In what ways was Moses similar to Jesus?
The life of Moses is strikingly similar to the life of Jesus in many respects. This foreshadows the role that Jesus will play in bringing redemption to humanity by his deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptians and his guiding them to the Promised Land that God had prepared for them. As a matter of fact, Moses informed the Israelites, “The LORD your God will rise up for you a prophet like me out of among you, from among your brothers—it is to him that you must pay attention” (Deuteronomy 18:15).
Here are some of the parallels between their respective tales.
In the time of Moses, the Hebrews were slaves in Egypt, and in the time of Jesus, Israel was under the dominion of the Romans.
Pharaoh ordered the slaughter of all Hebrew men in order to keep the population from growing too large.
- He was later discovered and adopted by a daughter of Pharaoh, who raised him as her own (Exodus 2).
- The parents of Jesus fled to Egypt until Herod was killed (Matthew 2).
- In the book of Luke, Jesus is identified as the Son of the Most High (Luke 1:32); He is also known as the King of kings and the Lord of lords (Matthew 28:18-20).
- Although He took on human flesh, He was adopted by Joseph and became known as the Son of Joseph (Philippians 2:5–11).
- The burning bush was Moses’ first encounter with God, and after some persuading, he was filled with God’s Word and the ability to perform miracles (Exodus 3—4).
In Matthew 3:16–17, the Bible says that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, “the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him,” and that “a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.'” 40 years in the land of Midian, where he learned the Law and fasted, followed by another 40 days and 40 nights of fasting and intercession for the Israelites at various periods (Deuteronomy 9), and another 40 years in the desert, waiting for the Israelites to be allowed to enter the Promised Land.
- During his forty-day and forty-night fast in the wilderness, Jesus was able to successfully reject the Devil’s temptation (Matthew 4:1–11).
- Both Moses and Jesus served as leaders throughout their respective missions.
- He served as a mediator in the establishment of the old covenant between God and the nation of Israel (Deuteronomy 30:15–18), and he was a prophet who delivered God’s Word to the people and performed miracles to demonstrate his authority.
- He instructed them in the law and served as a judge for them.
- Moses directed the construction of the tabernacle, which served as a dwelling place for God among His people and a place of worship for them.
- Jesus came to earth in order to redeem humanity from sin and to bring people into a relationship with God that would remain for all eternity.
- Jesus performed miracles in order to fulfill the prophecies of the prophets.
Matthew 5:17 says that Jesus fulfilled the Law, and Matthew 25:31–46 says that Jesus will be the Judge on the last judgment day.
Hebrews 4:14–16; 10:19–23; Matthew 27:50–51 are examples of how Jesus provides us with direct access to God.
He was authoritative in His teaching, and he was strong in the miracles that He performed.
Jesus accepted young children and outcasts into his home.
Similarly, Moses divided the Red Sea (Exodus 14), and Jesus calmed the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35–41) and even walked on it (Mark 6:45–52) during his ministry.
God handed Moses the Law on Mount Sinai, and Jesus vowed to carry out the provisions of that Law (Matthew 5:17).
‘For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ,’ says the Bible in John 1:17.
Just as I have loved you, you are to love one another as I have loved you.
Moses had a face-to-face conversation with God and had to hide his face thereafter because it had been lighted (Exodus 33:7–11; 34:29).
His face shined brightly during His earthly ministry (Luke 9:28–36).
Moses made his appearance at the transfiguration as well.
Jesus introduced communion over a Passover dinner in order for His people to recall how His sacrifice had freed them from their sins (Matthew 17:26–29).
Multiple times throughout the desert, the Israelites expressed their dissatisfaction with Moses (Exodus 15, 22, 25, 16, 2–12, 17:2–7).
As recorded in Luke 4:16–30, Jesus was rejected by the majority of religious authorities as well as certain people from His hometown.
Judas, one of Jesus’ twelve followers, betrayed Him (Mark 14:10–11), and Jesus was executed.
When Jesus was jailed before his crucifixion, all of his followers deserted him (Mark 14:50).
Moses was a savior of the Israelites, and his role was to foreshadow the one genuine Savior—Jesus Christ—who would come later on.
Moses himself was denied entry into the Promised Place because of his sin, despite the fact that God showed him the land and buried Moses Himself there (Deuteronomy 34).
