abdication of King Louis-Philippe.

1848: Karl Marx and Frederich Engels published their The Communist Manifesto philosophy. Marx and Engels were both wealthy liberals who sought political power for themselves through the support of the workers that they claimed to represent. It was a political experiment that by the late twentieth century had been proven as a dismal failure that actually enslaved the workers that it promised to "liberate." (see also When Do Liberals Become Conservatives? and Why Are Politicians Called Left Or Right?; also What Did A Father Of Democracy Predict About It?).

1867: The British House of Lords passed the British North America Act, establishing Canada as an independent nation.

1901: The leaders of the Boxer Rebellion in China, Chi-hsui and Hsu Cheng-yu, were beheaded in public.

1914: Britannic, sister ship to the famous Titanic, was launched at a shipyard in Belfast. Britannic was sunk by a mine in 1916 while serving as a hospital ship during the First World War (1914-1918).

1915: Flame throwers were used in battle for the first time when the Germans used them against the French at Malancourt.

1933: Construction began for the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

1935: RADAR (RAdio Detection And Ranging) was first demonstrated by Robert Watson-Watt of Britain.

1936: Adolf Hitler (see also What Did A Father Of Democracy Predict About It? and The Terrorist Attack That Enabled Hitler To Become A Dictator) opened the first factory for the manufacture of his design of a National Socialist Party (NAZI) "People's Car," (in German, Volkswagen).


1952: Winston Churchill announced that Britain had its own atomic bomb (see also Who Would Throw A Nuclear Boomerang?).

1969: Levi Eshkol, Israeli prime minister from 1963, died. He was succeeded by Golda Meir.

1972: The Soviet Union recovered Luna 20 which had returned with a cargo of moon rocks.

1980: Egypt and Israel established diplomatic relations, ending 30 years of war between the two nations.

1993: A terrorist bomb severely damaged the World Trade Center buildings in New York. 6 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured.

1995: The London finance House of Barings collapsed after huge losses were run up in Singapore by a single rogue trader.




Copyright © Wayne Blank