4.3 The Death Of Moses
4-3-1 Themes Of Moses In Deuteronomy
We have seen how Moses truly was made spiritually strong out of
weakness. We have seen how his faith fluctuated, until at last he
came to a spiritual height at the end of his life. We have seen
something of the intensity and passion of his love for Israel,
to the point where he was willing to give his physical and eternal
life for Israel's salvation. In a sense, his desire was heard. Because
of the sin of a moment, caused by the provocation of the people
he loved, God decreed that he could not enter the land of promise.
For their sakes he was barred from the land; this is the
emphasis of the Spirit (Dt. 1:37; 3:26; 4:21); and Ps. 106:32,33
says that Moses was provoked to sin because Israel angered God,
and that therefore " it went ill with Moses for their
sakes" . Truly, God works through sinful man to achieve His
glory (1). Thus Moses says that he
must die “Because ye [plural] trespassed against me” (dt.
32:51). This all helps explain why Christ had to die, apart from
the fact that he was mortal. He died the death of a sinner for our
salvation, he felt all the emotions of the rejected, the full weight
of God's curse; for " cursed is every one that hangeth on a
tree" in crucifixion (Gal. 3:13). We have seen that Moses is
a superb and accurate type of the Lord Jesus (2).
Therefore Moses in his time of dying must grant us insight into
the death of our Lord, the prophet like him (Dt. 18:18). As Christ
declared God's Name just before his death (Jn. 17:26), so did Moses
(Dt. 32:3 LXX). Personally I find the last hours of Moses
so moving. As we read through the Law, you sense that tragic moment
must come; rather like as we read through the Gospels. Moses saw
at the end that there was no third way: it was either complete dedication
and salvation, or rebellion and condemnation. He pleaded with them
to see that " this day...this day...this day" he set before
them life and death, forgiveness or salvation (Dt. 30:15-19). The
Lord Jesus had His mind on this when He told the thief with the
same emphasis that " this day" He could tell them that
he would be saved, not condemned (Lk. 23:46). He felt like Moses,
but greater than Moses, in that He not only set before men the choice,
but could grant them the salvation they sought. Personally I find
the last hours of Moses so moving. As we read through the Law, you
sense that tragic moment must come; rather like as we read through
So finally Moses gathers Israel before him at the age of 120. It would
have been an awesome sight. Remember Balaam's words, " How goodly
are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! As the valleys
are they spread forth, as gardens by the river's side, as the trees of
lign aloes which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside the
waters" (Num. 24:5,6). And there was Moses, " an hundred and
twenty years old...his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated"
(Dt. 34:7). Strong defines those Hebrew words as meaning that his newness,
his youth, had not been chased away (AV " abated" ) by the years,
as happens to most men. He had all the energy, intellectually and physically,
of a 21 year old, yet with all the sadness and knowledge of God of his
120 years. All the times we read he " rose up early" to commune
with God demonstrate his energy, his enthusiasm for the word of the God
of Israel (Ex. 8:20; 9:13; 24:4; 34:4).
The word of his God was in his heart, as he stood there before Israel,
that people whom he loved, those for whom he wished to make atonement
with his own life, even his eternal life. " Yea, he loved the people"
is the Spirit's comment (Dt. 33:3- the " he" in the context
seems to be Moses). It could only be the Spirit which would write so concisely.
" Yea, he loved the people....they sat down at thy feet; every one
shall receive of thy words" . This is God's comment on that last
meeting between Moses and Israel. And then he pours out his heart to them,
he reels off what we have as the book of Deuteronomy (it takes about four
hours to read it through loud), writes a copy of the Law (31:9; notice
how Dt. 24 was written by Moses, Mk. 10:5), sings a Song to that
silent multitude (surely with a lump in his throat, especially at points
like 32:15), and then he turns and climbs the mountain to see the land
and meet his death. The fact it all happened on his birthday just adds
to the pathos of it all (Dt. 31:2). The huge amount of work which he did
on that last day of his life looks forward to the Lord's huge achievement
in the day of his death. No wonder Yahweh describes that day of Moses'
death with an intensive plural: " The days (i.e. the one great time
/ day) approach (s.w. " at hand" , " made ready" )
that thou must die" (Dt. 31:14). It seems that he said much of the
book in one day; hence his repeated mention of the phrase " this
day" throughout the book. The people were often reminded that they
were about to “go over [Jordan] to possess” the land (Dt. 11:8,11 RV),
as if they were on the banks of Jordan almost. In reality that speech
of Deuteronomy was the outpouring of his heart, pleading with Israel to
be faithful to the covenant, encouraging them to be aware of their weakness,
encouraging them to go forward and inherit the Kingdom. Not only do we
have a powerful type of the Lord Jesus in all this; Israel assembled before
him really do represent us. Dt.32:36 (" the Lord shall judge his
people" ) is quoted in Heb. 10:20 as relevant to all of us.
