ESV - 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, "The Lord rebuke you.
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Early in the 1st century, there was a story in the Testament of Moses which was a Jewish writing. Jude's account seems to give allusion to that legend. Because some of the pages of this Testament are missing, the following Jewish writings shed some light on the aforementioned. From the Jewish commentaries: "(Deuteronomy Rabbah 11:10) - There was a dispute about an hr. Before Moses died. It was between the angel of death (associated with the Adversary, satan) and Michael (satan's opponent)." Michael is the angel considered to be the defender of Israel, in Jewish tradition. (Targum Yonatan) says that Michael was put in authority of watching Moses' tomb. It is thought that the Testament of Moses (not scripture) added that Michael was assigned to bury Moses. (The above commentary and references come from The Jewish New Testament Commentary by David H. Stern). Why would there be a dispute over Moses' body? It may have been because Moses wasn't allowed to go into the Promised Land. Satan may have thought he could claim Moses for that reason. The other possibility is that God knew that man would be tempted to worship Moses, who had developed a great reputation among Israel and the nations. Therefore, God never allowed man to know where Moses was buried. Deuteronomy 34:5-6 It was God who was to be glorified in the miracles and wonders performed through Moses. However, Satan is in the business of trying to rob God of His glory. Satan also is the one who deceives people into the ways of idol worship. If it had been known where Moses was buried, then it was possible for people to make pilgrimage to Moses' graveside and worship him. God wanted us to be left with the scriptures written by God through His servant, Moses. That's the remains we have from him. So, Satan could have thought he should have the right to claim Moses because Moses wasn't allowed to go into the Promised Land. Satan also could have intended to make an idol of Moses, and thus attempt to rob God of His glory. One other conclusion could be that satan could have considered it to be payback time for all that God had done through Moses. Whatever the reason, God reminded satan that it was God who had the final word in the situation. God would make sure that Moses would have the proper burial fitting for someone deemed "the most humble man," who carried the title, "the servant of God." (Of course, Jesus was/ is the ultimate One with that honor). Look at the intimate relationship God had with Moses. God and Moses were very much close friends. I think God wanted the best for His friend even though he couldn't go into the Promised Land with the children of Israel. On an inspiring note: Moses did end up in the Promised Land. He appeared on the Mount of Transfiguration to meet God once again face-to-face.
My belief of why God made Michael contend with satan for Moses' body was to prevent satan from using Moses' body as a source of idol worship among the Israelites and also because Moses was a friend of God(Exodus 33:11) and He had buried His friend(Deuteronomy 34:6) Moses was the only prophet Israel had ever seen at that time and he performed miracles before the people's eyes which would have been easy facts for satan to exploit. I speak as one who knows Yeshua too just like Moses did and all I had to do was ask the Lord because He is faithful and true and should be our only teacher! The Lord says,"you have not because you ask not"(James 4:2-3) Ask within His will and you shall have what you ask for it's that simple! If you ask to know Him you've asked the most important question that the Lord awaits from each of us! So ask today people if you truly want to know our Lord and Saviour and our Great Creator! HalleluYah
This is what I believe: There are somethings in the bible that you cannot understand with physical knowledge. Somethings can only be understood with spiritual knowledge. You must ask God for a better understanding of His Word always. As the bible says in Romans 8, that the flesh of man in sinful but the spirit is righteous, Moses was a sinner but he was used by God, which was only done with fewer people in the days of the Old Testament. Thus seeing this issue is proof which shows that the devil would always contend with true Men of God. We witness a sign of this same issue in the book of Job 2. Satan wanted Job to suffer for being so close to God and actually went to God and accused Job of not being faithful enough. The devil also accuses all people day and night who are close to God as well. It's in Revelation 12. So most likely, the devil had bad intentions towards the body of Moses and God did not want to allow the devil to have his way with it. So He sent powerful archangel Michael to defend it. If you do not understand my answer, then let me know on my email address. email@example.com Thank you.
