We are initial told that when Moses died God buried him and no one knows his burial place

Deuteronomy 34:5-6 NASB

5 So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the [d]word of the Lord. 6 And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day.

But later Moses appears with Elijah together with Christ.Elijah did not taste death but went straight to heaven

Mtthew 17:1-3 NASB

17 Six days later Jesus *took with Him Peter and [a]James and John his brother, and *led them up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.

Does this imply that after God had buried Moses he later resurrected him and took him to heaven?

  • Did God resurrect Samuel ? (1 Samuel 28).
    – Lucian
    Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 9:48
  • Resurrection implies a living body, and yet it is by no means evident that the chosen apostles saw the living bodies of Moses and Elijah. To be seen does not necessitate a body, but the spirit of a person can be seen (Numbers 22:31; 1 Samuel 28:12; Mark 6:49; etc.). Commented Aug 18, 2019 at 23:05
  • yes collen. (Mt 17:3'd be illegal otherwise. Deut 18:11)
    – Walter S
    Commented Apr 20, 2020 at 1:01

9 Answers 9


No, Moses and Elijah weren't resurrected so that Peter, James, and John could see them. We already know this because John 3:13 tells us that "no man hath ascended up to heaven".

Look at how Matthew describes the event:

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. — Matthew 17:3

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. — Matthew 17:9

Notice that they "appeared unto them", and that later Jesus refers to it as a "vision".

Visions appear throughout the Bible. They are not physical things, but something that happens in the minds of those experiencing them.

In Acts 10, Peter later had a vision of unclean animals being presented as food:

… he fell into a trance and saw … . Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean ….

Similarly, in the book of Revelation, John describes his vision of the Day of the Lord as being seen "in the spirit".

Visions are just that. They aren't real physical events.

The OP also says "Elijah did not taste death but went straight to heaven". Again, Jesus's statement that "no man hath ascended up to heaven" makes this claim impossible.

This really belongs in a different question, but here's a quick summary:

  • Elijah was moved by God, but physically from one location to another on Earth.

  • Whirlwinds exist only in the first heaven (Earth's atmosphere). Space is the second heaven, and God's throne is in the third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2).

  • Years after this event, King Jehoram received a message from Elijah (2 Chronicles 21:12, proving that Elijah was still alive here on Earth.

    • Whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11)
    • Elisha takes on Elijah's mantle. (2 Kings 2:15)
    • People believe Elijah can be found on Earth (2 Kings 2:16)
    • Elisha talks to King Jehoshaphat (2 Kings 3:11)
    • Jehoshaphat is succeeded by his son Jehoram (2 Kings 8:16)
    • Jehoram receives letter from Elijah (2 Chronicles 21:12)
  • You say that "nobody was in heaven" and therefore people that died are still physically dead at that time. But what about Enoch? Gen 5:24 says that "God took him" and Heb 11:5 says that this is to be understood as him not seeing death. But if no one is/was yet in heaven and your supposed alternative is only death, where would Enoch have been? As he seems to be neither in heaven not dead.. is paradise as an intermediate stage between death and heaven a solution and could mose and Elija have been "summoned" from there?
    – CShark
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 16:10
  • Translated - a change in place and state / form. The taking up into heaven of both Enoch and Elija was a lifting up into the air which is one of the definitions of "heaven". Consider that both were translated to Paradise, that part of Hades for Abraham's Bosom.
    – Gina
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 17:05
  • But still Enoch did apparently not encounter the process of dying, if I'm understanding Heb 5:11 correctly. And when I take John 3:13 into the calculation, he couldn't have been taken to that heaven either. The point is; if he didn't physically die and isn't on earth anymore, he had/has to be somewhere else. The question being wouldn't/couldn't Moses and Elija be at the same place as Enoch and therefore exist in some way? Also I wouldn't agree that heaven and paradise are the same thing, but that's not the point op asks about and was just a proposed solution to my perceived flaws in the answer
    – CShark
    Commented Aug 15, 2019 at 18:53
  • I think you need to explain where Enoch went. And, in the chariot, Elijah was taken 'up' not around or across or over. He went upwards, definitely.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 8:55
  • @ Ray a precise and correct answer +1 .In view of Jesus definite statement (John 3:13) nobody has gone to heaven, anyone insisting that Enoch went to heaven means that Jesus who was in heaven at the time of Enoch's and Moses death " a liar." Paul completed his 1 Corinthians epistle 55 C.E. and wrote about the order of resurrection , verse 15:20 :" But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died." Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 10:24

