Deuteronomy 34

Talks for Growing Christians

The Death of Moses & The Transfer of Leadership to Joshua, the Servant of Moses

Deuteronomy 34

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Lesson Number 35

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The death of Moses was a test of the Children of Israel.
  2. The life of Moses is a type of the life of Christ.

Practical Application

  1. Don’t enshrine people!


  1. Who wrote the book of Deuteronomy?
  2. Why was Moses unable to enter the Land?
  3. Why did God bury Moses and not let anyone know where?
  4. How was the death of Moses a test for the Children of Israel?
  5. What made Moses unique as a prophet?


  1. Moses. Moses wrote all five books of the Pentateuch – the first five books of the Bible. Most likely Joshua or another inspired writer wrote this last chapter recording the death of Moses.
  2. Because of discipline for his sin at the waters of Meribah (see Numbers 20)
  3. One answer is certainly that the Lord knew what would take place if people knew where the great leader Moses was buried. His tomb would have become a shrine and people would worship him and the place as well.
  4. It was a test of whether they would follow Joshua as Moses had instructed them to do. Happily, they passed the test!
  5. Moses was unique not only because of all the powerful miracles that he did against Pharaoh and the land of Egypt at the time of the Exodus, but also because the Lord spoke with him face to face. See Exodus 33:11 and Numbers 12:7-8.


  1. After Moses’ death, the Children of Israel had to choose whether they would follow Joshua as Moses had instructed them to do. This is still an important question today whenever there is a transfer of leadership within the church for Christian ministry. Have you been in this situation? Did you follow the new leader?
  2. Review the similarities mentioned between the life of Moses and the life of Christ.
    1) Both were divinely chosen to be deliverers.
    2) Both experienced a time of rejection by the very people they specifically came to help.
    3) Both acquired a Gentile bride during their time of rejection.
    4) Both were faithful over the house or people they were given to lead.
    5) Both had or will have a Second Coming, when the Jewish people had and will have a change of heart and receive the Leader they once rejected.


  1. If the Lord had not buried Moses in an unmarked grave, the people would have enshrined his body and gravesite as well. To enshrine people takes away from the glory of God and lowers the person of Christ. Don’t enshrine people.

Key Verses

  • “Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the Lord had commanded Moses.” Deuteronomy 34:9
  • “ But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, before Pharaoh, before all his servants, and in all his land, and by all that mighty power and all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.” Deuteronomy 34:10-12

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