The Love Of Moses In Deuteronomy
Some time, read through the book of Deuteronomy in one or two goes. You'll
see many themes of Moses in Deuteronomy. It really shows how Moses
felt towards Israel, and how the Lord Jesus feels towards us, and especially
how he felt towards us just before his death. For this is what the whole
book prefigures. . " Love" and the idea of love occurs far more
in Deuteronomy than in the other books of the Law. " Fear the Lord
thy God" of Exodus becomes " love the Lord thy God"
in Deuteronomy. There are 23 references to not hating in Deuteronomy,
compared to only 5 in Ex. - Num.; Moses saw the danger of bitterness and
lack of love. He saw these things as the spiritual cancer they are, in
his time of maturity he warned his beloved people against them. His mind
was full of them. The LXX uses the word ekklesia eight times
in Deuteronomy, but not once in Moses' other words (Dt. 4:10; 9:10; 18:16;
23:1,2,3,8; 32:1). Responsibility for the whole family God had redeemed
was a mark of his maturity. It is observable that both as a community
and as individuals, this will be a sign of our maturity too. The following
are just some aspects of his relationship with Israel.
The way Moses sees Israel as far more righteous than they were reflects
the way the Lord imputes righteousness to us. He says that Israel didn't
go near the mountain because they were afraid of the fire (Dt. 5:5), whereas
Ex. 19:21-24 teaches that Israel at that time were not so afraid of the
fire, and were quite inclined to break through the dividing fence and
gaze in unspiritual fascination at a theophany which was beyond them.
He speaks as if he assumed that surely Israel would love their neighbour
as themselves: " Thy brother...or thy friend, which is as thine own
soul" almost unconsciously reveals the depth of Moses' positive faith
in their obedience, even though on the other hand he clearly understood
their future apostacy (Dt. 13:6). He even assumed that Israel would not
possibly try to break through the barriers around Sinai to “gaze”- “for
thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount and sanctify it”
(Ex. 19:23). He over-estimated their obedience, so much did he love them.
Moses does not repeat every single commandment in the Law. Rather are
there several themes of Moses in Deuteronomy presented. His choice of
which ones he does repeat indicates his feelings towards Israel. His sensitivity
towards the weakest and poorest of Israel comes out in this. He was reaching
the spirit of the Lord Jesus, who said that the weakest of his brethren
represented him (Mt. 25:40 Gk.). Thus Moses stresses how they were not
to go into the house of a poor man to take back his pledge (Dt. 24:10);
Moses could enter into the sense of shame and embarrassment of the poor
man when a richer man enters his home. The Law in Exodus 22:26 did not
stipulate that the house of the poor man should not be entered; by making
this point in his farewell speech, Moses was showing his sensitivity,
his ability now to enter into the feelings of the poorest of God's people.
Indeed, the whole passage in Deuteronomy (24:6-17)about pledges is quite
an expansion upon what the Law actually said in Ex. 22. And this from
a man who could have been the king of Egypt, who could have had
the world. What marvellous similarity with our Lord! Moses' sensitivity
is shown by the introduction of other expansions upon existing commandments;
e.g. " thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn"
(Dt. 25:4). This is quoted by Paul as being actually part of the Law (1
Cor. 9:9; 1 Tim. 5:18), showing that Moses was so attune with the mind
of God that these practical extensions which his sensitivity led him to
command Israel were indeed the inspired commandments of God.
Moses’ spiritual pinnacle was characterized by arriving at a profound
depth of love. Love is likewise seen by Paul as “the bond of perfectness”
(Col. 3:14), the sign of ultimate maturity.
Knowledge Of Their Weakness
In this time of final spiritual maturity, Moses was keenly aware
of his own spiritual failings (as Paul and Jacob were in their last days).