Moses was not resurrected at the time of the transfiguration on the Mount in Matt. ch. 17 because Christ had not yet been resurrected. Christ was the first fruits from the dead (1 Cor. 15:20, 23).

Jesus told the people during His ministry, before He died and was resurrected, that no man had seen the Father (John 1:18; 6:46).

"And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven." (John 3:13, KJV)

So, no other man had been resurrected before Christ, and no other man had ascended into the heaven where YHWH sits on His throne before Christ had ascended. Then, Enoch and Elijah and Moses were some place else, and that some place else was the waiting area of the grave called Paradise. Remember Lazarus and the rich man and the picture Luke gave us of Hades.

22`And it came to pass, that the poor man died, and that he was carried away by the messengers to the bosom of Abraham -- and the rich man also died, and was buried;

23 and in the hades having lifted up his eyes, being in torments, he doth see Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom,...

26 and besides all these things, between us and you a great chasm is fixed, so that they who are willing to go over from hence unto you are not able, nor do they from thence to us pass through." (Luke 16:22,23,26, YLT)

All of the souls that had died from the beginning, or had been translated before Christ died and was resurrected and ascended... all those souls were still waiting in the prison of Hades when Christ died on the cross; either in the section called Abraham's Bosom / Paradise for the saved, or in the section of torment which the Greeks called Tartarus (2 Pet. 4-6).

Hades was called a prison and it had gates. Christ went into Paradise or Abraham's Bosom when He died, taking the thief with Him (Luke 23:43). Christ held the keys to those gates (Rev. 1:18). Christ went to preach to those "in prison" (1 Pet. 3:19). The logical conclusion is that Christ preached to those souls waiting in that section of Hades called Paradise where He went at His death telling them that the kingdom was at hand, just as He had told His disciples during His ministry (Matt. 4:17). I am sure He also told them that they did not have to wait much longer, that He was coming for them "shortly" (Rev. 1:1).

As Christ stated before He died that Hades would not prevail against His church (Matt. 16:18), then that gated prison holding place called Hades no longer exists. Christ's church - ecclessia, called out ones - exists, therefore Hades has not prevailed and is a thing of the past. It ceased to exist after He returned in judgment against Jerusalem in AD 70, after He used the Romans to destroy the temple (Rev. 20:14). He threw it into the lake of fire.

The judgment scene of Matt. 25 followed directly after the warnings and prophesies of the destruction of the temple in Matt. 24. He told His disciples it would take place at the same time. The separation of the sheep from the goats in Matt. 25:31-33 was part of that coming in glory, and coming in judgment. They were linked.

Most people keep wanting to put this into our future for some end-of-time apocalypse. But that is an assumption based upon false teaching of the "end" described in Daniel 12:13. As Gabriel was telling Daniel of the end of the days of Jerusalem's desolation / destruction, and as Christ linked those days of tribulation from Dan. 12:1-2 to the destruction of the temple in Matt. 24:7-15, then the judgment of that "end" day was linked to the destruction of the temple. It was future to them in their generation. It is not still future for us reading the NT scriptures 2,000 years later.

So, Christ's second coming was in that same generation (Matt. 23:26; 24:34) of the first century AD to judge those who had pierced Him (Rev. 1:7), and those who had persecuted His saints. At the same time He took all those out of the prison of Hades; the saved to go home with Him to heaven, and the damned to be cast out forever (Rev. 20:11-13).

And, that is when Moses, and Elijah, and Daniel, and all of the rest of the souls were taken out of Hades Paradise, were resurrected.... after the temple was destroyed.

