When Moses died aged 120 years old, his eyes were not dim, and his natural vigour had not diminished. The Book of Deuteronomy states:
Deuteronomy 34:7 Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died. His eyes were not dim, nor his natural vigour diminished.
This pristine health of Moses, at his death, is somewhat intriguing especially for someone of such a great age. Moses was clearly in excellent physical condition.
Now, of course, God had already spoken to Moses many years earlier, telling him that he would not enter the Promised Land. This was because of his unbelief in the Wilderness of Zin (at Kadesh), after the extraordinary miracles of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. Moses did not represent the Lord with faith, at a critical moment of survival when the congregation of Israel contended with him because of their lack of water (Numbers 20:1-12).
Apart from this momentary unbelief of Moses early on during Israel’s wilderness experience, it still appears a harsh judgement for this man (Moses), who had had an extraordinary intimacy with God (being called a ‘friend’ of God and having face to face talks – Exodus 33:11), not to be permitted to enter the Promised Land. No human has lived a perfect life (except Messiah) and who can question the unfathomable judgement of God? However, to the human mind it does seem unfair that this great leader, whom the Bible describes as the humblest man to have ever lived (Numbers 12:3), was not allowed in his old age, to take even one step into Canaan – the destination of ‘promise’ for Israel and the fulfilment of his previous 40-year mission and journey.
So, with the death of Moses when he was unusually healthy and this apparently disproportionate judgement of God which prevented Moses taking even one small step into the Promised Land, the Bible is presenting an anomaly. Whenever there is an anomaly in scripture, the Bible has a deeper truth to reveal.
To understand this deeper truth, it must be realised that Moses as the recipient of the Law from God (John 1:17) also typologically represented the Law and therefore the legal consequences of breaking the Law – namely death.
Scripture is very clear regarding the effect of God’s Law on humanity. Because of humanity’s failure to perfectly keep God’s Law, it kills us. The Book of Romans teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and the ‘wages’ of this sin is death.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death.
Romans 7:11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me.
2 Corinthians 3:6 … not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
And it is God’s Law which exposes our inadequacy before God and condemns us. Paul states this concisely in his first letter to the Corinthians:
1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
Now Messiah solved this problem for humanity because He fulfilled every aspect of God’s Law (Matthew 5:17) and lived a perfect life (John 8:46). He then allowed Himself to be killed and in doing so, paid the price of liberty for all humankind (1 Corinthians 6:20). As the Son of God, He took upon Himself the punishment for the wrongdoing (sin) of every man, woman and child who has ever lived, past, present, and future. This was the wisdom of God from the beginning (1 Peter 1:20).
The point is this. Even though Messiah had solved this problem for believers, believers are still subject to physical death. Think about it! All believers who have died physically since Adam, remain physically in their grave (except for Messiah and potentially a few others). The souls and spirits of these believers have gone to heaven, but their physical bodies persist in death. How long will this situation (for believers) continue? This is where Moses comes in. As will be seen, God wanted to teach the world a truth regarding the duration of the strength of physical death (for believers) through the duration of Moses’ life. Remember, Moses, as a typological representative of the Law, represented the ‘strength of death’ (because the Law killed humanity). Therefore biblically, the duration of Moses’ life represented the duration of the ‘strength of death’ for believers.
How can this be because humanity has been around far longer than the 120 years of Moses? Well, consider that God reckons His redemptive Bible Chronology from Adam to the end of the Millennial Kingdom based on 50-year cycles of liberty, wholeness and restoration called ‘jubilees’. Furthermore, Bible Chronology teaches that ‘time’ for humanity is encapsulated in 7000 bible years as framed by the creation week at the beginning of the Bible (Genesis 1:1-2:3) – the Millennial Kingdom being the final ‘day’ (or 1000 bible years) of this creation week. A detailed explanation of ‘sevens’ in creation and the biblical ‘jubilee’ is given in the book ‘Unlocking the Biblical Watch of Messiah’s Return’ (UBW pages 68-89) and is fundamentally based on the truth that for the Lord, a day is a thousand years and a thousand years is a day.
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Now, because a ‘jubilee’ occurs every 50 bible years (Leviticus 25:10), there are 120 ‘jubilees’ in 6000 bible years (because 6000 ÷ 50 is 120). What this means is the 120 years of Moses’ life perfectly match up with the first six ‘days’ (or 6000 bible years) just before the seventh day of rest begins – namely the Millennial Kingdom of 1000 years. Bible Chronology also teaches that at the end of these 6000 bible years is the conclusion of the first resurrection when the ‘strength of death’ (for believers) ceases to exist for all believers. In other words, after six days (6000 bible years) all believers who have previously physically died will be raised to their immortal resurrection bodies ready to enter the final and last day of rest (in the Millennial Kingdom). Amazingly, the death of Moses (in ‘jubilees’) matches up with the death of the ‘strength of death’ at the first resurrection! The 120 years of Moses, therefore, teach this wonderful truth of physical resurrection (liberty, wholeness, and restoration) which is perfectly timed to conclude at the end of the sixth day (or 6000 days of creation).
