4b–5). Verses 10-12 sum up the life of a great man of God. Rather, the account indicates that God’s anger is evoked by the people’s negative response to the journey (v. 34). Two of the statements refer to God’s reaction with the word התאנף (Deut 1:37, 4:21) whereas the verb ויתעבר is used in the other statement (3:26). 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. The narrative further states that Moses’ death was because of the people (v. 37), suggesting that he dies as a result of a kind of collateral damage: all the Israelites who left Egypt (except for the good scout Caleb) may not enter the land, and this must include their leader, Moses. ×¢ יָמִים; Gen 35:29) and Gideon “ripe old age” (בְּשֵׂיבָה טוֹבָה; Judg 8:32). Instead, chs. Let us look at each statement in turn, paying careful attention to what it says in context. De Du). [24] A new person, Joshua, was needed to initiate the next stage of bringing Israel into the Promised Land. He brought the people of … Share. Cf. 6 He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 2 Chron 9:5), דבריך, which can refer to King Solomon’s wise words (cf. Contrarily, some sources claim that, as the kingdom went into mourning, Moses took the chance and left stealthily with his kinsmen, numbering around 15,000. 4–6, 11). The grounds for Moses’ “premature” death are presented differently in various sources of the Torah. John McKenzie, “The Historical Prologue of Deuteronomy,” Proceedings of the World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem 1965), 95–101, here 97. [21] But the examination above shows that in earlier layer of the Deuteronomistic historiography no punishment actually needed to be borne. For more on this, see Zev Farber, “Punishing Children for the Sins of Their Parents,”TheTorah.com [2015].) Moses was told to speak to a rock to get water from it, but instead he struck the rock repeatedly with a rod, showing improper anger and a lack of faith (Num. [10] The sole exception is the ambiguous use of the term in 1 Kings 10.6 (cf. As reflected in Moses’ speech in Deuteronomy 31, the end of his leadership arrives when he reaches the traditionally limited number of a human life (cf. Alongside the information about the fate of the current generation and their children (vv. Moses Harmon's passing at the age of 81 has been publicly announced by Aikens Funeral Home - Tampa in Tampa, FL . [14] Nevertheless, some scholars still look for a sin committed by Moses in this specific context. He is buried in “the valley of Moab … Much later, Caleb became one of the leaders of Israel after the death of Joshua. Loewenstamm argues that the expression indicates an extension in the text (Samuel E. Loewenstamm, “The Formula BaÊ¿et Hahi’ in the introductory speeches in Deuteronomy”, From Babylon to Canaan [Jerusalem 1992], 42–53). 28–30). His prophecy was of a higher order than that of all other prophets. [21] Anthony Phillips, Deuteronomy (CBC; Cambridge 1973), 19. Horeb, called Mt. 4:21 Moses will not enter the land because of God’s anger with him (התנאף בי), which is an outcome of something for which the people are responsible (על דבריכם). Deuteronomy 31:2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan. According to tradition, Moses’ parents, Amram and Jochebed (whose other children were Aaron and Miriam), hid him for three months and then set him afloat on the Nile in a reed basket daubed with pitch. In Deuteronomy 3, Moses encourages Joshua by saying that the natives of the Cisjordan will fall to him just as easily as the Transjordan fell to Moses (vv. more likely indicate the consolidation of the passages rather than their patches. The biblical term על דבר is usually translated as “because of,” based on translating דבר as thing, matter, or action, and therefore “for the thing/ in the matter.”[9] But when the term appears with a pronominal suffix “my, his, your” (e.g. [4] The ending of Deuteronomy, which is the ending of the Pentateuch as a whole, contains pieces from multiple Pentateuchal sources, many of which independently record Moses’ death. February 20, 2021. For modern engagements, see, George W. Coats, “Legendary Motifs in the Moses Death Reports,” CBQ 39 (1977): 34–44 (40); Thomas W. Mann, “Theological Reflections on the Denial of Moses,” JBL 98 (1979), 481–494 (481); Susan Ackerman, “Moses’s death,” Myth and Scripture: Contemporary Perspectives on Religion, Language, and Imagination (ed: Dexter E. Callender; Resources for Biblical Studies 78; Atlanta: SBL, 2014), 103–117 [105, 107]. 