Numbers 12:5
Verse 5. - The Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud. The cloud which had been soaring above the tabernacle descended upon it (see Numbers 11:25 and Numbers 12:10). And stood in the door of the tabernacle. It would seem most natural to understand by these words the entrance to the holy place itself, and this would manifestly accord best with the movements of the cloud, as here described; for the cloud seems to have sunk down upon the sacred tent in token that the Lord was in some special sense present within it. On the other hand, the phrase must certainly be understood to mean the entrance of the court, or sacred enclosure, in Leviticus 8:3, 31, 33, and probably in other places. As it is hardly possible that the phrase can have had both meanings, the latter must be preferred. And they both came forth. Not out of the sanctuary, into which Miriam could not have entered, but out of the enclosure. The wrath which lay upon them both, and the punishment which was about to be inflicted upon one, were sufficient reasons for calling them out of the holy ground.

12:1-9 The patience of Moses was tried in his own family, as well as by the people. The pretence was, that he had married a foreign wife; but probably their pride was hurt, and their envy stirred up, by his superior authority. Opposition from our near relations, and from religious friends, is most painful. But this is to be looked for, and it will be well if in such circumstances we can preserve the gentleness and meekness of Moses. Moses was thus fitted to the work he was called to. God not only cleared Moses, but praised him. Moses had the spirit of prophecy in a way which set him far above all other prophets; yet he that is least in the kingdom of heaven, is greater than he; and our Lord Jesus infinitely excels him, Heb 3:1. Let Miriam and Aaron consider whom it was they insulted. We have reason to be afraid of saying or doing any thing against the servants of God. And those are presumptuous indeed who are not afraid to speak evil of dignities, 2Pe 2:10. The removal of God's presence is the surest and saddest token of God's displeasure. Woe to us, if he depart! he never departs, till by sin and folly we drive him from us.The Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud,.... Which was over the most holy place of the tabernacle, and which was a symbol of the presence of the Lord; and who is said to come down, because that was above the tabernacle; whereas he came, as is next expressed:

and stood in the door of the tabernacle; where he set up his tribunal, and called them to his bar, courts of judicature being usually held in the gate; not suffering them to go into the tabernacle as they were wont to do, being delinquents:

and called Aaron and Miriam; to come nearer to him, and hear what he had to say to them; Moses keeping at a greater distance, it not being so proper that he should be within hearing of those commendations which were about to be given of him:

and they both came forth; Aaron and Miriam, and stood before the Lord.

Numbers 12:4
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