Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Numbers 12:3


(Now the man Moses was very humble, 1  more so than any man on the face of the earth.)


Nu 11:10-15; Nu 20:10-12; Ps 106:32,33; Ps 147:6; Ps 149:4; Mt 5:5; Mt 11:29; Mt 21:5; 2Co 10:1; 2Co 11:5; 2Co 12:11; 1Th 2:7; Jas 3:2,3; Jas 3:13; 1Pe 3:4

NET © Notes

tc The spelling of the word is a Kethib-Qere reading with only a slight difference between the two.

tn The word עָנָו (’anav) means “humble.” The word may reflect a trustful attitude (as in Pss 25:9, 37:11), but perhaps here the idea of “more tolerant” or “long-suffering.” The point is that Moses is not self-assertive. God singled out Moses and used him in such a way as to show that he was a unique leader. For a suggestion that the word means “miserable,” see C. Rogers, “Moses: Meek or Miserable?” JETS 29 (1986): 257-63.

sn Humility is a quality missing today in many leaders. Far too many are self-promoting, or competitive, or even pompous. The statement in this passage would have been difficult for Moses to write – and indeed, it is not impossible that an editor might have added it. One might think that for someone to claim to be humble is an arrogant act. But the statement is one of fact – he was not self-assertive (until Num 20 when he strikes the rock).

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