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Author Topic: Miriam Moses's sister was punished for what?
Whatbox
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I recall reading a Jewish interpretaion where the priestess Miriam, who was Aaron's and Moshe' (Moses's) sister was punished by the Most High for accusing her brother of neglecting his wife while he was up on Mt. Sinai.

The traditional - or perhaps conversely the revisionist - way i usually hear it God smote Miriam as she had simply (and obtusely?) spoken against the fact her brother had married outside the tribe / ethny.

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JujuMan
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I don't know anything about this story. Sources?
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alTakruri
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According to Jewiah sources Miriam was punished
for lashon hara, literally 'bad tongue' i.e., gossip,
against Moses in regard to several matters.

Ssa`arath, human biblical leprosy, was characterized
by white skin and thin yellow hair and lashon hara
was thought to be one of its many causes.

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Intellectual property of YYT al~Takruri © 2004 - 2017. All rights reserved.

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Whatbox
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Thanx Takruri.

I asked as this as used to think of this tale as an example of Scripture being against racial / ethnic segregatory bigotry. I know there are other and better examples of human unity though, like our (humanity's) connection through Adam, Noah and sons and the story of Naomi the single mother, at the end of which the line of Jesus's descent is given to be Moabite influenced (and it was as well Canaanite influenced).

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alTakruri
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alTakruri
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Miriam didn't understand the heightened level of
Moses' prophecy. She and Aaron were prophets
too. After hearing it from Zipporah, Miriam took
it that Moses, now back in multi-coloured Israel,
stopped sleeping with Zipporah because of her
complexion, Midianites being as black as Kushites.

So there was a colour thing going on like the thing
of being colorstruck displayed now by some blacks.

Then there was this sibling rivalry mess too. Moses
was the baby and Miriam saved his life when he was
an infant and got him adopted into Egyptian royalty.

And of course subliminal power struggle played its
role too, the 3rd in command scoffing the leader.

Moses had given up sex to be ready to receive a
prophecy at any time without delay whereas Aaron
and Miriam would have to make ablution if called
before the deity while engaging in intercourse
necessitating some delay.

This was an unusual thing on Moses' part because
pleasing the spouse is a positive Jewish law and
one Sage even declared the Song of Songs which is
Solomon's the holiest book of scripture. But Moses'
prophethood was unique, none like it before him and
none like it after him according to the Jews.

If I ever stumble across my original write-up
on this issue I'll repost it here along with the
passage out of the Book of Exodus.

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NoLourve
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quote:
Originally posted by alTakruri:
Miriam didn't understand the heightened level of
Moses' prophecy. She and Aaron were prophets
too. After hearing it from Zipporah, Miriam took
it that Moses, now back in multi-coloured Israel,
stopped sleeping with Zipporah because of her
complexion, Midianites being as black as Kushites.

So there was a colour thing going on like the thing
of being colorstruck displayed now by some blacks.

Then there was this sibling rivalry mess too. Moses
was the baby and Miriam saved his life when he was
an infant and got him adopted into Egyptian royalty.

And of course subliminal power struggle played its
role too, the 3rd in command scoffing the leader.


Moses had given up sex to be ready to receive a
prophecy at any time without delay whereas Aaron
and Miriam would have to make ablution if called
before the deity while engaging in intercourse
necessitating some delay.

This was an unusual thing on Moses' part because
pleasing the spouse is a positive Jewish law and
one Sage even declared the Song of Songs which is
Solomon's the holiest book of scripture. But Moses'
prophethood was unique, none like it before him and
none like it after him according to the Jews.

If I ever stumble across my original write-up
on this issue I'll repost it here along with the
passage out of the Book of Exodus.


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Brada-Anansi
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A little O.T but an interesting thing I found in a translated book of the Kebra Nagast was the daughter of the Pharaoh up-braiding Salomon about him getting all hot and bothered over the Queen of Sheba making somewhat negative comnent about her blackness and Salomon basically shot back at her about her own blackness.
I will try to dig up that book and find the exact quote. but if anyone has it already please post and save me the time.

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KING
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Brada-Anansi

I found this on Sacred Text:

64. How the Daughter of PHARAOH Seduced SOLOMON
And then the daughter of PHARAOH appeared before SOLOMON, and said unto him, "It is good to worship the gods like my father and all the kings of EGYPT who were before my father." And SOLOMON answered and said unto her, "They call gods the things which have been made by the hands of the worker in metal, and the carpenter, and the potter, and the painter, and the hewer in stone, and the sculptor; these are not gods, but the work of the hand of man, in gold, and silver, in brass and lead, in iron and earthenware, and in stone, and ye call 'our gods' the things that are not your gods. But we worship none else than the Holy God of ISRAEL and our Lady, the holy and heavenly ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, whom He hath given us to worship, us and our seed after us."

