DEUTERONOMY CHAPTER 34.
The Death and Burial of Moses.
MOSES DIES AND IS BURIED BY GOD — V.1. And Moses went up from the Plains of Moab, where the children of Israel were still encamped, unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is, to its very summit, that is over against Jericho. Cp. chap. 32, 48-51. And the Lord showed him all the land of Gilead, on the eastern side of Jordan, unto Dan, a town in Northern Perea, v.2. and all Naphtali, later the land of Galilee, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, in the approximate center of Canaan, and all the land of Judah, directly opposite his station, unto the utmost sea, the Mediterranean Sea, v.3. and the south, the plains beyond the Dead Sea, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm-trees, for these grew in the lowlands of Jericho, unto Zoar, at the extreme southern end of the Dead Sea. This viewing of the entire country was a “proof of his generally unimpaired strength of vision, which the soaring flight of faith rendered more penetrating.” V.4. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed, Gen. 12, 7; 15, 18; 28, 13; I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, it was a last favor which the Lord granted to His faithful servant, but thou shalt not go over thither. V.5. So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, namely, on Mount Nebo, according to the word of the Lord, chap. 32, 50. V.6. And he, the Lord, buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor, in some mountain valley not far from Nebo; but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day, its exact location was not revealed. From the letter of Jude, v.9, we know that the archangel Michael contended with the devil for the body of Moses. Thus God, through His angel, saved the body of Moses from the last consequence of death under the control of Satan, from corruption. The body of Moses was taken to heaven after his burial and there changed to a spiritual body. Thus it was possible for Moses to appear with Elijah at the transfiguration of Christ. This fact gives us a strong guarantee for the final fulfillment of our hope, of the resurrection of the body.
AN APPRECIATION OF MOSES — V.7. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eye was not dim, he had lost nothing of his keen bodily vision, nor his natural force abated, he had retained his full strength until the end. V.8. And the children of Israel wept for Moses, held a great mourning for him, in the Plains of Moab thirty days; so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended, a fine expression of their appreciation of this great prophet of the Lord, which is properly copied by grateful congregations and larger church-bodies to this day. V.9. And Joshua, the son of Nun, who now took up the leadership of the children of Israel, was full of the spirit of wisdom, by it was needed for the practical problems of life; for Moses had laid his hands upon him, Num. 27, 18. 23; and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses. That was the result of the long years of work which Moses had spent in teaching the people. V.10. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, Ex. 33, 11; Num. 12, 6. 8, with whom Jehovah was on such intimate terms, whom He filled with such divine power, v.11. in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, v.12. and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel, during the entire wilderness journey. Only one prophet is greater than Moses, by his own testimony, namely, the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father. Through His life, suffering, death, resurrection, and exaltation He earned for us the eternal redemption from the power of death and hell.