Numbers 20:1

Hebrew Bible

1 Then the entire community of Israel entered the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died and was buried there. 2 And there was no water for the community, and so they gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron. 3 The people contended with Moses, saying, “If only we had died when our brothers died before the Lord! 4 Why have you brought up the Lord’s community into this wilderness? So that we and our cattle should die here? 5 Why have you brought us up from Egypt only to bring us to this dreadful place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; nor is there any water to drink!”

Pseudo Jonathan Numbers 20:1


And the whole congregation of the children of Israel came to the desert of Zin on the tenth day of the month Nisan. And Miriam died there, and was buried there. And as on account of the innocency of Miriam a well had been given, so when she died the well was hidden, and the congregation had no water. And they gathered against Mosheh and Aharon, and the people contended with Mosheh, and said, Would that we had died when our brethren died before the Lord! And why hast thou brought the congregation of the Lord into this desert, that we and our cattle may die here? And why didst thou make us come up out of Mizraim., to bring us to this evil place, a place which is not fit for sowing, or for planting fig trees, or vines, or pomegranates, and where there is no water to drink? And Mosheh and Aharon went from the face of the murmuring congregation to the door of the tabernacle of ordinance, and bowed upon their faces, and the Glory of the Lord's Shekinah was revealed to them.

 Notes and References

"... In the Targumim, Aramaic translations of the Bible, Miriam’s well is explicitly mentioned several times in the accounts of her death and its aftermath. The evolution of the Aramaic Scriptures can be compared to the evolution of the New Testament, in which different Gospels include different accounts of the same event with varied amounts of details, some expanding the texts—or oral account—of previous versions, for example, the multiple ending of Mark and the multiple accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan records Miriam’s death thusly ..."

Gafney, Wilda Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne (p. 136) Westminster John Knox Press, 2017

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