The fourth heading: Moses’ blessing
1This is the blessing that Moses the man of God gave the Israelites before he died. 2He said:
The Lord came from Sinai:
from Seir he shone like the dawn on us,#Correcting with LXX, Vulg, Syr, Tg Onkelos (see 33:4); MT and Sam on them
from Paran Mountain he beamed down.
Thousands of holy ones were with him;#Correction; cf LXX, Sam, Syr, Vulg; MT he came from Ribeboth-kodesh
his warriors were next to him, ready.#LXX angels; Heb uncertain
3Yes, those who love#Correction; MT lover of the nations—
all his holy ones—were at your command;
they followed your footsteps;
they got moving when you said so.
4Moses gave the Instruction to us—
it’s the prized possession of Jacob’s assembly.
5A king came to rule in Jeshurun,
when the people’s leaders gathered together,
when Israel’s tribes were one.
6"I pray that Reuben lives, doesn’t die,
though his numbers are so few."
7Moses said this to Judah:
"Lord, listen to Judah’s voice!
Bring him back to his own people,
strengthen his hands;#Or with his hands he contended
be his help against every enemy."
8Then he told Levi:
"Give your Thummim to Levi,#DSS (4QDeuth, 4QTest) and LXX; MT lacks Give to Levi.
your Urim to your faithful one—
the one you tested at Massah,
the one you challenged by Meribah’s waters;
9the one who said of his own mother and father:
‘I don’t consider them as such’;
of their siblings: ‘I don’t recognize them’;
of their own children, ‘I don’t know them’—
but who obeyed your words
and who guarded your covenant!
10They teach your case laws to Jacob,
your Instruction to Israel.
They hold sweet incense to your nose;
put the entirely burned offering on your altar.
11I pray that the Lord blesses Levi’s strength,
favors his hard work,
and crushes the insides of his enemies
so that those who hate him can’t fight anymore."
12He said to Benjamin:
"The Lord’s dearest one
rests safely on him.
The Lord always shields him;
he rests on God’s chest."
13Then he told Joseph:
"I pray that his land is blessed by God:
with heaven’s gifts from above,#Or from the dew
with the deep waters stretching out underneath;
14with the gifts produced by the sun,
with the gifts generated by the moon;#Or moons or months
15with the best fruit from ancient mountains,
with the gifts of eternal hills;
16with the gifts of the earth and all that fills it,
and the favor of the one who lives on Sinai.#Or lives in a bush
I pray that all these rest on Joseph’s head,
on the crown of that prince among brothers.
17A firstborn bull#Sam, LXX, Vulg; DSS (4QDeuth) and Heb the oldest offspring of his bull—that’s how majestic he is!
A wild ox’s horns—those are his horns!
With them he gores all peoples
completely, to the far ends of the earth!
His horns#Or they; also in the next line are Ephraim’s tens of thousands.
His horns are Manasseh’s thousands."
18Then he told Zebulun:
"Zebulun: celebrate when you are out and about;
Issachar: celebrate when you are at home in your tents!
19They call all sorts of people to the mountain,
where they offer right sacrifices.
It’s true: They’re nourished on the sea’s abundance;
they are nourished on buried treasures in the sand."
20Then he told Gad:
"May Gad’s broad lands#Or the one who makes Gad large be blessed!
He lives like a lion:
he rips an arm, even a head!
21He chose the best part for himself
because there, where the commander’s portion was,
the leaders of the people gathered together.#Cf LXX; MT there the commander’s portion was reserved; he came at the front of the people or there was the portion of the respected commander; the people’s leaders came.
Gad executed the Lord’s justice
and the Lord’s judgments for Israel."#Heb uncertain
22Then he told Dan:
"Dan is a lion cub.
He jumps up from Bashan."
23Then he told Naphtali:
"Naphtali—you are full of favor,
overflowing with the Lord’s blessing—
go possess the west and the south!"
24Finally, he told Asher:
"Asher is the most blessed of sons.
I pray that he’s his brothers’ favorite—
one who dips his foot in fine oil.
25I pray that your dead bolts are iron and copper,
and that your strength lasts all your days."#Heb uncertain
26Jeshurun! No one compares to God!
He rides through heaven to help you,
rides majestically through the clouds.
27The most ancient God is a place of safety;#Or He humiliates the oldest gods.
the eternal arms are a support.#Or He shatters the most ancient forces.
He drove out the enemy before you.
He commanded: "Destroy them!"
28So Israel now lives in safety—
Jacob’s residence#Or fountain is secure—
in a land full of grain and wine,
where the heavens drip dew.
29Happy are you, Israel! Who is like you?
You are a people saved by the Lord!
He’s the shield that helps you,
your majestic sword!
Your enemies will come crawling on their knees to you,
but you will stomp on their backs!#Or their shrines