[34] Similarly, the lamb, egg and fish also allude to the three mythical creatures in Jewish tradition—the land beast Behemoth,[35] the bird Ziz,[36] and the sea-creature Leviathan,[37] respectively. [9] In fact, King Saul[10] and even the Jewish People[11] are referred to by the term "Cushite". Miriam follows at a distance and sees the basket float near Pharaoh's daughter, who is bathing in the Nile. What isn’t immediately obvious in scripture is that Moses had two wives and Zipporah was the first. Cush is generally translated as Ethiopia (probably the entire region south of Egypt – see Shemot Rabbah 10:2), a place inhabited by blacks. Other scholars point to this very passage as emphatically saying the opposite: Moses did have more than one wife, hence the narrative's emphasis at the end of vs 1: While they were at Hazeroth, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had indeed married a Cushite woman) They also discuss how God has spoken to them too, implying that they are unhappy with the status quo between themselves and their younger brother. God overhears their conversation and calls the three siblings into the Tent of Meeting, where God appears as a cloud before them. It is feminine -- ve'teddaber ("and she spoke") -- indicating that Miriam was the one who initiated the conversation against Moses (Telushkin, 130). This is actually a topic that is debated often, but scripture is clear that Moses married two different women from two different lineages. Upon seeing Miriam's punishment Aaron asks Moses to speak to God on her behalf. Both horse and driver God has hurled into the sea.". Josephus states that Miriam marries Hur, Moses’ close companion. Others have suggested that Aaron was not afflicted with leprosy because, as the High Priest, it would not have … Richard E. Friedman writes that since Cush is generally understood to mean "Ethiopia", it is possible that the "Cushite woman" is not Tzipora. But as the child grows older Yocheved decides that it is no longer safe for him at home -- after all, it would only take one ill-timed cry for an Egyptian guard to discover the child. In their merit they received three great gifts: the Well [Miriam], the Clouds of Glory [Aaron] and the Manna [Moses]." 34:10). However, the identity of the Cushite woman referred to in this story is tangential to Friedman and his opinion remains inconclusive. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, Miriam and Aaron began to speak against Moses because of his Cushite wife. [23] However, Friedman's primary interest is not in the identity of the Cushite woman, but rather in the outcome of this story which establishes Moses' superiority over Aaron as an example of his claim that rival priesthoods created or publicized tales in order to legitimize their respective claims to privilege and power. She was also a prophetess in her own right. What makes us think Moses’ wife … Miriam first appears in the biblical book of Exodus not long after Pharaoh decrees that all newborn Hebrew boys will be drowned in the Nile river. [15] Despite Miriam's intent to help Tzipora, she should have judged Moses favorably and approached Moses on Tzipora's behalf privately. Miriam is most well-known to us as Moses's big sister. After which time, upon fleeing as a solitary fugitive from Egypt,[19] the only marriage of Moses that the Torah records is with Tzipora the daughter of Yitro the Midianite. Miriam's mother, Yocheved, has been hiding Miriam's infant brother, Moses, for three months. [29] Miriam's Cup originated in the 1980s in a Boston Rosh Chodesh group; it was invented by Stephanie Loo, who filled it with what she referred to as mayim chayim (living waters) and used it in a feminist ceremony of guided meditation. Afterward, Miriam is left with bodily tzara'at, which according to Jewish sources is a divine punishment for slander. She was a prophetess and first appears in the Book of Exodus. [30] Miriam's cup is linked to the midrash of Miriam's Well, described as "a rabbinic legend that tells of a miraculous well that accompanied the Israelites during their forty years in the desert at the Exodus from Egypt". However, while Josephus does describe a legend (which is not written in the Torah) wherein Moses marries this princess during a military campaign he leads in Ethiopia, according to Josephus this marriage occurs while Moses is still a royal prince of Egypt long before he re-discovers his oppressed Jewish brethren. [6]:71, In the biblical narrative of The Exodus, Miriam is described as a "prophetess" when she leads the Israelites in the Song of the Sea after Pharaoh's army is destroyed at the Sea of Reeds. Both Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses for marrying a Cushite or Ethiopian woman, but Miriam is listed first (Numbers 12:1) so it is likely she instigated the complaint. The most explicit statement relates to the marriage: "Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman." But he adds that since there is a place called Cushan which is a region of Midian, and Moses’ wife Tzipora has already been identified as a Midianite, it is possible that the term "Cushite" relates to Tzipora's being from Cushan. If the Bible was a Eurocentric book, I highly doubt that the story of Moses would include him having a black wife. Answer: The Bible does not say much about Moses’ wife, Zipporah. Moses meets Miriam and Aaron and was revealed that he was their younger brother.All rights reserved to DreamWorks [5], The narrative of Moses' infancy in the Torah describes an unnamed sister of Moses observing him being placed in the Nile (Exodus 2:4); she is traditionally identified as Miriam. Elijah's Cup and Miriam's Cup During Passover Seder, Hebrew Names for Girls and Their Meanings, The Order and Meaning of the Passover Seder. Zipporah, Moses’ wife, was a Midianite woman. She is just referred to as "his sister" or "Moses's sister.". Yet in the Book of Numbers Moses’s sister Miriam is upset about his having taken a “Cushite” wife. Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite (Numbers 12:1, NIV). (Deut. This article is about the biblical prophetess and sister of, Biblical narratives and the Qur'an § Miriam and Mary, "Fragments from the Lost Writings of Irenaeus, XXXII", Miriam’s Cup: Miriam’s Cup rituals for the family Passover seder, "Why Miriam's Cup? The Midianites lived in … Following this encounter, Miriam discovers that her skin is white and that she is afflicted with leprosy. According to the Hebrew Bible, Miriam was the older sister of Moses and Aaron. In other words, Moses has a closer relationship with God than other prophets. The text reads, "Miriam died there, and was buried there. Accordingly, the lamb (earth), egg (air) and fish (water) in the Seder symbolize the three prophets Moses, Aaron and Miriam, respectively, whom God chose to redeem the Jews from Egypt. Immediately after Miriam’s death, the Israelites quarrel with her brothers Moses and Aaron for lack of water. Miriam had godly parents who trusted the God of Israel, however, Egypts Pharoah hated her people. In a cryptic episode in the Torah, Miriam talked to Aaron about Moses "concerning the 'Cushite[1] wife' whom he married, for he married a 'Cushite wife'. Moses teaches that Israelites are not to marry foreigners (Deut. It is feminine -- ve'teddaber ("and she spoke") -- indicating that Miriam was the one who initiated the conversation against Moses (Telushkin, 130). Afterwards, "God's wrath flared against them. We learn in Numbers that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman (Num. Miriam was the daughter of Amram and Jochebed, and the older sister of Moses and Aaron, all of whom were Levites. Moses Wife: The Ethiopian Woman. The Midianites were descendants of Abraham through his wife Keturah (Genesis 25:1-4). [6]:71, The Torah describes Miriam and Aaron as being rebuked by God for criticizing Moses on account of his "Cushite" wife, after which Miriam is punished for a week with tzara’at ("leprosy", Numbers 12). The criticism has to do with Moses’ marriage and Moses’ authority. 12:1). The Cushite wife appears some years later in Moses’ story, during the wandering in the desert (you can read about the dispute between Miriam, Aaron and the Cushite wife at Miriam’s story.) Hebrew: kushiyth (Koo-sheeth’) a Cushite woman (Strongs Hebrew Dictionary). ", In Jewish folk-religious tradition this abrupt transition between her passing and the lack of water was explained by postulating a "well of Miriam" that dried up when she died. Miriam would have been only about 5 years old when this baby, Moses was born. [3] According to the Midrash,[4] just as Moses led the men out of Egypt and taught them Torah, so too Miriam led the women and taught them Torah. The only justification they could find for Moses' celibacy was in order to maintain his prophetic state. In any case, the story of Moses’s Cushite wife offers no support for racial mixing. It would show that while Miriam and Aaron were technically correct in denouncing Moses’s marriage, their motive in advancing this pretext was as malicious as their desire to remove Moses from power, namely, because that union was a marriage in name only. “Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married; for he had married an Ethiopian woman”. Aaron pleads to Moses for her healing and Moses prays to the Lord, "O God, please heal her!" When Miriam is re-introduced in this part of the story, the text refers to her as a "prophetess" (Exodus 15:20) and later in Numbers 12:2 she reveals that God has spoken to