The beauty of scripture is that God is teaching the world ‘spiritual truth’ through His historical dealings with His chosen nation Israel (and certain key biblical characters). Each prescribed Levitical feast and major event in Israel’s biblical history depicts a spiritual truth relevant to all humanity. This is what makes the Bible authentic! Only God could work through multiple generations of Hebrews whilst at the same time writing a spiritual epistle to humanity, through his chosen people.
And here is another spiritual truth portrayed through the life of Moses. How could the ‘strength of death’ (which is in the Law – as represented by Moses) enter the promised land? It could not and therefore Moses was forbidden entry. God was teaching humanity that when Messiah sets up His Kingdom (the Millennial Kingdom at His second coming), there will be no physical death for believers because the ‘strength of death’ (for believers) will be absent. The ‘strength of death’ (for believers) will be denied entry to the Promised Land of the Millennial Kingdom!
Note that these events at the end of this sixth day are typed elsewhere in scripture, not least with Adam who was created ‘perfect’ on the sixth day! (Genesis 1:26-31). Also consider the following biblical narrative of Jesus’ transfiguration when He appeared in glory after six days, and (significantly) this was witnessed by Moses!
Matthew 17:1-3 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
What of Moses’ pristine physical condition at his death? Clearly this represented the restoration of perfect physical life – given to all the believing dead when the ‘strength of death’ ceases to exist at the conclusion of the first resurrection!
One more timing aspect of Moses’ life must be considered. When Moses was 80 years old, he led Israel out of captivity from Egypt (Exodus 7:7). This aligns perfectly with Messiah breaking the bondage of death at His resurrection on the 80th jubilee at ‘day’ four (or 4000 bible years because 4000 ÷ 50 is 80) in our seven ‘day’ (7000 bible years) week (see UBW pages 34, 77-78, 88, 202). Israel’s exodus under Moses broke Israel’s bondage and captivity to Egypt and famously ‘typed’ Messiah’s resurrection (and redemption) which broke all believer’s bondage and captivity to sin and ultimately physical death (1 Corinthians 15:57). Once again, the numbers of Moses’ life strongly parallel God’s timing of believing humanity’s redemption (or ‘jubilee’) in the seven ‘day’ (7000 bible years) of the biblical creation week!
There now follows some more detail concerning the 80th jubilee because it contains so much significant symbolism. Even though Messiah broke the power of death at the 80th Jubilee (AD 33) with His physical resurrection, it will not be until the 120th jubilee (2000 bible years later) when the resurrection of all believers will be complete (at the conclusion of the first resurrection). God, therefore, gave a sign which spoke of ‘jubilee’ (or a ‘jubilee sign’) because the sign was embedded with a significant ‘50’. This sign occurred at the Hebrew Feast of Pentecost that year (AD 33) as prescribed by the Law (in Leviticus 23:16) on the 50th day and it was given to the (numerically poignant) 120 early disciples of Messiah (Acts 1:15) .
Pentecost (which means ‘fiftieth’ in Greek) was the conclusion of the harvest and was (quite separately from ‘jubilee’), typical of the resurrection of all believers. Jesus Himself, asserted this metaphor (of ‘seed’ before ‘harvest’) for His death followed by harvest, in John 12:24:
John 12:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
From this ‘one grain of wheat’ (Messiah) which fell into the ground and died, would spring forth the harvest of resurrection life for all believers. Jesus (and possibly the saints raised at the same time) were the first fruits of resurrection and the full harvest of resurrected believers would (be expected to) follow 50 days later at Pentecost.
According to this typology, all believers should have been raised at Pentecost in AD 33, but clearly this didn’t happen. What did happen was that the 120 early disciples of Jesus experienced a foretaste of the power of God (in the house in Jerusalem Acts 1:15) when the Holy Spirit came upon each of them. This manifestation (amongst other symbolism) represented the future resurrection power (Romans 8:11) upon all the physically dead believers at the future conclusion of the first resurrection (see UBW pages 79-81). In the wisdom of God, this magnificent act at Pentecost would not be the global resurrection of all believers but the corporate birth of the Body of Christ or the spiritual communion of all believers in the church age. The Holy Spirit would also equip His church supernaturally for acts of service with 'gifts' and His faithful church would bear fruit accordingly. Importantly, this Pentecost (or ‘fiftieth’ in AD 33) for the ‘120’ was a sign (to believing and discerning humanity) to view the later 120th jubilee as the conclusion of the first resurrection. Moreover, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was a down payment or guarantee of what was to come.
Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
The word translated ‘guarantee’ or ‘earnest’, in reference to the Holy Spirit, means ‘a pledge’, or ‘a security that more will follow’.
Only at the 120th Jubilee would this manifestation at the 80th Jubilee be concluded with the liberty, wholeness and physical restoration (of ‘jubilee’) for all believers, when they would be released from the bondage of physical death.
So, in summary, the unusually excellent physical condition of Moses at his death together with his 120-year long life, illuminates the life of Moses as a ‘roadmap’ to the first resurrection when the ‘strength of death’ (for believers) ceases to be. Just as God reckons His redemptive Bible Chronology through the lens of ‘jubilee’, God embedded His redemptive path (to the ‘perfect’ man after six days or 6000 bible years) by allowing each physical year of Moses’ life to represent a ‘jubilee’. How pertinent and gloriously gracious that God counterpointed this redemptive pattern in the life of the man (Moses) who was the recipient of God’s Law which kills humanity. This ‘jubilee’ pattern also included the exodus of Israel from the bondage of Egypt when Moses was 80 years old which perfectly aligned with the exodus of Messiah from the bondage of physical death at the 80th jubilee. God also gave a ‘jubilee’ (50th) sign at Pentecost that year (AD 33) to the 120 early disciples which signified when the first resurrection would actually conclude at the future 120th jubilee.
Enoch and the Wonderful Numberer
As a concluding thought, consider the seventh pyramid number in pure mathematics which is ‘84’. This number ‘84’ precedes the eighth pyramid number of ‘120’. Remember that God always heralds His work (Amos 3:7) and mathematically God has done just this. The original Hebrew names of ‘Enoch’ (Genesis 5:24) and the ‘Wonderful Numberer’ (Daniel 8:13-14 ‘certain one’), both of whom herald the resurrection of the church and Israel respectively, have names with a Hebrew gematria of ‘84’! Just as the pyramid number ‘84’ precedes the pyramid number of ‘120’, so do ‘Enoch’ and the ‘Wonderful Numberer’ precede (or herald) the first resurrection. Enoch was the first man chronologically to be raptured which is what will happen to the Body of Christ at the Rapture. The ‘Wonderful Numberer’ answered the ‘when’ question regarding the cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem (at the end of the Tribulation with the return of Messiah) and therefore at the resurrection of believing Israel. Please see UBW pages 223-225 for further details and note also that ‘pyramid’ numbers represent the ‘fulfilment’ of the biblical prime-fulfilment pattern – a pattern of elegant form which gives biblical forensic authentication to the fulfilment of major dispensational events.
The numerical value of Enoch’s Hebrew name in Genesis 5:24 is ‘84’.
Chet (8) + Nun (50) + Vav (6) + Kaf (20) = 84 (Standard Method)
The Hebrew word for ‘Wonderful Numberer’ (‘Palmoni’ – Strong’s number 6422) in Daniel 8:13 has a numerical value of 84.
‘wonderful numberer’ or ‘the numberer of secrets’ (see NOTE below)
Lamed (12) + Pey (17) + Lamed (12) + Mem (13) + Vav (6) + Nun (14) + Yod (10) = 84 (Ordinal Method)
NOTE: Sometimes translated ‘certain one’, the Hebrew word for ‘Wonderful Numberer’ in Daniel 8:13 is ‘Palmoni’ (Hebrew ‘לפלמוני’ – Strong’s number 6422) and is only found once in all scripture. It is a ‘contracted’ word and contains the elements of two Hebrew words. The first is ‘pele’ and the other is ‘ma-na’. The Hebrew word ‘pele’ means ‘wonderful’ (see Isaiah 9:6) and the word ‘ma-na’ means ‘numbered’ (see Daniel 5:25-26). So, this contracted Hebrew word ‘Palmoni’ literally means ‘Wonderful Numberer’”. Taken from F.C. Gilbert’s book, Practical Lessons for the Church of Today, pp. 606-608, published by the Review in 1902. Gill’s Exposition states: ‘another angel said to him that spoke, whose name is unknown, only called such a one, or ‘Palmoni’, which some render ‘the wonderful numberer’ or ‘the numberer of secrets’ or ‘that has all secrets numbered’; and apply it to Christ, whose name is ‘Pele’, wonderful; the eternal Word of God, that is in the bosom of the Father, and knows all secrets, and the number of times and seasons, how long they will last; what created angels know not, he does; and therefore they apply to him for instruction and knowledge in hidden things.’ The ‘Wonderful Numberer’ is found in few translations yet many commentaries acknowledge this translation including Albert Barne’s Commentary, John Gill’s Exposition, Geneva Study Bible, Calvin’s Commentary, John Trapp’s Complete Commentary, Matthew Poole’s Annotations, Treasury of Scripture Knowledge and E. W. Bullinger’s Companion Notes. See https://www.studylight.org/commentary/daniel/8-13.html