Grave in Moab

Moses died in Moab, on the east side of the Jordan, and was buried there in an unmarked and unknown grave (Deuteronomy 34:5-6). This, Yahweh says, is Moses being “gathered to your people” (Deuteronomy 32:50). Several things are remarkable here: First, that an ancient man should be . . . . Continue Reading »


Aaron was the older brother of Moses, and so Moses’ primacy in the relationship between the two continues the regular theme of Genesis: The older shall serve the younger. At the same time, in several specific ways Aaron sets the pattern for the life of Moses. Aaron leads Israel in idolatry at . . . . Continue Reading »

Nakedness of anything

When Israel camped in the wilderness, they set up toilet facilities outside the camp area. The camp was holy because Yahweh walked there, and He told Israel to keep it free of uncleanness (Deuteronomy 23:12-14). The phrasing of Moses’s warning is odd: “Yahweh must not see the nakedness . . . . Continue Reading »

Brook from the Mountain

As Moses recounts the incident with the golden calf, he reminds Israel that he ground the idol to powder and threw it in the “brook ( nachal ) that came down from the mountain” (Deuteronomy 9:21). There was a brook in Egypt (Numbers 34:5), the Nile that watered the land and made it the . . . . Continue Reading »

Out of the Rock

Moses strikes the “flint rock” in the wilderness, and water gushes out, turning the wilderness into a garden (Deuteronomy 8:15). Israel is circumcised by sharp rocks as they enter the land (Joshua 5; cf. Exodus 4:25). Cut by the rock, Israel becomes a fruitful people, raising godly . . . . Continue Reading »


Deuteronomy 7 ends with a chiastically-structured exhortation concerning the images of the Canaanites: A. Burn images of their gods, 25a B. Do not covet gold or silver nor take it, lest you be snared, 25b C. An abomination ( to’evah ) to Yahweh, 25c C’. Do not bring abomination ( . . . . Continue Reading »