Indeed, as any honest search through various "editions" of various so-called "Bibles" demonstrates, the following TRUTH becomes obvious. In almost all such "editions" that include "topical guides", one will see that Numbers 12:1 is cross-referenced to Exodus 2:21. In order to incorrectly support the wicked, incorrect manmade doctrine of so-called "adultery" (as opposed to TRUE adultery), these "topical guides" would have Christians believe that the "Ethiopian woman" of Numbers 12:1 is the same woman, Zipporah, of Exodus 2:21.
Other "editions" will go even further with that great deception. (Whether knowingly or not I say not, but let the LORD judge. But clearly, either the Holy Ghost was absent or the publishers of those "editions" knowingly lied! But again, the LORD shall judge over such.) Some will rationalize that the Ethiopian (descendant of Cush) woman supposedly "had to be" Zipporah because there is supposedly "no mention of the second wedding". (Of course, the absurdity of that one is that the Numbers 12:1 verse IS, itself, the reference to the second wedding!) Another "edition" would suggest that the reference to "Ethiopian" (Cushite) was a "racial slur" that Miriam and Aaron were saying about Zipporah. Still another "edition" would indicate that the term "Cushite" could have supposedly referred to an area of the Midianites. (These are nothing more than theories and hypotheses in order to justify!) Yet, none of these rationalizations have any Scriptural support whatsoever. Again, there is NO Scripture to support these incorrect hypotheses of rationalization.
However, there is another "edition" that would at least recognize that Zipporah was not the "Ethiopian woman". Yet still, in order to perpetuate the wicked, incorrect manmade doctrine of so-called "adultery" (as opposed to TRUE adultery), this other "edition" offers the "death"-rationalization that Moses had married the "Ethiopian woman" AFTER Zipporah's death. Yet too, as the others before, this rationalization lacks any Scriptural support; there is NO mention of Zipporah's death.
Indeed, it is this "death"-rationalization that is also used to suggest that Abraham only married Keturah, in Genesis 25:1, AFTER Sarah's death. Of course, such do not acknowledge that that verse is sandwiched between 24:67 and 25:20. Neither do such acknowledge how Paul referred to Abraham's body as being "dead", to beget, at age 100, in Romans 4:19 and Hebrews 11:12, when Isaac was born. (A detailed discussion about the births of Keturah's sons could be revealed, but I spare you.) Yet, Sarah died when Abraham was 137 years old. (Genesis 23:1, 17:17.) Because Abraham died at 175, their rationalization would then say that Keturah bore three generations-deep in less than 38 years! (Genesis 25:7,1-4.) And what about Hagar and the son she bore for Abraham, Ishmael? Did not an angel of God tell Hagar that the LORD would, of Ishmael, "make him a great nation"? (Genesis 21:18.) Indeed, Ishmael, at about age 89, would help his 75-year-old brother Isaac bury their father Abraham. (Genesis 25:9, which verse is also sandwiched between 24:67 and 25:20.) But again, I spare you: the point is made: the "death"-rationalization is not correct either.
Truly, notwithstanding the Lord Jesus, who then is the one single man throughout all of Scripture to have the greatest understanding of the Ten Commandments as they had been originally given? Would not Moses be such a man (if not David)? Indeed, Moses knew the TRUE meaning of adultery. (If this was not true, would the "Law of Moses" have mentioned, "If a man have two wives...", in Deuteronomy 21:15-17?)
Yes, without question, Moses knew the TRUE meaning of adultery. He knew that the exact meaning of the word in the original, old language is, from the word "na`aph" (naw-af'), to commit adultery; figuratively to apostatize --<--<which refers to idolatry!-->-->:---adulterer (-ess), commit (-ing) adultery, woman that breaketh wedlock. Indeed, the best understanding of the word, in all applications of it throughout Scripture, is as follows: The act of a (by-God) married woman breaking her wedlock contract/covenant.
Truly, Moses knew that the principles of adultery exactly follow and parallel the principles of idolatry. TRUE GODLY men, being (small-L) lords, are to follow the example of the (Capital-L) LORD. The flow of love, blessing, and edification of the (Capital-L) LORD and of obedience of each man are paralleled between the (small-L) lord and each wife. TRUE GODLY men are to follow the LORD's example. (When one understands love, blessing, and edification, one understands loving, willful obedience. When one understands loving, willful obedience, one understands love, blessing, and edification.) Yes, Moses understood this TRUTH.
Indeed, Moses was profoundly capable of such love, blessing, and edification of wives (because he had the LORD's example because he lovingly, willfully obeyed the LORD!). Moses knew the "judgment of the LORD" on this matter in Exodus 21:10, which declares: "If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish."
Yet, the Great Deceiver, in order to diminish man and prevent him from rising to his (small-L) lordship, thus being such a TRUE GODLY man, established the previous rationalizations. Indeed, it is Scripturally absolute that Zipporah was not the Ethiopian/Cushite woman. (For proof, I would that you would study the following, regarding Shem, Ham, Cush, Abraham/Abram, Midian, the Ethiopian/Cushite woman, and Zipporah: Numbers 12:1-15, Genesis 10:1,6, 11:10-26, and Luke 3:34-36; Exodus 2:15-22, 18:1-6, Genesis 25:1-2.) Again, be it ever known unto you that Zipporah was not the Ethiopian (Cushite) woman, and neither does Scripture even imply the latter was married unto Moses after the former had died. Indeed, despite the evil plot of the Great Deceiver to keep it hidden, the TRUTH cannot be hidden: Moses did indeed have two wives, and he did not commit adultery.
© October 4, 1995, The Standard Bearer
P.O. Box 765, O.O.B., ME 04064