Preface: This passage reviews a section of Israel’s wilderness walk after the Exodus, from Egypt on their way to the Plaines of Moab.
Review: God serves warning to the complainers (11:1-3)…Their diet never varies (11:4-9)…Eventually their complaining gets to Moses (11:10-15), who is tiring of this “road trip”…The LORD responds to their complaints with meat for a month (11:18-25)…God supports Moses’ efforts by forming a steering committee – a group of 70 elders (11:16-17)…God’s Spirit enables two men to become prophets (11:26-27)…The meat served is in the form of low flying, presumably so they can be swatted or netted from the air, quail (11:31-32)…Before Israel get’s a chance to floss their teeth teeth after the greatest foul feast ever recorded, God judges Israel for her missteps (11:33-35)…Miriam and Aaron don’t care (12:1-2) for Moses’ choice in women…The LORD now fills of Moses’ critics (12:3-9)…Because she’s a malcontent, Miriam contacts a rash (12:10-13)…After a week away from the community, Miriam heals by the application of an oral ointment applied to her face by dar, old, Dad (12:14-16), some call this spit?!
Commentary: This desert road trip may mot be building peoples character, but it certainly is revealing it…Overall, this passage illuminates Israel’s lack of trust or faith in God, hence God’s ire…Yet, they are completely depended upon him for all the stuff that sustains life…That said, even what God provides is simply not good enough…Their leader, Moses, is at a loss as to what to do – “Uneasy is the head that wears a crown” (King Henry IV, Part II, Act II, Scene I)…The Spirit blows where it will and not where it won’t…Miriam and Aaron appear equally guilty of the same sins (12:1-2). Aaron says so…Only Miriam is afflicted, possibly because of Aaron’s priestly (see Ex. 39) position…On the other hand, he should have know better…This seems like an example of “rank having it’s privileges,” etc.