|Numbers 12 |
1 Miriam and Aaron spoke [gossiping] against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married. Moses' had married a woman descended from Cush [today thought to be Southern Sudan or Ethiopia].1
2 And they said, "Has the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses? Has he not spoken also by us?" And the LORD heard it.
3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth.2) [What is the meaning of meekness? Gentleness, humility, restrained under provocations and insults. Do not confuse meekness with timidity or lack of courage. Meekness is controlled strength, controlled courage, controlled reply, controlled reaction — the ultimate control to being able to only react as God directs a man — abandoning his own mind, judgments, words, actions, and emotions. Moses was called the meekest man on the earth because he never defended himself against accusations; he let the Lord take the defense and the vengeance.]
4 The LORD quickly spoke to Moses, to Aaron, and to Miriam, saying, "You three leave now and go to the tabernacle of the congregation. The three of them went to the tabernacle.
5 The LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam to himself; and they both went to him.
6 And he said, "Now hear my words. If there is a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known to him in a vision, and I will speak to him in a dream.
7 But this is not the case with Moses; he is entrusted and faithful in my entire household.
8 With him I speak face to face, even openly, and not in dark [with subtle meaning] sayings; and he beholds the image 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 departed from off the tabernacle, behold, Miriam became leprous, as white as snow; and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous!
11 Aaron said to Moses, "Alas, my lord, I beg of you, do not lay not the sin upon us, in which we have done foolishly, and in which we have sinned.
12 Do not leave her not as one of the born dead, of whom his flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother's womb."
13 Moses cried to the LORD, saying, "Heal her now, O God, I beg you."
14 And the LORD said to Moses, "If her father had only spit in her face, would she not have been disgraced and ashamed for seven days? Let her be shut out from the camp for seven days, and after that let her be received in again."
15 And Miriam was shut out from the camp for seven days; and the people did not journey until Miriam was brought in again.
16 The people then left from Hazeroth, and pitched their camp in the wilderness of Paran.
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1 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married. Miriam was Moses' sister, Aaron was Moses' brother. Zipporah has been mentioned in Genesis as Moses' wife, the daughter of a Midianite Priest. According to some scholars, her ancestors came from Cush. Cush was the eldest son of Ham, brother of Canaan, and father of Nimrod. Cush reigned over Ethiopia. Some, trying to justify polygamy, charge a second wife of Moses, but Jewish and Christian scholars identify this Cushite woman as Zipporah, Moses' only wife in the Bible.
Regarding polygamy, the New Testament changed a lot of things, including polygamy: Deacons, Bishops and Elders of Christ's church should be the husband of one wife, 1 Tim 3:2,12, Tit 1:5-6. The Mormons like to ignore these New Testament scriptures, pointing to the Old Testament's Solomon, Abraham, David, etc. — all persons of the Old Testament, Old Covenant, and old standards. The Old Testament taught oaths and swearing, yet Jesus and James forbid swearing oaths in the New Testament. The Old Testament taught "eye for an eye," but the New Testament says "turn the other cheek." The Old Testament taught "destroy the foreign enemies," but the New Testament says "love your enemies." The Old says, "do not murder;" the New says don't be angry for that is murder in your heart. The old say, "don't commit adultery;" the New says even looking at a woman with lust is adultery.
So the Old Testament shows multiple wives, but the New Testament forbids multiple wives. The New Testament, is a higher standard than the Old. Jesus is the new covenant with a higher standard — a clean heart.
The Mormons counter and say, "The New Testament only forbids deacons, elders, and bishops from multiple wives; and Joseph Smith was not a deacon or a bishop, he was a prophet. So those scriptures don't apply to a higher office like Joseph Smith, our prophet." If Smith was a prophet as claimed by him, does a higher office justify less restraint than the lower offices? Shouldn't the higher offices have even higher standards that the lower? Any thinking man knows that his weakest point is his lust for women. And so how is the devil most likely to deceive a man? Through his weakest point. And if he can deceive a man into believing that multiple wives are somehow pleasing to God, despite the New Testament's clear commands to the contrary, that is his best weapon against any male believer. When Joseph Smith died, he had 34 to 50 wives; at least one was 14 years old. When Brigham Young revolted against Joseph Smith's son being named the new head of the Mormons, he left for Utah, after having married around ten of Joseph Smith's wives. There are other accounts of Joseph Smith marrying other member's wives for a short tryst, and then returning them to their husbands; all because he wanted them. These men were simply following the lusts of their flesh: For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:16.
2 Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth. Moses was the meekest man on the earth. What is the meaning of meekness? Gentleness, humble, restrained under provocations and insults. Do not confuse meekness with timidity or lack of courage. Meekness is controlled strength, controlled courage, controlled reply, controlled reaction — the ultimate control to being able to only react as God directs a man — abandoning his own mind, judgments, words, actions, and emotions. Now I Paul, who when with you am lowly, but bold toward you when I am absent from you, plead with you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. 2 Cor 10:1. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace (quietness and confident trust forever), patience (including longsuffering, steadfastness, and perseverance), kindness (including morality and integrity), goodness, faith, gentleness (including meekness and humility), and self-control (mastery of sensual appetites, passions, and desires). Against these there is no law. Gal 5:22-24. Because Moses was the meekest man on the earth, he never defended himself against accusations; he let the Lord take the defense and the vengeance.
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