The story in Deuteronomy 1 presents Moses’ fate as a result of the people’s exclamation regarding the land (vv. Oops! Her book, When God Wanted to Destroy the Chosen People: Biblical Traditions and Theology on the Move, was published in 2019 by De Gruyter. TheTorah.com is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.We rely on the support of readers like you. However, in Old Testament times that would be considered prematurely. As I showed in my "Moses Dies at the Age of 120: Was It Premature?" We will start with the latest source, 4:21, and peel back the layers till we get to the possibly original and oldest of the three. In Lohfink’s words regarding this account: “Moses’ behaviour is blameless” (Norbert Lohfink, “Darstellungskunst und Theologie in Dtn 1,6–3,29,” Bib 41 [1960], 105–134 [113]). While here, in Deuteronomy 1 and 4, this sin was related to the people, alternative traditions such as the one of P attributed the sin to Moses himself. Because of Moses’ sin of disobedience at the waters of Meribah Kadesh (Numbers 20:12; Deuteronomy 32:51), Moses was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. : b.Sotah 13b; Sifre Deuteronomy 32.52 [Ha’azinu]; Josephus, Antiquities 4:8, 48; Mat. Thus, like the reference in 4:21-22, the remark about Moses’ fate in 1:37-38 is secondary in its context. [19] Likewise, the passage concerned with the decision about Moses begins with the expression “at that time” (בעת ההִוא, 3:23) which is a typical expression for recalling past events in this context (Deut 2:34; 3:4, 8, 12, 18, 21). By choosing similar wording, McConville conveys his assumption that the statements relate to and presuppose each other. ( TheTorah 2018), the Deuteronomic references that relate Moses' death to the people's sin (Deut 1:37 -38, 3:26 -27, 4:21 -22), are late insertions in the main narrative of Deuteronomy. God’s anger derives from Moses’ endeavour to change his fixed destiny. How Moses Died Moses was 120 years old when he died. 3:23–28. Acts 7:23,30,36 And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel…. Why do they err in the case of Deut 4:21? See similarly: Samuel R. Driver, Deuteronomy, 3rd ed., International Critical Commentary (London: Bloomsbury-T&T Clark, 2000; orig., 1901), 27, 60; Gerhard von Rad, Deuteronomy (OTL; London 1966), 45; Weinfeld, Deuteronomy, 191, 207; Dennis T. Olson, Deuteronomy and the Death of Moses: A Theological Reading (Minneapolis; 1994), 97, 150; Walter Brueggemann, Deuteronomy (AOTC; Nashville 2001), 55. 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. Alongside the information about the fate of the current generation and their children (vv. 21-22). Deuteronomy 31:2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the LORD hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan. And 1 Kings 8:46 [אנף]). But as referring to a notion of the people’s words the reference seems to indicate familiarity with a specific narrative, that is the story of the spies as described in Deuteronomy 1, which accuses the people for their utterances. Moses - Moses - Years and deeds: One of the measures taken by the Egyptians to restrict the growth of the Hebrews was to order the death of all newborn Hebrew males. [15] While the recounting in Deut 1 does not record the scene of God’s threat of destruction (cf. In eight out of nine instances, it is used in two related ways: Significantly, the one remaining use of the root is the very unusual hitpa’el-form verb ויתעבר, meaning “became furious,” which refers to YHWH’s reaction to Moses’ request. [4] The ending of Deuteronomy, which is the ending of the Pentateuch as a whole, contains pieces from multiple Pentateuchal sources, many of which independently record Moses’ death. So why were reasons for Moses’ death added in Deuteronomy 1 and 4? Exod 20:5; Deut. According to this earliest account of chapter 3, why does God refuse to let Moses cross the Jordan and enter the land? ; Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1983), 251–265 [251, 257–258, 264]. 4–6, 11). 2 Chron 9:5), דבריך, which can refer to King Solomon’s wise words (cf. Num 14:11–24), the terminology of Moses’ speech in Deut 1:29–33 is an indication of the author’s familiarity with this scene (compare Deut 1:32 with Num 14:11 and Deut 1:33 with Num 14:13–14). 6 He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. But as we will see this reference to Moses in chapter 1 happens to be itself misplaced in the context. The wrong attitude of the people is especially noticeable in light of the positive report this account attributes to the spies themselves: In this way, the people’s refusal to go up the land seems more unacceptable and unforgivable. See Martin Noth, The Deuteronomistic History, 12–17; Andrew D.H. Mayes, Deuteronomy, New Century Bible (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), 41–42; Moshe Weinfeld, Deuteronomy 1–11, Anchor Bible (New York: Doubleday, 1991), 13. [22] Editor’s note: For a related approach, see Jill Katz, “Moses: A Betwixt and Between Leader,” TheTorah.com(2013). Moses wrote this speech down as well, forming the book of Deuteronomy, the last of the Five Books of Moses. He and Joshua were the only two spies who brought back a good report about the land and believed that God could help them to take it. She holds a Ph.D. from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. February 20, 2021. 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