In this article, Bible translations are by Phyllis Trible or are adapted by Phyllis Trible from the Revised Standard Version (RSV). A few translations come directly from the RSV and are so identified.


But, see William H. Propp, “Did Moses Have Horns?” BR 04:01.



For a comprehensive investigation of the Miriamic traditions (excluding Exodus 2:1–10), see Rita J. Burns, Has the Lord Indeed Spoken Only Through Moses? A Study of the Biblical Portrait of Miriam, Society of Biblical literature Dissertation Series 84 (Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press, 1987). For a wide-ranging structuralist reading, see Edmund Leach, “Why Did Moses Have a Sister?” Structuralist Interpretations of Biblical Myth (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1983), pp. 33–67.


Cf. Robert B. Lawton, S.J., “Irony in Early Exodus,” Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 97 (1985), p 414; J. Cheryl Exum, “ ‘You Shall Let Every Daughter live’: A Study of Exodus 1:8–2:10, ” Semeia 28, The Bible and Feminist Hermeneutics, ed. Mary Ann Tolbert (Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1983), pp. 74–81.


See recent commentaries: e.g., Martin Noth, Exodus (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1962); Umberto Cassuto, A Commentary on the Book of Exodus (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1967); Brevard S. Childs, The Book of Exodus (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1974).


See especially, Frank M. Cross, Jr., and David Noel Freedman, “The Song of Miriam,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 14 (1955), pp. 237–250. Cf. Maria-Sybilla Heister, Frauen in der biblischen Glaubensgeschichte (Göttingen, W. Ger.: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1984), pp. 49–50.


In scholarly literature, Exodus 15:1–18 is most often called the “Song of the Sea” and Exodus 15:21 the “Song of Miriam.” Following Cross and Freedman (see endnote 4), many scholars now attribute the Song of the Sea to Miriam (not to Moses, as tradition holds) and thus designate both Exodus 15:1–18 and Exodus 15:21 the Song of Miriam. By contrast, the Song of Moses is Deuteronomy 32:1–43, and the Blessing of Moses is Deuteronomy 33:2–29.


On the theme of rebellion and the difficulties of source analysis, see George W. Coats, Rebellion in the Wilderness (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1968).


On the wilderness controversies, cf. Murray Newman, The People of the Covenant (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 1962), pp. 72–101.


Coats argues that the received text focuses on Moses: “Humility and Honor: A Moses Legend in Numbers 12, ” in Art and Meaning: Rhetoric in Biblical Literature, ed. David J.A. Clines, David M. Gunn and Alan J. Hauser, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament (JSOT) Supp. Series 19 (Sheffield, UK: JSOT Press, 1982), pp. 97–107. Robert R. Wilson argues that prophecy was the original focus: Prophecy and Society in Ancient Israel (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1980), pp. 155–156.


The translation comes from Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic (Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press, 1973), pp. 203–204.


See David Jobling, “A Structural Analysis of Numbers 11–12, ” in The Sense of Biblical Narrative, ed. David J A Clines et al., JSOT Supp. Series 7 (Sheffield, UK: JSOT Press, 1978), pp. 32–33 [2nd. ed., 1986, pp. 37–38].


Cf. Aelred Cody (A History of Old Testament Priesthood [Rome: Pontifical Biblical Inst., 1969], pp. 150–151), who argues against a priestly identification of Aaron in Numbers 12.


See Noth, Numbers (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1968), pp. 138–143.


For a helpful analysis of the priestly ascription of ritual purity to the deity, with its concomitant rejection of women, see Nancy Joy, “Throughout Your Generation Forever: A Sociology of Blood Sacrifice.” Unpublished dissertation for Dept. of Sociology, Brandeis Univ., 1981.


See Katharine Doob Sakenfeld, “Theological and Redactional Problems in Numbers 20:2–13, ” in Understanding the Word: Essay in Honor of Bernhard W. Anderson, ed. James T. Butler et al., JSOT Supp. Series 37 (Sheffield, UK: JSOT, 1985).


See William H. Propp, “The Rod of Aaron and the Sin of Moses,” Journal of Biblical Literature (March 1988), pp. 19–26 Jacob Milgrom, “Magic, Monotheism and the Sin of Moses,” in The Quest for the Kingdom of God: Studies in Honor of George E. Mendenhall, ed. H.B. Huffmon (Winona. Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1983), pp. 251–265; M. Margaliot, “The Transgression of Moses and Aaron—Num. 20:1–13, ” Jewish Quarterly Review 74 (1983), pp. 196–228.


See Bernhard W. Anderson, “The Song of Miriam Poetically and Theologically Considered,” in Directions in Biblical Hebrew Poetry, ed. Elaine R. Follis, JSOT Supp. Series 40 (Sheffield, UK: JSOT Press, 1987), pp. 284–296.