So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.
A cloud of mystery and awe envelops the death of this great prophet and lawgiver. No other death recorded in Scripture approaches it or is parallel to it. Through the mystery we feel that no other death would have been so fitting; and why?
1. All his life Moses had been a solitary man, alone in the world, with no one to share his great thought and responsibilities. He had lived alone with God; it was fitting that he should die alone with God.
2. His had been an utterly humble, unselfish life; he had always sacrificed himself for the good of the people; he left his greatness to join his countrymen in their degrading servitude; he forgot himself to avenge their wrongs.
3. Of every other great leader of Israel we read that "he was buried with his fathers" — with loving, reverent hands laid in the sepulchre of his fathers — and that a tomb was raised over him which recalled the memory of his greatness through long generations. Moses, the greatest of them all — warrior, statesman, poet — was buried far away from his brethren. No loving human hands laid him in his last abode; the very place of it was unknown.
4. Moses is the noblest example of unselfish religion — of unselfish love to God and man — to be found in the Bible, nay, I believe, in the whole history of man. Such self-forgetfulness and unselfishness is never sad and disappointed. Such a soul does not seek happiness; it finds happiness. It is morbidness, it is self-introspection, which makes men melancholy and disappointed. God and love are heaven.
(E. J. Rose, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.