her. [11] In the story Aaron and Miriam harshly criticize Moses' marriage to a Cushite or Kushite woman after he returned to Egypt to set the children of Israel free. The text reads: “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, because of … [2]" Many Rabbinic commentaries follow the understanding of the Midrash that Moses' "Cushite wife" was Zipporah. Wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against a man like Moses, who is, moreover, My servant? The former Hebrew slaves have crossed the Red Sea and the waters have crashed down upon the Egyptian soldiers that were pursuing them. … Now the sister and brother challenge Moses about his wife. Numbers 12 tells the story of the opposition of his brother Aaron and sister Miriam to Moses on the grounds that he had married a Cushite wife. Numbers 12:1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. When she returns, Miriam has been healed and the Israelites move on to the Desert of Paran. We know that she was the daughter of a man called Jethro (or Reuel), who was a priest in the land of Midian ( Exodus 3:1; cf. Both Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses, but only Miriam contracted tzara'at. In Numbers 12:1, Moses wife became the apparent reason for Miriam and Aaron's rebellion against Moses. Miriam (.mw-parser-output .script-hebrew,.mw-parser-output .script-Hebr{font-family:"SBL Hebrew","SBL BibLit","Frank Ruehl CLM","Taamey Frank CLM","Ezra SIL","Ezra SIL SR","Keter Aram Tsova","Taamey Ashkenaz","Taamey David CLM","Keter YG","Shofar","David CLM","Hadasim CLM","Simple CLM","Nachlieli",Cardo,Alef,"Noto Serif Hebrew","Noto Sans Hebrew","David Libre",David,"Times New Roman",Gisha,Arial,FreeSerif,FreeSans}מִרְיָם‎ Mīrəyām) was described in the Hebrew Bible as the daughter of Amram and Jochebed, and the older sister of Moses and Aaron. Moses has commanded Pharaoh to let his people go and God has sent the ten plagues down upon Egypt. Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the surface of the earth. Rabbi Joseph Telushkin suggests this difference stems from the Hebrew verb used to describe their comments about Moses' wife. And the LORD heard it. hath he not spoken also by us?" Miriam's death is described in Numbers 20:1 and in the next verse, the Israelites are described as complaining of the lack of water at Kadesh. Miriam also appears in the biblical book of Numbers, when she and her brother Aaron speak unfavorably about the Cushite woman Moses is married to. Her … But God rebuked them by calling them all out "suddenly", causing Miriam and Aaron a great burning sensation since they lacked immersion in a mikva after marital relations. At this time Miriam emerges from her hiding place and approaches Pharaoh's daughter, offering to find a Hebrew woman to nurse the child. Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman. Moses’ prominence and influence with the people may have created in Miriam and Aaron a jealous desire for more authority, so that they kept saying: “Is it … 23, p. 24b", Miriam's Cup: A New Ritual for the Passover Seder, ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim, Current Ummah of Islam (Ummah of Muhammad), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Miriam&oldid=996540113, Articles with unsourced statements from June 2016, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Mother Abiona or Amtelai the daughter of Karnebo, Slayers of Saleh's she-camel (Qaddar ibn Salif and Musda' ibn Dahr). And there was no water for the congregation. 24:9) Yet the Torah’s account of this event is rather obscure. Miriam was the daughter of Amram and Jochebed; she was the sister of Aaron and Moses, the leader of the Israelites in ancient Egypt. 12:1). The Bible does not explicitly say that Moses had more than one wife. Moses leads the Israelite people in a song of praise to God, after which Miriam appears again. [citation needed] However, noting the wording of the verse, "God's wrath flared against them [i.e., both Aaron and Miriam]", the Talmud appears to conclude that Aaron was also smitten with tzara'at initially, but was then immediately cured.[16]. [24][25]:217–228, The Talmud[26] says, "Three great leaders led Israel: Moses, Aaron and Miriam. Zipporah or Tzipora (/ ˈ z ɪ p ər ə, z ɪ ˈ p ɔːr ə /; Hebrew: צִפֹּרָה ‎, Tsippōrāh, "bird") is mentioned in the Book of Exodus as the wife of Moses, and the daughter of Reuel/Jethro, the priest and prince of Midian. The straight answer is ‘probably not’. However, Numbers 12:1 speaks of Moses’ wife not as a Midianite, but rather as a Cushite. 4:10–16; Deut. On the surface, they seem to take little or no time to grieve. "[12] Rabbi Louis Ginzberg wrote the anger of God to them. William Morrow: New York, 1997. 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