View Deuteronomy 34 in the note window.
Moses having finished his testimony, finishes his life.
This chapter was probably added by Samuel, who wrote by divine
authority what he found in the records of Joshua, and his
successors the Judges.
The view Moses had of the land, ver. 1 - 4.
His death, burial, and age, ver. 5 - 7.
Israel's mourning for him, ver. 8.
His successor, ver. 9.
His character, ver. 10 - 12.
1: And Moses went up - When he knew the place of his death he
chearfully mounted a steep hill to come to it. Those who are well
acquainted with another world, are not afraid to leave this. When God's
servants are sent for out of the world, the summons runs go up and die!
Unto Dan - To that city which after Moses's death was called so.
2: All Naphtali - The land of Naphtali, which together with
Dan, was in the north of Canaan, as Ephraim and Manasseh
were in the midland parts, and Judah on the south, and the sea, on
the west. So these parts lying in the several quarters are put for all
the rest. He stood in the east and saw also Gilead, which was in the
eastern part of the land, and thence he saw the north and south and west.
The utmost sea - The midland sea, which was the utmost bound of the land
of promise on the west.
3: The south - The south quarter of the land of Judah, which is
towards the salt sea, the city of palm - trees - Jericho, so called from
the multitude of palm - trees, which were in those parts, as Josephus and
Strabo write. From whence and the balm there growing it was called
Jericho, which signifies, odoriferous or sweet smelling.
4: I have caused thee to see it - For tho' his sight was good, yet he
could not have seen all Canaan, an hundred and sixty miles in length,
and fifty or sixty in breadth, if his sight had not been miraculously
assisted and enlarged. He saw it at a distance. Such a sight the Old
Testament believers had of the kingdom of the Messiah. And such a sight
believers have now of the glory that shall he revealed. Such a sight have
we now, of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, which shall cover the
earth. Those that come after us shall undoubtedly enter into that promised
land: which is a comfort to us, when we find our own carcases falling in
5: So Moses the servant of the Lord died - He is called the
servant of the Lord, not only as a good man, (all such are his servants)
but as a man eminently useful, who had served God's counsels in bringing
Israel out of Egypt, and leading them thro' the wilderness. And it
was more his honour, to be the servant of the Lord, than to be king in
Jeshurun. Yet he dies. Neither his piety nor his usefulness would
exempt him from the stroke of death. God's servants must die, that they
may rest from their labours, receive their recompense, and make room for
others. But when they go hence, they go to serve him better, to serve
him day and night in his temple. The Jews say, God sucked his
soul out of his body with a kiss. No doubt he died in the embraces of
6: He - The Lord, buried him either immediately, or by the ministry
of angels, whereof Michael was the chief or prince. Of his
sepulchre - Of the particular place where he was buried: which God hid
from the Israelites, to prevent their superstition and idolatry, to
which he knew their great proneness. And for this very reason the devil
endeavoured to have it known and contended with Michael about it,(Jude 1:9). God takes care even of the dead bodies of his servants.
As their death is precious, so is their dust. Not one grain of it shall
be lost, but the covenant with it shall be remembered.
7: His eye was not dim - By a miraculous work of God in mercy to his
church and people.
8: Thirty day's - Which was the usual time of mourning for persons
of high place and eminency. 'Tis a debt owing to the surviving honour of
deceased worthies, to follow them with our tears, as those who loved and
valued them, are sensible of the loss, and humbled for the sins which have
provoked God to deprive us of them.
9: Wisdom - And other gifts and graces too, but wisdom is
mentioned as being most necessary for the government to which he was now
called. Upon him - And this was the thing which Moses at that time
asked of God for him.
10: Whom the Lord - Whom God did so freely and familiarly converse
12: Moses was greater than any other of the prophets of the Old
Testament. By Moses God gave the law, and moulded and formed the
Jewish church. By the other prophets he only sent particular reproofs,
directions and predictions. But as far as the other prophets came short of
him, our Lord Jesus went beyond him. Moses was faithful as a servant,
but Christ as a son: his miracles more illustrious, his communion with
the father more intimate: for he is in his bosom from eternity.
Moses lies buried: but Christ is sitting at the right - hand of God,
and of the increase of his government there shall be no end.