moshe-prince-of-egypt-POST“Now the man Moses was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3)

In the previous chapter, we are told that Eldad and Medad began prophesying in the camp. Joshua, possibly feeling that this was an affront to Moses insisted that they be imprisoned. In line with his incredible humility, Moses says, “Are you being zealous for my sake? Would that the entire people of Hashem could be prophets…” (11:26-29).

Earlier, when he and his brother Aaron were sent to Pharaoh to demand that he free the Jewish people, Moses asks rhetorically, “What are we?” (Exodus 16:7)

Moses was aware of his own greatness and accomplishments, but he never let them go to his head. He saw everything he had as a gift from God. He saw his very life as a gift, since it was miraculous that he escaped the fate awaiting Jewish male infants at that time. When his mother floated him in a basket down the Nile, there was no way of knowing if he would survive. Moses saw everything as coming from God, and it was this consciousness that allowed him to reach the very highest level of prophesy ever to be achieved.

The last few verses in the book of Deuteronomy describe the death of Moses. The Talmud discusses who actually wrote these verses. One opinion is that they were written by Joshua. Another view, however, is that Moses wrote them tearfully. (Baba Basra 15a)

Some have pointed out that he was not crying about his impending death, but for having to write to write that no prophet would ever be as great as him (Deuteronomy 34:10). For the most humble person in history – that must have been painful to write.