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Tuesday, March 26 2019
A Bible Journey, 157: Moses' View From The Cleft
"Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes"
"Pisgah" is the English-language rendering of the Hebrew word, pronounced pees-gawh, that was used to refer to a geographic or geologic separation i.e. a fissure or cleft. The word was also used figuratively to describe a consideration of one thing versus another i.e to separate them in one's view or thoughts. As such, both usages of the word applied to the last days of Moses.
The map below (with present-day political boundaries) shows the topography of the region around the Jordan River valley - which is actually a great geologic fault that runs hundreds of kilometers south to the Sinai. Earthquakes, including a great prophesied one that is coming in the end time that will split the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, naturally happen along that other pees-gawh (see The Great Jerusalem Earthquake When The Messiah Returns).
The green shades are low elevations, while the brown shades and white are highlands and mountains. The place that Moses was given to see the Promised Land, without crossing the Jordan River, is located on the map approximately where the grid lines for 30 North (30 N) and 36 East (36 E) intersect. The map makes plain how Moses, from that higher ground, could see for such a long way: "Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan."
It was at that location that the Book of Deuteronomy was spoken and recorded, within the month just before the Israelites crossed the Jordan ("And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God and A Bible Journey, 56: The Sacred Name) had given him in commandment unto them; ... On this side Jordan, in the land of Moab, began Moses to declare this law" Deuteronomy 1:3,5 KJV). It was a history lesson and a re-statement of what the LORD had declared to the adults of the Exodus who, by that time forty years after the Exodus, were all dead (see A Bible Journey, 131: The Sinai Sentence).
"4:1 Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you. 4:2 Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
The Israelites had plagued themselves with idolatry throughout their time in the Sinai. The golden calf was the most infamous incident (see A Bible Journey, 82: The Golden Calf Riot), but it remained a constant threat that Moses never stopped warning about, "Lest ye corrupt yourselves."
"4:15 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: 4:16 Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, 4:17 The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 4:18 The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. 4:20 But the LORD hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day." (Deuteronomy 4:15-20 KJV)
Moses himself would not cross the Jordan because of an incident years earlier (seeA Bible Journey, 137: What Did Moses and Aaron Lose At Meribah?). Along with his high-ground view across the Jordan however, Moses also saw the Promised Land, the ultimate Promised Land, that he will enter, as the apostles were later also given to see in vision (see the Fact Finder question below).
"4:21 Furthermore the LORD was angry with me for your sakes, and sware that I should not go over Jordan, and that I should not go in unto that good land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance: 4:22 But I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and possess that good land. 4:23 Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.
Moses warned that generation (see Hometowns: Campsites Of The Sinai) to not make the same mistake as their parents and grandparents: "Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else. Thou shalt keep therefore his statutes, and his commandments, which I command thee this day, that it may go well with thee."
"4:32 For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it? 4:33 Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live? 4:34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?
Many now-familiar events would not have happened if the Israelites had entered the Promised Land when they first had the opportunity (see A Bible Journey, 154: How The Rebellion Changed History), including the Israelite tribal lands east of the Jordan River (see A Bible Journey, 149: The Eastside Israelites) and the cities of refuge that were established there (see A Bible Journey, 152: The Cities Of Sanctuary And Judgment).
"4:41 Then Moses severed three cities on this side Jordan toward the sunrising; 4:42 That the slayer might flee thither, which should kill his neighbour unawares, and hated him not in times past; and that fleeing unto one of these cities he might live: 4:43 Namely, Bezer in the wilderness, in the plain country, of the Reubenites; and Ramoth in Gilead, of the Gadites; and Golan in Bashan, of the Manassites." (Deuteronomy 4:41-43 KJV)
Then, as Moses was about to reiterate the Ten Commandments to the Israelites there while overlooking the Jordan River, just as he had done forty years earlier to their parents and grandparents at Mount Sinai: "this is the Law which Moses set before the children of Israel: These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt, On this side Jordan" (see also A Bible Journey, 122: The Salvation Training Manual):
"4:44 And this is the law which Moses set before the children of Israel: 4:45 These are the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which Moses spake unto the children of Israel, after they came forth out of Egypt, 4:46 On this side Jordan, in the valley over against Bethpeor, in the land of Sihon king of the Amorites, who dwelt at Heshbon, whom Moses and the children of Israel smote, after they were come forth out of Egypt: 4:47 And they possessed his land, and the land of Og king of Bashan, two kings of the Amorites, which were on this side Jordan toward the sunrising; 4:48 From Aroer, which is by the bank of the river Arnon, even unto mount Sion, which is Hermon, 4:49 And all the plain on this side Jordan eastward, even unto the sea of the plain, under the springs of Pisgah." (Deuteronomy 4:44-49 KJV)
Fact Finder: How do we know that Moses is going to make it to the ultimate Promised Land?
This Day In History, March 26
590: Emperor Maurice proclaimed his son Theodosius as co-emperor of the Byzantine Empire (the East Roman Empire).
1169: Salah ad-Di-n Yu-suf ibn Ayyu-b (commonly known in English as "Saladin"), the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty, became the emir of Egypt (in Arabic, "emir" mean "commander," "general," or "prince"; see also What Does The Bible Say About Arabs? and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).
1344: During the "Reconquest of Spain" by Church of Rome's "Christian" forces from the Muslims (see Emperor Constantine's Sun Dogs and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy), the Siege of Algeciras (a city in Spain), ended. It was one of the earliest European battles where gunpowder was used (see also The Rockets' Red Glare).
1552: Guru Amar Das became the Third Sikh Guru.
1636: Utrecht University was founded in the Netherlands.
1780: The British Gazette and Sunday Monitor, the first Sunday newspaper in Britain, was published.
1799: Napoleon Bonaparte captured Jaffa, Israel (see also The Joppa Lessons Of Jonah And Peter).
1812: An earthquake destroyed Caracas, Venezuela.
1827: Ludwig von Beethoven of Germany, one of the greatest composers in history, died. He wrote many of his finest works after he had become totally deaf.
1830: The anti-Biblical "Book of Mormon" was published, in Palmyra, New York.
1902 Cecil Rhodes died at age 49. The English-South African businessman and politician was the 6th Prime Minister of the Cape Colony (South Africa)
1917: British cavalry fought Ottoman/Turkish forces at the Battle of Gaze (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1921: The racing schooner Bluenose was launched at Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Captained by Angus Walters, it raced 5 times for the North American fisherman's championships and was never beaten. It also served as a working fishing boat. Sold during the Second World War, it was wrecked near Haiti in 1946. It is commemorated on the Canadian dime.
1938: Herman Goering (one of Adolf Hitler's henchmen) warned all Jews to leave Austria.
1942: Under orders from Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion), the Nazis began transporting Jews to the concentration camp at Auschwitz, Poland.
1953: Dr. Jonas Salk announced a new vaccine against polio.
1971: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman declared East Pakistan the independent republic of Bangladesh.
1973: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt took over the premiership, saying, "the stage of total confrontation [with Israel] has become inevitable" (see also Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century).
1979: At the White House, Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel and President Anwar Sadat of Egypt signed the Camp David peace treaty to end 30 years of war between the two countries (see also A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).
1997: Police in Rancho Santa Fe, California, discovered 39 people (18 men, 21 women) of a cult (see Is Your Church A Cult?) who committed suicide in a rented mansion; indications were that after death they were expecting to be picked up by a spaceship that their leader told them was following Comet Hale-Bopp that was then visible.