Miriam was the eldest child, born to godly parents. Her younger siblings were Aaron and Moses. When Moses' mother saved him from death by the order of The Pharaoh of Egypt, which was pronounced on all the Israelite new born sons, Miriam was his constant baby sitter. At this time she would have been aged eleven or twelve.
Her mother put him in a water tight basket that floated upon the Nile River amongst the reeds, along side the river bank. It was MIriam's responsibility watch the basket.
Miriam noticed that the Pharaoh's daughter had discovered Moses and overheard her say that she herself, wanted to bring up this baby in the Palace her own child, for she herself was childless and thought that the baby was a gift from the Egyptian gods.
Being quick and alert under pressure, Miriam took no time in coming forward and suggesting to the princess that a Hebrew nurse should be acquired for the baby and takes the initiative to find one. She produced her mother as a willing nurse to do the Pharaoh's daughter's bidding, and kept silent of her mother's true identity as being the mother of the child.
It was many, many years before Miriam and her other younger brother Aaron, were reunited with their youngest brother, for Moses, when weaned, went to live at the Palace of the Pharaoh. He grew up, and then fled to the Land of Midian before God called him to deliver the children of Israel out from the bondage of the Egyptians.
When Moses became the hero of the Nation of the Hebrews, she was proud to be the elder sister, for that meant prestige, and honour. It also meant that she was important to Moses.
God had parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to escape from the Egyptian army. The army followed them but were drowned as God closed the path He had made for the Israelites.
Moses led the people in a song of adoration to God. Miriam led the dancing and worship, playing her timbrel (tambourine) praising God for the victory. Miriam was the Nation's Lead Singer as they set out for the Promised Land. Her gift of singing helped lift others to remember all God had done for the children of Israel.
Miriam was known as a prophetess because she had revelations from God and because of her music skills. Prophecy and music are often related in the Bible and in worship. Prophets and prophetesses are raised up by God and inspired by God to proclaim His Will and His Purposes. Miriam stood out as proclaiming and singing of the Power of God.
Josephus, the Hebrew historian wrote that Miriam was married to Hur, another well-known leader of Israel, who was with the men that went up on Mount Sinai with Moses, during a special occasion. If that fact is true then the artist who helped on the Tabernacle would have been Miriam's grandson. The Bible does not mentioned if she was married or not.
The Bible reveals people's blemishes as well as their splendour, and blessings. Miriam began to rebel against Moses inwardly, as well as his wife and became very sarcastic and ill-natured.
At her initiative and instigation, her brother Aaron and herself grew more and more jealous of their brother Moses, of his position and of his influence. Rather than deal with their envy and pride, they attacked Moses' wife. As Moses' elder sister, she already held an important role in the Nation of Israel, but his foreign wife had held a greater position. This caused the jealousy and bitterness.
Her covetous heart aspired to equal partnership with Moses in the governing of the Nation of Israel.
Since they could not find any fault with Moses they questioned him publicly for marrying a foreigner. Also they publicly questioned and rejected Moses' Leadership, for they wished to be full partners in the Leadership and have the same authority as he had over the people.
God at once stepped in and judged them. God clearly pointed out His special relationship was only with Moses. In righteous wrath, instantly Miriam was smitten with leprosy. Aaron immediately repented as he saw her flesh turn white with leprosy. Aaron interceded for her and begged for forgiveness. Both of them should have stopped wrong thoughts and motives, but because of failing to halt the foolish thoughts before they became foolish actions, caused Miriam much grief, humiliation and embarrassment.
She was healed by God from leprosy because of God's mercy as Moses begged for her healing. She was banished 7 days from the camp. She was punished for her smug attitude towards Moses, which really was a smug attitude towards God, because it was God and His Authority that had placed Moses in the Leadership position.
The punishment was quite lenient. The banishment was a blow to her pride and obviously it would have humbled her, for she challenged Moses publicly. She was publicly disgraced by God and the punishment deserved public shame.
Doubtless she was repentant during her week of banishment for her sin of presumption. Sadly she was not content with her role as prophetess and praise Leader of the Nation, she demanded equal power and authority.
Prior to this outburst, Miriam had been a symbol of unity and shared the triumphs and hopes of Israel, now she was a Leader of division and discord, and others later on contested the Leadership of Aaron.
Jealousy ruins the character of people, and it was because of envy in their hearts, that the men of the Sandhedrin in Jerusalem allowed them to let Jesus to be crucified, for the sake of their own highly prized positions. It was the attitude of their hardened hearts that most of them willingly agreed that this be so. Even though it was Jesus' predestined plan, the men had to still put Him in that position from their wills.
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Managed by Stefan Kreslin,Last updated August 2017