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Blessed are the meek," Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, "for they shall inherit the earth." When Chrysostom, Theodoret of Cyrrhus, and Eusebius heard Jesus speaking of meekness, they immediately thought of Moses.
Theodoret cites Numbers 12:3, a text referring to Moses "as very meek, more than all men that were on the face of the earth." Eusebius comments that "whereas Jesus promised the meek inheritance of the earth, Moses promised Israel inheritance of the land."
But no modern commentator on Matthew's Gospel links Moses with Jesus' teaching on the meek and the kingdom. Why?
The church fathers' tendency to find allusions and allegories within the broader biblical narrative can seem to many modern readers forced and fanciful. Why did they so often take a text that at first glance appears to refer to one thing--meekness, for …