He will come one day to take us to be with Him for all eternity (John 14:1–3; Acts 1:6–11; Philippians 3:20; Revelation 21:4).
While there are many parallels between Moses and Jesus, there is one significant difference: Moses was a mere mortal.
Jesus, on the other hand, is both a human being and a divine being.
We can only be forgiven and achieve salvation if we place our trust in Him and His promises.
Truths that are related: What is the identity of Jesus Christ?
Was Moses a historical figure in the Bible? What is the Mosaic Covenant and what does it entail? The titles “prophet,” “priest,” and “king” refer to three distinct roles held by Jesus. In accordance with the new covenant What exactly is it? Return to: The Bible’s Statements on Individuals
Who was Moses in the Bible?
Answer Moses is considered to be one of the most important people in the Bible’s Old Testament. However, while Abraham is referred to be the “Father of the Faithful” and was the receiver of God’s unconditional covenant of love with His people, Moses was the man selected by the Almighty to bring about their salvation. God expressly picked Moses to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and into the Promised Land, where they would find redemption. Moses is also known as the Mediator of the Old Covenant, and he is often referred to as the Giver of the Law in biblical literature.
- Moses’ function in the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the role that Jesus performs in the New Testament, and the two are interconnected.
- Moses appears for the first time in the book of Exodus, in the first few chapters.
- This pharaoh enslaved the Hebrew people and forced them to work as slaves on his huge construction projects during his reign.
- Consequently, Pharaoh decreed that all male offspring born to Hebrew mothers would be put to death (Exodus 1:22).
- Eventually, the basket was discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter, who adopted him as her own and brought him up in the palace of the pharaoh himself.
- Moses attempted to intercede in an argument between two Hebrews in another occurrence, but one of the Hebrews scolded Moses and sarcastically remarked, “Are you going to murder me like you killed the Egyptian?” in another incident.
- As soon as he realized that his illegal deed had been exposed, Moses hurried to the region of Midian, where he intervened once more, this time rescuing the daughters of Jethro from the clutches of some robbers.
Moses resided in Midian for nearly forty years, according to legend.
Although Moses made a number of reasons and even requested that God send someone else, he ultimately consented to obey God.
The remainder of the narrative is very widely known as a result of this.
Pharaoh persistently refuses, and 10 plagues of God’s punishment are unleashed upon the people and the country, with the last plague being the murder of the firstborn as the culmination of God’s judgment.
Following the departure, Moses led the Israelites to the margin of the Red Sea, where God performed yet another miraculous rescue by splitting the waters and allowed the Hebrews to pass to the other side while drowning the Egyptian army in the process (Exodus 14).
The remainder of the book of Exodus, as well as the entirety of the book of Leviticus, take place while the Israelites are camped at the foot of Mount Sinai.
God also provides Moses with specific instructions on how God is to be worshipped, as well as recommendations for keeping purity and cleanliness among the people of Israel.
This is described in detail in the book of Numbers.
By the end of the book of Numbers, the next generation of Israelites has returned to the borders of the Promised Land and is ready to put their confidence in God and enter the land of their own will.
Moses reads the second reading of the Law (Deuteronomy 5) and prepares this generation of Israelites to be the first to accept God’s promises.
Moses died at the conclusion of the book of Deuteronomy, which is recounted in the Bible (Deuteronomy 34).
Moses died when he was 120 years old, and the Bible states that his “eye was undimmed and his strength unabated” at the time of his death (Deuteronomy 34:7).
According to Deuteronomy 34:10–12, “Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel who compares to Moses, whom the Lord personally knew and who performed all of the signs and wonders that the Lord had commissioned him to perform in Egypt—for Pharaoh and all of his officials, as well as for the entire nation.
- However, it does provide us with a general outline of the character.
- Moses’ life is usually divided into three 40-year periods, each of which lasts 40 years.
- As the adoptive son of Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses would have had all of the benefits and pleasures that come with being an Egyptian royal.
- The predicament of the Hebrews became so distressing to Moses that he decided to step up and become their rescuer on his own initiative.
- Based on this episode, we may infer that Moses was a guy who took decisive action, as well as a man who had a strong temper and was susceptible to reckless actions.
He attempted to accomplish in his own time what God desired to be accomplished in God’s time.