This is one of the great themes of Moses in Deuteronomy. He begins his
Deuteronomy address by pointing out how grievously they had failed thirty
eight years previously, when they refused to enter the good land. He reminds
them how that although God had gone before them in Angelic power (Dt.
1:30,33), they had asked for their spies to go before them. And Moses
admits that this fatal desire for human strength to lead them to the Kingdom
" pleased me well" (Dt. 1:23). It seems to me that here Moses
is recognizing his own failure. Perhaps he is even alluding to his weakness
in wanting Jethro to go before them " instead of eyes" , in
place of the Angel-eyes of Yahweh (Num. 10:31-36). Moses at the end was
aware of his failures. And yet he also shows his thorough appreciation
of the weakness of his people. Moses admits at the end that Israel’s faithless
idea to send out spies “pleased me well”- when it shouldn’t have done
(Dt. 1:23,32,33). He realized more and more his own failure as he got
Moses often reminds them that he knows that they will turn away from
the Covenant he had given them (e.g. Dt. 30:1; 31:29). He knew that one
day they would want a king, even though God was their king (Dt. 17:14).
He knew that there would always be poor people in the land, even though
if the Law was properly kept this would not be the case (Dt. 15:4mg, 11).
He knew they would accidentally commit murder and would need a way of
escape; therefore he twice repeats and explains the law concerning the
cities of refuge (Dt. 4:42; 19:5). These being a symbol of the future
Messiah (Heb. 6:18), this emphasis would suggest that like Paul and Jacob,
the mind of Moses in his time of spiritual maturity was firmly fixed on
the Lord Jesus Christ. He foresaw how they would see horses and chariots
and get frightened (Dt. 20:1-4). When he commented about the commandments
that God “added no more” (Dt. 5:22), he foresaw his people’s tendency
to add the Halacahs of their extra commandments… He could foresee the
spiritual problems they would have in their hour by hour life, he appreciated
how both their nature and their disobedience would be such a problem for
them, and Moses foresaw that they would not cope well with it (ditto for
our Lord Jesus). And he was fully aware, more so than they were, of the
judgement this would bring. He not only repeats all the curses of Lev.
26 to them, but he adds even more, under inspiration (Dt. 28:50-57). Presumably
the Angel had explained in one of their conversations how Israel would
suffer even greater punishment than what He had outlined in Lev. 26.
Notice in passing that Lev. 26 and Dt. 28 are not strictly parallel. And
in some ways, Moses became more demanding, whilst at the same time emphasizing
grace and love. Thus under the Law, Israel were not to lend to their poor
brother upon usury (Ex. 22:25; Lev. 25:37); but now Moses forbids them
to do this to any Israelite (Dt. 23:19).
Having reminded them that if they were obedient, “there shall be no poor
among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee”, Moses goes on to comment
that “the poor shall never cease out of the land”- and he gives the legislation
cognisant of this (Dt. 15:4,11). Moses realized by the time of Deuteronomy
that they wouldn’t make it to the blessings which were potentially possible.
Finely aware of the seriousness of our relationship with God, Moses pleads
with Israel to " choose life" , not with the passivity which
may appear from our armchair reading of passages like Dt. 30:19. Yet he
knew that the majority of Israel would not choose life. When he appeals
to them to choose obedience he is therefore thinking of the minority who
would respond. Our Lord Jesus, with his knowledge of human nature, must
have sensed that so many of those called into his new covenant would also
turn away; He must have known that only a minority of Israel would choose
the life which He offered. Yet like Moses He doubtless concentrated his
thoughts on the minority who would respond. Moses spoke Deuteronomy without
notes. It was no set piece address. All these things were in his heart;
their proneness to failure, the coming of judgment for sin, his knowledge
of their future apostasy. Enter into the passion of it all. The
man who was willing to give his eternal life for them, about to die for
the sake of their provocation- singing a final song to them, giving a
final speech, which showed that he knew perfectly well that they would
turn away from what he was trying to do for them, and therefore the majority
of them would not be saved.
