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The Book of Numbers 0002 - Lesson 7

Scripture Passage: 
Numbers 11:24-35; Numbers 12:1-16

Chapter 11 (Continued) (There is currently no audio for this lesson.)

The Beginning of Woes for the People of God (Continued)

  1. THE INSTITUTION OF THE ELDERS (Numbers 11:24-30)
    1. The Elders are Gathered (Numbers 11:24).
    2. God Empowers the Elders (Numbers 11:25).
      1. The cloud comes down.
      2. God’s spirit comes upon them.
      3. The elders prophesy.
    3. Two Remained in the Camp (Numbers 11:26-30; Luke 9:49-50; Philippians 1:14-18).
      1. Eldad and Medad prophesy.
      2. Joshua asks Moses to forbid them.
      3. Moses calms Joshua.
    1. The Wind Brings Quails from the Sea (Numbers 11:31).
      1. They fell by the camp.
      2. A day’s journey on each side
      3. Two cubits (3 ft.) high upon the face of the earth
    2. The People Gather Them (Numbers 11:32).
      1. All that day, all that night, and all the next day
      2. He that gathered least gathered ten homers.
      3. They spread them abroad for themselves round about the camp.
    3. The Judgment of God Falls (Numbers 11:33-34).
      1. While it was between their teeth
      2. Ere it was chewed
      3. God’s wrath was kindled against them.
      4. The Lord smote them with a plague (Psalm 78:24-32; Psalm 106:13-15).
      5. They named the place Kibroth-Hattaavah meaning The Graves of Lust.
  3. THE JOURNEY TO HAZEROTH (Numbers 11:35)

Chapter 12

Troubles among the Leaders

    1. A Continuation of Complaining
      1. The chapter begins with the word And , which joins it with the previous chapter showing a continuation.
      2. The complaining traveled as shown below.
        1. The mixt multitude (Numbers 11:4)
        2. The children of Israel (Numbers 11:4)
        3. Moses (Numbers 11:11)
        4. Miriam and Aaron (Numbers 12:1)
    2. Division
      1. Murmuring against Moses (Numbers 12:1-3)
      2. The answer from the Lord (Numbers 12:4-9)
      3. The pleading for Miriam (Numbers 12:10-14)
      4. The restoration of Miriam (Numbers 12:15-16)
  2. MURMURING AGAINST MOSES (Numbers 12:1-3)
    1. Because of His Marriage (Numbers 12:1)
      1. Moses married an Ethiopian woman.
        1. Possible identities of this woman
          1. Zipporah
            1. We do not read of anything happening to Zipporah and we just saw Zipporah’s father with Moses in Numbers 10.
            2. Though the main area known as Ethiopia is south of Egypt, it is possible that at this time a larger area of land was called by this name.  This would be hard to prove with scripture.
            3. Most commentators will say that Zipporah is the Ethiopian woman.  It is possible that this is done for two reasons….
              1. To keep Moses from having a second wife
              2. To keep Moses from having married a woman of Ethiopia who was probably colored (Jeremiah 13:23)
          2. Another woman
            1. More likely this was a recent marriage for Moses and hence the murmuring of Miriam and Aaron.
            2. This lady was possibly from the mixed multitude.
            3. We do not find Zipporah referred to as an “Ethiopian woman” elsewhere in scripture.
            4. Though we read about Zipporah’s father in Numbers 10, we have not read of Zipporah in the Book of Numbers and it is a possibility that she is already dead.
            5. Even if Zipporah were not dead, God made provisions in the Old Testament for a man with two wives (Deuteronomy 21:15).
            6. The land of Ethiopia is also called the land of Cush.  The land of Cush is mentioned in a verse with Midian, and it is obvious they are not the same place (Habakkuk 3:7).
      2. Was Moses’ union sin?
        1. God did not rebuke Moses, but rather rebuked Miriam and Aaron.
        2. God had not commanded His people not to marry Ethiopians (Genesis 24:2-3; Deuteronomy 7:1-3; Exodus 34:11-15).
        3. God comments on the meekness and faithfulness of Moses in this chapter.
        4. We would have to conclude that Moses’ marriage was not sinful.
        5. We cannot go back in the Old Testament and place on them commandments that had not yet been provided by God.
    2. Because of His Position (Numbers 12:2)
      1. Hath the LORD spoken only by Moses?
      2. Hath He not spoken by us?
      3. The three were leaders (Micah 6:4).
    3. The Narrator’s Comment (Numbers 12:3)
      1. Moses was very meek.
      2. Above all the men upon the face of the earth
  3. THE ANSWER FROM THE LORD (Numbers 12:4-9)
    1. A Summons to Court (Numbers 12:4-5)
      1. The Lord spake suddenly.
      2. The three called to the tabernacle
      3. The Lord came down and called Miriam and Aaron forward.
    2. The Opening and Closing Remarks of the Lord (Numbers 12:6-8)
      1. A regular prophet
        1. I will give him a vision.
        2. I will speak to him in a dream.
      2. Moses
        1. With him I speak mouth to mouth.
          1. Apparently
          2. Not in dark speeches
        2. The similitude of the Lord shall he behold.
      3. Why were you not afraid to speak against him?
    3. Case Closed (Numbers 12:9)
      1. The Lord departed.
      2. He did not give Miriam and Aaron a chance to defend their case.
      3. This is a difference between man’s court and God’s court.
        1. Man always allows excuse for committing the crime perhaps even to the point of justification.
        2. God is not interested in why you disobeyed but rather that you disobeyed.
  4. THE PLEADING FOR MIRIAM (Numbers 12:10-14)
    1. Miriam Was Leprous (Numbers 12:10)
      1. Miriam not Aaron became leprous.
      2. Apparently Miriam was the main instigator in the sin.
        1. Her name is mentioned first each time and she is the one punished.
        2. Aaron is the High Priest and according to the law of the leper in Leviticus, the leper would be brought to the High Priest on the day of his cleansing (Leviticus 14:2-3).
    2. Aaron Pleads with Moses (Numbers 12:11-12).
      1. Aaron repents (Numbers 12:11).
        1. Lay not the sin upon us.
        2. Wherein we have done foolishly
        3. Wherein we have sinned
      2. Aaron pleads for his sister (Numbers 12:12).
    3. Moses Pleads with the Lord (Numbers 12:13-14).
      1. Moses intercedes for Miriam.
        1. Moses forgives the very one who has accused him.
        2. The Lord Jesus did this on the cross (Luke 23:33-34).
        3. Stephen did this at his stoning (Acts 7:60).
      2. God tells Moses of His disgust with Miriam.
        1. If her father had spit in her face
        2. God compares His judgment of Miriam with a father spitting in the face of his child.
      3. Should she not be ashamed?
        1. It appears that God healed Miriam immediately but still pronounces that she should be removed from the camp for seven days.
        2. After that she can be received in.
  5. THE RESTORATION OF MIRIAM (Numbers 12:15-16)
    1. Miriam Returns (Numbers 12:15).
    2. The Delay of the Journey (Numbers 12:15)
    3. To the Wilderness of Paran (Numbers 12:16)
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 30:5

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.