Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost (Oct 29th)

Pastor's Summary of Deuteronomy 34:1-12

Today's reading is the final chapter of Deuteronomy and the Pentateuch, the Law, the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.  The wandering is over; the people of Israel look forward to the future; they are about to enter the Promised Land. Moses has prepared them for this new life. In 32:48-52, God has told him that he will die outside the Land because Moses "broke faith" with him when the people demanded water and God provided (see Numbers 20:1-13).

God shows him the whole Land from a mountain near the northern end of the Dead Sea: from the Sea of Galilee region ("Dan...Manasseh", vv. 1-2) in the north to the "Negeb" (v. 3) desert in the south and from the "Western Sea" (v. 2, the Mediterranean) in the west to the Jordan in the east, "Judah" (v. 2) is in the center of the country. ("Zoar", v. 3, was at the south end of the Dead Sea.) Moses, an old man, dies suddenly in "Moab" (v. 6), now Jordan), across the Jordan from Israel; he dies as he lived: "at the LORD's command" (v. 5). The "burial place" (v. 6) may be unknown to avoid worship of the dead, an Egyptian practice. The story of Moses laying hands (v. 9) on Joshua, his successor, is in Numbers. The "spirit" is passed on to him; he is commissioned; he receives authority- as Elisha did later from Elijah. Vv. 10-12 eulogize Moses. For "terrifying displays of power" (v. 12)  and for all the mighty deeds, Moses is remembered .

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