Deuteronomy 34:5

Hebrew Bible

3 the Negev, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of date palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it, but you will not cross over there.” 5 So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab as the Lord had said. 6 He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab near Beth Peor, but no one knows his exact burial place to this very day. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died, but his eye was not dull nor had his vitality departed.

Pseudo Jonathan Deuteronomy 34:5


And the Lord said to him, This is the end of the word concerning the land, and this is the land which I covenanted unto Abraham, to Izhak, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it unto your children. I grant thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not pass over to it. Mosheh, the Rabban of Israel, was born on the seventh day of the month Adar, and on the seventh day of Adar he was gathered from the world. A voice fell from heaven, and thus spake: Come, all ye who have entered into the world, and behold the grief of Mosheh, the Rabban of Israel, who hath laboured, but not to please himself, and who is ennobled with four goodly crowns: the crown of the Law is his, because he brought it from the heavens above, when there was revealed to him the Glory of the Lord"s Shekinah, with two thousand myriads of angels, and forty and two thousand chariots of fire. The crown of the Priesthood bath been his in the seven days of the peace offerings.

 Notes and References

"... When we turn to Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, a very different picture emerges. True to form, Targum Pseudo-Jonathan offers a base translation which is very similar to the previous translations: ‘Moses, the servant of the Lord, was gathered in the land of Moab by the kiss of the Word of the Lord’. That famous kiss marks a departure from the interpretation in the other Targums as the kiss reflects God’s mouth, hence his personal involvement in the death and burial of Moses ... This description of his death and burial is truly oxymoronic and certainly no less ambiguous than the biblical narrative, through its enhancement with many motifs that have parallels in other narratives of Moses’s death and burial. On the surface of things, the Targum refers to Moses’s death and burial in a grave near Beth-Peor, but its bolt-on details describe the events of his death and burial in celestial terms. A heavenly whisper announces the virtues of Moses during his life. Moses dies neither of old age nor of illness but by the kiss of God. His deathbed has been prepared by the angels and a golden deathbed it is, adorned with precious stones; both suggest a burial in glory rather than a burial plot. The motif of the precious stones, shared with many midrashic versions of his burial, is intrinsically linked to the garden of Eden and ultimately the divine realm as paradise, as in the description of the king of Hiram in Ezekiel 28.13 (see Targum Jonathan). Not the least among the angels prepare his deathbed, while the highest possible honour bestowed on him is God’s hands-on burial of him. When the Targum refers to Moses’s death as being ‘gathered’ while it refers to Jacob’s mother as having ‘died’, the euphemism ‘gather’ may subtly refer to his extraordinary position with God after death, although he is buried in a valley and has a grave. As we will see, the Targum's contrast of heaven and death harks back to concern about his assumption in heaven at the time that the Temple still stood ..."

Smelik, Willem F. The Lost Tomb of Moses Revisited: Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Deut. 34.5-6 (pp. 1-34) University College London, 2012

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