Numbers 12:10

10 When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, 1Miriam was 2leprous,[a] like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.

Numbers 12:10 Meaning and Commentary

Numbers 12:10

And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle
Not from off the door of the tabernacle, as Aben Ezra, for that is implied in the last clause of ( Numbers 12:9 ) , but from off that part of the tabernacle, the most holy place, where it had used to abide; but now it went up higher in the air, or removed at some distance from thence, which was a further indication of the sore displeasure of God; that as he would not stay with Aaron and Miriam at the door of the tabernacle, so neither would he suffer the cloud to continue over it, as it was wont to do, so long as they were there:

and, behold, Miriam [became] leprous, [white] as snow;
was smote immediately with a leprosy by the Lord, as the hand of Moses was in a miraculous way, ( Exodus 4:6 ) ; and as Gehazi was, who was smitten of God in like manner, ( 2 Kings 5:27 ) ; in an ordinary and gradual leprosy, when it was all white, the man was clean, ( Leviticus 13:13 ) ; but in an extraordinary one, and which was immediately from God, and at once, in this case it was a sign it was incurable. Miriam only, and not Aaron, was smitten with a leprosy; though Chaskuni says, that some of their Rabbins were of opinion, that Aaron was; but this does not appear, nor is it likely that he should be thus defiled and dishonoured, being the priest of the Lord, and since he was not so deep in the transgression as Miriam, and was drawn into it by her, and also repented of it:

and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, [she was] leprous;
he not only cast his eye upon her, as it were accidentally, and saw what was her case; but, as the priest of the Lord, looked upon her, as it was the business of his office to do, and perceived she was leprous, and was obliged to pronounce her so; and perhaps she was the first, after the law of the leprosy, that he was called to look upon, and pronounced her unclean, which must be a great mortification to him.

Numbers 12:10 In-Context

8 With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?"
9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them, and he departed.
10 When the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, like snow. And Aaron turned toward Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.
11 And Aaron said to Moses, "Oh, my lord, do not punish us because we have done foolishly and have sinned.
12 Let her not be as one dead, whose flesh is half eaten away when he comes out of his mother's womb."

Cross References 2

  • 1. Deuteronomy 24:9
  • 2. See Leviticus 13:10

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.