Deuteronomy 33
Blessings of Moses on Israel
1Now#Or “And” this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites#Literally “sons/children of Israel” before#Literally “to the face of” his death.
2Then#Or “And” he said,
“Yahweh came from Sinai,
and he dawned upon them from Seir;
he shone forth from Mount Paran,
and he came with myriads of holy ones,
at his right hand a fiery law for them.#This pointing of the MT is very difficult; here HALOT 93 suggests “fire a law for them” as a translation of the compound Hebrew word made up of “fire” + “law,” which I render as “a fiery law”
3Moreover,#Or “Indeed” he loves his people,#Literally “a lover of peoples”
all the holy ones were in your hand,
and they bowed down to#Or “at” your feet,
each one accepted directions from you.#Literally “he takes up from your words”
4A law Moses instructed for us,
as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
5And then a king arose in Jeshurun,
at the gathering of the leaders of the people,
united were the tribes of Israel.#Literally “together the tribes of Israel”
6“May Reuben live, and may he not die,
and let his number not be few.”#Literally “let he be his people of number”
7And he said this of Judah,#Literally “and this concerning/to Judah, and he said”
“Hear, O Yahweh, the voice of Judah,
and bring him to his people;
his own hands strive#Or “is/are great” on his behalf for him,
and may you be a help against#Literally “from” his foes.”
8And of Levi he said,
“Your Thummim and your Urim
are for your faithful one,#Literally “man, your faithful one”
whom you tested at Massah;#Literally “whom you tested him at Massah”
you contended with him
at the waters of Meribah.
9The one saying of his father and of his mother,
‘I have not regarded them,’
and his brothers he did not acknowledge,
and his children#Or “sons” he did not know,
but rather they observed your word,
and your covenant they kept.
10They taught#Or “teach/will teach” your regulations to Jacob,
and your law to Israel;
they placed incense smoke before you,#Literally “in your nose”
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11Bless, O Yahweh, his substance,
and with the work of his hands you must be pleased;
smite the loins of those who attack him,
and those hating him, so that they cannot arise.”#Literally “so that not they stand up”
12Of Benjamin he said,
“The beloved of Yahweh dwells securely,#Literally “in confidence”
the Most High#This is the most likely reading in context (Most High God). Literally the Hebrew text reads “upon him,” so the NASV translates the first line as: dwell in security “by him” shields all around him,
all the day,
and between his shoulders he dwells.”
13And of Joseph he said,
“Blessed by Yahweh is his land,
with#Hebrew “from” the choice things of heaven,
with#Hebrew “from” dew, and with#Hebrew “from” the deep lying down beneath,
14and with#Hebrew “from” the choice things of the fruits#Or “produce of” of the the sun,
and with the choice things of the yield of the seasons,#Literally “months”
15and with#Hebrew “from” the finest things of the ancient mountains,
and with#Hebrew “from” the choice things of the eternal hills,#Literally “the hills of eternity never ending ages”
16and with#Hebrew “from” the choice things of the earth and its fullness,
and the favor of the one who dwelt#Literally “dwells” but context puts the event into the past; literally “dweller of the bush” in the bush.#Some scholars suggest that this expression must be read as: on Sinai
Let them come to the head of Joseph,
and to the crown of the prince among his brothers.
17As the firstborn of his ox, majesty belongs to him,#Literally “is for him”
and his horns are the horns of a wild ox;
with them he drives people together,#Or “all at once” (NASB)
and they are the myriads of Ephraim,
and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
18And of Zebulun he said,
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
and rejoice, Issachar, in your tents;
19They summon people to the mountains;#Hebrew “mountain”
there they sacrifice the sacrifices of righteousness,
because the affluence of the seas they suck out,
and the most hidden treasures of the sand.”#Literally “the covered of the hidden of the sand”
20And of Gad he said,
“Blessed be the one who enlarges Gad;#Literally “the enlarger of Gad”
like a lion he dwells,
and he tears an arm as well as a scalp.
21And he selected#Or “provided” the best part for himself, #Hebrew “for him”
for there the portion of a ruler is included,
and he came with the heads of the people;#Or possibly, “the heads of the people came/assembled” (compare NEB)
he did#Or “worked” the righteousness of Yahweh,
and his regulations for Israel.”
22And of Dan he said,
“Dan is a cub of a lion;
he leaps from Bashan.”#Hebrew “the Bashan,” referring to a well-known geographical and agricultural area
23And of Naphtali, he said,
“Oh, Naphtali, sated of favor,
and full of the blessing of Yahweh;
take possession of the lake,
and the land to the south.”
24And of Asher he said,
“Blessed more than sons#Literally “blessed from/of sons is” features the comparative use the Hebrew preposition min, “than” is Asher;
may he be the favorite#Literally “may he be favored” of his brothers,
dipping his feet in the oil.#Literally “and dipping in the oil his feet”
25Your bars are#Or “will be” iron and bronze,
and as your days, so is#Or “so will be/may be” your strength.”
26“There is no one like God, O, Jeshurun,
who rides through the heavens to your help,
and with his majesty through the skies.
27The God of ancient time#Literally “before/earlier times” is a hiding place,
and underneath are the arms of eternity,#Or “everlasting ages” or “everlasting arms”
and he drove out from before#Literally “from your face” you your enemy,
and he said, ‘Destroy them!’
28So Israel dwells alone and carefree,
the spring of Jacob in a land of grain and wine;
his heavens even drip dew.
29Blessed are you, O Israel.
Who is like you, a people who is saved by Yahweh,
the shield of your help,
and who is the sword of your triumph,
and your enemies, they shall fawn before you,#Hebrew “to you”
and you shall tread on their backs.”
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