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The Death Of Moses

Moses Not Entering The Land

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CHAPTER 34 May 16 
The Death of Moses
Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, opposite from Jericho. Yahweh showed him all the land of Gilead to Dan, 2and all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah to the hinder sea, 3and the South and the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees to Zoar. 4Yahweh said to him, This is the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, saying ‘I will give it to your seed’. I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there. 5So Moses the servant of Yahweh died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of Yahweh. 6He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth Peor, but no man knows of his tomb to this day. 7Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eye was not dim, nor his youth abated. 8The children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended. 9Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him, and the children of Israel listened to him and did as Yahweh commanded Moses. 10There has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom Yahweh knew face to face, 11in all the signs and the wonders which Yahweh sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land 12and in all the mighty hand and in all the great terror, which Moses worked in the sight of all Israel.


34:6 He buried him in the valley- Is. 63:14 says that the Spirit [the Angel] caused Moses to rest as a man leads his animal to water in a valley. The way the Angel buried Moses is very touching. “According to the word of Yahweh” (:5) can bear the translation “By the kiss of  Yahweh”, as if the Angel with whom Moses was used to speaking face to face, as a man speaks with his friend, kissed him and as it were reversed the kiss of life, took his breath / spirit away, and laid him down to rest there on the mountain, then carried the body down to the valley and buried him there, to rest until the resurrection. The softness, respect and gentleness of God with His beloved in their time of dying comes over very strongly here.
34:7 Moses was one of those old people who still had a ‘young’ attitude to life; not for him the cynicism which comes with old age; hence Deuteronomy is at times optimistic about people with what could be seen as an almost naive youthful optimism. One wonders whether he was therefore right to accept Jethro’s advice that he needed to arrange helpers lest he wear out (Ex. 18:18), seeing that God had kept him so physically strong, and continued to do so.