How Old Was Moses In The Bible When He Died

Moses’s Age at Death in Bible Accounts

Moses is one of the most significant figures in the Old Testament, a man of remarkable dexterity and wisdom. The Bible records his age as something of a mystery, with some accounts saying he died at 120 years of age, while other suggest he lived longer. Scholars have debated this topic for centuries, with various theories proposed to explain the discrepancy. It is generally accepted that Moses died in the early stages of Israel’s End-times period, which can provide helpful context for the issue.

In Deuteronomy 34:7, Moses is described as having “wandered in the wilderness for forty years,” and that immediately after, “the Lord said to him, ‘This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your own eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” Taking this passage at face value, it suggests Moses had at least 60 years of life before his death.

In the book of Numbers, Moses is said to have been 80 years old when he spoke to the Israelites in years 1 and 2 of their journey in the wilderness. Additionally, Numbers 33:38 states that “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died. ” These accounts challenge the idea of Moses’ age being around 60 at the time of his death,, placing him closer to 120.

Several of the ancient rabbis offered their own interpretations which could account for the discrepancies. Some suggested that in different contexts Moses was referring to different ages. For example, when he was addressing the Israelites in Numbers 33, he was talking about a period 40 years after his 80 year old birthday, meaning he was around 120 years of age. While this is one possible explanation, other evidence suggests Moses may have been considered to be of a different age at that time.

The book of Jubilees provides valuable insight on Moses’ age and time of his death. In the Jubilees, it is recorded that Moses was born during the first year of the Exodus, or 1446 BC, and that he died in the 15th year of their journey, implying he was around 110 to 115 years of age at the time of his death. This is further supported by the Bible’s account of Moses’ wife Zipporah being alive at the time of his death, as she was not present at the time of passing.

Whilst some inconsistencies remain as to Moses’ age at death, a consensus may be reached that has been bolstered through more recent scholarship. It is likely that Moses died in the early stages of the Israelite’s End-times period and was between 110 – 120 years of age at the time of his demise.

Cause of Death

It is difficult to determine a clear cause of death for Moses, as the Bible does not explicitly state one. It has been suggested that Moses passed away at the end of a long lifetime due to a general decline in health brought on by old age. The agelessness of Godly beings is also noted in scripture and as such, Moses’ death was something extraordinary, defying the norms of the human lifespan.

The Bible does explain the manner in which Moses’ death occurred – that he was “buried in a valley in the land of Moab” and that “no one knows the place of his burial”.

One possible explanation for his death is that Moses was a victim of the plague of the firstborn from Egypt. This plague killed the eldest child of every family in Egypt, but the Bible records that this plague did not affect the land of Goshen where the Israelites dwelled. However, it is plausible that God directed the plague to take Moses as well due to his extraordinary life.

The death of Moses had a significant impact on the Israelites, prompting them to warn their children against disobedience as a result of his fate. It is also commonly thought that Moses had a prophetic role in guiding the Israelites throughout their wanderings.

Significance of Moses’s Death

Moses was a prominent figure in the Bible and the death of Moses has long been a source of fascination, regarding both his age and the possible cause. His life was impactful and his death even more so, providing a moral teaching and spiritual insight for centuries.

For many, Moses’ death is seen as a symbol of eternal life, as it is believed that he is still alive in spirit. His death is considered one of the key events in biblical history, demonstrating the power of God and the importance of obedience.

Moses’ death also marked the transition of a new leader for the Israelites and the progression of their journey. Their new leader, Joshua, did not have the same power or charisma as Moses, so his death acted as a signal to the Israelites to pay attention and prepare for what was to come.

Moses’ death affected not only the 12 tribes of Israel but Jewish people around the world. His life and death serve as reminders to be attentive to God’s command, obey Him and remember His covenant with them.


Moses’ death has left an indelible mark upon the world. Despite the current debate over his age, the Bible states that he was around 120 years old when he died. This has come to symbolize the approach of old age and its effects, as well as how we should use our limited lifespans.

Moses is remembered as a leader of the Israelites who, through his life and death, demonstrated strength and humility. In inspiring generations of Jews and non-Jews alike, he has left a lasting legacy. His leadership, passion, and regard for the law remain a reference for those who look to him for guidance.

Moses’ death also represents the death of an important era in Israel’s history. It marked the time when the Israelites’ forty years of wandering in the wilderness came to an end, as they arrived upon the Promised Land. It was a period that required courage and discipline of everyone involved, and it is one that will be respected in Jewish history for generations to come.


The interpretation of Moses’ age at death varies according to interpretation of the Bible. According to some interpretations, Moses was between 110-120 years old, while other interpretations have suggested he was around 80 at the time of his death. The answer may lie somewhere in between, but regardless, both ideas are firmly rooted in scriptural texts, meaning there is no definitive answer.

The challenge of interpreting scripture has been part of Jewish religious life for thousands of years. How we approach ancient texts can tell us a lot about our present holy and spiritual beliefs. Today, many people understand Moses’ life and death as a lesson in how to age gracefully, a reminder to live life to the fullest and use our years on the earth to the absolute best of our abilities.

The legacy of Moses has been debated and discussed by scholars throughout the years. However, there is renewed interest in his life and death due to his unwavering commitment to the Jewish people, his faith and his courage in the face of adversity.

Jewish Viewpoint

For many, Moses has come to symbolize strength and wisdom. From a Jewish viewpoint, his life and death have been important in providing spiritual guidance and helping shape their beliefs. His commitment to God and to the faith stands as an example of dedication to morality and divine justice.

The death of Moses is celebrated in Judaism as a time to remember his life and all the sacrifice and devotion he put into representing his people. The Rabbis regard his death as a sign of great piety and faithfulness. They emphasize Moses’ death as a reward for his life of service, even when it meant a lengthy separation from his people and his loved ones.

By considering the whole of his life and his unwavering faith in God, Moses becomes a model for those seeking spiritual guidance and faith. It serves as an encouragement to embrace life’s trials and turn even difficult times into opportunities to grow in wisdom, resilience and strength.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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