Why did the body of Moses have
to be protected by an Archangel?
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Question: Why did Michael the Archangel have to protect the body of Moses from the devil?
Answer: First, let us look into a little background on who is the Archangel Michael. His name means "who is like God" and is Strong's Concordance #4317 for its use in the Old Testament. He is referred to in Daniel 10 as "one of the chief princes" in verse 13 of the chapter. In the thirteenth chapter of Daniel, the archangel has the title 'great prince.' He is also mentioned in the book of Revelation as the being leading the angelic hosts against the devil and his demons (Revelation 12:7 - 8).
Archangels are spirit beings who are at God's service and endowed with tremendous power and knowledge. Interestingly, the Bible only reveals the names of only two of these types of angels: Michael and Gabriel. The only other angel mentioned by name in the Bible, Lucifer (who became the devil), was not one of them.
The Bible verse you have questions about is located at Jude 1:9.
9. But Michael the archangel, when he was personally taking issue with the devil, disputing about the body of Moses, did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment against him . . . (Jude 1:9)
There exists a variety of interpretations in Biblical commentaries regarding this event. Many of them SEEM, on the surface, to be correct. On closer inspection, however, they are found to be completely false. For example, one commentary assumes God needed Moses' body in order to resurrect him sometime before he appeared in the Transfiguration of Jesus. In this scenario, the devil is arguing that his body should be left in the ground in an effort to somehow thwart God's plans. This argument is groundless since NO ONE, not Moses, Elijah, King David and so on, has yet to be resurrected from the dead or has gone to heaven except Christ (see our article on the First Resurrection).