Deuteronomy 34:6

6 The LORD buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but to this day no one knows the exact place.

Deuteronomy 34:6 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 34:6

And he buried him
Aben Ezra says he buried himself, going into a cave on the top of the mount, where he expired, and so where he died his grave was; but though he died on the mount, he was buried in a valley: Jarchi and so other Jewish writers F4 say, the Lord buried him; it may be by the ministry of angels: an Arabic writer says F5, he was buried by angels: it is very probable he was buried by Michael, and who is no other than the archangel or head of principalities and powers, our Lord Jesus Christ, for a reason that will be hereafter suggested, see ( Jude 1:9 ) ;

in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor;
where stood a temple dedicated to the idol Peor, see ( Deuteronomy 3:29 ) ;

but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day;
to the time when Joshua wrote this, or, as others think, Samuel: if Moses is the same with the Osiris of the Egyptians, as some think F6, it may be observed, that his grave is said to be unknown to the Egyptians, as Diodorus Siculus F7 and Strabo F8 both affirm; and the grave of Moses is unknown, even unto this our day: for though no longer ago than in the year 1655, in the month of October, it was pretended to be found by some Maronite shepherds on Mount Nebo, with this inscription on it in Hebrew letters, "Moses the servant of the Lord"; but this story was confuted by Jecomas, a learned Jew, who proved it to be the grave of another Moses F9, whom Wagenseil conjectures was Moses Maimonides F11; but some think the whole story is an imposition: the reason why the grave of Moses was kept a secret was, as Ben Gersom suggests, lest, because of his miracles, succeeding generations should make a god of him and worship him, as it seems a sort of heretics called Melchisedecians did F12: the death and burial of Moses were an emblem of the weakness and insufficiency of the law of Moses, and the works of it, to bring any into the heavenly Canaan; and of the law being dead, and believers dead to that through the body of Christ, and of the entire abrogation and abolition of it by Christ, according to the will of God, as a covenant of works, as to the curse and condemnation of it, and justification by it; who is Michael the archangel, and is the end of the law for righteousness; he abolished it in his flesh, nailed it to his cross, carried it to his grave, and left it there; the rites and ceremonies of it are to be no more received, nor is it to be sought after for righteousness and life, being dead and buried, ( Romans 7:6 ) .


F4 Misn. Sotah, c. 1. sect. 9. Pirke Eliezer, c. 17.
F5 Abulpharag. Hist. Dynast. p. 32.
F6 See Gale's Court of the Gentiles, B. 2. c. 7. p. 94.
F7 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 18.
F8 Geograph. l. 17. p. 552.
F9 See Calmet's Dictionary, in voce "Sepulchre".
F11 Not. in Sotah, p. 327.
F12 Epiphan contr. Haeres. l. 2. Haeres. 55.

Deuteronomy 34:6 In-Context

4 Then the LORD said to Moses, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have now allowed you to see it with your own eyes, but you will not enter the land.”
5 So Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, just as the LORD had said.
6 The LORD buried him in a valley near Beth-peor in Moab, but to this day no one knows the exact place.
7 Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever.
8 The people of Israel mourned for Moses on the plains of Moab for thirty days, until the customary period of mourning was over.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Hebrew He buried him; Samaritan Pentateuch and some Greek manuscripts read They buried him.
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