I continue to be fascinated by the fact that the whole Bible is really just one interwoven story. The Hebrew (Old) Testament continually surfaces in the stories in the gospels and conversely the stories in the gospels are foretold and prophesied throughout the Hebrew Testament. One unbelievable example of this is found in the similarities between Moses’ trip up Mount Sinai in Exodus 24 and Jesus’ experience on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17 (also found in Mark 9 and Luke 9). Let’s take a look at these two stories and see if possibly Jesus, the second Moses, was emulating and fulfilling what had happened to Moses himself during the Exodus. At this point it would be helpful if you took the time to read all accounts of both stories.
- In both stories the main characters go up on a high mountain with God
- In both stories three men go with the main character. Moses takes Joshua, Aaron and Hur and Jesus takes Peter, James and John.
- In both cases, a cloud covered the mountain.
- In Exodus 24:16, it says,”For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the 7th day the Lord called to Moses. In both Matthew and Mark, the gospel writers are careful to tell us that it was six days that Jesus took the disciples upon the mountain.
- In both stories nothing happened for six days and then on the seventh day, God spoke.
- In both stories God spoke from the cloud
- In both stories God’s glory appeared and changed or transfigured the appearance of the principal figures as they were spoken to by God. (See also Exodus 34:29-30)
- The Glory of God “settled” on both mountains (Exodus 24:16 and Mark 9:7)
The Hebrew word for settle is “shakan” (Strong’s 7931) and means, ”to settle temporarily or to tent, or abide in a temporary dwelling.” Is it possible that Peter realized that Jesus was reconstructing the Moses story? Is he thinking, “What can we do to bring shakan like the Moses story?” So he says, “Let’s build something temporary (like shakan) – let’s put up some tents to duplicate the Sinai experience.” In Hebrew, the word mishkan, a derivative of shakan is used to say tent or tabernacle. Shakan is also where we get the word Shekinah, to mean God’s glory, or the divine presence. Peter wasn’t just trying to think of something to do, he knew the story!
Luke adds a wonderful exclamation point in his account of the transfiguration. It says in Luke 9:31, ”They spoke of his departure”. The Greek word for departure is “Exodos” (Strong’s 1841) and when “Exodos” is used in the New Testament, it is almost always used in conjunction with the actual Exodus story. The use of this Greek word wonderfully links Jesus death and resurrection with God rescuing his people out of Egypt.
Further proof that Jesus was fulfilling his role as the second Moses is found in Deuteronomy 18:15, where God tells Moses that, ”He will raise up another Prophet that will be like me” and then says, ”Listen to Him.” These are the exact same words that God uses at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:5): ”This is my Son, Listen to Him.”
This comparison of Mt Sinai with the Mount of Transfiguration is just another convincing proof that the Bible is one long thread that is intricately and brilliantly woven together. We just have to look for the connections.
Great article Bob. I found this example so exciting. How can we not get revitalized by the word?? We can. And to think there are so many more examples Jesus and Paul used to point to Jesus as the fulfillment and to
show us the heart of the Torah, just like He said, He did not come to abolish but to show the heart of the Torah (fulfill). Wasn’t this weekend great with RVL? Greater than we could have even asked or thought. God is so good. I am so ready to spend my time on the text!! thanks and God bless, Rebecca
I love both stories and the mysterys behind them both. In the book of Enoch this is where the angles forsaken their Heavenly abode and mingle with the daughters of men.
This was all very interesting I came here because I saw the resemblance of the mountain experiences and was wondering if Jesus also was at Mt Sanai. I read in one of the replies that the time frame may not add up as far as travel. Something was just downloaded to me that Christ would not have to go to Mt Sanai because he didn’t need the message of what to do because He was before time and always was. He knew his mission. I believe it was done so prophesy could be fulfilled, both Moses and Elijah were running from but Christ was fulfilling and coming to his purpose.
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I’m very excited to have found this information. As I was meditating on The Lord I thought I heard Him say, my transfiguration was on mount Sinai. I quickly begun my research to clarify what God had spoken.
Previously I had read that the transfiguration had taken place on mount hermon but after reading this I know in my heart that what I heard God speak to my spirit is what He said. Thank you! And God bless.
I had the same experience as you. While meditating on the Word the idea of the transfiguration taking place at Mt. Sinai/Horeb came to my mind. After searching the gospel accounts the only outstanding issue is the time it would take to travel from Bethsaida to the real Mt. Sinai in Saudi Arabia. It’s about 325 miles taking the Jordan Valley Highway or Kings Highway… Mathew and Mark indicate after 6 days, while Luke indicates about 8 days. Not sure if this would give them enough time… it appears to be a possibility.