5 And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. Then, on his 120th birthday, Moses ascended Mount Nebo, where G‑d granted him a view of the Land of Israel, which he so longed to enter. [23] The point is particularly important when we realize that the people Moses is addressing are the very same who left Egypt and wandered in the wilderness with him, but a demonstration of this point will have to wait for a further article. DIED. Moses then died “by the kiss of G‑d,” and no one knew where he was buried. One likely factor driving these translators is their desire to make this text correspond with 1:37, which reads בגללכם, “because of you.” Another factor may be the general context of chapter 4, which lacks any mention of specific words uttered by the people. He and Joshua were the only two spies who brought back a good report about the land and believed that God could help them to take it. The Lord showed him all of the Promised Land before he died. But how does Moses’ death benefit Israel and why is God angry with him? The wrongdoing of the spies is however implied in the reference to Caleb’s destiny (Deut 1:36), in contrast to the death sentence imposed on the others. : b.Sotah 13b; Sifre Deuteronomy 32.52 [Ha’azinu]; Josephus, Antiquities 4:8, 48; Mat. 18–21, 28). Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. From Mount Nebo on “the top of Phasga” Moses views for the last time the Promised Land, and then dies at the age of 120 years. Num 14:11–24), the terminology of Moses’ speech in Deut 1:29–33 is an indication of the author’s familiarity with this scene (compare Deut 1:32 with Num 14:11 and Deut 1:33 with Num 14:13–14). vv. It means wished for child, or perhaps even a quite different meaning, which is bitter or rebellious. על דברי, על דבריו, על דבריכם) it means “word” or “speech.”[10] The phrase here thus means, “owing to your words” or “due to what you said.” This is accurately conveyed in the LXX Greek translation, περὶ τῶν λεγομá½³νων ὑφ᾿ ὑμῶν, as well as in Targum Onkelos’ Aramaic rendering על פתגמיכון, both of which mean “on account of your words,”stating that Moses was condemned because of specific words spoken by the people. Why do they err in the case of Deut 4:21? These scholars argue that this is evidence that Deuteronomy’s explanation for Moses’ death predates the innovative doctrine of individual retribution reflected in the Priestly narrative about Moses. In contrast to these, the main narrative of Deuteronomy attributed to Moses the experience of death as common to all mortals. 37-38).[17]. In fact, the text says that YHWH became furious with Moses “on your behalf” (למענכם), meaning that the decision was for Israel’s benefit. While בעבור can be used interchangeably with the particle למען (Gen 18:24–29, 27:19–25; Exod 9:16), it does not always convey “in favour of” (e.g. Moses was the greatest of men. Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, was 40 years old when he became one of the 12 spies sent by Moses into the promised land. Send Flowers. This is despite the fact that, by Moses’ day, the typical lifespan was much shorter than 120. In fact, it is arguable that Moses’ death was not considered punishment at all. It is interesting to note that, when Moses died at the age of 120, he did not die of old age. Similarly, Rofé attributes the divine anger to the impudence of Moses’ decision to send spies to the land without consulting God. But as the research proceeded, the conclusions changed. other incidents that describe Moses’ direct reactions to the people’s rebellions: Exod 32:19–29; Num 16:4–12, 16). List of prophets names and Ages, prophets life duration, age of prophets noah, ibrahim, sulaiman, musa-moses a.s, muhammad s.a.w etc According to Deut. There is also a very similar Egyptian name, based on the word myr, meaning beloved or mr meaning love. See Martin Noth, The Deuteronomistic History, 12–17; Andrew D.H. Mayes, Deuteronomy, New Century Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 41–42; Moshe Weinfeld, Deuteronomy 1–11, Anchor Bible (New York: Doubleday, 1991), 13. 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. There on top of Mount Neʹbo Moses dies. McKenzie suggests understanding the divine anger with Moses as a reaction to the initiative of sending out the spies (v. 23), that supposedly reveals Moses’ doubts regarding God’s capacity and leads to the people’s sin. Not a perfect man, but indeed, a great man of God. 12:3), "there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom YHWH knew face to face" ( Deuteronomy 34:10). [14] But here too, Moses’ comment about his death seems out of place, interrupting the flow from what will happen to the generation of the spies and their children: The obscurity of the judgment of Moses is especially noticeable in this context when comparing the narrative with its textual source in the account of the spy story in Numbers 13–14. Alexander Rofé, Introduction to the Literature of the Hebrew Bible (Jerusalem 2006 [Hebrew]), 30. Something went wrong while submitting the form. The Biblical female name Miriam is of Hebrew origin and is considered to be an older version of the name Mary. [12] The only words mentioned in the chapter are God’s commandments (דבר, דברים, Deut 4:2, 9–10, 12–13, 15, 30, 36), referring to laws