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many accompanying evils which attend a dainty and luxurious mode of living.

Be temperate in all things, my young friend. Pray for grace, that whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, you may do all for the glory of God,

CHAPTER XLVI.

Hazeroth. Aaron and Miriam sin against Moses. Ka

desh-barnea. The spies sent to survey Canaan.

From Kibroth-hattaavah the Israelites, advancing on their way, came to Hazeroth, which was probably the fountain now called Ain el Hudhera, where they encamped.

Some circumstances occurred at this place, which brought on Moses a new and severe trial. His own brother and sister seem to have been deeply affected with the spirit of envy towards him. They probably thought that they did not have their full share of authority and influence; but that Moses was too exclusively the director of the affairs of the people. We may wonder, indeed, that such feel. ings should ever find their way into the breasts of Aaron and Miriam. But they had our common, corrupt nature, and evidently needed, at this time, much grace to subdue what was wrong within them.

They most unkindly and wickedly endeavored to bring reproach upon Moses, because his wife was not an Israelitish woman, but an Ethiopian,” or, as it might better be rendered, a Cushite. For the Hebrews, it appears, included under this appellation the inhabitants of all southern countries, or the torrid zone, and who were of a black or

tawny color.

This scandal was but the outbreaking of that deeper feeling of jealousy, which they could not long conceal. They were soon heard to say, "Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses ? hath he not spoken also by us?" As if the honor which they had sometimes enjoyed of making known the divine will to the Israelites, was a sufficient reason of their being elevated still higher in authority, and of exercising a part of the power that was now in the hands of their brother.

Moses was, undoubtedly, made acquainted with this ungenerous conduct on the part of Aaron and Miriam. He seems to have borne it in silence, and with great meekness; and we are told in this connection, in the Scriptures, that he " was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” He took no measures to inflict that punishment, or even censure, upon the offenders, which they so justly deserved. But God would not suffer the matter to pass without notice. He spake quickly, and when they were not at all expecting it, to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, bidding them go together to the tabernacle.

They came there; and the Lord descended in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam, who approached him, conscious of their guilt, and trembling before their offended Sovereign. "Hear now my words,” said the voice of Jehovah ; "If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house. 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 ?"

The rebuke was a severe one. No honor or authority was to be taken from the leader of the Israelites. He would continue to be privileged, far above all others,-far above the envious Aaron and Miriam --in his intercourse with Jehovah. They must feel their great inferiority to their brother, and treat him with that respectful submission which was due to his exalted station. Mortified and humbled, we are told, that the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; of which he probably gave them some sensible token, as he departed in the cloud ascending from off the tabernacle.

Aaron turned to look at Miriam, and, behold, she had become leprous, white as snow. She might have been the most guilty in what had taken place, and instigated her brother to unite with her in speaking against Moses. At any rate, God saw fit to make this peculiar mark of his displeasure fall upon her; sparing Aaron, perhaps, if not on account of the less degree of his guilt, yet of the high, official station which he held, and which would be sadly degraded in the estimation of the people, by his becoming a disgusting, unclean leper.

He felt deeply for his sister, and with great deference sought the aid of that brother, of whose power he had been, of late, so envious. Lord,” said he, "I beseech thee, lay not the sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned;" to which he added his earnest entreaty, that she might be rescued from so deplorable a malady, and restored to her former healthful state.

The kind and forgiving Moses needed ng urgency, to induce him to feel and to act in behalf of Miriam. He sympathized with her and with Aaron. He poured out his supplications on the spot. "He cried unto the Lord, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee." But divine justice, and the importance of showing the Israelites, in

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the case of so conspicuous a person as Miriam, the wickedness of her conduct, would not suffer her punishment to be so speedily removed. The Lord replied to Moses, that had she treated her father in such a way as to lead him to

express his strong dignation towards her by spitting in her face, she would have been obliged to withdraw from his presence, and be in disgrace for seven days. She must surely, then, not escape with a less severe reproof in the present instance. "Let her," was the divine command, « be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.”

The penalty was inflicted; and, during the period of Miriam's seclusion, the Israelites made no further progress on their way. This itself would make a strong impression both on their minds and her own, of the great sinfulness of the spirit which she and Aaron had manifested towards Moses. The whole transaction is a standing memorial in the records of divine truth, to teach us the evil of scandal and envy, and the deep abhorrence with which God regards these sins.

After leaving Hazeroth, several stations are mentioned of which the position is now unknown.

After eleven days journey from Sinai, we find them at Kadesh-Barnea. They probably descended to the shores of the gulf of Akaba, per

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