Monday, June 18, 2018

Moses’ Example

There are a number of times in the Scriptures where Moses is presented as being a good example to imitate.

One is in 2 Corinthians 3:15-16, which reads: “In fact, to this day whenever Moses [the Pentateuch] is read [in the Synagogue], a veil lies upon their hearts. 16 But when one turns to Jehovah, the veil is taken away.”

The NET Bible offers two enlightening footnotes here for verse 16. For “one,” it states:
Or perhaps “when(ever) he turns,” referring to Moses.
At the end of the verse, its footnote says:
An allusion to Exod 34:34. The entire verse may refer to Moses, viewing him as a type portraying the Jewish convert to Christianity in Paul’s day.
This makes a lot of sense, for Exodus 34:34 says: “But when Moses would go in before Jehovah to speak with him, he would take off the veil until he went out.” The application being that, the convert to Christianity can now act like Moses and remove the veil by studying the scriptures and seeing their fulfillment in Jesus Christ, seeing God’s glory as reflected by him.

Moses also provided an example of pleading before God at Numbers 12:13, in this case to heal Miriam from being stricken with leprosy. It says: “And Moses began to cry out to Jehovah, saying: ‘O God, please heal her! Please!’” (RNWT) This is quite a bit different than how the NET Bible presents it: “Heal her now, O God.” This is more like a dry, sterilized command to God to do his bidding. However, one scholar explains that:
In translation, it sounds straightforward. But in the original Hebrew what Moses actually said was, El Na Refah Na La -אֵל נָא רְפָא נָא לָהּ.

This five-word phrase has perfect symmetry. The central word Refah means “heal”. It is surrounded on both sides with the word Na, meaning “please”. The two outermost words are El (“God”) and La (her”), both containing the sound “L”. This short phrase has poetic symmetry, where the repetition of the word “please” strengthens Moses’ prayer.[1] (underline added)
So I’m afraid the New Word Translation enjoys superiority over the NET Bible, and any other translation similar to it here. Moses at Numbers 12:13 presents a good example to emulate in prayer, not forgetting to season your petitions with politeness and proper etiquette even if feeling desperate.

[1] Moses’ holiest prayer.
Also the source for the opening graphic.