The Song of Moses
1“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2May my teaching trickle like the dew,
my words like rain showers on tender grass,
and like spring showers on new growth.
3For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh;
ascribe greatness to our God!
4The Rock, his work is perfect,
for all his ways are just;
he is a faithful God, and without injustice;#Literally “there is not injustice”
righteous and upright is he.
5They have behaved corruptly toward#Or “with” him;
they are not his children; this is their flaw,
a generation crooked and perverse.
6Like this do you treat Yahweh,
foolish and unwise#Literally “not wise” people?
Has he not, your father, created you?
He made you, and he established you.
7Remember the old days, the years long past;#Literally “the years of from generation to generation”
ask your father, and he will inform you,
your elders and they will tell you.#Hebrew “to you”
8When the Most High apportioned#Literally “In/at the apportioning of the Most High” the nations,
at his dividing up of the sons of humankind,
he fixed the boundaries of the peoples,
according to the number of the children of Israel.#LXX reads “the number of the angels of God”; Dead Sea Scrolls reads “the number of the sons of God”
9For Yahweh’s portion was his people,
Jacob the share of his inheritance.
10He found him in a desert land,
and in a howling, desert wasteland;
he encircled him,#Literally “moved around him” he cared for him,
he protected him like the apple#Literally “pupil” of his eye.
11As an eagle stirs up its nest,
hovers over its young,
spreads out its wings, takes them,#Hebrew “it” but used poetically and with plural sense in context
carries them#Hebrew “it” but used poetically and with plural sense in context on its pinions,#Hebrew “pinion”
12so Yahweh alone guided him,#That is, Jacob, standing for Israel
and there was no foreign god accompanying him.#Literally “and there was not with him a god foreign/strange”
13And he set him on the high places of the land,
and he fed him the crops#Hebrew “crop” of the field,
and he nursed him with honey from crags,#Hebrew “crag”
and with oil from flinty rock,
14With curds#Hebrew “curd” from the herd,
and with milk from the flock,
with the fat of young rams,
and rams, the offspring of Bashan,
and with goats along with the finest kernels of wheat,
and from the blood of grapes#Hebrew “grape” you drank fermented wine.#Or “partially fermented wine”; others translate simply as wine (NASB, NEB); HALOT 330, “still fermenting wine”
15And Jeshurun grew fat, and he kicked;
you grew fat, you bloated, and you became obstinate;
and he abandoned God, his maker,
and he scoffed at the rock of his salvation.
16They made him jealous with strange gods;
with detestable things they provoked him.
17They sacrificed to the demons, not God,
to gods whom#Hebrew “them” they had not known,
new gods who#Hebrew “they,” understood in the verb form came from recent times;
their ancestors had not known them.#Literally “their fathers not knew them”
18The rock who#Hebrew “he,” understood in verb form bore you, you neglected,
and you forgot God, the one giving you birth.
19Then Yahweh saw, and he spurned them,
because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20So he said, ‘I will hide my face from them;
I will see what will be their end,
for they are a generation of perversity,
children in whom there is no faithfulness.#Literally “sons not faithfulness is in them”
21They annoyed me with what is not a god;
they provoked me with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those not a people,
with a foolish nation I will provoke them.
22For a fire was kindled#Or “ignited” by my anger,
and it burned up to the depths of Sheol,#Literally “up to Sheol depths”
and it devoured the earth and its produce,
and it set afire the foundation of the mountains.
23I will heap disasters upon them;
my arrows I will spend on them.
24They will become weakened by famine,
and consumed by plague and bitter pestilence;
and the teeth of wild animals I will send against them,
with the poison of the creeping things in the dust;
25From outside her boundaries the sword will make her childless,
and from inside, terror;
both for the young man and also the young woman,
the infant along with the gray-headed man.
26I thought, “I will wipe them out;
I will make people forget they ever existed.”#Literally “I will blot out from among human being their remembrance”
27If I had not feared a provocation of the enemy,
lest their foes might misunderstand, #Or “so that they not make a false construal” of what has happened
lest they should say, #Or “so that they might not” “Our hand is
triumphant,#Literally “raised/held high” and Yahweh did not do all this.” ’
28For they are a nation void of sense,#Literally “they a nation perishing of counsel”
and there is not any understanding in them.
29If only they were wise, they would understand this;
they would discern for themselves their end.#Literally “they would discern for end their”
30How could one chase a thousand
and two could cause a myriad to flee,
if their Rock had not sold them,
and Yahweh had not given them up?
31For the fact of the matter is,
their rock is not like our Rock,
and our enemies recognize#The meaning of this expression is uncertain, but “discerns” or “judges” seem good choices; see HALOT 932, which allows for “judges” or “in the estimation of our enemies” this.
32For their vine is from the vine of Sodom,
and from the terraces of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
their clusters are bitter.#Literally “clusters of bitter are for them”
33Their wine is the poison of snakes,
and the deadly poison of horned vipers.
34‘Is not this stored up with me,
sealed in my treasuries?’#Or “storehouses
35Vengeance belongs to me#Literally “To me is vengeance” and also recompense,
for at the time their foot slips,#Literally “at the time when it shall slip foot their”
because the day of their disaster is near,
and fate comes quickly for them.’#Literally “and comes quickly/hurries events to come to them”
36For Yahweh will judge on behalf of his people,
and concerning his servants;
he will change his mind when he sees that their power has disappeared,
and there is no one left, confined#Or “bond/bound” or free.#Or “freed”
37And he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
their rock in whom#Hebrew “in him” they took refuge?
38Who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their libations?
Let them rise up, and let them help you;
Let them be to you a refuge.#Literally “let there be/him/them unto you as a shelter”
39See, now, that I, even I am he,
and there is not a god besides me;
I put to death and I give life;
I wound and I heal;
there is not one who delivers from my hand!
40For indeed I lift up my hand to heaven,
And I promise as I live forever,#Literally “live I to eternity”
41When I sharpen#Or “have sharpened” my flashing sword,#Literally “the flashing of my sword”
and my hand takes hold#Or “seizes” of it in judgment,
I will take reprisals against my foes,#Literally “I will let return vengeance to foes my”
and my haters I will repay.
42I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
and my sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain,
and captives#Hebrew “captive” from the heads#Hebrew “head” of the leaders of the enemy.’
43Call for songs of joy, O nations, concerning his people,#Dead Sea Scrolls reads: “Rejoice, O heavenly ones, with him! Bow down, all you gods, before him!”
for the blood of his servants he will avenge,
and he will take reprisals against his foes,#Literally “vengeance he will let return to his foes”
and he will make atonement for his land, his people.”
44And Moses came, and he spoke#Or “recited” all the words of this song in the ears of the people; that is, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45And when Moses finished speaking#Literally “And he finished Moses to speak” all these words to all Israel, 46then he said to them, “Take to heart all the words#Literally “Put heart your to all the words” that I am admonishing against you today#Literally “the day” concerning which you should instruct them with respect to your children#Or “sons” so that they will observe diligently#Literally “to keep to do” all the words of this law, 47for it is not a trifling matter among you, but it is your life, and through this word you will live long in the land#Literally “you will make long days on the land” that you are about to cross the Jordan to get there to take possession of it.”
Instructions Concerning Moses’ Death
48And Yahweh said to Moses on exactly this day, saying,#Literally “to say” 49“Go up to this mountain of the Abarim range, Mount Nebo, which is opposite Jericho,#Literally “on the face of Jericho” and see the land of Canaan that I am giving to the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” as a possession. 50You shall die on that mountain that you are about to go up there, and you will be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor#Literally “on Hor the mountain” and he was gathered to his people, 51because of the fact that you broke faith with me in the midst of Israel at the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the desert of Zin, because you did not treat me as holy#Literally “that not you treated me as holy” in the midst of the Israelites.#Literally “sons/children of Israel” 52Yes, from afar you may view the land, but there you shall not enter there, that is, into the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”#Literally “sons/children of Israel”