Numbers 27:12
And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.
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(12) Get thee up into this mount Abarim.—The position of this command, in immediate connection with the answer returned to the request of the daughters of Zelophehad, is very remarkable. They were to enter into the land of promise, and their descendants were to inherit it. The great lawgiver himself was to be excluded on account of his transgression. He does not, however, shrink from recording the sentence of exclusion in immediate connection with an incident which brings out that exclusion into greater prominence. The fulfilment of the announcement made to Moses is related in Deuteronomy 32:48-52. The mountains of Abarim form the Moabitish table-land, the northern portion of which bore the name of Pisgah. It is here that we must look for Mount Nebo, which is sometimes described as one of the mountains of Abarim (Deuteronomy 32:49), and at other times as the top of Pisgah (Deuteronomy 3:27; Deuteronomy 34:1).

And see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.—“The law,” says Bishop Wordsworth, “led men to ‘see the promises afar off, and to embrace them’ [rather, to see and greet the promises from afar, Hebrews 11:13], and it brought them to the borders of Canaan, but could not bring them into it: that was reserved for Joshua, the type of Jesus.” It must not be overlooked, however, that, although he was shut out during his lifetime from entering into the land of Canaan, Moses was permitted to stand with Elijah upon the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:3).

Numbers 27:12. Abarim — The whole tract of mountains was called Abarim, whereof one of the highest was called Nebo, and the top of that Pisgah.

27:12-14 Moses must die, but he shall have the satisfaction of seeing the land of promise. This sight of Canaan signified his believing prospect of the better country, that is, the heavenly. Moses must die, but death does not cut him off; it only brings him to rest with the holy patriarchs. It is but to die as they died, having lived as they lived; and as their end was peace, why should we fear any evil in the passage of that dark valley?Mount Abarim - See Numbers 21:20 note. Nu 27:12-17. Moses Being Told of His Approaching Death, Asks for a Successor.

12. The Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land—Although the Israelites were now on the confines of the promised land, Moses was not privileged to cross the Jordan, but died on one of the Moabitic range of mountains, to which the general name of Abarim was given (Nu 33:47). The privation of this great honor was owing to the unhappy conduct he had manifested in the striking of the rock at Meribah [Nu 20:12]; and while the pious leader submitted with meek acquiescence to the divine decree, he evinced the spirit of genuine patriotism in his fervent prayers for the appointment of a worthy and competent successor [Nu 27:15-17].

The whole tract of mountains was called

Abarim, Numbers 33:47, whereof one of the highest was called Nebo, Deu 32:49, and the top of that, Pisgah, Deu 34:1.

And the Lord said unto Moses,.... After the covenant made with Israel in the plains of Moab, and the song delivered to them, Deuteronomy 29:1.

get thee up to this Mount Abarim; which was a range of mountains, so called from the passages by them over Jordan into the land of Canaan; one part of which was Nebo, and the top of that Pisgah, from whence Moses had the view of the good land here directed to; see Numbers 33:47.

and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel; for though he was now one hundred and twenty years old, his eyes were not dim, he could see at a great distance; and the height of this hill gave him an advantage of taking a prospect of the land, a great way into it; and very probably his sight might be greatly strengthened and increased at this time by the Lord, for the purpose; this may be an emblem of that sight by faith, which believers have at times of the heavenly Canaan, and sometimes are favoured with an enlarged one of it before their death.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.
12. this mountain of the Abarim] See on Numbers 21:11. The spot is defined as ‘the top of the Pisgah’ in Deuteronomy 3:27 (D ), and still more closely as ‘Mount Nĕbo’ in Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1 (P ).

12–14. The command to Moses to view the land from a mountain is not obeyed till Deuteronomy 34 (P ). This long postponement might seem strange. But it must be remembered that before the greater part of Numbers 28-36 was added as an enlargement of P by later hands the book of Deut., which is represented, for the most part, as Moses’ farewell address, stood in closer proximity to the present passage. When the compilation of the documents took place, an editor seems to have felt that the interval between the command and the fulfilment was unduly long, and therefore inserted the command a second time in Deuteronomy 32:48-52, which is a repetition of the present passage in an expanded form.