Despite such great love for Israel, Moses knew them so well that he fully
appreciated that they were extremely prone to weakness. This is one of
the major themes of Moses in Deuteronomy. He did not turn a blind eye
to their sins; Deuteronomy is punctuated with reminders of how grievously
they had sinned during their journey. Time and again he comments on how
easily they will be tempted to disobey commandments. " Take heed"
runs like a refrain throughout Moses' speech. He warns them, e.g., not
to " take pity" on false teachers, but to purge them from the
community (Dt. 7:16; 13:8; 19:13,21; 25:12). Not once in the Law does
this warning occur. Moses had come to know Israel so well that he could
see how they were tempted to fail, and so he warned them forcibly against
it. The way the Lord Jesus knows our thought processes, the mechanism
of our temptations, is wondrously prefigured here. There are so many other
examples of Moses showing his recognition of exactly how Israel
were likely to be tempted (Dt. 6:11-13; 8:11-20; 9:4; 11:16; 12:13,19,23,30;
13:1-4; 14:27; 15:9,18; 17:11,12 (" will" ),14,16,17; 21:18;
22:1-4,18; 23:21; 25:8).
Moses adds a whole series of apparently 'minor' commands which were designed
to make obedience easier to the others already given. Thus he tells them
in Deuteronomy not to plant a grove of trees near the altar of God - because
he knew this would provoke the possibility of mixing Yahweh worship with
that of the surrounding world (Dt. 16:21). Likewise he commands any future
king not to send God's people to Egypt to buy horses because he could
see that this would tempt them to go back to Egypt permanently (Dt. 17:16).
There are many other example of this kind of thing (Dt. 14:24; 15:18;
17:17-19; 18:9; 20:7,8). The point is that Moses had thought long and
hard about the ways in which Israel would be tempted to sin, and his words
and innermost desire were devoted to helping them overcome. Glorious ditto
for the Lord Jesus.
Another theme of Deuteronomy is the way in which Moses visualizes commonplace
daily incidents which he could foresee occurring in Israel's daily life:
the man cutting down the tree and the axe head flying off and hitting
someone; finding a dead body in a lonely field; coming across a stray
animal on the way home from work; a man with two wives treating one as
his favourite; seeing your neighbour struggling to lift up his sick animal;
coming across a bird's nest and being tempted to take the mature bird
as well as the chicks home for supper; being tempted not to bother building
a battlement around the flat roof of your new house; the temptation
to take a bag with you and fill it up with your neighbour's grapes; the
need to have weapons which could be used for covering excrement (Dt. 19:5;
21:1,15; 22:1,2,4,6,8; 23:13,24,25; 24:5,6,10,15,19; 25:11,13). The sensitivity
of Moses was just fantastic! His eager imagination of His people in daily
life, his understanding of their everyday temptations so superbly typifies
that of our Lord!
Because Moses knew all this, he was pleading with Israel to " choose
life" , not with the passivity which may appear from our armchair
reading of passages like Dt. 30:19. I wonder if he wasn’t screaming this
to them, breaking down in the climax of logic and passion which resulted
in that appeal. Yet he knew that the majority of Israel would not choose
life. When he appeals to them to choose obedience he is therefore thinking
of the minority who would respond. Our Lord Jesus, with his knowledge
of human nature, must have sensed that so many of those called into his
new covenant would also turn away; he must have known that only a minority
of Israel would choose the life which he offered. Yet like Moses he doubtless
concentrated his thoughts on the minority who would respond. Moses spoke
Deuteronomy without notes. It was no reading of a carefully prepared paper.
All these things were in his heart; their proneness to failure, the coming
of judgement for sin, his knowledge of their future apostasy. Enter into
the passion of it all. The man who was willing to give his eternal
life for them, about to die for the sake of their provocation- singing
a final song to them, giving a final speech, which showed that he knew
perfectly well that they would turn away from what he was trying to do
for them, and therefore the majority of them would not be saved. As he
came to the end of his speech, he seems to have sensed they didn’t grasp
the reality of it all: “It is not a vain thing for you; because it is
your life” (Dt. 32:47); and thus his speech rises to a crescendo of intensity
of pleading with them, after the pattern of the Lord.
Moses' Appeal To Israel
One of the most repeated themes of Moses in Deuteronomy is the way he
keeps on telling them to "remember" all the great things which
God had done for them on their wilderness journey (e.g. Dt. 10:21; 11:3-6),
and especially the wonder of how he had redeemed them as children (his
audience had been under twenty years old when they went through the Red
Sea). Just look up all the times " remember" occurs in Deuteronomy.
He really wanted them to overcome the human tendency to forget the greatness
of God as manifested earlier in our lives and spiritual experience. Our
tendency as the new Israel is just the same- to forget the wonder of baptism,
of how God reached out His arm to save us.
