And die in the mount where you go up, and be gathered to your people; as Aaron your brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered to his people:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)And die in the mount . . . as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor . . . because ye trespassed against me.—It may be asked why Moses and Aaron should both have been made to ascend a mountain to die. I believe a clue to the reason may be found in the words and act which constituted their transgression. They were bidden to speak to the rock in Kadesh, and they struck it. The words which Moses used on that occasion were, “Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this cliff (Selagh)?” The last words of the sentence are emphatic; and the rock is described as a cliff, not by the name given to the Rock in Horeb (Tzûr). The emphasis laid upon these words has been much discussed by Jewish commentators, though it escapes English readers. I suspect that the mistake Moses and Aaron made, in thinking it needful to strike the cliff, also led them to think it necessary to ascend it, instead of gathering the congregation together beneath it, and speaking to it from below. This view harmonises with the spiritual significance of the act. The smitten Rock in Horeb was Christ; the Cliff not to be smitten in Kadesh pointed also to Christ, ascended now, needing only the prayer of faith to call down all that He will give. And so Moses himself taught, in some of his latest words. “It is not in heaven that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us? . . . But the word is nigh thee, in thy mouth.”
The impatient words of Moses, after toiling up the cliff with his brother Aaron, had to be recompensed by their ascending mount Hor and mount Nebo to die. Moses, as the more responsible of the two, had to ascend on each occasion, for his brother’s death and for his own. The remembrance of his brother’s death in the Lord may well have comforted Moses in the prospect of his own.
Deuteronomy 32:50. And died in the mount — Not immediately, but after he had blessed the people, as in the next chapter. Be gathered unto thy people — We seem to be compelled to understand this of the soul of Moses, to be associated in paradise with the souls of the just, here termed his people; in which sense it is taken by some of the Jewish writers. For if it were to be interpreted of his body only, or chiefly, it could hardly be said to be sense, since the people of Moses were not buried in mount Abarim. See on Genesis 25:8. and be gathered unto thy people; to the spirits of just men made perfect in heaven, his more immediate and more remote ancestors, the souls of good men; for otherwise there were none that died, and were buried here, before him, and therefore can have no respect to the buryingplace of his people: as Aaron thy brother died in Mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people; of which Moses was an eyewitness; and which is observed, because there was a great likeness between the death of him, and what Moses was now called to, both as to the place and manner of it; and likewise the cause of it, later mentioned; as also to make death more easy and familiar, and less terrible to him, when he cared to mind how calmly, cheerfully, and comfortably, his brother Aaron died; see Numbers 20:25.
and be gathered unto thy people; to the spirits of just men made perfect in heaven, his more immediate and more remote ancestors, the souls of good men; for otherwise there were none that died, and were buried here, before him, and therefore can have no respect to the buryingplace of his people:
as Aaron thy brother died in Mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people; of which Moses was an eyewitness; and which is observed, because there was a great likeness between the death of him, and what Moses was now called to, both as to the place and manner of it; and likewise the cause of it, later mentioned; as also to make death more easy and familiar, and less terrible to him, when he cared to mind how calmly, cheerfully, and comfortably, his brother Aaron died; see Numbers 20:25.And die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)50. unto thy people] Better thy father’s folk, as always in this phrase. The word, ‘am, originally meant this, but in Heb. is usually widened to people, while in Ar. it = ‘father’s brother’ and ‘father’s brother’s children’ (Driver). The whole phrase is frequent in P, Genesis 25:8; Genesis 35:29, Numbers 20:24; Numbers 20:26, etc., and is found nowhere else.
on Hor, the mountain] Always so in P; cp. Numbers 20:22-29; Numbers 21:4; Numbers 33:37-41. Contr. above Deuteronomy 10:6 (E).Verse 50. - And be thou gathered unto thy people. "To Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This signifies," saith R. Isaac, "that he should be associated and joined to the souls of the just who are called his people. For the people of Moses were not buried in Mount Abarim, and therefore he doth not speak of gathering his body to their bodies, but of his soul to their souls ('Chissute Emuna,' L 11)" (Patrick). Deuteronomy 32:44-47 it is stated that Moses, with Joshua, spake the song to the people; and on finishing this rehearsal, once more impressed upon the hearts of the people the importance of observing all the commandments of God. This account proceeds from the author of the supplement to the Thorah of Moses, who inserted the song in the book of the law. This explains the name Hoshea, instead of Jehoshuah (Joshua), which Moses had given to his servant (Numbers 13:8, Numbers 13:16), and invariably uses (compare Deuteronomy 31:3, Deuteronomy 31:7, Deuteronomy 31:14, Deuteronomy 31:23, with Deuteronomy 1:38; Deuteronomy 3:21, Deuteronomy 3:28, and the exposition of Numbers 13:16). - On Deuteronomy 32:46, vid., Deuteronomy 6:7 and Deuteronomy 11:19; and on Deuteronomy 32:47, vid., Deuteronomy 30:20.
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