Hades no longer exists. It is gone. Now, everyone is resurrected at our individual deaths; those who die in the Lord (Rev. 14:13) to be changed in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor. 15:52) and lifted up into heaven; the condemned to be cast into outer darkness (Matt. 22:13; 2 Pet. 2:17).

So, at the time of Moses' and Elijah's appearance with Christ on the Mt of Transfiguration, Hades was still in existence. God had allowed them to appear with Christ in a vision which Peter and the other disciples witnessed. But, they had not yet been resurrected. (1)

Moses had died and was buried by God (Deu. 34:5-6). Elijah and Enoch had been lifted up into the skies (heaven) as seen by people from the earth, just as the disciples saw Christ being taken up into the clouds (sky) at His ascension. The lifting up into the heavens was an action from the eyes of men. But, because we know that no one had seen the Father before Christ's resurrection, then neither Elijah nor Enoch nor any other soul had actually been taken into the third heaven where God sits on His throne.

The English word "translated" in Heb. 11:5 is from the Greek "μετατίθημι" or 'metatithemi" (Strong's Gr. 3346), and means "to transfer, change". (2) God had changed Elijah and Enoch, and transferred them from their earthly mortal state or position into Paradise with the rest of the saved souls who were waiting for Christ's death and resurrection - the first fruits from the dead (hades).

Since that time, since AD 70 Christ judges each soul that passes from this mortal life at our death. It was always an individual judgment as prior to the cross of Christ each soul was assigned to the appropriate section of Hades: the saved to Paradise, or the condemned to the place of torment. This was always indicated in the OT by the phrase "gathered unto his people" (Gen. 25:8; 35:29; 49:33). Moses was also gathered unto his people (Num. 27:13). (3)

But, those who died before Christ's resurrection were held in Hades until the end of the desolations / destruction of Jerusalem... until AD 70. Then they were the first resurrection (Rev. 20:5-6). That there was a "first resurrection" necessarily implies other resurrections to take place after the first one. (4) (5)


1) Frequent Mistakes - Part VII: The Translation of Enoch and Elijah at ShreddingTheVeil

2) Strong's Gr. 3346 - Biblehub

3) Frequent Mistakes - Part III: The Last Day at ShreddingTheVeil

4) Frequent Mistakes - Part VI: The End of the World, or ? at ShreddingTheVeil

5) The Resurrection in Three Parts at ShreddingTheVeil

Also see the posts at my blog for the time of His coming, and the Hebraic idioms Christ used so His disciples would know when to expect Him:

The Signs of Revelation - Part I: The Time of His Coming here

The Signs of The Feasts - Part I: Christ Told The Pharisees When... here

The Signs of The Feasts - Part II: Christ Told His Disciples When... here

The Signs of The Feasts - Part III: The Thief in The Night here

  • I wanted to up-vote this as it was a very competent piece, but I cannot agree that you have proved that 'hades no longer exists' and that some souls are 'cast out for ever'. Cast out to where ? I suggest they are still in hades.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 9:47
  • 1
    @Nigel - you may be thinking Hades still exists b/c of a taught idea that Rev. is a futurist document. The book begins with "things which must shortly come to pass" Rev. 1:1, and ends in Rev. 22 with 5 statements affirming Jesus was coming back to them soon, shortly, & that the time was at hand. As, ch. 20 is included in the book between ch. 1 and ch. 22 it must be considered as part of the "things" which would come to pass shortly. It is not still ahead of us. It has already been taken care of. Otherwise, Paul could not say that he longed to be with the Lord who he knew was in heaven.
    – Gina
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 10:19
  • @Nigel... I offer many scriptural evidences that Hades no longer exists at my blog. See posts "Signs of Revelation - Part VI: Judgment Day..." and "The Burning of Jerusalem, & The Hadean Death". If Hades still existed it would contain both parts: Paradise & Tartarus. If Hades still existed the saved souls would not be going to heaven when we die, & Christ's church would not have prevailed. If Hades still exists, then Christ's church / body does not exist. But, as we know that Christ's church has prevailed, of a necessity then Hades has not prevailed and is gone.
    – Gina
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 10:24
  • Thank you, but none of these arguments convince me that the second death; death and hades were cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:14) is not at the end of time, when Christ returns and there are new heavens and a new earth. I shall not debate the point any further, here, in comment. Regards.
    – Nigel J
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 10:41
  • It was only Israel's Judgment Day, to judge the Jewish theocracy only: Please compare Ezekiel 34 with Matthew 25!
    – Ruminator
    Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 0:26

Moses was resurrected at some point after his death, though the exact when is unknown, it was obviously before the mount of transfiguration experience. It was most likely not long after Moses burial.

