Saturday, May 15, 2010


Chapter 34
Summary:Moses went up from the plains of Moab and ascended Mount Nebo, at the top of Pisgah across Jericho. God then showed Moses all the land of Gilead given to Dan; the land given to Naphtali; the land of Ephraim and Manasseh; all of the land given to Judah to the utmost of the sea; the southern plain of the valley of Jericho; and the city of palm trees out to Zoar.

God said to him, "This is the land which I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and which I told them I would alsi give to their descendants. I have allowed you to see it with your own eyes, but you shall not go over there."

Moses, the servant of God, died there in the land of Moab, according to the God's word. He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, across from Bethpeor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. Moses was one hundred and twenty years old* when he died, but neither his eyesight nor his strength had diminished.

The people of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab for thirty days. Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; as Moses had laid his hands upon him, and the people of Israel hearkened to him, and did as God had commanded Moses.

There has never been a prophet in Israel since then like Moses, whom God knew face to face, with all the signs and wonders which God sent him to do in the land of Egypt to the Pharaoh, and all of his servants, and to all of his land, and in all of his mighty hand, and the great terror which Moses had shown before the eyes of all of Israel.
Notes:1.) This is not a typo. The bible lists Moses' actual age as 120 years old. Although technically not impossible, it is highly unlikely that without the aid of modern medicine (or "miracles") that Moses could have achieved such an advanced age, especially given how mentally and physically active he is claimed to have been at such an age in this chapter as well.
Thoughts:This final chapter in the book of Deuteronomy basically tells the story of Moses' death at the ripe old age of 120 years old - in which it is noted that neither his strength or his eyesight had diminished over the years, which should probably be considered a good thing when his last duty that he was expected to do at 120 years of age before dying was to climb a mountain.

After climbing the mountain God shows Moses the land he is giving to the the tribes of Dan, Naphtali, Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh), and Judah, which he could see from the top of the mountain. He tells Moses that this is the "promised land", and that he is not allowed to enter it, before Moses dies atop the mountain. God himself apparently buries Moses in a valley in Moab, but it's noted that no one knows where he is buried.

Considering that the Pentateuch (the Jewish Torah, or the first five books of the Old Testament) is supposedly attributed to Moses, it raises the question who supposedly has written this chapter describing Moses' death and mysterious burial, and if this took place only between God and Moses, how was this information known to the author?

The Israelites mourned Moses' death for 30 days, and Joshua took over their leadership as appointed by Moses.

The chapter, the book of Deuteronomy, and the Pentateuch closes out by stating that there has never been a prophet like Moses, who knew God face to face, nor performed the sort of "miracles" like the ones Moses performed in Egypt - which Moses apparently terrified the Israelites with.

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