Miriam in the Bible, 3 Powerful Lessons We Can Learn

miriam in the bible

Looking for a woman of God to learn from? How about Miriam in the bible? The Bible is full of inspiring stories and characters that have left a lasting impact on our lives. One such character is Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron. Moses was the leader who lead the Israelites to the promised land. Miriam played an important role in the history of the Israelites, and her story is full of valuable lessons that we can still apply to our lives today.

From her bravery and leadership to her unwavering faith and devotion, Miriam’s life is a shining example of how we can overcome challenges and obstacles in our own lives. While her story is often overshadowed by that of her brothers, there are important lessons we can learn from her life and actions. In this blog post, we will explore some of the lessons we can learn from Miriam, Aaron’s sister and how her story can inspire us to become better versions of ourselves.

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Who Was Miriam in the Bible? 

Some people have asked “ what is Miriam in the bible known for? Well her most famous story is in her role when she watched her brother Moses on the river and through her actions helped to prevent his death at a time when all Hebrew male babies were ordered to be killed. Despite this good deed at her young age, in her older years she is also known for her role in trying to undermine the authority of God’s chosen leader-Moses.

In Addition to these roles, Miriam in the bible is also a prophetess. The Talmud names her as one of the seven major female prophets of Israel.  She is the sister of Aaron and Moses and helped bring the Israelites from Egypt. Miriam in the bible is the daughter of Amram and Jochebed.

So, what kind of woman was Miriam in the bible? Like all of us women, Miriam was a woman of God who had flaws but she was still loved and chosen.

Meaning of Miriam in the Bible 

What does the name Miriam mean? Well, Miriam is a female in the bible whose name is pronounced Mee-ree-uhm and whose name means drop of the sea, bitter, and beloved. The name Miriam in the bible is also stated as a Hebrew name meaning rebellion possibly linked to the story where she and her brother Aaron rebelled against the leadership of Moses.

Miriam in the Bible Verses 

As you study about Miriam in the bible you may be wondering where to find bible verses which relate to Miriam. We first meet Miriam in Exodus 2:1-4,7 here we see Miriam watching her baby brother Moses as he was placed in the river.

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“…And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.

And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him…

Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?”

Another key story involving Miriam is found in Numbers 12 when she and her brother Aaron spoke against Moses.

“And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman…”

Miriam is also mentioned in the following bible verses:

Exodus 15:20-21

Numbers 20:1

Numbers 26:59

Deuteronomy 24:9

1 Chronicles 6:3

Micah 6:4

Facts About Miriam in the Bible? 

Here are seven quick facts about Miriam in the bible.

  1. She was the daughter of Amram and Jochebed.
  2. Her actions helped to save her baby brother Moses from death.
  3. Miriam was a prophetess and just as Moses led the men out of Egypt and taught them the Torah, Miriam led the women out of Egypt and taught them the Torah.
  4. This woman may have been single as the bible does not state her husband however some sources suggest she may have been married.
  5. She was a musician. She played the timbrel.
  6. Her leadership had failures; we see one when she sowed seeds of discord regarding her brother.
  7. Israel had no water when Miriam died. The Talmud indicates that water was a gift given to Israel because of Miriam’s leadership as manna was given for Moses and clouds for Aaron.

The Story of Miriam in the Bible Summary

In Exodus 1, The Hebrews were flourishing in Egypt and so in an effort to decrease the Hebrew population, the king of Egypt told the midwives “When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.”

As a result of this law, when Jochebed  had baby Moses she could only keep him without him being noticed for a short time. After three months, “she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.” We find this in Exodus 2. Here we meet Miriam who instead of going about her childhood activities instead chooses to stay by the river and watch her baby brother on the river.

It is this act that helps to save her brother as Miriam sees when the princess comes to the river and gets the baby from the river. She then goes to the princess and asks her if she wants her to get a nurse from the Hebrew women for the baby. The princess says yes and who does Miriam get? Her mom, Moses’ mother -Jochebed.

The next time we hear of Miriam, she was instrumental in leading the children of Israel.  Micah 6:4 says “For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam”. We then see her show her musical talent when she gets the timbrel and leads out in praise and worship in Exodus 15:20-21.

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Just like the meaning of her name, Miriam had a rebellious nature. In Numbers 12, she and her brother Aaron spoke badly about Moses’ wife and also about his leadership. Why did Miriam speak against Moses? Some think she was just jealous of Moses’ wife, others think she was hungry for power but despite the reason what she did made God angry and she was punished for this with a case of leprosy. She however lived to “tell the tale” as after seven days she was returned to the camp and we only hear of her death when we read Numbers 20:1.

So, Miriam in the bible has a story similar to many other women in the bible. A story of highs and lows. Can we learn anything from Miriam’s story? Are there any characteristics we can emulate?

Characteristics of  Miriam in the Bible

Miriam in the bible had several great traits we can all emulate. 

Miriam was considerate and brave. As a child, Miriam could have stayed at home however when her mother put Moses on the river she stayed around instead of running off to play.

Miriam was smart. When the princess came to the river Miriam quickly went to her and asked her if she wanted an Israelite nurse for the child. When the princess said yes, Miriam went and got Moses’ mother so she could take care of her own baby Moses.

Miriam was a leader. When we see her singing praise to God in Exodus 15:20, other women followed her in praise. When we see her rebelling against her brother the bible lists her first which may indicate that she was the one who started it.

Miriam was a follower of the true God. She was a prophetess and this was not given to every woman, she was a special woman who believed in God and served him.

Lessons From Miriam in the Bible 

What does the story of Miriam teach us? Well, there are many lessons that we can learn from the life of Miriam in the bible. Here are some of the key ones: 

Lesson 1: Have Faith and Trust in God

In our own lives, we too can learn to have faith and trust in God. We may not always understand his plan for us, but we can trust that he has our best interests at heart. By having faith and trust in God, we can find strength and hope in difficult times.

We are reminded in Deuteronomy 31: 6, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” 

From the stories of Miriam in the bible we learn that we should not be afraid but instead we should move forward with the tasks we have to do and trust that God will work it out. Miriam did not abandon her brother; she stayed with him by the river; she was strong and courageous and God was with her. God allowed the princess to come to the river and for Miriam to see her and God made Miriam know what to say to the princess.

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Lesson 2: Beware of Envy and Jealousy

The next lesson we learn from Miriam is that we should not speak negatively about the Lord’s anointed leaders. Exodus 22:28 reminds us “Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.” When Miriam questioned whether Moses was the only one called by God she was punished with the sickness called leprosy.

1 Corinthians 9:27 says “ But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Miriam had been a key figure in the life of Israel, now by one act of rebellion she was becoming a “castaway”. From her story we can learn that every action counts. Daily we need to surrender ourselves to God and ask him to keep us in his care so our sinful nature will not raise its head in our lives and cause us to misrepresent God.

Unfortunately, Miriam’s story also serves as a cautionary tale about envy and jealousy. In Numbers 12, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of his Cushite wife. They criticized Moses for marrying outside of their tribe and questioned his authority as a prophet. God punished Miriam with leprosy as a result of her disobedience.

We can learn from Miriam’s mistake by being aware of our own envy and jealousy. It is easy to become resentful of others’ successes or possessions, but this attitude only leads to bitterness and unhappiness. Instead, we should focus on being content with what we have and celebrate the achievements of others.

Lesson 3: Celebrate Victories

When the Israelites crossed the Red Sea and escaped from Pharaoh’s army, Miriam led the women in song and dance to celebrate their victory. She recognized the importance of celebrating their triumphs and praising God for his goodness.

In our own lives, it is important to celebrate our victories, no matter how small they may seem. Whether it’s getting a good grade on a test or achieving a personal goal, taking the time to celebrate and give thanks can help us stay motivated and grateful.

Final Thoughts on Miriam in the Bible 

In conclusion, Miriam’s story provides us with valuable lessons about faith, courage, and expressing gratitude. Her example encourages us to trust in God and celebrate our victories.

As you reflect on this study on Miriam in the bible, think of your own takeaways from her story. For us Miriam in the bible is a woman who has traits we can emulate. Why is Miriam important in the bible? She teaches us lessons such as trusting in God and being brave and using the gifts we have been given by God in his service. Her story however reminds us not to speak poorly of God’s chosen leaders and to guard the avenues of our own souls so we do not become “castaways”.

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