Moses blesses the tribes
1This is the blessing that Moses the man of God pronounced on the Israelites before his death. 2He said:
‘The Lord came from Sinai
and dawned over them from Seir;
he shone forth from Mount Paran.
He came with#33:2 Or from myriads of holy ones
from the south, from his mountain slopes.#33:2 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
3Surely it is you who love the people;
all the holy ones are in your hand.
At your feet they all bow down,
and from you receive instruction,
4the law that Moses gave us,
the possession of the assembly of Jacob.
5He was king over Jeshurun#33:5 Jeshurun means the upright one, that is, Israel; also in verse 26.
when the leaders of the people assembled,
along with the tribes of Israel.
6‘Let Reuben live and not die,
nor#33:6 Or but let his people be few.’
7And this he said about Judah:
‘Hear, Lord, the cry of Judah;
bring him to his people.
With his own hands he defends his cause.
Oh, be his help against his foes!’
8About Levi he said:
‘Your Thummim and Urim belong
to your faithful servant.
You tested him at Massah;
you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.
9He said of his father and mother,
“I have no regard for them.”
He did not recognise his brothers
or acknowledge his own children,
but he watched over your word
and guarded your covenant.
10He teaches your precepts to Jacob
and your law to Israel.
He offers incense before you
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11Bless all his skills, Lord,
and be pleased with the work of his hands.
Strike down those who rise against him,
his foes till they rise no more.’
12About Benjamin he said:
‘Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,
for he shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.’
13About Joseph he said:
‘May the Lord bless his land
with the precious dew from heaven above
and with the deep waters that lie below;
14with the best the sun brings forth
and the finest the moon can yield;
15with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains
and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;
16with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
and the favour of him who dwelt in the burning bush.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among#33:16 Or of the one separated from his brothers.
17In majesty he is like a firstborn bull;
his horns are the horns of a wild ox.
With them he will gore the nations,
even those at the ends of the earth.
Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim;
such are the thousands of Manasseh.’
18About Zebulun he said:
‘Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
and you, Issachar, in your tents.
19They will summon peoples to the mountain
and there offer the sacrifices of the righteous;
they will feast on the abundance of the seas,
on the treasures hidden in the sand.’
20About Gad he said:
‘Blessed is he who enlarges Gad’s domain!
Gad lives there like a lion,
tearing at arm or head.
21He chose the best land for himself;
the leader’s portion was kept for him.
When the heads of the people assembled,
he carried out the Lord’s righteous will,
and his judgments concerning Israel.’
22About Dan he said:
‘Dan is a lion’s cub,
springing out of Bashan.’
23About Naphtali he said:
‘Naphtali is abounding with the favour of the Lord
and is full of his blessing;
he will inherit southward to the lake.’
24About Asher he said:
‘Most blessed of sons is Asher;
let him be favoured by his brothers,
and let him bathe his feet in oil.
25The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze,
and your strength will equal your days.
26‘There is no-one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty.
27The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,
saying, “Destroy them!”
28So Israel will live in safety;
Jacob will dwell#33:28 Septuagint; Hebrew Jacob’s spring is secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
where the heavens drop dew.
29Blessed are you, Israel!
Who is like you,
a people saved by the Lord?
He is your shield and helper
and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
and you will tread on their heights.’