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Catholic Dictionary




Older sister of Moses and Aaron. When Moses was born, his mother laid him in a basket and set it free on a river because of Pharaoh's edict dooming all Hebrew baby boys (Exodus 1:22). The resourceful Miriam managed to have Moses' own mother, Jochebed, assigned to care for him (Exodus 2:2-10). Later in life she was not as fortunate or as well advised. When Moses married Zipporah, both Miriam and Aaron thought he had demeaned himself by marrying a Midianite. When they criticized him, Yahweh came to his rescue and punished Miriam by inflicting her with leprosy. For a week she was forced out of the camp, until Moses interceded and begged Yahweh to heal her (Numbers 12:1-15). Years later she died and was buried in Kadesh (Numbers 20:1).