Tag Archives: bitter waters

The Waters of Life and Death

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“The Israelites arrived in a body at the wilderness of Zin on the first new moon, and the people stayed at Kadesh. Miriam died there and was buried there.” Numbers 20:1

Many feminist commentators have noted that after the incidence where Miriam is struck with leprosy for unclear reasons, she never speaks again and in fact she disappears from the narrative until the mention of her death. It appears that there is a vendetta against her for later we are warned, “Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam on the way as you came forth out of Egypt.” (Deut. 24:9) On the other hand, “[h]owever much the detractors of Miriam have tried, they do not control the story… Beyond the Exodus and wilderness accounts, fragments of a pro-Miriamic tradition surface still later in the Hebrew Scriptures” (Trible, p. 181). In this article I will explore the evidence for this pro-Miriamic tradition, some of which is embedded in the same narrative that condemns her. Continue reading