Jude 1:9 talks of the event, when Satan wished to claim Moses as his because of his sin. Jesus simply replied "The Lord rebuke you!".

Both Enoch and Elijah were translated - given the high privilege of never coming under the power of death. They all would form a part of the "First Fruits" of the harvest of the earth. The full "First Fruits" would be those whom Jesus resurrected with himself early that Sunday when he left the tomb.

As human beings who like Christ had walked this earth as men, they were able to talk with and strengthen Him for "His decease which he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem" in a way that angels were not able to. Both of them had lived lives in service of Christ. They were men who had endured suffering and sorrow and who could sympathise with our Saviour in the trial of His earthly life.

Both men had shared His desire for the salvation of men. Moses had pleaded for Israel "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin — but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written." This is what Jesus was prepared to do in our behalf.

Elijah has withstood 3 and a half years of famine as he withstood the nation's hatred, and shared in it's punishment. On Mount Carmel he had stood alone for God. Then alone he had fled in anguish and despair. Chosen above every angel around the throne of God, they came also to comfort Him as he prepared for that final sacrifice. Christ would hang alone on the Mount, hung between heaven and earth, between God and Sin. Alone as Elijah stood on Mount Carmel. Surrounded by hatred and sin. He would accept their sin, and plead for their forgiveness, even as they crucified Him, as Moses had pleaded for Israel when they worshipped false gods.

Both these men in signal ways pretypified Christ, and His mission to this world.

The lives in heaven for both Moses and Elijah were contingent on the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus had taken them to heaven under the promise that "when the fullness of the time had come" that He would pay their ransom. But the burden of Jesus, of Moses and of Elijah was the hope of the world, the salvation of every human being.

The purpose of Jesus in taking these three disciples with him onto the mount was to strengthen them in particular for the time ahead. They were the three who would witness his anguish in Gethsemane. The Saviour knows the grief that lies before them, and wishes them to see this manifestation of His glory He shared with the Father from before the earth's creation. When they hear the voice of the Father in the cloud, affirming His divinity, it will strengthen them in the trial ahead. His prayer for this is granted, and with Him are the two who prophesied about Him.

These two are shown for our benefit as well, not only for His disciples. Moses, is there as a witness of Jesus victory over sin and death. He represents those who will come forth from the grave at the resurrection of the just at Jesus second coming. Elijah represents those who will be living on the earth at the time of the second coming, who will be "changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" when "this mortal must put on immortality" and "this corruptible must put on incorruption." Jesus appears as He will appear at the second coming, clothed with the light of heaven and His face "shining as the sun."

In miniature the future kingdom is represented before the disciples and us. Christ the King, Moses the representative of the risen saints, and Elijah of those who are translated when He comes again.


No God didn’t resurrect Moses.

Matthew 17:3, Mark 9:4, and Luke 9:30, all say that Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah. According to the scriptures we know for a fact that Moses died. Since Moses died, and Jesus is sitting there having a conversation with him, it can only mean that Jesus is practicing necromancy here.

Necromancy was the magical art of communicating with the dead. In the rituals, the magician would either talk to the actual corpse or force the spirit of the dead to appear in a mist, or a fog of some sort (see Lev 16:2). Since Jesus would not have had access to Moses’ corpse, he would have been talking to the spirit of Moses.

This was a forbidden art, one punishable by death in the Torah. This is probably why Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone what they saw.

Mark 9:9 (KJV)

And as they came down from the mountain, he charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of man were risen from the dead.

