The Meaning of Numbers 12:8 Explained

Numbers 12:8

KJV: With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the LORD shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

YLT: mouth unto mouth I speak with him, and by an appearance, and not in riddles; and the form of Jehovah he beholdeth attentively; and wherefore have ye not been afraid to speak against My servant -- against Moses?'

Darby: Mouth to mouth do I speak to him openly, and not in riddles; and the form of Jehovah doth he behold. Why then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?

ASV: with him will I speak mouth to mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of Jehovah shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?

What does Numbers 12:8 Mean?

Context Summary

Numbers 12:1-15 - God Protects Moses Against Criticism
This Ethiopian wife may have been Zipporah, or some other woman whom Moses married after his first wife's death. That Moses, the great lawgiver and leader, who could rule a turbulent multitude and face the great king of Egypt, should take the taunts of his brother and sister so quietly, indicates how deep and far-reaching had been the transformation of his character. Compare Exodus 2:12, etc. "Fret not thyself because of evildoers"¦. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him," Psalms 37:1-40.
When we hand our cause over to God He comes down, Numbers 12:5. He rebukes the enemy and avenger. Be faithful to Him and you may reckon on His faithfulness to you! That commendation of faithfulness, which Moses received, may be won by all! See Mark 13:34.
Our intercession may bring pardon and healing; but sin leaves its mark, Numbers 12:15. You are shut out of the enjoyment of the camp, and the march is delayed. Ponder James 3:5-6. [source]

Chapter Summary: Numbers 12

1  God rebukes the sedition of Miriam and Aaron
11  Miriam's leprosy is healed at the prayer of Moses
14  God commands her to be shut out of the host
16  The people encamp in the desert of Paran

What do the individual words in Numbers 12:8 mean?

Face to face I speak with him and Even plainly and not in dark sayings and the form of Yahweh he sees then why not were you afraid to speak against My servant Moses
פֶּ֣ה אֶל־ פֶּ֞ה אֲדַבֶּר־ בּ֗וֹ וּמַרְאֶה֙ וְלֹ֣א בְחִידֹ֔ת וּתְמֻנַ֥ת יְהוָ֖ה יַבִּ֑יט וּמַדּ֙וּעַ֙ לֹ֣א יְרֵאתֶ֔ם לְדַבֵּ֖ר בְּעַבְדִּ֥י ؟ בְמֹשֶֽׁה

פֶּ֣ה  Face 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: פֶּה  
Sense: mouth.
פֶּ֞ה  face 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: פֶּה  
Sense: mouth.
אֲדַבֶּר־  I  speak 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Imperfect, first person common singular
Root: דָּבַר 
Sense: to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing.
בּ֗וֹ  with  him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
וּמַרְאֶה֙  and  Even  plainly 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular
Root: מַרְאֶה  
Sense: sight, appearance, vision.
וְלֹ֣א  and  not 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adverb, Negative particle
Root: הֲלֹא 
Sense: not, no.
בְחִידֹ֔ת  in  dark  sayings 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, feminine plural
Root: חִידָה  
Sense: riddle, difficult question, parable, enigmatic saying or question, perplexing saying or question.
וּתְמֻנַ֥ת  and  the  form 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: תְּמוּנָה  
Sense: form, image, likeness, representation, semblance.
יְהוָ֖ה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
יַבִּ֑יט  he  sees 
Parse: Verb, Hifil, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: נָבַט  
Sense: to look, regard.
וּמַדּ֙וּעַ֙  then  why 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Interrogative
Root: מַדּוּעַ  
Sense: why?, on what account?, wherefore?.
יְרֵאתֶ֔ם  were  you  afraid 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, second person masculine plural
Root: יָרֵא 
Sense: to fear, revere, be afraid.
לְדַבֵּ֖ר  to  speak 
Parse: Preposition-l, Verb, Piel, Infinitive construct
Root: דָּבַר 
Sense: to speak, declare, converse, command, promise, warn, threaten, sing.
בְּעַבְדִּ֥י  against  My  servant 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: עֶבֶד  
Sense: slave, servant.
؟ בְמֹשֶֽׁה  Moses 
Parse: Preposition-b, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֹשֶׁה  
Sense: the prophet and lawgiver, leader of the exodus.