And she answered and said unto him, "Thy son hath carried away thy Lady ZION, thy son whom thou hast begotten, who springeth from an alien people into which God hath not commanded you to marry, that is to say, from an ETHIOPIAN woman, who is not of thy colour, and is not akin to thy country, and who is, moreover, black." And SOLOMON answered and said unto her, "Though thou speakest thus art thou not thyself of [that race] concerning which God hath not commanded us that we should take wives from it? And thy kin is her kin, for ye are all the children of HAM. And God, having destroyed of the seed of HAM seven kings, hath made us to inherit this city, that we and our seed after us may dwell therein for ever. And as concerning ZION, the will of God hath been performed, and He hath given her unto them so that they may worship her. And as for me, I will neither sacrifice to nor worship thine idols, and I will not perform thy wish."


http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/kn/kn064.htm

Hope this Helps.

Peace

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Whatbox
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Originally posted by alTakruri:

______________________
______________________

This sounds like what i read. In the OP, forgot to mention about that she had been the one to accuse him of being colorstruck which is a significant difference from her just being racist or tribally rivalrous.

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Swenet
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Analysis of Rabbi Ibn Ezra's thoughts.

This obviously goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I don't subscribe to all Ibn Ezra's positions. For example, he and many other OT analysts fail to take into account the fact that the Midianites were grouped with Cushites elsewhere in the OT (Habakkuk 3:7), thus making their tentativeness regarding the translation of Kushite (Num 12:1-3) with anything other than ''affinity with Kush'' baseless.

quote:

Hello,

This week we looked at Ibn Ezra's understanding of this biblical event.

Again, we had three questions:


1. What did Miriam and Aharon actually say about Moshe?
2. What was Aharon's role in the slander of Moshe? Was he punished for it?
3. Why does Gd call Moshe out with Miriam and Aharon, only to send him away and not address him?


The Actual Slander
Ibn Ezra explains that Miriam claimed Moshe had separated from his wife, Tzipporah, on account of her dark skin.

This is the way Ibn Ezra arrives at this conclusion:

Who was the "Kushite Woman?"
Ibn Ezra first identifies the "Ishah Kushis," "Kushite Woman," mentioned in the Torah (Bamidbar 12:1). The problem he is contending with is that Moshe's wife, Tzipporah, was a Midianite - not a Kushite.

As we have seen him do before (such as regarding Aharon's role in the Golden Calf), Ibn Ezra first brings several views and rejects them:


1. One approach says this was not Tzipporah, at all. Moshe reigned over Kush in the years after he left Egypt and before he arrived by Yisro, the Midianite father of Tzipporah. In those years, Moshe married a Kushite woman.
Ibn Ezra does not actually counter this view; he simply cites it, and continues on.

2. A second approach re-translates "Kushis." Some translators render "Kushite" as "Shapirta," an ersatz expression for beauty. In other words, Tzipporah was very pretty, but rather than say this, they called her "black." According to these commentators, Miriam did not consider "black" to be "beautiful."
Ibn Ezra rejects this view. He points out that euphemisms generally work the other way, substituting positives for negatives, and not the reverse.
As to the contention that this might be an "Ayin HaRa (evil eye)" issue, calling something by a negative even though one means it as a positive, Ibn Ezra rejects this elsewhere. In his comment to Tehillim 7:1, Ibn Ezra says, "This is highly unlikely."

3. There is another attempt to re-translate "Kushis." Some say "Kushis" actually has a second meaning, other than "Kushite;" it may mean "beautiful."
Those who propose this view point to two other biblical verses where "Kush" is used, and it may mean "beautiful."

A. One is Amos 9:7, in which Gd addresses the Jewish people, "You are like the children of Kushiyyim to me." The verse is interpreted to mean "You are beautiful," or "You are the children of beautiful people."
B. The second is Tehillim 7:1, in which a "Kush, the son of Yemini" is mentioned. This is interpreted to refer to King Saul, who came from the tribe of Benjamin.

Ibn Ezra rejects this view, too. Regarding the former verse, he says it refers to estrangement between the Jews and Gd, and regarding the latter verse he says it refers to a person by the name of Kush.


Ibn Ezra actually re-translates "Kushis" in order to arrive at his own answer. Rather than limit the definition to "Ethiopian," he allows it a more general "like an Ethiopian" connotation. This allows Ibn Ezra to include the Bedouin Midianites, who were exposed to the sun for long hours and so had a dark skin color. Ibn Ezra says, therefore, that the "Ishah Kushis - Kushite woman" who Miriam referred to was actually Tzipporah.