But the whole purpose of necromancy is to gain knowledge about the future. Saul communicated with a dead Samuel about his future. Likewise, Luke 9:31 says that Moses and Elijah talked to Jesus about his future death.

Luke 9:31 (KJV)

Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.


Enoch, Moses, Elijah and Jesus Christ are in Heaven even the Bible says so and that is final so Stop teaching error.

  • Welcome to the S.E. Q&A forum. We are looking for objective, rational answers to specific questions. Your response did not answer the question; instead, you made an accusation against the OP. In the future, please keep your answers focused and courteous.
    – Steve11235
    Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 18:25
  • he didn't accuse the original poster. If anything, he agrees with her
    – Walter S
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 2:58

(But if there are questions concerning words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves. A judge of these things I do not intend to be. And he drove them away from the judgment seat. Ac 18.)

For this commandment which I am commanding you today, it is not too difficult for you, nor is it distant. It is not in heaven that you should say, Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us to make us hear it and do it? Nor is it across the sea that you should say, Who will go across the sea for us and bring it to us to make us hear it and do it? But the word is very near to you, even in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deut 30.

If I told you of the things on earth and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you of the things in heaven? And no one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. And as Moses... Jn 3.

Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to everyone who believes. For Moses writes concerning the righteousness which is out of the law: "The man who does them shall live by them." But the righteousness which is out of faith speaks in this way, "Do not say in your heart, Who will ascend into heaven?" that is, to bring Christ down; or, "Who will descend into the abyss?" that is, to bring Christ up from the dead. But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of the faith which we proclaim, that if you confess with your mouth, Lord Jesus! and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Rm 10.

Some say that Jn 3:13 is the disciple, apostle, and author John's interpolation. Christ descended through incarnation, ascended after resurrection, and is the man in heaven in the glory. 13 is Christ's application and fulfillment of Moses' word in Deut 30. (Cf Jn 1:14). Paul the apostle, in Rm 10, also applied Deut 30 to Christ. Neither Jn 3:13 nor Rm 10:5-8 are intended to be "Jeopardy" answers about folks who've resurrected or visited heaven or some atmosphere. Moses and Elijah, and Enoch, were taken, raptured, for a purpose. The former two returned momentarily (in Mt 17) and will return for the last 3 1/2 years before Christ descends physically to the Mount of Olives (Zech 4; Rv 11:3-12; Mk 9:12; cf Jam 5:17; see also Deut 32:51; 1 Kings 19:3).

Jn 3:13 means no one has ascended or descended to bring Christ to us. Christ Himself incarnated, Jesus Christ Himself resurrected (Ac 3:15; Rm 10:9; Jn 10:18). 3:13's immediate context is the transmission of Christ ("the things on earth," regeneration; "the things in heaven" cf Eph 2:6-7; 1 Cor 2:9--not "heaven," but Christ Himself to be our, the saints', portion, Col 1:12).

Does...imply that after God had buried Moses he later resurrected him and took him to heaven? Yes.


No, Moses' body was not resurrected. Otherwise, had Moses' body been resurrected, such an event would not have been left unsaid in the Gospels, as it was said that at the time of the Jesus' death on the cross righteous men's bodies were resurrected and they came to Jerusalem (Matthew 27:52).

But from this we learn that at our biological death we not only do not disappear, but retain fully our personality, that can reason, pray, communicate, albeit in a different state, but the same personality, the same hypostasis.

That Moses' personality was visible in a bodiless state, in garments, is the same as the bodiless angels' personalities sometimes are visible by disposition of God in a bodily way in garments.

Of course this does not mean that Moses' body also will not be resurrected on the last day and will not participate in eternal bliss of Moses in God's Kingdom.


I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven. And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. (2 Corinthians 12:2-4).

It would appear to me from the above passage of scripture that paradise refers to the third heaven and not Abraham's bosom.

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    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 22:43

Moses never resurrected. appearance and resurrection are different.Just like Samuel appeared to saul in 1 Samuel 28.God can use someones spirit or image to pass message just like Satan(magician) used Samuel's to deceive Saul.

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