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Deuteronomy 32:48-52

Context
Instructions about Moses’ Death

32:48 Then the Lord said to Moses that same day, 32:49 “Go up to this Abarim 1  hill country, to Mount Nebo (which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho 2 ) and look at the land of Canaan that I am giving to the Israelites as a possession. 32:50 You will die 3  on the mountain that you ascend and join your deceased ancestors, 4  just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor 5  and joined his deceased ancestors, 32:51 for both of you 6  rebelled against me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the desert of Zin when you did not show me proper respect 7  among the Israelites. 32:52 You will see the land before you, but you will not enter the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”

1 sn Abarim. This refers to the high plateau region of the Transjordan, the highest elevation of which is Mount Pisgah (or Nebo; cf. Deut 34:1). See also the note on the name “Pisgah” in Deut 3:17.

2 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

3 tn In the Hebrew text the forms translated “you will die…and join” are imperatives, but the actions in view cannot really be commanded. The imperative is used here in a rhetorical, emphatic manner to indicate the certainty of Moses’ death on the mountain. On the rhetorical use of the imperative see IBHS 572 §34.4c.

4 tn Heb “be gathered to your people.” The same phrase occurs again later in this verse.

5 sn Mount Hor. See note on the name “Moserah” in Deut 10:6.

6 tn The use of the plural (“you”) in the Hebrew text suggests that Moses and Aaron are both in view here, since both had rebelled at some time or other, if not at Meribah Kadesh then elsewhere (cf. Num 20:24; 27:14).

7 tn Heb “did not esteem me holy.” Cf. NIV “did not uphold my holiness”; NLT “failed to demonstrate my holiness.”



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