This is pure speculation but considering Moses was such a tremendous patriarch and man of God the Jews would have most probably immortalized and worshiped his tomb. I'm sure the devil wanted his body for some ungodly purpose. An unknown location was assurance the Jews would "have no other gods" before The Lord God".
Apparently this took place after the death of Moses. The devil had the power of death until Christ conquered him on the cross (Col. 2:14- 17 Heb. 2:14- 15 Rev. 1:18). No other angel bears the title of archangel, as recorded, but there are others who are also chief angels, for Michael is only one of them (Dan. 10:13). The devil claimed Moses, but God intervened and took the body, burying it in the land of Moab (Dt. 34:5- 6). If he has been resurrected it had to be after the resurrection of Jesus who is the firstfruit of all that have died (1Cor. 15:20- 23). Whether Moses came out of the grave with the saints after Christ was resurrected is not stated (Mt. 27:52- 53). He was in soul form in Mt. 17:1- 8. What does Bible talk about Moses? Moses is called the servant of the Lord 18 times (Deut. 34:5; Josh. 1:1, 13, 15; 8:31, 33; 11:12; 12:6; 13:8; 14:7; 18:7; 22:2, 4, 5; 2Ki. 18:12; 2Chr. 1:3; 24:6). Hebrew 3:5 confirms that Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after. His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated until he die. This is a testimony that can be repeated even today. His intimacy with God, living in His glory, his fasts, and strict manner of life all added up to perfect strength and eyesight. Many times Moses was face to face with God who was also in visible form (Ex. 24:9- 11; 33:11; Num. 12:8; 14:14). There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses. In many ways Moses was greater than all the other prophets except Jesus Christ (Deut. 18:17- 19). Why God bury Moses (Jude 1)? God buried Moses so that no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. God kept the burial place secret so that Israel would not worship Moses. Pagans, on the other hand, made gods of their eminent statesmen, victorious generals, great lawgivers and founders of religion.
If satan had succeeded in taking Moses' body, he would have been more proud and that would have weakened the faith of believers then and now. We thank God for sending the warlord, Archangel Michael to defeat him so that we might know that our God is most powerful. Our Lord Jesus later came to finally nail satan. Sir Dim Ahiakwo.- Omoku, Nigeria.
I DON'T KNOW. Here is a thought with no real support. With this question there is much speculation, some historical study, even warnings about presuming to have an answer when we do not. It has occurred to me that one possible consideration is that it was not about the then present circumstances, rather, it may have had to do with future events. It would depend of course on a correct understanding of who the two witnesses are referenced in the book of revelation. If you are a Preterist, this will be rejected. But for those with eschatological views that are still awaiting the second coming and perhaps the rapture of the church, the two witnesses may provide a glint of explanation. Many scholars, pastors and believers understand the two witnesses in Revelation 11 to be Moses and Elijah. If Moses is one of the two, Michael may have been guarding it for future service as described in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. My logic for this speculation is that Moses was dead, his body buried by God. In any other situation the body is an earthly apartment housing the soul. It is normally the soul that Satan desires possession of. Why contend for control of that which is used up?. Was the body necessary for resurrection or perhaps to appear at the mount of transfiguration? We certainly can acknowledge that God's use of Moses didn't end in the desert where he had buried him.
I think, that the devil knows that Moses was well loved, respected and did many great signs. If the devil was able to have Moses's body, he could use Moses to reverse a lot of the good he did, by making him sin, blaspheme, etc. Remember all the devil needs is a 'body' to dwell in as a spirit. What more powerful body during this time could he choose but that of God's most favorite servant? Moses! The devil wanted to also show that Moses sinned and that God's greatest servants would fall to him and couldn't resist him. This obviously would be bad for believers in God. One thing is clear however, when people die they don't go to heaven directly....all will rest until the day of resurrection, otherwise Moses would be in heaven and the devil and Michael wouldn't be fussing.......
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