When we try to do God’s will in our own time, as we have done in so many other biblical situations, we end up creating a worse mess than we started with.
The basic life of a shepherd, a spouse, and a parent were all taught to Moses during this time period.
What lessons can we draw from this period of his life?
While the Bible doesn’t spend much time on the specifics of this period of Moses’ life, it’s clear that Moses was not just sitting about doing nothing while waiting for God to call.
These are not insignificant matters!
We must first demonstrate our commitment to God by living “in the valley” before He will enlist us in the war.
Another thing we learn about Moses during his stay in Midian is that, when God eventually called him into duty, he was recalcitrant and refused to go.
He is now 80 years old.
The possibility that Moses had a speech impediment has been raised by several scholars.
Perhaps Moses simply did not want to return to Egypt and experience failure once more.
How many of us have attempted something (whether or not it was for God) and failed, only to be hesitant to attempt it again because of our failure?
In the first place, there was the evident transformation that had occurred in his own life during the previous 40 years.
At first, Moses failed not so much because he behaved hastily as he failed because he acted without the guidance of God.
Do not be afraid; instead, put your trust in the Lord and in the strength of his might (Ephesians 6:10).
There are also some lessons to be learned from this particular episode of Moses’ life.
Moses was essentially in charge of two million Hebrew refugees during his lifetime.
We also see a man who was completely reliant on the grace of God in order to complete his task.
It would be wonderful if everyone in power would beseech God on behalf of those who are under their authority!
Moses was well aware that the exodus would be pointless if it were not for the presence of God.
A lesson we can learn from Moses’ life is that there are certain sins that will follow us throughout the rest of our lives.
In the aforementioned episode at Meribah, Moses struck a rock out of frustration in order to provide water for the community.
God forbade him from entering the Promised Land as a result of his transgression.
A small selection of practical lessons from Moses’ life are listed above.
When we examine Moses’ life in the context of the entire canon of Scripture, we discover larger theological truths that are integral to the story of redemption.
We learn that it was only through faith that Moses refused to be distracted by the splendors of Pharaoh’s palace and instead chose to identify with the plight of his people.
Moses’ life was marked by faith, and we all know that it is impossible to please God if one does not have faith (Hebrews 11:6).
As previously stated, we also know that Moses’ life served as a type for the life of Jesus Christ in many ways.
According to Hebrews 3:8—10, the author of Hebrews goes to considerable efforts to establish this point once more.
The distinction is that the covenant mediated by Moses was temporal and conditional, whereas the covenant mediated by Christ is eternal and unconditional in nature.
Moses freed the people of Israel from slavery and bondage in Egypt and led them to the Promised Land of Canaan, where they were welcomed with open arms.
Moses, like Christ, was a prophet to the people of Israel.
Moses foretold that the Lord would raise up another prophet like him from among the people, which happened (Deuteronomy 18:15).
John 5:46, Acts 3:22, 7:37).
It is through the lives of faithful people throughout human history that we can see how God was bringing about His purpose of salvation in their lives.
To conclude, it’s worth noting that, despite the fact that Moses never stepped foot in the Promised Land during his lifetime, he was granted the opportunity to do so after he passed away.
Moses is currently enjoying the actual Sabbath rest in Christ that all Christians will one day be able to enjoy together (Hebrews 4:9).
SIMILARITIES BETWEEN JESUS & MOSES
My understanding of the Bible grows as I read it, and I realize that it is not simply a collection of many separate tales, but that it is a collection of many stories that eventually convey one story. Several generations of Christians have viewed the Bible as a collection of old, heroic, and moral stories that inspire and educate us. Is there a way for any of these stories to be related to one another? Is there a common thread that runs across them all? I’m not talking about some strange conspiracy theory about how all Pixar movies take place in the same galaxy (if you haven’t heard of this idea, it’s really very fascinating, but that’s beside the point).
- Interestingly enough, it was Jesus himself who was the first to clearly establish such a “intersection” or “connection” between all of the events in the Bible—and in an intriguing twist, he argued that every narrative was ultimately abouthimself.
- Jesus, without a doubt, provides us with the proper glasses for accurately reading and comprehending the Scriptures.
- Jesus claims that all of these tales eventually point to him, that they are fulfilled in him, and that they find their fuller significance in his larger story.
- Rather than simply being the fulfillment of these other tales, his narrative is the fulfillment of these other stories in and of itself.
