“The anger of Adonai flared up against them, and he left. But when the cloud was removed from above the tent, Miryam had tzara‘at, as white as snow. Aharon looked at Miryam, and she was as white as snow.”-Number 12:9-10
I finished off yesterday’s post by pointing out there are serious consequences for rebelling against God’s chosen servant.
Well, as a result of Miriam’s rebellion against Moses, we’re told she was stricken with “leprosy“.
However, the word “leprosy” is a mistake.
Miriam was struck with what in Hebrew is called TZARA-AT.
TZARA-AT does NOT mean “leprosy“.
It refers to a wide range of potential skin disorders.
The real disease of leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) wouldn’t be known in that part of the world until hundreds of years later.
Biblically speaking, an outbreak of TZARA-AT was due to one’s spiritual uncleanliness.
It was considered to be an outward manifestation of one’s inner wickedness.
One interesting question that arises is why wasn’t Aaron punished?
And that especially considering his participation in the horrible Golden Calf incident.
Possibly the wickedness he was harboring in his heart wasn’t as intense as that of Miriam’s.
The Scripture doesn’t really tell us why.
Regardless, the biggest takeaway I get from this lesson is that even God’s most trusted servants, even the High Priest Himself was fallible and had character failings.