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by Wayne Blank
"His face did shine as the sun"
The shining of Moses is one of the more curious incidents of Bible History. It was of course miraculous, but nevertheless curious, particularly when one considers that the original Hebrew word of the Scriptures, pronounced caw-ran, literally means to gore, as with the horns of a bull. The word translated as "shone" in describing Moses' face is only found once more in the entire Bible, in Psalm 69:31, where it is translated literally as "horns" in the King James and most other Bible versions. It only makes sense to be translated as "shone" in that the word was also used figuratively to describe "horns" of light, that is, rays of light. Moses' face apparently didn't shine as a glow, but shone by rays of light. No wonder that when Moses returned "they were afraid to come nigh him."
Many centuries later, Jesus Christ experienced a similar shining of His face at the "transfiguration," a vision of the future Kingdom of God (although Moses and Elijah appeared with Him in that vision of the future, they were both then still dead, and will remain so until Christ's return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth - see What Happens When You Die? and "To Meet The Lord In The Air"). The Greek word translated as "shine" in describing the Christ's face carries the same meaning as the Hebrew word used to describe Moses' face. Pronounced lamp-oh (the English word lamp originated from that Greek word), it means to beam, or to radiate light.
"And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and His face did shine as the sun, and His raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with Him." (Matthew 17:1-3 KJV)
Fact Finder: As recorded in the verses in the opening paragraph, Moses' face shone after he fasted for forty days and forty nights. Who are the only other people recorded to have experienced a fast of forty days and forty nights?