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ETHIOPIAN WIFE

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Marriage is a sacred bond between two people that is not subject to public scrutiny or judgment.

by Bing AI


There are many classic commentaries on Numbers 12:1 that offer different perspectives and insights on the Cushite wife of Moses. Here are some examples:

- Rashi says that the Cushite woman was Zipporah, and that she is called a Cushite because she was beautiful, just as a Cushite stands out among other people because of his skin color. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because he had separated from his wife after receiving the prophecy at Sinai¹.

- Ibn Ezra says that the Cushite woman was a second wife of Moses, whom he married after Zipporah died or was divorced. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they were jealous of his superior prophetic status².

- Ramban says that the Cushite woman was Zipporah, and that she is called a Cushite either because she came from a region of Midian that was adjacent to Cush, or because she was dark-skinned like the Cushites. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they thought he had acted arrogantly by separating from his wife, as if he was holier than other prophets³.

- Sforno says that the Cushite woman was Zipporah, and that she is called a Cushite because she was righteous and praiseworthy, like the righteous Cushites mentioned in Isaiah 45:14 and Amos 9:7. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they misunderstood his reason for separating from his wife, which was not due to pride, but to constant readiness for prophecy.

- Chizkuni says that the Cushite woman was a second wife of Moses, whom he married during his exile in Cush (Ethiopia) before returning to Egypt. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they were offended by his marriage to a foreigner, which they thought violated the law of Deuteronomy 7:3.

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Here is a possible Torah drush that notes the significance of each perspective and how it relates to serving God:

In Numbers 12:1, we read about the Cushite wife of Moses and the criticism he faced from Miriam and Aaron because of his marriage. This story raises many questions and has been the subject of much discussion among the classic commentaries.

Each commentary offers a unique perspective on the story and its significance in terms of serving God. Rashi says that the Cushite woman was Zipporah, and that she is called a Cushite because she was beautiful. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because he had separated from his wife after receiving the prophecy at Sinai. This interpretation highlights the importance of humility and devotion to God's will in serving Him.

Ibn Ezra says that the Cushite woman was a second wife of Moses, whom he married after Zipporah died or was divorced. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they were jealous of his superior prophetic status. This interpretation emphasizes the importance of recognizing and respecting the unique roles and abilities that God has given to each individual in serving Him.

Ramban says that the Cushite woman was Zipporah, and that she is called a Cushite either because she came from a region of Midian that was adjacent to Cush, or because she was dark-skinned like the Cushites. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they thought he had acted arrogantly by separating from his wife, as if he was holier than other prophets. This interpretation underscores the importance of humility and self-reflection in serving God.

Sforno says that the Cushite woman was Zipporah, and that she is called a Cushite because she was righteous and praiseworthy. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they misunderstood his reason for separating from his wife, which was not due to pride, but to constant readiness for prophecy. This interpretation highlights the importance of being constantly prepared to serve God and to receive His messages.

Chizkuni says that the Cushite woman was a second wife of Moses, whom he married during his exile in Cush (Ethiopia) before returning to Egypt. He also says that Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because they were offended by his marriage to a foreigner, which they thought violated the law of Deuteronomy 7:3. This interpretation emphasizes the importance of following God's laws and commandments in serving Him.

What we can learn from this story and these commentaries is that serving God involves humility, devotion, recognition of our unique roles and abilities, self-reflection, constant readiness for prophecy, and obedience to His laws and commandments. By following in the footsteps of Moses and his Cushite wife, we can strive to serve God to the best of our abilities.

Art: Wonder

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