Numbers 27 Commentary

Joshua chosen as Moses’ successor (27:12-23)

Although God would not allow Moses to enter the promised land, he would allow him to see it from a mountain on the other side of the river before he died (12-14). (The place of his death would be Mount Nebo in the Moabite hill country of Abarim; Deut 32:49-50.) Moses showed no bitterness when reminded of this divine judgment upon him; he was concerned only that Israel have the leader of God’s choice to replace him. God’s choice was Joshua, though Joshua would not have the absolute authority that Moses had. Moses spoke to God face to face, but from now on the civil leadership and the religious leadership would be separated. Joshua would receive God’s instructions through the high priest (15-23).

It was, in fact, some weeks before Moses died (see Deut 32:48-52; 34:1-8), and in the meantime he had much instruction to pass on to Israel. This is recorded in the remaining chapters of Numbers and in Deuteronomy.

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