1Heaven! Pay attention and I will speak;
Earth! Listen to the words of my mouth.
2My teaching will fall like raindrops;
my speech will settle like dew—
like gentle rains on grass,
like spring showers on all that is green—
3because I proclaim the Lord’s name:
Give praise to our God!
4The rock: his acts are perfection!
No doubt about it: all his ways are right!
He’s the faithful God, never deceiving;
altogether righteous and true is he.
5But children who weren’t his own#Heb uncertain
sinned against him with their defects;#LXX, Vulg; Heb uncertain
they are a twisted and perverse generation.
6Is this how you thank the Lord,
you stupid, senseless people?
Isn’t he your father, your creator?
Didn’t he make you and establish you?
7Remember the days long past;
consider the years long gone.
Ask your father, he will tell you about it;
ask your elders, they will give you the details:
8When God Most High divided up the nations—
when he divided up humankind—
he decided the people’s boundaries
based on the number of the gods.#DSS (4QDeutj), LXX; MT the Israelites
9Surely the Lord’s property was his people;
Jacob was his part of the inheritance.
10God found#Vulg, Syr, and others; Sam, LXX, Tg Onkelos sustained him Israel in a wild land—
in a howling desert wasteland—
he protected him, cared for him,
watched over him with his very own eye.
11Like an eagle protecting its nest,
hovering over its young,
God spread out his wings, took hold of Israel,
carried him on his back.
12The Lord alone led Israel;
no foreign god assisted.
13God#Or he made Israel#Or him glide over the highlands;
he fed him#Sam, Syr, LXX, Tg; MT he ate with food from the field,
nursed him with honey from a boulder,
with oil from a hard rock:
14curds from the herd, milk from the flock,
along with the best of lambs,
rams from Bashan, he-goats too,
along with the finest wheat—
and for drink, wine from the juiciest grapes!
15Jacob ate until he was stuffed;#DSS (4QPhyln), Sam, LXX; MT lacks Jacob ate until he was stuffed.
Jeshurun#A poetic name for Israel; see also 33:5, 26. got fat, then rebellious.#Or kicked
It was you who got fat, thick, stubborn!#Heb uncertain
Jeshurun#Or he gave up on the God who made him,
thought the rock of his salvation was worthless.
16They made God#Or him jealous with strange gods,
aggravated him with detestable things.
17They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
to deities of which they had no knowledge—
new gods only recently on the scene,
ones about which your ancestors had never heard.#Heb uncertain
18You deserted#LXX, Vulg; Heb uncertain the rock that sired you;
you forgot the God who gave birth to you!
19The Lord saw this and rejected
out of aggravation his sons and his daughters.#Or, following LXX, DSS (4QPhyln), and correcting the Lord saw this and was jealous; he spurned his sons and daughters.
20He said: I will hide my face from them—
I will see what becomes of them—
because they are a confused generation;
they are children lacking loyalty.
21They provoked me with "no-gods,"
aggravated me with their pieces of junk.
So I am going to provoke them with "No-People,"
aggravate them with a nation of fools.
22A fire burns in me—
it will blaze to the depths of the grave;#Heb Sheol
it will destroy the land and its crops;
it will blacken the base of the mountains.
23I’ll throw#LXX on them disaster after disaster;
I’ll destroy them with my arrows:
24devastating hunger, consuming plague, bitter sickness.
I’ll send animal fangs after them,
venom from dust crawlers too.
25Outside, in the streets, the sword will bereave!
Inside, in the safest room, there will be terror
for young men and women,
nursing baby and senior citizen.
26I thought about it: I could have struck them down,#Heb uncertain; LXX scattered them
erased them from human memory,
27but their enemies’ rage concerned me;
their opponents might misunderstand.
They might say, "Our strong hands,
not the Lord’s, did all this,"
28because they are not a thoughtful nation;
they lack any insight.
29If they had any wisdom, they would understand this;
they would discern what will become of them.
30How could one person chase off a thousand in battle?
How could two people make ten thousand flee for their lives?
Only because their rock sold them off,
only because the Lord handed them over!
31But, no, their rocks can’t compare to our rock!
Our enemies are completely stupid.#LXX; Heb uncertain
32Their roots run straight from Sodom—
from the fields of Gomorrah!
Their grapes are pure poison;
their grape clusters, nothing but bitter;
33their wine is snake poison,
venom from a cruel cobra.
34Don’t I have this stored up,
sealed in my vaults?
35Revenge is my domain, so is punishment-in-kind,
at the exact moment their step slips up,
because the day of their destruction is just around the corner;
their final destiny is speeding on its way!
36But the Lord will acquit his people,
will have compassion on those who serve him,
once he sees that their strength is all gone,
that both prisoners and free people are wiped out.#Heb uncertain
37The Lord will ask, "Where are their gods—
the rocks they trusted in—
38who ate up the fat of their sacrifices,
who drank their sacred wine?
They should stand up and help you!
They should protect you now!
39Now, look here: I myself, I’m the one;
there are no other gods with me.
I’m the one who deals death and gives life;
I’m the one who wounded, but now I will heal.
There’s no escaping my hand.
40But now I’m lifting my hand to heaven—
I swear by my own eternity:
41when I sharpen my blazing sword
and my hand grabs hold of justice,
I’ll pay my enemies back;
I’ll punish in kind everyone who hates me.
42I’ll make my arrows drink much blood,
while my sword devours flesh,
the blood of the dead and captured,
flowing from the heads of enemy generals."#Heb uncertain
43Heavens:#DSS (4QDeutq), LXX; MT nations Rejoice with God!#DSS (4QDeutq), LXX; MT his people
All you gods: bow down to the Lord!#This line is missing in Heb; it is found in DSS (4QDeutq); LXX him for the Lord.
Because he will avenge his children’s#DSS (4QDeutq), LXX; MT his servants blood;
he will pay back his enemies;
he will punish in kind those who hate him;#DSS (4QDeutq), LXX; MT lacks this line.
he will cleanse his people’s land.#Sam, DSS (4QDeutq), LXX, Vulg; MT his land his people or his land for his people; or, correcting, he will wipe away his people’s tears.
44So Moses came and recited all the words of this poem in everyone’s hearing; Joshua,#Sam, Syr, Tg Neofiti; MT Hoshea Nun’s son, joined him. 45When Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46he told them: Set your mind on all these words I’m testifying against you right now, because you must command your children to perform carefully all the words of this Instruction. 47This is no trivial matter for you—this is your very life! It is by this means#Or word alone that you will prolong your life on the fertile land you are crossing the Jordan River to possess.
Moses’ death imminent
48The Lord spoke to Moses that very same day: 49"Hike up the Abarim mountains, to Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho. Take a good look at the land of Canaan, which I’m giving to the Israelites as their property. 50You will die on the mountain you have hiked up, and you will be gathered to your people just like your brother Aaron, who died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51because the two of you were unfaithful toward me in front of the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh, in the Zin wilderness, because you didn’t treat me with proper respect before the Israelites. 52You can look at the land from the other side of the river,#Heb lacks of the river. but you won’t enter there."#LXX; MT, Sam, Vulg, Syr, Tg add to the land that I am giving to the Israelites