THE BURIAL OF MOSES AND THE DISPUTE OVER HIS BODY
Testament of Moses 13:
4. The Lord God commanded Michael, the archangel, to bury the body of Moses.
5. As Michael and a host of heavenly angels approached Moses, the devil, Satan, confronted Michael, the archangel.
6. Satan said: 'I am the lord of matter, and this body is rightfully mine, for this man, Moses, has murdered an Egyptian!'
7. Michael answered the devil: 'Is that you, O deceiver, of the people? It was you who first deceived mankind, and instigated the serpent to tempt Eve!
8. Had you not done so, there would be no death amidst mankind. The Lord God has sent me to bury this body out of sight of all, and therefore, I am acting on His authority.
9. This man obviously belongs to his God, and God's mercy is now being given to him. Therefore, the Lord rebuke you, for seeking to extend your will over His!'
10. As the devil fled from the rebuke in the name of the Lord, the holy angels received the spirit of Moses and ascended up into the clouds with the spirit, of God's prophet, Moses.
11. Joshua and Caleb viewed the spirit of Moses ascend up into the clouds. They rejoiced and wept at the sight before them.
12. The archangel, Michael, then buried the body of Moses, out of the sight of Joshua, Caleb, the devil, and any person... -
Note the confirmation of the story in The Testament of Moses, in our Bible canon, Jude verse 9:
"Yet, Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil, he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."
When Clement of Alexandria, in his book - "Adumbrationes (Dind. vol. iii pg. 483), quoted Jude 9, he said "hic confirmat 'Assumption Moysis'" which means - "here we have confirmation, and corroboration, of the book 'The Assumption of Moses.'"
Jude actually had to have read both "The Assumption of Moses" and "The Testament of Moses", and it is therefore assumed that by that time, they were already in one volume.
Where did Jude learn that the Testament of Moses was a reliable, non pseudopigrapha book? Remember, Jude is the half brother of Jesus, and became a follower and believer at the resurrection time. He heard from Jesus on whose books were from true prophets, and as Jesus expounded to the other disciples, He must have also spoke these things to His half brother.
Note what Luke, one of the seventy disciples says:
Luke 24:27 (KJV)
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He (Jesus) expounded unto them in all the scriptures (Gk = graphe, meaning ‘writings’) the things concerning Himself.
Testament of Moses !3, part of ‘The Assumption of Moses’ (see above), is quoted by Jude in verse 9 of our Bible.
Jude 1:9 (KJV)
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
and verse 16 of Jude, is a quote from "The Testament of Moses".
Jude 1:16 (KJV)
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
Testament of Moses 7:
7. Complaining, deceitful, and seeking to conceal their sinfulness so that they will not be recognized as impious, sinful, and full of iniquity from sunrise to sunset.
(Note, the translations differ, but the words in Greek show it is a translation in Jude of the same passage.)
Josephus addresses the subject of the death of Moses in Antiquities iv.48-49:
"When Moses had spoken thus at the end of his life, and had foretold what would befall... the multitude fell into tears, insomuch that even the women, by beating their breasts, made manifest the deep concern they had when he was about to die. The children also lamented still more, as not able to contain their grief... The old grieved, because they knew what a careful protector they were to be deprived of, and so lamented their future state; but the young grieved, not only for that, but also because it so happened that they were to be left by him before they had well tasted of his virtue... Now as he went thence to the place where he was to vanish out of their sight, they all followed after him weeping; but Moses beckoned with his hand to those that were remote from him, and bade them stay behind in quiet, while he exhorted those that were near to him that they would not render his departure so lamentable. Whereupon they thought they ought they ought to grant him that favor, to let him depart according as he himself desired; so they restrained themselves, through weeping still towards one another... Now as soon as they were come to the mountain called Abarim (which is a very high mountain, situate over against Jericho, and one that affords, to such as are upon it, a prospect of the greatest part of the excellent land of Canaan)... Now Moses lived in all one hundred and twenty years... he died on the last month of the year... Adar, on the first day of that month... So the people mourned for him thirty days, nor did any grief so deeply affect the Hebrews as did this upon the death of Moses."
"The Lord rebuke you!" is a phrase that refers to the rebuke coming from Michael was a RHEMA word, given by God to be spoken, and spoken with the authority of God behind it. We battle demons, evil spirits, and the devil himself with rhema words.
"...SWORD OF THE SPIRIT, WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD..."
The "WORD" referred to here is the Greek word "rhema" and not the word "logos" that many have assumed it to be. Rhema denotes an utterance of God. Logos denotes the Word of God, i.e. the Bible. Rhema is the speaking of God through us, perhaps using God's Word, or by prophecy, by word of knowledge, or by inspiration. It is surprising when we look to see how the word rhema is used in the Bible.
"BUT I SAY UNTO YOU, THAT EVERY IDLE WORD (rhema) THAT MEN SHALL SPEAK, THEY SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT THEREOF IN THE DAY OF JUDGMENT."
Here the word, rhema, refers to the times when one may say: "God is saying... to you." Whenever a person of God speaks for God in this way, he or she must be very careful to be sure it is truly God speaking. For we shall someday have to account to God if it was not God speaking through us. Rhema is the uttering of God's message through someone to others.
"FOR HE WHOM GOD HATH SENT SPEAKETH THE WORDS (rhema) OF GOD; FOR GOD GIVETH NOT THE SPIRIT BY MEASURE UNTO HIM..."
The rhema of Michael, rebuking the devil, are the words that God gave Him to speak to the devil. It was not spoken by the authority of Michael alone, but by the authority, and with the power of God behind those words.
Rhema that we as Christians speak today, is not our own word, but it refers to the message of God. Whenever God sends us forth to do His work, as He did Michael, He will give us rhema to speak. We will be able to speak for God, or rebuke the devil with the rhema of God. In Jude 9, and in The Testament of Moses 13:9, Michael rebukes the devil, in the name of the Lord.
We are to use the "sword", as did Michael, which is the "rhema" of God.
With this rhema sword we can:
Bind Satan and his angels in chains
(Revelation 9:14, 20:2)
Bind men by God's power
(Matthew 16:19, 18:8)
(Luke 13:12-16, Mark 7:35)
Loose men from chains and prisons
(Acts 16:26, 22:30,24:6)
Loose men from sin
(Revelation 1:5, I John 1:9)
Loose men from bonds of death
Loose from deafness and dumbness
Loose from blindness
Loose from leprosy
Much of this chapter is missing, or deteriorated by age in current mss from which we can translate the book. Perhaps more will be discovered, but if not, we will need to await reaching the library in heaven.