Deuteronomy 34:5

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

Deuteronomy 34:5 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 34:5

So Moses the servant of the Lord died there, in the land of
Which formerly belonged to Moab, and was taken from them by Sihon king of the Amorites, and now in the possession of Israel: here on a mountain in this land Moses died; and yet, contrary to the express words of this text, some Jewish writers affirm F23 that be died not, but was translated to heaven, where he ministers; yea, that he was an angel, and could not die: but it is clear he did die, even though a servant of the Lord, as he was, and a faithful one; but such die as well as others, ( Zechariah 1:5 ) ; there is a saying of some F24 Jews,

``Moses died, and who shall not die?''

no man can promise himself immortality here, when such great and good men die: the Targum of Jonathan says, he died on the seventh of Adar or February, on which day he was born; and it is the general opinion of the Jewish writers F25, that he died on the seventh of that month, in the middle of the day, and that it was a sabbath day: though, as Aben Ezra observes F26, some say he died on the first of Adar; and Josephus

F1 is express for it, that it was at the new moon, or first day of the month; and with this agrees the calculation of Bishop Usher F2:

according to the word of the Lord;
according to the prophecy of the Lord, and according to a command of his, that he should go up to the above said mountain and die, ( Numbers 27:12 Numbers 27:13 ) ( Deuteronomy 32:49 Deuteronomy 32:50 ) ; or, as the Targum of Jerusalem, according to the decree of the Lord; as the death of every man is, both with respect to time and place, and manner of it: it is appointed for men once to die, ( Hebrews 9:27 ) ; because it is in the original text, "according to the mouth of the Lord" F3; hence some Jewish writers, as Jarchi particularly, interpret it of his dying by a kiss of his mouth, with strong expressions and intimations of his love to him, ( Song of Solomon 1:2 ) ; and no doubt but he did die satisfied of the love of God to him, enjoying his presence, and having faith and hope of everlasting life and salvation; but the true sense is, he died according to the will of God, not of any disease, or through the infirmities of age, but by the immediate order and call of God out of this life.

F23 T. Bab. Sotah, fol. 13. 2. Yalkut & R. Abraham Seba in Tzeror Hammor in loc.
F24 Seder Tephillot, fol. 213. 1. Ed. Basil.
F25 T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 38. 1. Seder Olam Rabba, c. 10. p. 29. Judasin, fol. 10. 1. Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 7. 2. so Patricides apud Hottinger, p. 457.
F26 Pirush in Deut. i. 2. so Midrash Esther, fol. 93. 2.
F1 Ut supra, (De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 18.) sect. 49.
F2 Annales Vet. Test. p. 37.
F3 (yp le) "super os", Montanus; "juxta os", Tigurine version.

Deuteronomy 34:5 In-Context

3 And the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar.
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.
5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
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.
7 And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.