The Death of Moses, Part 2, End of Deuteronomy
Sep 13, 2013
Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us that Moses was 120 years old when he died. He spent the first 40 years in the house of Pharaoh (Acts 7:23). He spent the next 40 years being trained in God’s Bible College. And then his experience at the burning bush sent him back to Pharaoh, and he led Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness for the final 40 years of his life.
These three forty-day cycles were prophetic of Kingdom history, for each year in his life prophesied of a Jubilee cycle beginning with Adam. The first 40 Jubilees brings us to Abraham (1,960 years from Adam). Abraham was born 1,948 years after Adam, so he was twelve at the 40th Jubilee from Adam.
Another 40 Jubilees brings us to Christ (26 A.D.) This was the start of Daniel’s seventieth week since 458 B.C. The 70th week ended with the crucifixion in 33 A.D., as I explained in my book on Daniel’s Seventy Weeks.
The final 40 Jubilees brings us to the year 1986 A.D., which was the 120th year from Adam. (Dating from Christ’s crucifixion in 33, the 40 Jubilees ended in 1993.)
So in the Jubilee history of the Kingdom, not much happened after Adam sinned, until God called Abraham, and this event runs parallel to the call of Moses at the age of forty.
Moses himself had to go through 40 years of training as a servant before he could actually begin his ministry at the age of 80 (Exodus 7:7). So also Israel as a nation was trained by God to learn obedience for the next 40 Jubilees to prepare for their deliverance under Christ. Jesus then came to die on the cross at Passover, leading us out of “Egypt” after 80 Jubilees of Kingdom history had passed.
Christ, who was “like Moses” (Acts 7:37), led the church out of “Egypt” into the wilderness, where the people were trained by God through hard experience for 40 Jubilees until now. Then, just as Moses died at the age of 120, in order to allow Joshua to lead Israel into the Kingdom, so also is it in our generation following the 120th Jubilee from Adam.
We are the generation that is called to cross over into the Promised Land after the death of Moses.
We are now completing this study of Deuteronomy that ends with the death of Moses. We have seen since last January that the end of this study would be prophetic, and that we would have to wait until this series was complete before we are able to enter into the Promise (in whatever form it takes).
So it is interesting that this study is completed today just before the Day of Atonement. Recall that the Israelites had to make a decision on the Day of Atonement when the twelve spies gave their report (Numbers 13, 14) about whether or not they had the faith to enter into the Promised Land. They failed, of course, but we are now called to rise up in faith and declare, as Caleb did in Numbers 13:30, KJV, “We are well able to overcome it.”
Deuteronomy 34:8 continues,
8 So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.
It was customary in those days for people to set aside thirty days to mourn for the dead. When a national leader died, the whole nation set aside thirty days to mourn.
9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.
In Mark 5:23 Jesus was asked to lay hands on a man’s daughter so that she might be healed. In Acts 8 the apostles went to Samaria to lay hands on the Samaritans that they might receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:17). Later, Paul spoke about laying hands on people to receive spiritual gifts (2 Timothy 1:6). So also Moses laid hands on Joshua to receive the spirit of wisdom, by which he might lead Israel.
This appears to be the final words of Eleazar, ending the book. We then find an addendum that was added later, probably by Ezra, who compiled the completed canon of the Old Testament.
10 Since then no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11 for all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land, 12 and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.
The words “since then” imply that some time had passed when this paragraph was written. Since Ezra lived nearly a thousand years after Moses, this would allow plenty of time to see if anyone else might arise on the level of Moses’ ministry. Because Moses had prophesied in Deuteronomy 18:18 that such a prophet like Moses would indeed arise at some point, Ezra assures us that this unknown prophet had not yet arisen in his day. In fact, another five centuries would pass before Jesus Christ was born to lead us in a greater way out of the house of bondage.
Ezra could hardly know that this prophet would have to fulfill the feast of Passover, and that only the Messiah (or Christ) could fulfill that feast as the Passover Lamb.
The two events occurred 1,479 years apart, for the Exodus occurred 2,448 years after Adam, while Jesus died on the cross 3,927 years from Adam. Hence, Jesus died on the 1480th Passover, beginning with that first Passover that was celebrated in Egypt.
The Greek term for Christ is christos, which has a numeric value of 1,480. Hence, it is fitting that only the true Christ could give His life as the Passover Lamb that would be celebrated at the 1480th Passover.
Hence, from a prophetic standpoint, there was only one year that the Messiah could fulfill the feast of Passover. It could only be fulfilled on a particular day of the year—Passover—and at a specific time of day, while the lambs were being killed. I know of only one Man who stepped forward to do what was required at this appointed time. For this reason, I believe that Jesus was the One of whom Moses spoke.
Moses’ prophecy thus spoke on two levels: first, he was succeeded by Joshua, and second, he was succeeded by the greater Joshua (or Yeshua-Jesus). Ezra seemed to be most interested in the coming of that Second Moses, but he too would have to rest and wait patiently for another five centuries.
So ends the book of Deuteronomy.
This is the second part of a series titled "The Death of Moses." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones