The Berean Expositor
Volume 32 - Page 65 of 246
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specific reference to the book which Moses had written (Josh. 23: 6), and it is
impossible to read the record of Joshua's division of the land of Canaan without being
convinced that Scripture intends the reader to believe that Moses was an actual, historic,
figure. Equally emphatic are the books of Judges, Samuel and Kings. We read that
King Hoshea broke in pieces "the brazen serpent that Moses had made"
(II Kings 18: 4), a testimony to the belief in the historic reality of the man Moses. The
revival under Ezra and Nehemiah, the references in the Psalms, the testimony of such
prophets as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Micah and Malachi, complete the chain that
commits the whole of the Old Testament to the teaching that Moses actually lived and did
the things recorded of him.
The new Testament is no less emphatic on the subject. The integrity of the
four Gospels are intimately connected with the real, historic, personality of Moses. "Had
ye believed Moses, ye would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. But if ye believed
not his writings, how shall ye believe My words?" (John 5: 46, 47). This one statement
of the Saviour refutes the validity of the claim to a right to believe a part of the
Scriptures, while at the same time rejecting the Scriptural statements showing that Moses
was an actual person, living and acting as the records say he lived and acted. We can add
to these testimonies the further references to Moses by the risen Christ in Luke 24: 27,
and the references by the Apostle Paul in his epistles, which latter but add confirmation to
the explicit testimony of our Lord.
The very gospel of salvation is inextricably bound up with the historic reality of
Moses, for John 3: 16 arises out of John 3: 14, which reads: "As Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up." Not only does
John 3: 16 hang upon the historic reality of Moses, but all the great types of redemption
and atonement, which constitute the saving and sanctifying elements of the gospel,
originate in the ceremonial law given by Moses to Israel.
Again, not only did Christ keep the Passover, but He himself fulfilled its glorious,
typical, teaching, so that it could be written: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us." In
the original the very "exodus" from Egypt provides a name for that "decease" which He
accomplished at Jerusalem (Luke 9: 31), and the offerings enumerated in Leviticus are
wonderful foreshadowings of that One Sacrifice for sins for ever, which becomes the
propitiation by which our guilt is removed, our reconciliation is accomplished, access is
enjoyed, and peace entered (Lev. 1:-5:).
It is therefore practically impossible to say that one admits the high moral code of the
Bible, yet rejects the historic statements concerning the men and women that live and act
on that code. The moral code that demands inflexible, unswerving, truth, can hardly be
furthered by fabrications of fact so colossal as they must be if Moses be not a real
historical character. Similarly, for such a one, it would be impossible to believe "the
simple gospel", for John 3: 16 stands or falls with the veracity of the Book of Numbers.
The same is true of another attitude adopted by some who explain away the prophetic
element; yet if Christ could say of Moses, "He wrote of Me", or "All things must be