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Old Testament Notes

Miriam

            Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, and the first prophetess, was an important figure in the history of Israel. It was she, who watched the basket with infant Moses floating, guarding it from a distance, and as soon as the Pharaoh's daughter discovered it, she approached her and offered to find a Hebrew nurse.
            The second episode, in which she appears, is the festival of the Israelites celebrating the salvation from Egyptians. Moses and the Israelites sang their song to the Lord, and "The prophetess Miriam, Aaron's sister, took up her tambourine, and all the women followed her, dancing ... and Miriam sang them this refrain: 'Sing to the Lord, for he has risen up in triumph:  horse and rider he has hurled into the sea.' " (Exodus 15:20-21)
            The next episode is connected with her rebellion against her younger brother, Moses, as she and Aaron thought themselves equal to him as leaders and prophets. Moses himself was eager to share the responsibility of leadership, but God had other plans, and He ordered Aaron and Miriam to subdue to Moses. Miriam was even punished, struck with leprosy.
See: Sir Edward Burne-Jones Miriam.
 

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