|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:9-12 Moses brought Israel to the borders of Canaan, and then died and left them. This signifies that the law made nothing perfect, Heb 7:19 It brings men into a wilderness of conviction, but not into the Canaan of rest and settled peace. That honour was reserved for Joshua, our Lord Jesus, of whom Joshua was a type, (and the name is the same,) to do that for us which the law could not do, Ro 8:3. Through him we enter into the spiritual rest of conscience, and eternal rest in heaven. Moses was greater than any other prophet of the Old Testament. But our Lord Jesus went beyond him, far more than the other prophets came short of him. And see a strong resemblance between the redeemer of the children of Israel and the Redeemer of mankind. Moses was sent by God, to deliver the Israelites form a cruel bondage; he led them out, and conquered their enemies. He became not only their deliverer, but their lawgiver; not only their lawgiver, but their judge; and, finally, leads them to the border of the land of promise. Our blessed Saviour came to rescue us out of the slavery of the devil, and to restore us to liberty and happiness. He came to confirm every moral precept of the first lawgiver; and to write them, not on tables of stone, but on fleshly tables of the heart. He came to be our Judge also, inasmuch as he hath appointed a day when he will judge all the secrets of men, and reward or punish accordingly. This greatness of Christ above Moses, is a reason why Christians should be obedient and faithful to the holy religion by which they profess to be Christ's followers. God, by his grace, make us all so!
Verse 10. - (Cf. Exodus 33:11.) Whom the Lord knew. "For the Lord was revealed to him face to face" (Onkelos). The knowledge here referred to was not merely that cognizance which God as the Omniscient has of all men, but that special knowledge by which men, being known of God, are made to know him (cf. 1 Corinthians 8:3). The statement in this verse could only have been inserted some time after the death of Moses, and after the people had had manifestations of God's presence with them, both by communications from him through the prophets and by the successes which he had given them over their enemies. But it is not necessary to suppose that a long period during which a lengthened succession of prophets had arisen had elapsed. "Moses was the founder and mediator of the old covenant. As long as this covenant was to last, no prophet could arise in Israel like unto Moses. There is but One who is worthy of greater honor than Moses, namely, the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, who is placed as a Son over all the house of God, in which Moses was found faithful as a servant (comp. Hebrews 3:2-6 with Numbers 12:7), Jesus Christ, the Founder and Mediator of the new and everlasting covenant" (Keil).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses,.... Not in the times of Joshua, who wrote this chapter, at least the last eight verses, Deuteronomy 34:5, as say the Jews (p); nor to the times of Samuel, whom others take to be the writer: of them; nor to the times of Ezra, as others; nor even throughout the whole Old Testament dispensation to the times of Christ, the great Prophet, like to Moses, that was to arise; and the Messiah is by the Jews owned, as by Maimonides (q), to be equal to him, and by others to be above him: it is a well known saying of theirs (r), that"the Messiah shall be exalted above Abraham, and extolled above Moses, and made higher than the ministering: angels;''but as to all other prophets he excels them, and therefore they call him the prince, master, and Father of the prophets, and say, that all prophesied from the fountain of his prophecy (s): the difference between him and them is observed, by Maimonides (t) to lie in many things; as that they prophesied by a dream or vision, but he awake and seeing; they prophesied by the means of an angel, and saw what they did in parables and dark sayings; but Moses not by means of an angel, but the Lord spake to him face to face; they trembled and astonished, but not so Moses; they could not prophesy when they would, but he at any time, nor did he need to dispose and prepare his mind for it; some of which will not hold good, especially the last; the instances in which he really exceeded them follow:
whom the Lord knew face to face; owned, took notice of, and familiarly conversed with face to face, as a man with his friend; none were permitted to such familiarity with God as he; see Numbers 12:6; the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase it,
"whom the Word of the Lord knew.''
(p) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 15. 1.((q) Hilchot Teshuvah, c. 9. sect. 2.((r) Tanchuma in Yalkut in Isaiah 52.13. (s) Maimon. Yesode Hatorah, c. 7. sect. 6. & Vorst. in ib. (t) lb. sect. 6, 7, 8, 9.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10-12. there arose not a prophet since—In whatever light we view this extraordinary man, the eulogy pronounced in these inspired words will appear just. No Hebrew prophet or ruler equalled him in character or official dignity, or in knowledge of God's will and opportunities of announcing it.
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