I stumbled across this page because I was looking for possible evidence that the Transfiguration happened on Horeb. Reason being I stumbled across something in the Old Testament similar to what you wrote. Furthermore, though, I also noticed that Elijah, in 1 Kings 19, had his “burning bush experience” on Horeb when he ran from Ahab and Jezebel. Except Elijah heard a still, small voice. The correlation here is that BOTH Elijah AND Moses were running away/lost in the wilderness, and then came to Horeb, the Mount of God, and had a great Revelation to who God was, and it was Moses and Elijah who both appeared with Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration.
I to was looking for the connection of the Transfiguration the Ten Commandments and other things all may have been on the same Mountain. I mainly started out by doing a study about the mountains and what happened on all the different mountains
Thanks for these great thoughts and correlation. When you mentioned the passage in Deut 18:15 about Moses telling them another prophet would come and they need to listen to him, it would make sense that he is speaking of Joshua (who would lead them into the promised land). Since Joshua is Yeshua (or Yehoshua), the double meaning that Yeshua would be the prophet to listen to in their time, and prophetically Yeshua (Jesus) in the days to come. Thanks again.
I believe there’s more to this story then most realize my brothers and what I’m going to reveal to you may go against the grooves of the way you believe but please hear me out. On the Mt of Transfiguration you do see the similarities between the occurrences on Mt Hermon and Mt Sinai I mean you have Moses who represents the “Law” and you have Elijah who represents the “Prophets.” As you stated earlier Moses says that God will raise up a prophet like him? As we both know he’s was referring to John 1:44 Yeshua the Messiah. Now behind Yeshua, Moses and Elijah stood Peter, James and John which Yeshua took with Him wherever He went. Peter In Hebrew Kefa which means “Petros” (little stone) in Greek and James in the Greek means (replaced or surplant) and in Hebrew is Ya’akov, now John in Hebrew Yochanan means “Gods Grace” and you also have a pillar of Cloud above them. In Exodus 25:22 God says “I will meet with you and speak with you from above the Ark Cover.” As you know inside the Ark was the Two Stone Tablets and Aaron’s Rod that had Budded Pistachio Flowers and then the third item placed in the Ark was the Golden Pot Of Manna. So you have Yeshua in the middle (Mercy Seat) you then have Kefa(Peter-Stone) and Ya’akov(James-Relaced) and Yochanon(John-Gods Grace) Peter represented the replacement of the two stone tablets (law) James represents the replacing of the priest who murmured against God for making Arron head over the house of Israel (Arrons budded rod) and the John represents the Golden Pot of Manna ( Yeshua the Bread of Life) and then you have the Father speaking to them right above Yeshua (Mercy Seat) and then you have Peter who’s name is actually Simon which translates to Hear,Listen in Hebrew and also Shema. So you have the Father telling Simon to “LISTEN “ or “HEAR” His Son. Now when the law was given on Mt Sinai it came with 613 “Thou Shall Not’s and Sinai was a dry hot desolate place but on Mt Herman you don’t get any “Thou Shall Not’s” you only get Yeshua -Full of Grace and Truth saying “Raise Up, Don’t Be Afraid” and Hermon unlike Sinai was cool and with snow on the ground and even though Peter brought up building three Sukkahs (temporary shelters) there was no way of actually doing that, I think he was just being over confident with his self because of Yeshua asking His Talmidim Matt 16:13 -15 “Who do you say I am”? And when Peter answered His question in V:16 and when Yeshua answered him and called him “Simon BarYochanan\ Jonah, So Peter full of himself (self righteous) spoke out of line on Mt Hermon that day and besides that nobody asked him anything to begin with. You have Yeshua blessing him one day and shortly there after you have Him calling Peter “satan” The reason you have Yeshua calling Peter by his true full name is because in Hebrew Simon means Listen\Hear and Jonah/Yonah means Dove. So In Matt 16:17 when Yeshua called Peter by his true name and saying “how blessed you are! For no human being revealed this to you, no it was my Father in Heaven” So by calling him Simon BarJonah\Yochanon He was telling Peter “You (Simon)Listened and or Heard the (Jonah)Dove\ Ruach Ha’kodesh\Holy Spirit tell you this and Yeshua (Bar) Son says “No sign will be given except the sign of Jonah” (Dove\Holy Spirit). Anyway I can go on and on with fresh wine of the pure water of Gods word but I’ve said enough for now so thank you for allowing me to making these comments. Shalom
I apologize I meant Almond flowers, not pistachio flowers
I don’t think the “time” to get to Sinai/Horeb from northern Galilee is a problem. The Spirit o the living God is able to transport whomever He pleases to any “time”, place (or dimension) He pleases. (Paul, Ezekiel, and possibly John in the Book of Revelation come to mind.)
Good article. Thank you.
I am firmly convinced Mount Sinai was the Mount of Transfiguration.
Some great comments above.
The apostle Paul also I believe went to Mount Sinai after his conversion to get some answers .
He was in Crisis like Elijah and Moses and his Old Testament knowledge was all he had to contemplate.Think about that!