The Body of Moses

Question from a Site Viewer
Jude verse nine mentions the archangel Michael fighting with Satan over the body of Moses. In Deuteronomy chapter 34, it is written that God buried Moses in a valley in Moab in an unknown location. My question is: what did Satan want with the body of Moses? And why would God have to hide Moses’ body?

Tim’s Answer
You ask a couple of good questions. We may speculate on the answers but the bottom line is that God does not give us the answer in Scripture. Accordingly, anything we say is only our opinion, and not definitive truth.

What did Satan want with the body of Moses? I think the answer to this has to do with the way we wrongly view the body. Many believe, based on 2 Corinthians 5, that our bodies are simply empty shells in which we live and that once we die these shells are no longer of any value to anyone. This view, however, is hard to reconcile with the rest of Scripture. A consistent theme of Scripture is that our bodies are important to God. Thus, we have a consistent pattern of respect for the body, beginning with the need to have proper burials (see Abraham, Sarai, Isaac, Jacob, Rachel, Joseph, the kings of Israel, the prophets, and Christ). The resurrection is of the body. God is not going to leave these bodies and make new ones. For a reason known only to God, He has chosen to resurrect these bodies and change them into something new. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Scripture says that God will sanctify our spirit, soul, and body. A sign of God’s curse was when the body after death was not treated with respect (see Ahab and Jezebel). The desecration of the bones was a sign of displeasure (see Josiah and the prophets at Gibeon).

Because the body is important to God, even after death, it should not be a surprise to us that God was unwilling to let Satan have the body of Moses. I find this the easy side to the question. The more difficult side for me was, “why did Satan want the body to begin with?” What would he want to do with the body of Moses? This is a question for which I have no suggested answer. I don’t think it is because he wanted to devour the body and I doubt if he wanted it simply to mutilate it. Perhaps, he wanted only to deprive God of the body, but that also seems like a far-fetched supposition. I have no answers.

Why God hid Moses’ body I think is for the same reason that He hides us in Himself. The concept is that God is protecting the body from Satan. God has claimed Moses for Himself and God is not about to let Satan get to the body. This, of course, sets forth a powerful argument that Satan is not all-knowing. He does not know where God hid Moses’ body. We should never fear Satan. Rather, our only fear should be towards God. As God hid Moses’ body, so God is able to hide us in the cleft of the rock and to protect us fully from Satan’s attacks. Thus we have Christ’s prayer in which He taught His disciples to ask for protection from the evil one.

I apologize for not having better answers, but there are many questions that God has not chosen to provide us with answers. But what He has given us is sufficient for us to live lives full of the fruit of the Holy Spirit and abundant in richness.

May the Lord Jesus bless you.


2 thoughts on “The Body of Moses

  1. Tim Barr

    I believe that the Israelites may have built an alter to Moses body and worshipped there much like they erected the bronze serpent in the promised land, built an altar, gave the serpent a name. That would be idolatry. Satan loves to get people off of worshipping God and onto other things instead.


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