Verse 12. - And the Lord said unto Moses. It is impossible to determine the exact place of this announcement in the order of events narrated. It would appear from Numbers 31:1 that the war with the Midianites occurred later, and certainly the address to the people and to Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:1-8 presupposes the formal appointment here recorded; but the chronologer of the concluding chapters of Numbers is evidently very uncertain; they may, or may not, be arranged in order of time. We may with good reason suppose that the summons to die was only separated from its fulfillment by the brief interval necessary to complete what work was yet unfinished (such as the punishment of the Midianites and the provisional settlement of the trans-Jordanic country) before the river was crossed. Into this Mount Abarim. See on Numbers 33:47; Deuteronomy 32:49 sq., where this command is recited more in detail. Abarim was apparently the range behind the Arboth Moab, the northern portion of which opposite to Jericho was called Pisgah (Numbers 21:20; Deuteronomy 3:27), and the highest point Nebo (Deuteronomy 32:49; Deuteronomy 34:1), after the name of a neighbouring town (Numbers 33:47). And see the land. Moses had already been told that he should not enter the promised land (Numbers 20:12), yet he is allowed the consolation of seeing it with his eyes before his death. It would seem from Deuteronomy 3:25-27 that this favour was accorded him in answer to his prayer. Numbers 27:12The Death of Moses Foretold. - After these instructions concerning the division of the land, the Lord announced to Moses his approaching end. From the mountains of Abarim he was to see the land which the Israelites would receive, and then like Aaron to be gathered to his people, because like him he also had sinned at the water of strife at Kadesh. This announcement was made, "that he might go forward to his death with the fullest consciousness, and might set his house in order, that is to say, might finish as much as he could while still alive, and provide as much as possible what would make up after his death for the absence of his own person, upon which the whole house of Israel was now so dependent" (Baumgarten). The fulfilment of this announcement is described in Deuteronomy 32:48-52. The particular spot upon the mountains of Abarim from which Moses saw the land of Canaan, is also minutely described there. It was Mount Nebo, upon which he also died. The mountains of Abarim (cf. Numbers 33:47) are the mountain range forming the Moabitish table-land, which slope off into the steppes of Moab. It is upon this range, the northern portion of which opposite to Jericho bore the name of Pisgah, that we are to look for Mount Nebo, which is sometimes described as one of the mountains of Abarim (Deuteronomy 32:49), and at other times as the top of Pisgah (Deuteronomy 3:27; Deuteronomy 34:1; see at Numbers 21:20). Nebo is not to be identified with Jebel Attarus, but to be sought for much farther to the north, since, according to Eusebius (s. v. Ἀβαρείμ), it was opposite to Jericho, between Livias, which was in the valley of the Jordan nearly opposite to Jericho, and Heshbon; consequently very near to the point which is marked as the "Heights of Nebo" on Van de Velde's map. The prospect from the heights of Nebo must have been a very extensive one. According to Burckhardt (Syr. ii. pp. 106-7), "even the city of Heshbon (Hhuzban) itself stood upon so commanding an eminence, that the view extended at least thirty English miles in all directions, and towards the south probably as far as sixty miles." On the expression, "gathered unto thy people," see at Genesis 25:8, and on Aaron's death see Numbers 20:28. מריתם כּאשׁר: "as ye transgressed My commandment." By the double use of כּאשׁר (quomodo, "as"), the death of Aaron, and also that of Moses, are placed in a definite relation to the sin of these two heads of Israel. As they both sinned at Kadesh against the commandment of the Lord, so they were both of them to die without entering the land of Canaan. On the sin, see at Numbers 20:12-13, and on the desert of Zin, at Numbers 13:21.
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