Time and again, Moses speaks of the state of their heart. He
warns them against allowing a bad state of heart to develop, he speaks
often of how apostasy starts in the heart. Moses makes a total of 49 references
to the heart / mind of Israel in Deuteronomy, compared to only 13 in the
whole of Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. This indicates the paramount importance
which our Lord attaches to the state of our mind. This was perhaps
his greatest wish as He faced death; that we should develop a spiritual
mind and thereby manifest the Father and come to salvation. Moses
likewise saw the state of our mind as the key to spiritual success. But
do we share this perspective? Do we guard our minds against the media
and influence of a mind-corrupting world? It's been observed that the phrase "The God of [somebody]", or similar, occurs 614 times in the Old Testament, of which 306 are in Deuteronomy [thanks to Trevor Nicholls for that one]. Our very personal relationship with God was therefore something else which Moses came to grasp in his spiritual maturity. Statistical analysis of the
word " love" in the Pentateuch likewise reveals that "love" was a great theme of Moses at the end of his life (Moses uses
it 16 times in Deuteronomy, and only four times in Exodus, Leviticus and
Numbers). The word "commandments" occurs 43 times in Deuteronomy,
and only 19 times in the other three records; " remember" occurs
16 times compared to 8 times in the other three. And yet Moses commanded
Israel specifically to engrave the law on tables of plaster, not stone,
knowing that they would soon be washed away; thus he wished to teach Israel
[or try to] the temporary nature of the Law (Dt. 27:4-8). Like Paul in
his time of dying, Moses saw the importance of obedience, the harder side
of God; yet he also saw in real depth the surpassing love of
God, and the grace that was to come, beyond Law. This appreciation reflected
Moses' mature grasp of the Name / characteristics of God. He uses the
name " Yahweh" over 530 times, often with some possessive adjective,
e.g. " Yahweh thy God" or " Yahweh our God"
. He saw the personal relationship between a man and his God. Jacob reached
a like realization at his peak. The idea of 'cleaving' to God is also
a big theme of Moses in Deuteronomy (4:4; 10:20; 11:22; 13:4,17; 28:21,60;
30:20); the only other time Moses uses the word in his writings is in
Gen. 2:24, concerning a man cleaving to his wife. Moses seems to have
been suggesting to Israel that their covenant relationship with God meant
they were marrying God. This was a real paradigm breaker. We
may be used to such things. But against the theological background of
the time, not to say the generally low level of spirituality among Israel,
this was a shocking idea. It reflected the heights to which Moses had
Moses really wanted Israel's well-being, he saw so clearly how obedience
would result in blessing (e.g. Dt. 6:3; 12:28). This is a major theme
of Moses in Deuteronomy. There was therefore a real sense of pleading
behind his frequent appeal for Israel to " hear" God's words.
" Hear, O Israel" must have had a real passion behind
it in his voice, uncorrupted as it was by old age. He didn't rattle it
off as some kind of Sunday School proof. At least four times Moses interrupts
the flow of his speech with this appeal: " Hear, O Israel"
(Dt. 5:1; 6:3,4; 9:1; 20:3). And again, a glance through a concordance
shows how often in Deuteronomy Moses pleads with them to hear God's voice.
So he was back to his favourite theme: Hear the word, love the word, make
it your life. For in this is your salvation. And the Lord Jesus (e.g.
in passages like Jn. 6) makes just the same urgent appeal.
Despite omitting some of the Law's commands in his speech, there are
other commands which Moses really emphasises and repeats within his speech;
e.g. the need to destroy idols and false teachers, and to provide cities
of refuge to cater for the sins they would commit without intending to
(Dt. 7:5; 12:3, 23-25; 13:6-14 = 17:2-7). This surely reflects our Lord's
attitude to us; it is his desire that we recognise our sinfulness, our
likelihood of failure, our need to separate from things which will lead
us away from Him. And yet the Christian community is increasingly blind
to this. Moses' frequent references to the way in which the Exodus had
separated Israel from Egypt show the same spirit (Dt. 13:5; 15:15; 16:12);
as our Lord in his time of dying was so strongly aware of the way in which
he was redeeming us from this present evil world.
The Enthusiasm Of Moses For Israel
Having stated that
the Canaanite tribes would only be cast out if Israel were obedient, Moses
goes on to enthuse that those tribes would indeed be cast out- so positive
was he about Israel’s obedience (Dt. 6:18,19; 7:1). And yet on the other
hand he realistically was aware of their future failures. He said those
positive words genuinely, because he simply loved Israel, and had the hope
for them which love carries with it.
