Oct 29 – 21 Pentecost
Deuteronomy 34:1-12
Moses Dies and is Buried in the Land of Moab

Background: The book of Deuteronomy is most known as the “second law-giving” comprised mostly of supplementary laws for the Jews. In addition, this book helps establish Moses as one (if not the lone) mediator of God’s law to the Jews. The book closes with the orderly transition of power from Moses to Joshua before the Jews are allowed to transit into the promise land – without Moses.

Theme: Moses’ life has come to a close and the new nation of Israel is poised to enter the promise land. Moses is the last of the generation under slavery in Egypt and due to his punishment, he will not cross into the promise land. Yet God allows Moses to see the extent of the land before dying and being buried in Moab.

Questions to Ponder:
* Please read Deuteronomy 34:1-12.
* Place this reading in context; where does it take place, who are the characters, what is the relationship between the characters, etc.?
* Locate the following places and landmarks: Mount Nebo, Mount Pisgah; Gilead, Ephraim and Manasseh, Judah, the Western Sea, the Negev, the Plain, Zoar, and Beth-Peor.
* Do you think there is a difference between Mount Nebo and Pisgah? If so, why would the text locate Moses on both of the mountains?
* Do you think Moses could see “the whole land” from the top of either mountain as explained in verses 1b-3?
* In verse 7 the writer stated that Moses was 120 years old, had unimpaired sight and vigor. Why might Moses be taken or “die” before his time (if that is the case)?
* Why would God promise to give the land to Moses’ descendants and not to Moses?
* What is the importance of Moses seeing the land? How might that assuage him?
* What has Moses’ part been in the deliverance of Israel from captivity in Egypt until his death? How has Moses’ viewed his relationship to Israel and to God during the travel in the wilderness?
* What are the different reasons that God prevents Moses from entering the promise land? What do you think is the principal reason for Moses not entering the promise land?
* Moses was mediator for the Israelites in their relationship with God. How was his faithful service repaid in the end of his story?
* As the end of Moses’ story with Israel in the wilderness approaches, how does his perspective of his relationship with the people change?
* Moses had a unique relationship with God, he was the one through whom God became fully known. How does Moses’ identification in verses 10-12 affirm Moses relationship with God and with Israel?
* What is Moses’ relationship with us in our generation?
* How does this passage challenge us to live our life as we traverse our wilderness?