and statutes declared by him (דִּבֶּר, vv. [20] See, for example, Gen 18:24; Deut 30:6; 1 Kings 8.41; Jer 14:7 (and also where the term has the pronominal suffix as in למענכם: Isa 43:14, 48:11; Ezek 36:22, 32; Job 18:4). [19] Likewise, the passage concerned with the decision about Moses begins with the expression “at that time” (בעת ההִוא, 3:23) which is a typical expression for recalling past events in this context (Deut 2:34; 3:4, 8, 12, 18, 21). Moses died in the year 2488, just before the people crossed over into the Promised Land (Deut. Moses was 120 years old when he died. [6] The notion that Moses is suffering because of the people’s fault led scholars to define the Deuteronomic narrative as an expression of the belief in God’s vertical retribution, in which the penalty is extended to people other than the sinner. עבר here functions as a Leitwort (literally, “leading word”; Hebrew, מילה מנחה) , appearing six times, and thrice in the previous passage (vv. Launched Shavuot 5773 / 2013 | Copyright © Project TABS, All Rights Reserved. His eyesight wasn’t impaired and he was still vigorous and strong. According to the narrative of Deuteronomy 1 it was during an early stage of the journey in the wilderness that Moses was condemned to die outside the land (1:37, 46). Moses, Hebrew Moshe, (flourished 14th–13th century bce), Hebrew prophet, teacher, and leader who, in the 13th century bce (before the Common Era, or bc), delivered his people from Egyptian slavery.In the Covenant ceremony at Mt. In Lohfink’s words regarding this account: “Moses’ behaviour is blameless” (Norbert Lohfink, “Darstellungskunst und Theologie in Dtn 1,6–3,29,” Bib 41 [1960], 105–134 [113]). Because of Moses’ sin of disobedience at the waters of Meribah Kadesh (Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 32:51), Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. Joshua 14:10,11 And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old…, Conjunctive waw | Noun - proper - masculine singular, Moses -- a great Israelite leader, prophet and lawgiver, Preposition-b | Verb - Qal - Infinitive construct | third person masculine singular, Death, the dead, their place, state, pestilence, ruin, Noun - common singular construct | third person masculine singular, Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person feminine singular, Noun - masculine singular construct | third person masculine singular, Conjunctive waw | Adverb - Negative particle, Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular, OT Law: Deuteronomy 34:7 Moses was one hundred twenty years old (Deut. Summoned by God, Moses ascended the mountain and received the tablets of stone while the children of Israel heard the thundering forth of the Ten Commandments. In a brief commentary from 1973, Anthony Phillips implied that the tradition in Deuteronomy about Moses’ punishment is similar to the model in Isaiah 53 of the suffering servant that carries the iniquities of the people (vv. Deuteronomy 34:1-12 —Even though he was 120 years old, Moses had good vision and was strong enough to climb Mount Nebo. The use of the preposition למען, when attached to a noun, indicates anyone on whose behalf action is done. 20:7-13). According to the Bible, Moses was 120 when he died. At no point in God’s speech or in the narrator’s comments do we hear that the sending of the spies was wrong or forbidden. Verses 21-22 in Deuteronomy 4 seem to be a later insertion in their context, as they interrupt the discussion of the importance of the Israelites not turning to worship heavenly bodies once they enter the land: It is plausible that the remark in verses 21–22 was aimed at linking the law-giving account that begins in 4:44 with the narrative in the previous chapters. God’s anger derives from Moses’ endeavour to change his fixed destiny. 6 He was buried in the valley opposite Beth Peor, in the land of Moab, but no one knows to this day where his burial place is. Acts 7:23,30,36 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel…. Most English translations mistranslate this phrase. Thus, Deut 32:51, which does mention the sin of Moses and Aaron at Mei Meribah, is considered part of P and not D. [5] Broadly, these chapters are part of the D source, but more specifically, they are a (later) Deuteronomistic addition to the D source. Initially adamant, the Pharaoh began to yield slowly, finally relenting when his eldest son died from the plague, allowing the Israelites to leave Egypt. Apart from the description of the suffering servant of Isaiah this interpretation must have been inspired by the belief in Jesus as destined to bear the people’s sins (Rom 4:25; 1 Cor 15:3; Col 2:13–14; 1 Pet 2:24). Moses then went up Mount Nebo to the top of Pisgah, looked over the promised land of Israel spread out before him, and died, at the age of one hundred and twenty. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated. Abraham lived to be 175 years old; Joseph’s lifespan was 110 years; Moses was 120 years old when he died. ( TheTorah 2018), the Deuteronomic references that relate Moses' death to the people's sin (Deut 1:37 -38, 3:26 -27, 4:21 -22), are late insertions in the main narrative of Deuteronomy. He died in a ripe old age, no longer able (or allowed) to be active (Deut 31:2), though he was as fresh as a young man (34:7). He was closer to G‑d than any human being ever was. The best known, and most often repeated claim is found in a narrative ascribed to the Priestly school, recounting that Moses’ death was a result of his wrongdoing with Aaron at Meribah: While the leader’s wrongdoing in the story is not entirely clear,[3] the narrative explicitly indicates that the failure was of Moses and Aaron (20:24, 27:12–14). 35-36, 39), the fate of the leader(s) could be mentioned (vv. But they are happy to have Joshua as their new leader. Deut 34:7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eyes were undimmed and his freshness unabated. Unlike the other accounts, Deuteronomy 3 does not point to the people’s wrongdoing as the basis of the verdict (cf. We know that he was 120 years old when he died, “yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone” (Deuteronomy 34:7). Thus, like the reference in 4:21-22, the remark about Moses’ fate in 1:37-38 is secondary in its context. Her book, When God Wanted to Destroy the Chosen People: Biblical Traditions and Theology on the Move, was published in 2019 by De Gruyter. [18] The verb resonates with its more typical use related to “crossing,” thereby emphasizing that Moses’ crossing is against YHWH’s plan, in contrast to Joshua and the people’s crossing, which is in line with YHWH’s plan. [2] Numerous post-biblical commentaries argue that Moses did not actually die, indicating by that the writers’ difficulty in accepting the normal end assigned to the great figure, e.g. Deuteronomy 34:5 - So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. Deuteronomy here imagines that a new leader might better facilitate this process, enabling the people to begin a new stage released from their past bonds.[23]. Sinai, where God had first revealed Himself to Moses. For further recent suggestions see: Mann, “Theological Reflections,” 483; Moshe Margaliot, “The Transgression of Moses and Aaron – Num. In addition, we do not know how long Noah’s wife lived, but Noah’s son Shem only lived 600 years. And 1 Kings 8:46 [אנף]). Oops! A hint to this concept is also found in von Rad, Deuteronomy, 210. Even in the making of the Golden Calf the … 3:23–28. Thus, by choosing the preposition למענכם for Deut 3:26, the author conveys that God’s anger was for the benefit of the people, rather than a result of their deeds. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. His mission ends at the climax of his life, closing the period of the wilderness wandering. See the diverse rabbinic interpretations of the story in Jacob Milgrom, “Magic, Monotheism, and the sin of Moses,” The Quest for the Kingdom of God: Studies in Honor of George E. Mendenhall (eds. 13:28, 31–33, 32:9), the Deuteronomist makes no mention of the information that led to the people’s opposition. 5:9; Jer 18:21; Job 27:14), whereas here, the leader’s fate is affected by the fate of his contemporary generation. // Javascript URL redirection As a result, Aaron's death was more intensely mourned than Moses': when Aaron died the whole house of Israel wept, including the women, (Numbers 20:29) while Moses was bewailed by "the sons of Israel" only (Deuteronomy 34:8). Dr. Gili Kugler is a lecturer of Biblical Studies and Classical Hebrew at the Department of Hebrew, Biblical and Jewish Studies in the University of Sydney. But the multiple occurrences of the the expression in the sequence (six times!) [19]In contrast, the redactional supplements in chs. (The Priestly agenda finds a marked reflection in Ezekiel’s prophecy that denounces the common view of collective/vertical retribution (Ezek 3:17–21, 14:12–23, 18:2–24, 33:7–20.) [1] See Loewenstamm’s survey of the rabbinic literature that points out and deals with the tragedy of Moses’ death: Samuel E. Loewenstamm, “The Death of Moses,” in From Babylon to Canaan (Jerusalem: Magnes, 1992), 136–166 [145–148]. According to this earliest account of chapter 3, why does God refuse to let Moses cross the Jordan and enter the land? the premature dismissal of Elijah in the midst of his prophetic activity (1 Kings 19:15–18) detached from the end of his life (2 Kings 2:11). Caleb became one of the Jordan and enter the land with Israel but! Spies explicit words of criticism ( Num embraced them 2488, just before the children Israel... Other prophets בגללכם, על דבריכם ; “ because of you ”, 1:37, 4:21 ) in... People ’ s exclamation regarding the assurance that he did not die of old age (... 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