Throughout his speech, Moses is constantly thinking of Israel
in the land; he keeps on telling them how to behave when they are there,
encouraging them to be strong so that they will go into the land. I estimate
that about 25% of the verses in Moses' speech speak about this. Israel's
future inheritance of the Kingdom absolutely filled Moses' mind as he
faced up to his own death. And remember that his speech was the outpouring
of 40 years meditation. Their salvation, them in the Kingdom, totally
filled his heart. And likewise with the Lord Jesus. Psalms 22 and 69 shows
how his thoughts on the cross, especially as he approached the point of
death, were centred around our salvation. And Moses was so positive about
them. “The Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase,
and in all the works of thine hands”, even though these blessings were
conditional upon their obedience. Moses was this confident of them (Dt.
16:15 cp. 28:1,4,12).
Despite knowing their weakness and his own righteousness, Moses showed
a marvellous softness and humility in that speech. When he reminds them
how God wanted to reject them because of their idolatry with the golden
calf, he does not mention how fervently he prayed for them, so fervently
that God changed His expressed intention (Dt. 9:14); and note deeply,
Moses does not mention how he offered his physical and eternal life
for their salvation. That fine, fine act and desire by Moses went
unknown to Israel until the book of Exodus came into circulation. And
likewise, the depth of Christ's love for us was unrecognised by us at
the time. Moses had such humility in not telling in Israel in so many
words how fervently he had loved them. The spiritual culture of the Lord
is even greater.
The softness of Moses, the earnestness of his desire for their obedience,
his eagerness to work with them in their humanity, is shown by the concessions
to human weakness which he makes in Deuteronomy (with God's confirmation,
of course). When they attacked a foreign city, OK, Moses says, you can
take the women for yourselves- even though this is contrary to the spirit
of earlier commands (Dt. 20:14; 21:11). Likewise with the provisions for
having a human king (Dt. 17:17) and divorce (24:1-4). He knew the hardness
of Israel's hearts, their likelihood to give way to temptation, and so
he made concessions contrary to the principles behind other parts of the
Law (Mt. 19:8). And Dt. 16:2 seems to imply that now, the Passover sacrifice
didn’t necessarily have to be a lamb, and it could be boiled not just
Despite being fully aware of how weak Israel were, Moses often speaks
of the " blessing" which God would give them for obedience;
he even speaks of the future blessing of obedience in the prophetic perfect,
so confident was he that they would receive it: " Every man shall
give as he is able (once he is settled in the land), according to the
blessing of the Lord thy God which he hath given thee" (Dt.
16:17). Moses speaks with confidence of how God would grant them the blessing
of the land and victory over their enemies, even though these things were
conditional upon their obedience (Dt. 19:1; 20:13), and even though Moses
clearly knew that most of them would disobey. The conclusion from this
is that Moses thought so much of that minority who would obey his covenant,
who would grasp the spirit of his life and the speech he was now making.
And our Lord likewise- in his feelings for us, we trust.
And yet for all Moses’ desire for Israel’s obedience, there are some
subtle differences in his attitude to law and obedience between Deuteronomy,
and the law earlier given. Thus in Leviticus 26 it was stressed that obedience
would bring blessing; whilst Dt. 28:58 says that obedience results in
fearing the fearful Name of Yahweh and His glory. Fear shouldn’t lead
to obedience; but obedience leads a man to know and fear his God and
His Name. This is blessing enough. Like Jacob and Job, Moses came
to a fine appreciation of Yahweh’s Name at his latter end.
(1) Ez. 20:38 says that the rebels in
the wilderness “shall not enter into the land”, with reference to
how when Moses called the people “rebels” and beat the rock, he
was disallowed entry into the land. Because he called them rebels,
i.e. unworthy of entry to the Kingdom, he also was treated as a
rebel. If we condemn others, we likewise will be condemned. On another
level, he was simply barred for disobedience; and on yet another,
his prayer to the effect that he didn’t want to be in the land if
his people weren’t going to be there was being answered; and on
yet another and higher level, his offer to be blotted out of the
book of inheritance for Israel’s sake was also being heard. Thus
God works within the same incident in so many ways!
(2) See Moses and Jesus
and Moses in the Gospel of John.