In C-11 we learn that Moses’ burden was given to men who were elders of Israel; now we learn that Moses’ sister, his older sister, felt a slight was given her (presumably). Aaron was the highest authority in Israel as High Priest (apart from Moses); of the women, Miriam was a prophetess (Exodus 15:2), now both align themselves against Moses because of his marriage to an Ethiopian woman.
Was it that since Moses was married to a non-Israelite that this somehow made his standing with Israel less than theirs (who were married to Israelites)? It is uncertain whether Moses’ wife in 12:1 is the same as Zipporah (Exodus 2:16); most expositors think she was his second wife. In any event, it was not his wife that was the real problem, but Moses’ authority. The Lord tends to the issue at hand by letting all three (Moses Aaron, and Miriam) know who is the ultimate authority and it is He who chooses whom! Miriam suffers for her presumption (why Aaron was spared we do not know).
Application: when the Lord sets down His dictates concerning things that are to be done, no man has the prerogative to alter anything of the Lord’s without His judgment of the situation. It may be that the Lord’s judgment comes at a different time and place, but it will come!
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