All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
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A Type of Christ

Israel is camped east of the Jordan River during their fortieth year of wandering, awaiting the Lord’s orders to cross into the Promised Land. The Lord notifies Moses that he will not enter Canaan because of his disobedience at Kadesh. (It was there that his anger caused him to strike the rock, instead of speaking to it as the Lord commanded, to bring forth water.)

Brokenhearted, Moses pleads to be allowed to cross over Jordan to see the land, but the Lord will not speak again of the matter.

A Great Farewell

Moses’ great farewell, recorded in Deuteronomy is a restatement of the covenant given at Sinai. Since the adults who had come out of Egypt have all died, his remarks are directed to their children.

Moses’ speech is often divided into three speeches, recalling the history of God’s leading, the terms of the divine covenant, and his final remarks and appeal not to abandon it.

In his first speech, Moses dwells on the covenant element known as the historical prologue, giving the history of the relationship between God and His people and showing how He’s led them from Sinai to their present encampment.

In his second speech, he restates the covenant stipulations, regulations, and ratification, concluding with the covenant element of rewards of divine blessings for fidelity or divine curses for infidelity.

In his third speech, Moses warns against infidelity, and legalizes the covenant by referring to heaven and earth as legal witnesses. His speech culminates with a final appeal to choose life over death. If they choose life, all the covenant promises given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be theirs.

A New Leader

The final chapters of Deuteronomy record the transfer of leadership to Joshua. Moses charges him to be strong and of good courage, because the Lord will go with him. Then Moses predicts that while Israel will forsake the Lord, they will eventually turn back to Him. His message is transformed into a song, which he teaches the people. When these songs were memorized, they were great tools to remind them of important lessons given in the narratives.

Before he dies, Moses blesses the tribes of Israel in geographic order, corresponding to their territories. (Simeon is omitted because it will be absorbed into Judah.) Then he climbs Mount Nebo—the highest peak in the Pisgah mountain chain, and the Lord gives him a panoramic view of Canaan, along with the promise that it will all be given to his descendants.

After he dies, the Lord Himself buries Moses in a secret place in the valley of Moab, near his people; but Jude 9 says he is resurrected by Michael, and later appears on the mountain of Jesus’ transfiguration.

A Type of Christ

Moses’ death ends an era of rebellions. The older generation, Miriam and Aaron, and Moses, who struck the rock, have all passed away. His life bears many similarities to that of the Messiah—with the exception of his one recorded sin, which stands in sharp contrast to Christ’s exemplary life of obedience.

He, like Christ, is born poor, taken to Egypt, becomes the greatest prophet, lawgiver, teacher, and leader of his people. He casts himself with his sinful people by asking the Lord to blot his name “out of the book.” He must die because of sin, but is resurrected into glory, and lives through eternity.

The book of Matthew portrays Christ as the antitype of Moses. He’s called from Egypt, goes up a mountain to give the law (the covenant, including the blessings), gives five discourses that correspond to the five books of Moses, casts His lot with sinful humanity, dies for His people’s sins, is resurrected, and will live throughout eternity.

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