In our little series about women of the Bible we have told you of several prophetesses. Miriam’s name actually means prophetess. Not only was she the honored sister or Moses, but also the leader of all of the Hebrew women who had fled Egypt.
It was sweet Miriam who saved Moses when he was set adrift in the River Nile in a basket to save him from Pharaoh’s wrath, so all that we know of Moses, his special place in history & his revelations of the Word of God we owe to brave Miriam.
She became the leader of the Hebrew women during the Exodus as we learn in the Book of Exodus 15:20-21. She & her followers sang the Song of Miriam, one of the few poems that survive from the ancient world.
Miriam & Aaron, Moses’ older brother, were both popular leaders, but they served under Moses’ authority & thereby under the authority of God. Bold Miriam, however, questioned the Law & was punished by disease the turned her skin white & leprous. Despite this affliction, she helped search for the Promised Land until her dead in then wilderness. The place she died was a desert, completely waterless, but after her death, God honored her & the place by causing water to appear there.
The song of Miriam from Exodus 15:19-21:
When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots, and charioteers rushed into the sea, the Lord brought the water crashing down on them. But the people of Israel had walked through the middle of the sea on dry ground!
Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced. 21 And Miriam sang this song:
“Sing to the Lord,
for he has triumphed gloriously;
he has hurled both horse and rider
into the sea.”