Home » Demeaning Terms

Demeaning Terms


Numbers 12:1 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

That says that Aaron and Miriam ( Moses’s sister and brother) didn’t like the fact that Moses had married a black woman. And Aaron and Miriam confronted Moses about it because she was black.

12:3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)

That says that Moses didn’t defend himself, or his wife. Moses simply didn’t respond.

12:9 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against them; and he departed.

God got angry with Miriam and Aaron.

12:10 And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and , behold, Miriam became leprous, white as snow: and Aaron looked upon Miriam, and, behold, she was leprous.

God struck Miriam with leprosy and Miriam became white. How ironic! God turned Miriam white because she was complaining about her brothers black wife. God said, You want white? I’ll show you white! Leprosy.

12:11 And Aaron said unto Moses, Alas, my lord, I beseech thee, lay not they sin upon us, wherein we have done foolishly, and wherein we have sinned.

Aaron apologized to Moses and said we have been foolish, and that foolishness was sinful.

12:13 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, Heal her now, O God, I beseech thee.

Moses prayed and asked God to heal Miriam.

12:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be ashamed seven days? Let her be shut out from the camp seven days, and after that let her be received in again.

Let’s recap. Miriam and Aaron didn’t like Moses wife because she was black. Because of this God struck Miriam with leprosy (which made her white) and for seven days she was not allowed to live with the rest of the people. Miriam became the outcast. Moses, being the nice guy that he was, prayed for her and after seven days God healed Miriam and she was allowed to live with the people again.

There are a lot of demeaning terms out there. And foolish to use them, indeed. We used to call Italians a wop. If you came from France you were called Frenchy, English Torie, a chink hales from China, Scotts were berserkers, Irishmen were called Micks and if your boat came from Nigeria you were called a Nigger. And let’s not forget the Indians who were not even immigrants. Now I don’t know why some of these were more negative than others or why some of them stuck and others didn’t. But I do know that I am not going to complain about someone just because of the color of their skin. God doesn’t like that. Miriam and Aaron’s only complaint about Moses wife was the color of her skin. I have no objection to calling a thief a thief, or someone lazy who is. But Moses wife wasn’t accused of being lazy, stupid, dirty, etc. just black. I don’t want God angry with me. I don’t want to be so white that I become leprous.

It is true, my mother raised a lady, so I don’t use demoralizing terms because it just isn’t nice. But now you understand that in addition to that God has shown his disapproval very plainly.


Diane Ebaugh Sutton

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *