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Deuteronomy Chapter 34
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Moses Dies
34:1 Moses climbed up from the western plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of the cliff facing Jericho. God showed him all the land of the Gilead as far as Dan,
34:2 all of Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea,
34:3 the Negev, the flat plain, and the valley of Jericho, city of dates, as far as Tzoar.
34:4 God said to him, 'This is the land regarding which I made an oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, 'I will give it to your descendants.' I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you will not cross [the river] to enter it.'
34:5 It was there in the land of Moab that God's servant Moses died at God's word.
34:6 [God] buried him in the depression in the land of Moab, opposite Beth Peor. No man knows the place that he was buried, even to this day.
34:7 Moses was 120 years old when he died, but his eyes had not dimmed, and his natural powers had not left him.
34:8 The Israelites mourned Moses in the west plains of Moab for thirty days.

The wailing period of Moses' mourning came to an end.

34:9 Joshua son of Nun was filled with a spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him. The Israelites therefore listened to him, doing as God had commanded Moses.
34:10 No other prophet like Moses has arisen in Israel, who knew God face to face.
34:11 [No one else could reproduce] the signs and miracles that God let him display in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and all his land,
34:12 or any of the mighty acts or great sights that Moses displayed before the eyes of all Israel.



Commentary:

Moses climbed up
  Some say that this was written by Joshua (Ibn Ezra; see Deuteronomy 34:5).

western plains
  See Numbers 22:1.

Mount Nebo
  See Numbers 33:47, Deuteronomy, 32:49. This was in Reuben's territory (Numbers 32:38), but Moses was buried in Gad's territory, as in Deuteronomy 33:21 (Sifri; Sotah 13b).

cliff
  Pisgah. See Numbers 21:20, 23:14, Deuteronomy, 3:17, 3:27, 4:49.

Dan
  The territory of Dan. Or the city of Dan mentioned in Genesis 14:14, identified with Banias (Saadia).

Mediterranean Sea
  'Final sea' literally. See Deuteronomy, 11:24.

flat plain
  Kikar in Hebrew. See Genesis 13:10.

city of dates
  Or, 'city of palm trees.' See Judges 1:16.

Tzoar
  See Genesis 13:10, 19:22.

God's servant
  During his entire lifetime (Ralbag) and even in death (Ibn Ezra). He was not called this until after he had died (Bachya). Cf. Joshua 1:1.

died
  There is a dispute in the Talmud as to whether this was written by Joshua, or prophetically by Moses (Bava Bathra 15a; Sifri; Rashi). See Joshua 24:26.

at God's word
  (Targum). Or, 'with God's mouth,' that is with the divine kiss (Sifri; Rashi; Moreh Nevukhim 3:51).

God
  (Sotah 9b, 14a; Rashi; Ralbag). Or, 'He buried himself' (Lekach Tov; Ibn Ezra; Bachya; Sforno). Or, 'they buried him' (Septuagint).

depression
  Gey in Hebrew. See Numbers 21:19.

Beth Peor
  See Numbers 23:28, Joshua 13:20.

to this day
  Some say that this was written by Joshua (Ibn Ezra). See note on Deuteronomy 34:5.

120 years old...
  According to tradition, on 7 Adar, 2488 (February 23, 1273 b.c.e.) (Seder Olam 10; Kiddushin 38a). Other sources indicate that he died on 1 Adar (Esther Rabbah 7:11; Josephus, Antiquities 4:8:49).

his eyes
  (Targum; Septuagint). Or, 'his appearance;' cf. Exodus 34:29 (Chizzkuni; Bachya).

thirty days
  See Numbers 20:29.

laid his hands
  Or, 'ordained.' See Numbers 27:18, 8:10.

No other prophet...
  It is therefore a basic principle of the Jewish Faith that no other human being ever had a revelation equal to that of Moses (Thirteen Principles of Faith 7).

face to face
  See Exodus 33:11, Numbers 12:8.

No one else could reproduce
  (cf. Ramban; Ralbag. Also see Moreh Nevukhim 2:33). Or, 'There never has existed ...' (Saadia).

let him
  Literally, 'sent him to ...'

mighty acts
  Literally, 'mighty hand.' Or, 'all in his hand' (Septuagint).

great sights
  Mora'oth in Hebrew; see Deuteronomy, 4:34. Some interpret this word as sights (Targum; Chizzkuni), while others interpret it to denote fearsome acts (Ralbag; see HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).

displayed
  (Ramban). Literally, 'did.'





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