Miriam was the sister of Moses and Aaron, and the daughter of Amram and Jochebed. She was a prominent participant in the history of the Exodus, and was known as a prophetess.
She makes her first appearance in the Bible soon after the birth of Moses. Pharoah had declared that all new born male infants had to be killed and Moses's mother did her best to hide him for as along as she could.
But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.
Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. "This is one of the Hebrew babies," she said.
Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?"
"Yes, go," she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. (Exodus 2:3-8)
Years later, Miriam took the lead in the song of triumph after the passage of the Red Sea.
Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them:
"Sing to the LORD ,
for he is highly exalted.
The horse and its rider
he has hurled into the sea." (Exodus 15:20-21)
Miriam, however, incurred the wrath of God when she and Aaron opposed Moses. He came down in in a pillar of cloud and asked them how they dared speak against his prophet.
The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam-leprous, like snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had leprosy. (Numbers 12:9-10)
Moses interceded with God on Miriam's behalf and after 7 days, God healed her.
Miriam died at Kadesh during the second encampment at that place before the Israelites entered the Promised Land.