- It was my intention in writing this blog post to expressly address how the famous Old Testament character Moses looks forward to, foreshadows, and prefigures the coming of Jesus in several ways.
- Take a look at this: The Pharaoh of Egypt, during the time of Moses, ordered the mass execution of every Hebrew child under the age of two years.
- Moses led his people out of Egypt in order to redeem them.
He remained in Egypt throughout his childhood.
Moses was born in a straw-thatched basket, floated down a river, and was later adopted by Egyptian royalty after being abandoned by his parents.
Moses grew raised in the palace of Pharaoh, which was the most prestigious position in his society at the time.
Moses was a descendant of the Levites of Israel.
Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, where they had been held captive.
God gave Moses the ten commandments on Mount Sinai, which is where he received them.
Moses was the bearer of the law and the pointer to the gospel.
They were enslaved in Egypt for 400 years, until Moses was born and came to their aid.
Before beginning his ministry to save the Israelites, Moses journeyed through the desert and expressed his skepticism to God.
Despite the fact that Moses was king in Egypt, he gave up his position of authority in order to serve and save an oppressed people.
Incredibly, Moses was both royalty and a slave at the same time, having been born a prince while simultaneously being raised as a Hebrew.
It was a burning bush that God used to communicate with Moses, yet it was not burned by the fire.
The Red Sea was parted by Moses.
A total of 12 spies were chosen by Moses and dispatched into the Promised Land.
In prayer, Moses begged God to supply enough food for the multitudes of Israelites who were starving in the desert; God responded to his appeal by miraculously providing more manna and quail from the skies than they could possible consume.
Jesus implored with God that he would supply enough food for his thousands of disciples so that they would not starve in the countryside; God fulfilled his petition, and Jesus miraculously provided more bread and fish than they could ever consume.
Moses was the first person to receive God’s covenant.
The law was written by Moses, who is also known as the author of the law.
Moses was the first to act as a middleman.
Moses carried the Ark of the Covenant and the improvised tabernacle, which held the presence of God, around with him on his back and shoulders.
A snake was tied to a pole, and anybody who stared at it would be protected from the dreadful snakebites that would otherwise befall them.
The Passover Lamb was initially instituted by Moses in order to absorb the wrath of God.
The Passover Lamb of Moses was just a type of the Passover Lamb of Christ, who would come later.
Water was transformed into wine by Jesus.
The law was fulfilled through Jesus.
Jesus will marry the church, which is not entirely comprised of Jews, but includes non-Jews as well, who have been grafted into Israel’s salvation inheritance via the work of the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately, Jesus will guide us into the eternal, ultimate Promised Land of heaven, which will be the better Promised Land of reconciliation with God.
The same is true when we are dying of spiritual thirst in the desert of spiritual separation from God.
And I’m confident that there are more parallels to be found.
And it is precisely for this reason that I believe it to be true.
Jesus is the focal point of all existence, and God was delighted to be able to honor his Son in this manner.
As a matter of fact, Moses, for all of his greatness, is only a symbol, a pointer, and a shadow of the truer and bigger Moses, JESUS. Here are several additional instances, some of which are a little more far-fetched.
Who Was Moses in the Bible?
Moses, maybe more than any other character in the Bible, is perhaps the most well-known. Throughout his life, he took on a variety of responsibilities, which I will discuss briefly. It’s easy to romanticize Biblical heroes who do great things, yet they were real people who had real problems, just like us. Let’s take a look at eight facts about Moses — who he was according to the Bible, as well as some specifics about his life.
1. Moses was a Hebrew.
He was born to Jochebed and Amram, both of whom were from the tribe of Levi, during the time when the children of Israel were held as slaves in Egypt. He was the youngest of three children, with a sister called Miriam and a brother named Aaron. He grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
2. Moses was a special baby.
Because there were so many Israelite slaves, the Pharaoh was terrified of them, and he ordered that all of the boy newborns be slaughtered as a result. Moses’ mother shielded him from harm. For three months, she kept him concealed since she realized he was an unique baby (Exodus 2:2). Then, when she realized she couldn’t keep him hidden any longer, she built a small boat, sailed it down the Nile River, and concealed baby Moses in the reeds along its banks. He didn’t last long in the tomb before being rescued by the daughter of the Pharaoh.
