I was asked the other day why, following their revolt against the leadership of Moses in Numbers chapter twelve, Miriam was punished with leprosy and Aaron appeared to ‘get away with it’? Why is that so? Does God punish women, but not men? There quite a few opinions on this question, at least according to the internet. I disagree (predictably) and see the incident, like so much of the OT narrative, to be a messianic midrash
- Aaron was a prophetic type of Messiah as High Priest.
- It was he who interceded on behalf of Miriam (Num 12:11-12)
- Though not punished, he also bore her sin as well as his own (Exod 28:30).
- Moses was also a type of Messiah as Prophet when he interceded before the Father (Num 12:13)
- Miriam’s sin was to reject the authority of Moses the type of Messiah
- Her being cast out for the perfect/complete amount of time (7 days) is a picture of Israel’s present wilderness wanderings
- At the end of their being outcast, God will ‘cleanse’ them (Ezek 26:25,33)