What did Miriam actually say about Tzipporah?
Ibn Ezra builds on four key points, in saying Miriam was accusing Moshe of separating from Tzipporah on account of her appearance:

1. The repeated emphasis on "Moshe had taken" a Kushite woman; this indicates that the marriage was in the past, and that something was now wrong. This indicates that now Moshe was not with her.
2. The identification of Tzipporah as a "dark-skinned woman" instead of by her name, which is the way she appears in the rest of the Torah. This indicates that Tzipporah's looks, and specifically her color, were an issue here.
3. Miriam's divergence in 12:2 to discuss the fact that she and Aharon experienced prophecy, too. Ibn Ezra says this is Miriam's way of saying that Moshe had not separated from Tzipporah for the sake of receiving prophecy - we receive prophecy and we do not separate, so that is obviously not a requirement for the prophetic experience. Hence, it must be that Moshe separated for another reason.
4. Ibn Ezra also uses grammar, pointing out that the "VaTidaber…BeMoshe" form used to describe Miriam's speech in 12:1 is a form which is frequently used to describe perjorative speech.


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NoLourve
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quote:
Originally posted by Whatbox:
Originally posted by alTakruri:

______________________
______________________

This sounds like what i read. In the OP, forgot to mention about that she had been the one to accuse him of being colorstruck which is a significant difference from her just being racist or tribally rivalrous.

Why can't it be that he simply appreciates variety?
 -

[Big Grin]

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alTakruri
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Of course we're dealing with a legendary text and
its interpretation by later heirs of the literature
but what Miriam surmised was not in fact Moses'
actual motive.

Midrash does have it though that Moses never did
consummate his "marriage" to the widowed queen
of Kush after he conquered it as an Egyptian general.

The cross currents are very interesting in that it's
assumed by some that this midrash was invented
in order to explain the ishah kushiyth literally and
avoid the secondary meaning of kushiyth, i.e., a
woman as black as an ancient Sudani woman.

But is obvious from various passages in TN"K (the
Hebrew Scriptures) that Kush included lands and
peoples on either side of the Red Sea, or, as the
AEs called it, Kem Wer -- the Great Black (Sea).
quote:
Originally posted by BANGBANGBOOGIE:
quote:
Originally posted by Whatbox:
Originally posted by alTakruri:

______________________
______________________

This sounds like what i read. In the OP, forgot to mention about that she had been the one to accuse him of being colorstruck which is a significant difference from her just being racist or tribally rivalrous.

Why can't it be that he simply appreciates variety?
[Big Grin]


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Brada-Anansi
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King
Brada-Anansi I found this on Sacred Text: 64. How the Daughter of PHARAOH Seduced SOLOMON And then the daughter of PHARAOH appeared before SOLOMON, and said unto him, "It is good to worship the gods like my father and all the kings of EGYPT who were before my father."

And SOLOMON answered and said unto her, "They call gods the things which have been made by the hands of the worker in metal, and the carpenter, and the potter, and the painter, and the hewer in stone, and the sculptor; these are not gods, but the work of the hand of man, in gold, and silver, in brass and lead, in iron and earthenware, and in stone, and ye call 'our gods' the things that are not your gods.

But we worship none else than the Holy God of ISRAEL and our Lady, the holy and heavenly ZION, the Tabernacle of the Law of God, whom He hath given us to worship, us and our seed after us."

And she answered and said unto him, "Thy son hath carried away thy Lady ZION, thy son whom thou hast begotten, who springeth from an alien people into which God hath not commanded you to marry, that is to say, from an ETHIOPIAN woman, who is not of thy colour, and is not akin to thy country, and who is, moreover, black." And SOLOMON answered and said unto her, "Though thou speakest thus art thou not thyself of [that race] concerning which God hath not commanded us that we should take wives from it? And thy kin is her kin, for ye are all the children of HAM. And God, having destroyed of the seed of HAM seven kings, hath made us to inherit this city, that we and our seed after us may dwell therein for ever.

And as concerning ZION, the will of God hath been performed, and He hath given her unto them so that they may worship her. And as for me, I will neither sacrifice to nor worship thine idols, and I will not perform thy wish."

much thanks King..respect.

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Whatbox
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@alTakruri

Apologies if any of the questions seem badgering, but, if you will:

They don't really give a reason I've gleened for the Tower of Babylon needing to be destroyed, and I understand they ultimately don't have to, but what, if any that you're aware of, reason was there for doing this?

Just a question that popped in my head (bout a month back).

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Whatbox
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alTakruri?
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Tukuler
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Based on the literary source Genesis 9:1&7 10:8-10 & 11:1-9
some say Nimrod, mighty hunter king of all the earth,
was all up in the LORD's face and had the tower built
to invade heaven thereby making reknown for humankind
united rather than face obscurity by obeying God's wishes
that humanity reproduce itself all over the globe.


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Whatbox
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Thanks very much for your response, much appreciated.

And as you alluded to, I indeed remember hearing (from a self-proclaimed Hebrew language knower) that in the part about Nimrod becoming a mighty hunter, the phrase mighty hunter would or may have implied that he was a rebel or renegade of sorts, being disobediant to or in rebellion against something.

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