It just so happened that this woman happened to be Moses’ mother.
3. Moses was raised as royalty.
After Moses was weaned, the Pharaoh’s daughter took care of him in the palace, where he was surrounded by all of Egypt’s riches.
4. Moses was a murderer.
He grew raised in the palace, yet he was well aware that he was a Hebrew. “Looking this way and that and finding no one, he murdered the Egyptian and hid him in the sand,” the Bible tells of Moses’ reaction when he witnessed an Egyptian assaulting a Hebrew slave (Exodus 2:12). Because a Hebrew slave called him out on it the next day, it wasn’t the best coverup.
5. Moses was afraid.
We are all familiar with dealing with fear, but Moses was not. When Pharaoh discovered what Moses had done, he attempted to assassinate him. Moses was on the run for his life. He spent 40 years in the desert of Midian, where he met and married Tharbis and Zipporah, and raised their sons Gershom and Eliezer. When God “.came to him in flames of fire from behind a bush,” fear arose once again in his mind. Moses saw that, despite the fact that the bush was on fire, it did not burn” (Exodus 3:2).
Moses was terrified and made excuse after excuse, the most notable of which was that he stammered.
God was displeased with Moses and became enraged with him for refusing to send someone else.
6. Moses was a courageous leader.
God enlisted the assistance of Moses’ brother Aaron in order to help him overcome his fear, vowing to support them both. Moses stepped up to the occasion. He led the Israelites out of Egypt after a long and drawn-out narrative including the 10 plagues and the Pharaoh’s resistance. When the Israelites were caught between the Pharaoh, who had changed his mind and was pursuing the newly liberated slaves, and the Red Sea, Moses encouraged them not to be scared. Maintain your resolve, and you will witness the rescue that the LORD will bring you today” (Exodus 14:13).
The prophet also said, “The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.” (Exodus 14:13), and he was absolutely correct. By the might of God, Moses was able to guide them over the Red Sea on dry ground. That was only the beginning of Moses’ brave and self-sacrificing leadership.
7. Moses was close with God.
The task that God assigned to Moses was fraught with obstacles and problems. Moses was never able to keep his feelings and inquiries hidden from God. They spent 40 days together on the summit of Mount Sinai, when God presented Moses with “.the two tablets of the covenant law, the tablets of stone written by the finger of God,” according to the Bible (Exodus 31:18). Meanwhile, the people had grown bored of waiting for Moses and had constructed an idol, which they began to worship. God was enraged by this, and He promised to murder them all instead, turning Moses into a mighty nation in the process.
God heard Moses, yet He did not respond to Moses’ pleas with His emotions.
In front of Moses, he shouted, ‘The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, preserving love for thousands, and forgiving iniquity, disobedience and transgression.’ (See Exodus 34:6-7 for further information.) Moses led the Israelites for 40 years, and God remained faithful to His promise to be with him at all times.
According to the Bible, Moses was “the only one whom the LORD saw face to face” (Deuteronomy 34:10).
8. Moses was buried by God.
God remained at Moses’ side till the very end, burying him in secrecy. Moses lived to reach 120 years old and was in perfect health throughout his life. The strength and vision of “.his eyes were not weak, nor his strength gone” (Deuteronomy 34:7). The people mourned for him for 30 days until God intervened and instructed Joshua to assume the post of leader. According to what God had spoken beforehand, Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab. He buried him in Moab, in a valley overlooking Beth Peor, but no one knows where he is buried to this day” (Deuteronomy 34: 5-6).
- Whether or not this is accurate, God might be burying his companion at this time.
- Danielle Bernock is a multi-award-winning novelist with a global audience.
- It is anticipated that her latest book, Because You Matter: How to Take Ownership of Your Life so that You Can Really Live, will be published in the fall of 2019.
- Image courtesy of Getty Images/Ivan96
Moses,Hebrew Moshiach, (lived in the 14th–13th centuries bce) was a Hebrew prophet, teacher and leader who was instrumental in freeing his people from Egyptian slavery in the 13th century bce (prehistoric period, orbc). On Mt. Sinai, where the Ten Commandments were published, he participated in the Covenant ritual, which established the religious community known as Israel. He had a crucial role in the organization of the community’s religious and civic traditions since he served as the translator of the Covenantstipulations.
