« PreviousContinue »
that spiritaal food, which came from Heaven, even the instruction of our SAVIOUR ; though the depravity of human nature may fender it less pleasing to their taste; since the latter will nourish the soul unto everlasting life, while an abundance of the other will produce discases, fatal in their effects, both to body and soul.
AARON AND MIRIAM MURMUR AGAINST MOSES
From Vumbers, Chap. xii.
AND Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses.
And they said, Hath the LORD indeed spoken only by Moses Hath he not spoken also by us? And the LORD heard it.
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
And the LORD spake suddenly unto Moses and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
And the LORD came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam ; and they both came forth.
And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. With him will. I speak mouth to mouth, even ap
parently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude . of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed.
And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle, and behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow; and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and behold, she was leprous.
And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.
And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O GOD, I beseech thee.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received again. “ And Miriam was shut out of the camp “ seven days :" and the people journeyed not till Miriam was brought in again.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. Aaron and Miriam were guilty of great impiety and presumption towards Gon, as well as ingratitude to Moses, and acted from motives of envy and false pride, very displeasing to the LORD, or He would not have inflicted such an exemplary punishment on Miriam. They now learnt from God, that they must not presume to stand in competition with Moses ; for though they were occasionally endued with the gift of prophecy, still he was their superior, on account of his most honourable office of Mediator between Goo and the Israelites, in which he had acquitted himself with the utmost fidelity. Aaron seems to have had an immediate sense of his D 5
guilt, for he humbled himself, and acknowledged his fault; at the same time intreating Moses to pray for Miriam, which, agreeably to the usual meekness of his disposition, Moses instantly complied with.
By the anger of the LORD being kindled, perhaps is. meant, that flashes of lightning darted from the cloudy pillar, expressive of God's displeasure; or the expression may signify, that their offence was such as the LORD, under that Dispensation, usually punished with sudden death.
The amiable behaviour of Moses affords an excellent lesson to those who have envious brothers or sisters; and Christians may learn from this lesson not only to honour the character of Moses, but to consider how much more highly they ought to esteem the Mediator of the Christian Covenant, who is infinitely superior to Moses.
Those who represent our Divine Redeemer as a mere man, a prophet only, are guilty of a similar offence to that of Aaron and Miriam, but in a much greater degree.
SPIES SENT TO SEARCH TIIE LAND OF CANAAN
From Deut. Chap.i. Numb. xiii. xiv. And when they departed from Horeb, they came through that great and terrible wilderness of Paran, as the Lord commanded them; and came to Kadesh Barnea ; and Moses said unto them, Ye are come unto the mountain of the Amorites, which the Lord our God doth give unto us.
Behold the LORD your God hath set the land before you ; go up and possess it, as the LORD God of
thy fathers hath said unto you: fear not, neither be discouraged.
And they came near unto him every one of them, and said, We will send men before us, to search out the land, and bring us word again by what way we must go up, and into what cities we shall come.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Send thou men that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe ye shall send a man which is a ruler among them.
And Moses, by the commandment of the LORD, sent them, and said, Go up into the mountain, and see the land what it is, and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many. .
So they went up and searched the land, and came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it be tween two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.
And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.
And they came to Moses and to Aaron, and all the congregation, and said unto them, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it.
Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: andi moreover, we saw the children of Anak there.
The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south; and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains : and the Canaanites dwell by the Sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, D 6
Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.
But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than me."
And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched, unto the children of Israel, saying, The land through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it, are men of a great stature.
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants : and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight:
And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. .
And all the children of Israel murmared against Moses, and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt, or would God we had died in this wil. derness.
And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should be a prey ? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?
And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.
Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
And Moses said unto them, Dread not; neither be afraid of them.
The Lord your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes : 2