Numbers 12:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
With him I speak mouth to mouth, clearly, and not in riddles, and he beholds the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?”

King James Bible
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, 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?

American Standard Version
with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of Jehovah shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I speak to him mouth to mouth: and plainly, and not by riddles and figures doth he see the Lord. Why then were you not afraid to speak ill of my servant Moses?

English Revised Version
with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?

Webster's Bible Translation
With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: why then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

Numbers 12:8 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Miriam and Aaron said, "Hath Jehovah then spoken only by Moses, and not also by us?" Are not we - the high priest Aaron, who brings the rights of the congregation before Jehovah in the Urim and Thummim (Exodus 28:30), and the prophetess Miriam (Exodus 15:20) - also organs and mediators of divine revelation? "They are proud of the prophetic gift, which ought rather to have fostered modesty in them. But such is the depravity of human nature, that they not only abuse the gifts of God towards the brother whom they despise, but by an ungodly and sacrilegious glorification extol the gifts themselves in such a manner as to hide the Author of the gifts" (Calvin). - "And Jehovah heard." This is stated for the purpose of preparing the way for the judicial interposition of God. When God hears what is wrong, He must proceed to stop it by punishment. Moses might also have heard what they said, but "the man Moses was very meek (πραΰ́ς, lxx, mitis, Vulg.; not 'plagued,' geplagt, as Luther renders it), more than all men upon the earth." No one approached Moses in meekness, because no one was raised so high by God as he was. The higher the position which a man occupies among his fellow-men, the harder is it for the natural man to bear attacks upon himself with meekness, especially if they are directed against his official rank and honour. This remark as to the character of Moses serves to bring out to view the position of the person attacked, and points out the reason why Moses not only abstained from all self-defence, but did not even cry to God for vengeance on account of the injury that had been done to him. Because he was the meekest of all men, he could calmly leave this attack upon himself to the all-wise and righteous Judge, who had both called and qualified him for his office. "For this is the idea of the eulogium of his meekness. It is as if Moses had said that he had swallowed the injury in silence, inasmuch as he had imposed a law of patience upon himself because of his meekness" (Calvin).

The self-praise on the part of Moses, which many have discovered in this description of his character, and on account of which some even of the earlier expositors regarded this verse as a later gloss, whilst more recent critics have used it as an argument against the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, is not an expression of vain self-display, or a glorification of his own gifts and excellences, which he prided himself upon possessing above all others. It is simply a statement, which was indispensable to a full and correct interpretation of all the circumstances, and which was made quite objectively, with reference to the character which Moses had not given to himself but had acquired through the grace of God, and which he never falsified from the very time of his calling until the day of his death, either at the rebellion of the people at Kibroth-hattaavah (ch. 11), or at the water of strife (at Kadesh (ch. 20). His despondency under the heavy burden of his office in the former case (ch. 11) speaks rather for than against the meekness of his character; and the sin at Kadesh (ch. 20) consisted simply in the fact, that he suffered himself to be brought to doubt either the omnipotence of God, or the possibility of divine help, in account of the unbelief of the people.

(Note: There is not a word in Numbers 20:10 or Psalm 106:32 to the effect, that "his dissatisfaction broke out into evident passion" (Kurtz). And it is quite a mistake to observe, that in the case before us there was nothing at all to provoke Moses to appeal to his meekness, since it was not his meekness that Miriam had disputed, but only his prophetic call. If such grounds as these are interpolated into the words of Moses, and it is to be held that an attack upon the prophetic calling does not involve such an attack upon the person as might have excited anger, it is certainly impossible to maintain the Mosaic authorship of this statement as to the character of Moses; for the vanity of wishing to procure the recognition of his meekness by praising it, cannot certainly be imputed to Moses the man of God.)

No doubt it was only such a man as Moses who could speak of himself in such a way, - a man who had so entirely sacrificed his own personality to the office assigned him by the Lord, that he was ready at any moment to stake his life for the cause and glory of the Lord (cf. Numbers 11:15, and Exodus 32:32), and of whom Calmet observes with as much truth as force, "As he praises himself here without pride, so he will blame himself elsewhere with humility,"-a man or God whose character is not to be measured by the standard of ordinary men (cf. Hengstenberg, Dissertations, vol. ii. pp. 141ff.).

Numbers 12:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

mouth

Numbers 14:14 And they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land: for they have heard that you LORD are among this people...

Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua...

Deuteronomy 34:10 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like to Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

1 Timothy 6:16 Who only has immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach to; whom no man has seen, nor can see...

dark speeches

Psalm 49:4 I will incline my ear to a parable: I will open my dark saying on the harp.

Ezekiel 17:2 Son of man, put forth a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel;

Ezekiel 20:49 Then said I, Ah Lord GOD! they say of me, Does he not speak parables?

Matthew 13:34 All these things spoke Jesus to the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke he not to them:

John 15:15 From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends...

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

similitude

Exodus 24:10,11 And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone...

Exodus 33:19,23 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you...

Exodus 34:5-7 And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD...

Deuteronomy 4:15 Take you therefore good heed to yourselves...

Isaiah 40:18 To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will you compare to him?

Isaiah 46:5 To whom will you liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?

John 1:18 No man has seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.

John 14:7-10 If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from now on you know him, and have seen him...

John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin...

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory...

2 Corinthians 4:4-6 In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ...

Colossians 1:15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power...

were ye

Exodus 34:30 And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come near him.

Luke 10:16 He that hears you hears me; and he that despises you despises me; and he that despises me despises him that sent me.

1 Thessalonians 4:8 He therefore that despises, despises not man, but God, who has also given to us his holy Spirit.

2 Peter 2:10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed...

Jude 1:8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

Cross References
1 Corinthians 13:12
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

Hebrews 1:1
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,

Genesis 32:30
So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered."

Exodus 20:4
"You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Exodus 24:10
and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.

Exodus 24:11
And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

Exodus 33:11
Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

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