His impact may still be felt in the religious life, moral concerns, and social ethics of Western culture, and it is in this that he will be remembered for all of eternity.
The historical problem
Moses is one of the few historical characters who has elicited such widely divergent views. Mosaic authorship has been asserted by early Jewish and Christian traditions for the Torah (also known as the Pentateuch, or “Five Books”), which comprises the first five books of the Bible. Some conservative organizations continue to hold that Mosaic authorship is the case for the Torah and Pentateuch. The hypothesis of the German scholar Martin Noth, who, although acknowledging that Moses may have had a role in the preparations for the conquest of Canaan, was extremely suspicious of the functions ascribed to him by tradition, is in direct opposition to the traditional account.
- In his opinion, an editor’s weaving of disparate themes and traditions around a primary figure Moses, who he said was actually an unimportant individual from Moab, culminated in the biblical account recounting the Hebrews’ migration from Egypt to Canaan.
- Albright, this article proposes a point of view that sits somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.
- Literary critics recognize the validity of the reconstruction of the Pentateuch’s documentary sources, but they perceive the sources as changing accounts of a single set of events rather than as distinct sources (seebiblical literature: The Torah).
- In order to provide the most correct response to a significant problem, it is most probable that many lines of evidence will come together in one place.
The date of Moses
According to the biblical story, Moses’ parents were members of the tribe of Levi, which belonged to a group of Egyptians known as Hebrews at the time. Originating in ancient times, the term Hebrew has nothing to do with race or ethnic background. It was originated from Habiru, a variant spelling of apiru(Apiru), a name of a class of persons who made their living by contracting out their labor to others for a variety of purposes. The historical Hebrews had lived in Egypt for millennia, but it appears that they posed a threat to the rulers of the land, and one of the pharaohs enslaved them.
- A popular idea holds that the Exodus from Egypt occurred 480 years before Solomon began construction on the Temple in Jerusalem, as stated in I Kings 6:1 of the Old Testament.
- This conclusion, on the other hand, is at odds with the vast majority of biblical and archaeological data.
- Thutmose III (the king in 1440) was based at Thebes in southern Egypt, and he never launched substantial construction projects in the delta region, despite the fact that it is implied throughout the myth that his palace and capital were in the area.
- Finally, as excavations have revealed, the destruction of the towns that the Hebrews claimed to have seized occurred around 1250, not 1400, as previously believed.
- Due to the fact that a genuine generation was closer to 25 years, the most likely date for the Exodus is around 1290 BCE.
If this is correct, then the tyrannical king mentioned in Exodus (1:2–2:23) was Seti I (reigned 1318–04), and the pharaoh who ruled during the Exodus was Ramses II (c.1304–c.1237), as previously stated. Overall, Moses was most likely born in the late 14th century bce (before Christ).
The Sermon on the Mount and Jesus as the New Moses
Patrick Schreiner contributed to this article. 3 years ago today
It is my philosophy while teaching the book of Matthew that the book may be summed with one word: fulfillment. Israel’s long-awaited aspirations and desires are finally realized, according to the first evangelist, in the person of Jesus. Despite the fact that Matthew links Jesus to a variety of individuals, Moses receives the most attention. Some people are startled to hear that Jesus is never referred to as “the prophet like Moses” or even “the new Moses,” as some believe he should have been.
While explicit parallels to Moses are important, basing a case on them ignores the more legendary, and at times cryptic, character of Matthew’s tale.
A distinction may be drawn, according to one academic, between “direct definition” and “indirect presentation” inside a story.
There are two basic texts in the Bible that lend evidence to this assertion.
A prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him that you will listen—just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you cried out, ‘Let me never again hear the voice of the LORD my God, nor see this great fire again, lest I perish in this wilderness.’ ‘They are correct in their statements,’ the LORD revealed to me.’ It is from among their brethren that I will bring up a prophet like you for them to serve them.
- And I will put my words in his mouth, and he will talk to them in the manner in which I direct him to do so.
- The phrases “redemption” and “exodus” are the most frequently used to refer to Jesus as the new Moses.
- I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, and the King of Israel.
- “Remember not the ancient things, nor recall the things of old,” declares the LORD, who creates a way in the sea, a passage across the huge seas, who puts forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they fall down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a lamp.
