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Friday, July 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 34

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that [is] over against Jericho. And the LORD shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,

And Moses went up. — With as good a will to die, as ever he did to dine; for it was but (as that martyr said) winking a little, and he was in heaven immediately.

Verse 2

And all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea,

Unto the utmost sea. — The Mediterranean.

Verse 3

And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.

The city of palm trees. — So called even by heathen authors also.

Verse 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: I have caused thee to see [it] with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.

I have caused thee to see it. — By an extraordinary power, for in an ordinary way Moses could never have taken so large a prospect at once. Faith puts a man’s head into heaven, and gives him a view of far better things; neither vision only, but fruition also, which Moses had not.

Verse 5

So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.

So Moses the servant of the Lord died. — It was no more between God and Moses, but Go up and die; he changed indeed his place, but not his company; death was to him but the daybreak of eternal brightness.

According to the word of the Lord. — Heb., Upon the mouth of the Lord. Hence Cornelius a Lapide saith he heard one preach, that Moses died kissed by God. The Jewish doctors so expound this text, as though God did indeed take away his soul with a kiss (the loving mother we have seen kiss the child, and then lay it down to sleep); and so of their 903 kinds of death, this they say is the easiest. Maimonid. God bade Moses go lie down and sleep, Deuteronomy 31:16 and he accordingly went to bed, when his Father bade.

Verse 6

And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.

And he buried him. — Either the Lord or Michael. Judges 1:9 There lies the body of Moses as in a chamber of rest, or bed of down. Isaiah 57:2 His very dust being precious; for Christ is not perfect without it. Ephesians 1:23

But no man knoweth of his sepulchre. — Though the devil made much ado about it, Judges 1:9 as desirous thereby to set up himself in the hearts of the living. So Chrysostom, Theodoret, Procopius, and others think: howbeit we find not anywhere that the Jews were addicted to this kind of idolatry, viz., of worshipping the relics of saints departed. λειψανολατρια . But of Michael’s dispute with the devil, about the body of Moses, we read in Origen Pερι αρχων , lib. iii. cap. 2. and others, Abath R. Nathan. that (besides what Jude hath) there was in the primitive times a certain Apocryphal book, called Mωυσεως Aναληψις , the Assumption of Moses, wherein it was recorded, and where hence haply Jude had it.

Verse 7

And Moses [was] an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.

Nor his natural force ìçä gena, maxilla. abated. — Jerome reads it, Nor his teeth loosed. And the use of manna might be some reason, it being an exquisitely pure kind of food, of an aerial, and not very corruptible substance.

Verse 8

And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping [and] mourning for Moses were ended.

And the children of Israel wept. — And were ready to wish, likely, as the Romans did for Augustus, that either he had never been born, or never died.

Thirty days. — As before they had done for Aaron. Numbers 20:29 The Jewish doctors tell us that Moses was born on the seventh day of the month Adar (which answereth to our February), and that on the seventh day of the same month Adar he was taken out of the world, being exactly 120 years old. One third part of his days he spent in Egypt, another in Midian, and the last in conducting this people to the borders of Canaan, as Josephus Antiq., lib. iv. ad fin. well observeth. The Jews to this day keep a solemn fast on the seventh of Adar, in remembrance of his death.

Verse 9

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.

And Joshua the son of Nun.Sic uno avulso, non deficit alter Aureus. The Duke of Florence gave for his ensign, a great tree, with many spreading boughs, one of them being cut off, with this above said motto, As one is broke off another riseth up in the room. Pintus in Dan. iv.

Verse 10

And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

And there arose not. — This testimony, and indeed this whole chapter, is thought to have been added by Joshua or Eleazar, being divinely inspired, for the completing of the history, famous throughout the world; approved and expounded by all the holy prophets and apostles, who out of this fountain, or rather ocean of divinity, Theodoretus Mosem appellat, τον της θεολογιας ωκεανον as Theodoret calleth Moses, have watered their various gardens; yea, in pressing moral duties, what do they else but explain the Pentateuch? What do they but unfold and draw out that arras a rich tapestry fabric which was folded together before? Surely the Pentateuch may well claim the title, De Originibus, above all other writings. And of Moses, the penman thereof, it may far better be said, than it was once of heathen Homer, that neither before him was there any whom he might imitate, nor after him any that could imitate him. Patercul. But what a notoriously arrogant fool was Henry Nicholas, the founder of the Familists (if that were true of him, which is reported by a writer of good note) Ich. Laet. Compend. Hist, Univers., p. 583. viz., that he boasted among his followers in Holland, that himself ought to be preferred before both Moses and Christ; because Moses taught hope, Christ faith, but he taught love, which was the greatest of those three graces. He said, moreover, that Moses stood in the outer court, Christ entered into the holy place, but that himself was entered into the holy of holies; yea, he blasphemously gave out that he did partake with God of his deity, and God with him of his humanity.

Verse 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,

In all the signs. — Here endeth the Pentateuch, which comprehendeth the history of 2552 years and a half, from the beginning of the world; and is all (as some hold) that was translated by the Septuagint. Schickard.

Verse 12

And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.

See Trapp on " Deuteronomy 34:11 "

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 34". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/deuteronomy-34.html. 1865-1868.
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