I'm teaching tomorrow on the general judgment and need an answer about folks in heaven. I know Mary and Jesus are there body and soul. I think (although my teachers manual doesn't mention it in this chapter) that the Church teaches Enoch and Elijah are there (body and soul as well) owing to the biblical accounts of their departure. But Moses according to Jude via the Book of Enoch (Which is apocryphal not deuterocanonical) had his body fought over and won by St. Michael and he appeared before Sts. Peter James and John on Mt Tabor with Elijah.

So, if the prince of the heavenly host has his body and he's appearing with a known occupant of Heaven (Body and soul) and notwithstanding the evidence is found through an obscure reference by an obscure apostle in the same book as another known occupant of heaven (why that would be a coincidence is baffling). If all these things are true, then is it likely that Moses is in heaven body and soul, or is he still waiting for the end of the world with the rest of us?

Orthodox Catholic or catholic Orthodox answers only please.

  • According to Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich Enoch and Elijah are in paradise/Garden of Eden where Adam & Eve were expelled from awaiting for their end of days assignment.
    – user13992
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 7:51
  • cf. The Assumption of Moses.
    – user13992
    Commented Nov 19, 2014 at 8:26
  • 5
    Even though asking for Catholic/Orthodox answers, this question invites opinion and speculation because in general we do not know what goes on in the after life, heaven included. Also I have searched both Jewish and Christian sources and no one seems to say anything on what Moses is currently doing.
    – user13992
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 16:26
  • The phrase "is it likely" indicates that what is being invited is speculation. Commented Jan 29, 2015 at 16:39
  • Deuteronomy 34:6 would indicate that his body was not assumed into heaven like the others (and that's not apocryphal or deutero-canonical). Commented Sep 30, 2015 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


This question is so speculative it would make St Michael flinch.

First of all we know that Moses died at Mt. Nebo (Jordan) and that he was not permitted to enter the Promised Land because he failed to trust in God when he struck the rock twice instead of speaking to it in order to bring forth water (Numbers 20: 8-12). Now in the List of Burial Places of Biblical Figures we can see that the burial place of Moses is somewhere near Mt. Nebo, but not Enoch or Elijah. The exact place where Moses is buried remains unknown in order to prevent idolatry.

Now if St Michael and the Devil argued over the body of Moses, it was because the Evil One believed he had some sort of rights over it. If the body of Moses were in heaven, this debate would be futile for the Devil and would make no sense.

We know that both Enoch and Elijah were taken out of this world and did not taste death. Moses died, that is sure.

The Vicariate of St James (Israel) celebrates the Feast of Moses the Lawgiver on September 4 each year. The same Vicariate, along with the Carmelite Order, celebrate the Feast of St Elijah on July 20. In the Extraordinary Form of the Mass the rubrics for the Mass permitted the Carmelites to celebrate this feast with red vestments. Both the Armenian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Catholic Church commemorate the Patriarch Enoch on July 30.

As for the Transfiguration of the Lord, it was a vision and as such is not proof that Moses is in heaven, body and soul. There are simply too many examples of saints appearing to people in visions to prove this. St Catherine appearing to Joan of Arc is just a single example.

Thus I conclude that Moses is in heaven and his body remains in an unknown location.

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