As you can see, I’m up to something fresh; it’s just about to burst forth, can’t you see it? It is I who will carve a path through the wilderness and create rivers in the desert.” Matthew is the only New Testament author who builds the portrayal of Jesus as the new Moses in nearly the same way.
Discourses and Their Connection to Moses
Matthew employs a variety of things to establish a connection between Jesus and Moses, but one of the most evident is that Matthew portrays Jesus as the ultimate teacher or prophet when reading the Gospel as a whole. Matthew, in contrast to Mark and Luke, includes five separate discourses. To put it another way, he groups the teachings of Jesus together into huge chunks of information. It is evident that Matthew is putting together Jesus’ teachings in order to depict him as the new prophet, despite the fact that these talks have been given different names by different persons.
- 5-7: Blessings, and Entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven 10: Discourse on the Mission
- 13: Parables of the Kingdom
- 18: Discourse on the Community Woes, and the Coming Kingdom
- Chapters 23-25
Even more than that, B.W. Bacon has suggested that Matthew’s desire to offer his Gospel as the new Pentateuch is reflected in this organizational structure (the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures). A five-fold pattern of discourses and narrative, according to Bacon, combine to produce five “books” that make up the Gospel of Matthew. Specifically, Bacon said that Mark was edited in the book of Matthew to indicate that he was the scribe who was teaching about the nature of the Kingdom of Heaven through his structure.
Labeling chapters 1-2 as a prologue and chapters 26-28 as an epilogue, on the other hand, appears to place much too little attention on these critical portions of the book.
Some of Bacon’s critiques are valid, and some of his fundamental insights are sound.
As an illustration, Matthew depicts Jesus’ teaching in such a way that it is comparable to Moses’ teaching, who is known as the “teacher of Israel” (Matthew 23:35).
Moses and Setting up the Sermon
While the entire first discourse (the Sermon on the Mount) might be viewed through the lens of Jesus as the new Moses, I will concentrate mostly on the events leading up to the sermon. The fact that Matthew describes Jesus as the new Moses when he ascends to give the new law may be explained by four factors. First and foremost, Matthew situates the sermon within the broader backdrop of the arrival of a new prophetic voice. In Matthew 4:12–17, Jesus learns that John the Baptist has been arrested and imprisoned.
- It is difficult to overstate the importance of John’s imprisonment at this time.
- Matthew quickly identifies Jesus as the one who is greater than John by recounting the story of his baptism (Matt 3:13–17).
- It is only at this moment that Jesus begins his own ministry on the earth.
- John the Baptist is the last of the Old Testament prophets (Matt 11:13–14), and his death marks the beginning of an eschatologically new period in human history.
- To add to this reference to Mosaic imagery, Matthew’s preface to his lecture contains the opening lines of the prologue.
- The story of Moses ascending Mount Sinai to receive the law is told in Exodus 19.
- Each of the three times it is mentioned, it is in connection to Moses’ journey to Mount Sinai (Ex 19:3, 24:18, 34:4).
When Matthew refers to a mountain, he frequently does not employ the definite article unless the mountain has already been described in the prior context (Matt 8:1, 17:9).
However, in Matthew 5:1, there is no mention of a mountain that was directly preceding it.
Matthew is suggesting a comparison with Mount Sinai, which is the most significant mountain in the Hebrew Bible.
In this way, it is similar to Moses’ position when he received God’s Torah on Mount Sinai.
All three of these characteristics situate the speech in the context of the biblical mountain of Sinai.
The similarities, on the other hand, remain throughout the discourse. Matthew’s purpose appears to be to establish a connection between the law of the Torah and the law of the new covenant. As the new Moses, Jesus brings the new covenant doctrine to the people.
Matthew is concerned with achieving one’s goals. Jesus is presented in Matthew as the new Moses, to be more explicit. The way he does this is by portraying Jesus as the teacher of Israel in five speeches. In some respects, these discourses are a mirror image of the five books of the Pentateuch. Then, when Jesus begins his first talk, there are four indications that he is the new Moses. He began his ministry immediately following the death of the final Old Testament prophet (John the Baptist).
However, although Matthew never expressly states that Jesus is the new Moses, the imagery he employs is unambiguous in its meaning.
Patrick Schreiner’sMatthew: Disciple and Scribewas used as a source for this adaptation (to be published in 2019).