(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men who were upon the face of the earth.)
Read Chapter 12
George Leo Haydock
Exceeding meek. Moses being the meekest of men, would not contend for himself; therefore God inspired him to write here in his own defence: and the Holy Spirit, whose dictate he wrote, obliged him to declare the truth, though it was so much to his own praise. (Challoner)
So he mentions his defects without reserve. (Calmet)
There are occasions when a person may be not only authorized, but in a manner forced to declare what may be to his own praise. Moses was in such a situation. The peace of the whole nation was in danger, when false insinuations were thrown out against the lawgiver and king, by his own nearest relations, and by them who were next in authority to himself. Aaron, the high priest, countenanced at least the remarks of his sister, who seems to have been the most to blame, as she alone is punished with the leprosy. (Haydock)
Some have suspected, that this verse has been inserted by a later inspired writer. (Conrnelius a Lap ide)
But whether it was or not, there is no rea...
[Macrina replied,] It is said of Moses that he was superior to anger and desire. History testifies that he was the “meekest” of men. An incapacity for anger is shown through mildness and an aversion to wrath. He desired none of the things toward which the desiring element in many people is directed. This would not have been so if these qualities had been natural to him and logically in keeping with his essence, for it is not possible for that which is unnatural to remain in the essence. Moses, you see, was true to his essence and not involved in desire and anger, which are in addition to our nature and not our nature itself, for nature is truly that in which being has its essence. .
To learn the power of gentleness and restraint, and how virtue alone suffices to render the person who practices it devotedly worthy of those ineffable encomiums, listen to the eulogy bestowed to blessed Moses. The crown was awarded him for this reason: “Moses was the mildest of all people on the earth,” Scripture says. Do you see the greatness of the encomium, which conferred on him equality of esteem with the whole human race—or, rather, gave him precedence over all humankind? Homilies on Genesis
What was the characteristic of Moses of old? “Moses was the meekest of all men on earth.” One would not be wrong in describing this other Moses [i.e., Christ] in these same terms, for certainly the meekest of spirits is with him, being related to him by consubstantiality. In those days Moses stretched forth his hands to heaven and brought down the bread of angels, manna. This second Moses stretches forth his hands to heaven and brings down the food of eternal life. Moses struck the rock and made streams of water flow. This second Moses touches the table, strikes the spiritual board and makes the fountains of the Spirit gush forth. Consequently the table, like the fountain, lies in the middle, in order that the flocks may surround the fountain on every side and enjoy the benefit of the saving waters.
Exceeding meek: Moses being the meekest of men, would not contend for himself; therefore, God inspired him to write here his own defence: and the Holy Spirit, whose dictate he wrote, obliged him to declare the truth, though it was so much to his own praise.