Moses Blesses the People
1This is the blessing that Moses, the man of God, gave the Israelites before he died:
2“The Lord came from Sinai,
like a light shining at dawn over Seir,
like a light shining from Mount Paran.
He came with 10,000 holy ones.#33:2 holy one Here, this probably means an angel.
God’s mighty soldiers were by his side.#33:2 He came … side Or “He came from 10,000 holy angels where his troops were by his right side.”
3Yes, the Lord loves his people.
All his holy people are in his hand.
They sit at his feet
and learn his teachings!
4Moses gave us the law.
These teachings are for Jacob’s people.
5At that time the Israelites
and their leaders met together,
and the Lord became Jeshurun’s#33:5 Jeshurun Another name for the people of Israel. It means “good” or “honest.” Also in verse 26. king!
6“Let Reuben live, and not die!
But let there be only a few people in his tribe!”
7Moses said this about Judah:
“Lord, listen to the leader from Judah when he calls for help.
Bring him to his people.
Make him strong,
and help him defeat his enemies!”
8Moses said this about Levi:
“Levi is your true follower.
He keeps the Urim and Thummim.
At Massah you tested the people of Levi.
At the waters of Meribah,#33:8 Massah … Meribah See Num. 20:1-13 for the story. you challenged them.
9They were more loyal to you, Lord, than to their own families.
They ignored their fathers and mothers.
They did not recognize their brothers.
They did not pay attention to their children.
But they obeyed your commands.
They kept your agreement.
10They will teach your rules to Jacob
and your Law to Israel.
They will burn incense before you.
They will offer burnt offerings on your altar.
11“Lord, bless everything Levi has.
Accept what he does.
Destroy those who attack him!
Defeat his enemies so that they will never attack again.”
12Moses said this about Benjamin:
“Benjamin is loved by the Lord
and lives close to him in safety.
The Lord protects him all the time
like a child at rest on its mother’s back.”#33:12 like a child … back Literally, “and he rests between his shoulders.” The metaphor may refer to the custom of a mother carrying her baby tied on her back as she works. See Ps. 131:2.
13Moses said this about Joseph:
“May the Lord bless Joseph’s land
with rain from the skies above
and water from the ground below.
14Let the sun give them good fruit.
Let each month bring its best fruit.
15Let the hills and ancient mountains
produce their best fruit.
16Let the earth give its best to Joseph.
He was separated from his brothers.
So may the Lord in the burning bush give his best to Joseph.
17Joseph is like a powerful bull.
His two sons are like bull’s horns.
They will attack other people
and push them to the ends of the earth!
Yes, Manasseh has thousands of people,
and Ephraim has ten thousands.”
Zebulun and Issachar’s Blessing
18Moses said this about Zebulun:
“Zebulun, be happy when you go out.
Issachar, be happy in your tents at home.
19They will call the people to their mountain.
There they will offer good sacrifices.
They will take riches from the sea
and treasures from the shore.”
20Moses said this about Gad:
“Praise God who gave Gad more land!
Gad is like a lion that lies down and waits.
Then he attacks and tears the animal in pieces.
21He chose the best part for himself.
He took the king’s share.
The leaders of the people come to him.
He did what the Lord says is good.
He did what is right for the Israelites.”
22Moses said this about Dan:
“Dan is a lion’s cub
that jumps out from Bashan.”
23Moses said this about Naphtali:
“Naphtali, you will get all you want.
The Lord will really bless you.
You will get the land by Lake Galilee.”
24Moses said this about Asher:
“Asher#33:24 Asher This name means “blessed” or “happy.” is the most blessed of the sons.
Let him be the favorite of his brothers.
And let him wash his feet in olive oil.
25Your gates will have locks made from iron and bronze.
You will be strong all your life.”
Moses Gives Praise to God
26“There is no one like the God of Israel!
He rides on the clouds in his divine greatness.
He comes riding through the skies to help you.
27God lives forever.
He is your place of safety.
His power continues forever!
He is protecting you.
He will force your enemies to leave your land.
He will say, ‘Destroy the enemy!’
28So Israel will live in safety.
Jacob’s well belongs to them.
They will get a land of grain and wine.
And that land will get plenty of rain.
29Israel, you are blessed.
No other nation is like you.
The Lord saved you.
He is like a strong shield protecting you.
He is like a powerful sword.
Your enemies will be afraid of you,
and you will put your foot on their backs!#33:29 and you … backs Or “You will trample their holy places.””