What's So Important About Moses' Body?
What's so important about Moses' body? This is the question that I have asked myself when studying the book of Jude. As Jude is writing a letter against false teachers, he uses an illustration that seems like common knowledge to the recipients of his letter, but as far as the Old Testament is concerned nothing is written to us about the circumstances that Jude uses. Deueteronomy 34 tells us about the end of Moses' life. Verses 5-7 give us a glimpse into his final moments, "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.". And that is all we knew about the circumstances of Moses' death, until Jude comes along and tells us about a dispute between Michael the archangel and the devil over the body of Moses. More details are not given in Jude, because the conflict itself was not the point that Jude was making. So we go back to the question of what is so important about Moses' body that Satan wants Moses' body and God doesn't want him to have it?
To answer that question, we need to take a look into the Bible to see what else it has to say about Moses after his death. In Matthew 17, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain. Some people believe that it was Mt. Nebo, the same mountain where Moses died and was buried by God. And while they are up on the mountain, Jesus glory was revealed. Then verse three says, "And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.". All of a sudden Moses and Elijah are standing there with them. Now why these two individuals? Out of all the people that could possibly be there, it was Moses and Elijah. And according to Peter's letters, they seemed to be discussing end times events. But Jesus hadn't even died yet, so why would they be talking about His second coming? And what do Moses and Elijah have to do with it?
Revelation 11 may possibly shed some light on why these two men. It tells us of two witnesses during the last days. Now pay special attention to verses five and six, "And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.". Does anything about the special powers of these two witnesses sound familiar to you? The power to call down fire from heaven sounds a lot like something that Elijah did on Mount Carmel in his showdown with the false prophets of Baal. And we know from the book of James that it was Elijah who prayed that it wouldn't rain those three and a half years. Now notice the other powers. Moses turned the water into blood in Egypt, and he smote the earth with plagues as well. Could this just be a coincidence, or is it a clue as to their identity?
Here are a couple of other things to consider. When you look at both Moses and Elijah, you will notice that their lives were stopped short and their minstries were left unfinished. Deuteronomy 34:7 hints at Moses' early death and Elijah was taken up to heaven without dying. Joshua had to finish Moses' minstry and Elisha had to finish Elijah's. It is interesting to note that the Jews have been waiting for the return of three people, the Messiah, Moses, and Elijah. There are those that believe Enoch will be the other witness and not Moses. They usually use Hewbrews 9:27 to support their belief, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:". But this verse is not a hard and fast rule. There have been plenty of people that were raised from the dead that died twice. Plus there will be those that will be raptured that will not die. Enoch was a Gentile and not a Jew, so I don't believe that he will be a witness to Israel in the last days. He is a picture of the church that will be taken out prior to judgment. Luke 16 and elsewhere tells us that the complete witness is Moses and the prophets. So why was Moses' body so important? I believe it is because there is still a work for Moses to do. What are your thoughts on who the two witnesses will be? And if Moses isn't one of them, what do you think was so important about his body?