"Then Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married (for he had married a Cushite woman); and they said,
“Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses?
Has He not spoken through us as well?” And the Lord heard it."
Miriam and Aaron spoke openly, probably publicly, against their brother Moses and challenged his leadership It must have hurt Moses deeply to be criticized by his own family, yet he didn't retaliate. Verse 3 says, "(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.)" The basic meaning of the Hebrew root for humble is "to be bowed down." One could be bowed down by force (i.e., subdued) or with submissiveness (i.e., humble) or with care and trouble (i.e., miserable or afflicted). (Expos Bible Commentary). One commentator said that the text would be better translated, "Now this man Moses was more depressed or afflicted than any man of the land." (Adam Clarke Vol. 1 p.1269) In other words, this criticism was so devastating to Moses that he couldn't respond. The Lord heard it too, and He stepped in to defend His servant Moses. He chastised Miriam and Aaron and then punished Miriam with leprosy for a period of time. God certainly made His point. We can learn from this that when we are injured by others we can leave the situation in God's hands. He will avenge us. "For we know Him who said, 'Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.' And again, 'The Lord will judge His people.'” (Hebrews 10:30)