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33 This is the blessing Moses, the man of God, gave to the people of Israel before his death:

“The Lord came to us at Mount Sinai,
And dawned upon us from Mount Seir;
He shone from Mount Paran,
Surrounded by ten thousands of holy angels,[a]
And with flaming fire at his right hand.
How he loves his people—
His holy ones are in his hands.
They followed in your steps, O Lord.
They have received their directions from you.
The laws I have given
Are your precious possession.
The Lord became king in Jerusalem,
Elected by a convocation of the leaders of the tribes!
Let Reuben live forever
And may his tribe increase!”

And Moses said of Judah:

“O Lord, hear the cry of Judah
And unite him with Israel;
Fight for him against his enemies.”

Then Moses said concerning the tribe of Levi:

“Give to godly Levi
Your Urim and your Thummim.
You tested Levi at Massah and at Meribah;
He obeyed your instructions
and destroyed many sinners,[b]
Even his own children, brothers, fathers, and mothers.
10 The Levites shall teach God’s laws to Israel
And shall work before you at the incense altar
And the altar of burnt offering.
11 O Lord, prosper the Levites
And accept the work they do for you.
Crush those who are their enemies;
Don’t let them rise again.”

12 Concerning the tribe of Benjamin, Moses said:

“He is beloved of God
And lives in safety beside him.
God surrounds him with his loving care,
And preserves him from every harm.”

13 Concerning the tribe of Joseph, he said:

“May his land be blessed by God
With the choicest gifts of heaven
And of the earth that lies below.
14 May he be blessed
With the best of what the sun makes grow;
Growing richly month by month,
15 With the finest of mountain crops
And of the everlasting hills.
16 May he be blessed with the best gifts
Of the earth and its fullness,
And with the favor of God who appeared
In the burning bush.
Let all these blessings come upon Joseph,
The prince among his brothers.
17 He is a young bull in strength and splendor,
With the strong horns of a wild ox
To push against the nations everywhere;
This is my blessing on the multitudes of Ephraim
And the thousands of Manasseh.”

18 Of the tribe of Zebulun, Moses said:

“Rejoice, O Zebulun, you outdoorsmen,
And Issachar, you lovers of your tents;
19 They shall summon the people
To celebrate their sacrifices with them.
Lo, they taste the riches of the sea
And the treasures of the sand.”

20 Concerning the tribe of Gad, Moses said:

“A blessing upon those who help Gad.
He crouches like a lion,
With savage arm and face and head.
21 He chose the best of the land for himself
Because it is reserved for a leader.
He led the people
Because he carried out God’s penalties for Israel.”

22 Of the tribe of Dan, Moses said:

“Dan is like a lion’s cub
Leaping out from Bashan.”

23 Of the tribe of Naphtali, Moses said:

“O Naphtali, you are satisfied
With all the blessings of the Lord;
The Mediterranean coast and the Negeb
Are your home.”

24 Of the tribe of Asher:

“Asher is a favorite son,
Esteemed above his brothers;
He bathes his feet in oil.
25 May you be protected with strong bolts
Of iron and bronze,
And may your strength match the length of your days!
26 There is none like the God of Jerusalem—
He descends from the heavens
In majestic splendor to help you.
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms.
He thrusts out your enemies before you;
It is he who cries, ‘Destroy them!’
28 So Israel dwells safely,
Prospering in a land of corn and wine,
While the gentle rains descend from heaven.
29 What blessings are yours, O Israel!
Who else has been saved by the Lord?
He is your shield and your helper!
He is your excellent sword!
Your enemies shall bow low before you,
And you shall trample on their backs!”

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 33:2 holy angels, literally, “holy ones.”
  2. Deuteronomy 33:9 and destroyed many sinners, implied.
Living Bible (TLB)

The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Moses Blesses the Tribes(A)

33 This is the blessing(B) that Moses the man of God(C) pronounced on the Israelites before his death. He said:

“The Lord came from Sinai(D)
    and dawned over them from Seir;(E)
    he shone forth(F) from Mount Paran.(G)
He came with[a] myriads of holy ones(H)
    from the south, from his mountain slopes.[b]
Surely it is you who love(I) the people;
    all the holy ones are in your hand.(J)
At your feet they all bow down,(K)
    and from you receive instruction,
the law that Moses gave us,(L)
    the possession of the assembly of Jacob.(M)
He was king(N) over Jeshurun[c](O)
    when the leaders of the people assembled,
    along with the tribes of Israel.

“Let Reuben live and not die,
    nor[d] his people be few.”(P)

And this he said about Judah:(Q)

“Hear, Lord, the cry of Judah;
    bring him to his people.
With his own hands he defends his cause.
    Oh, be his help against his foes!”

About Levi(R) he said:

“Your Thummim and Urim(S) belong
    to your faithful servant.(T)
You tested(U) him at Massah;
    you contended with him at the waters of Meribah.(V)
He said of his father and mother,(W)
    ‘I have no regard for them.’
He did not recognize his brothers
    or acknowledge his own children,
but he watched over your word
    and guarded your covenant.(X)
10 He teaches(Y) your precepts to Jacob
    and your law to Israel.(Z)
He offers incense before you(AA)
    and whole burnt offerings on your altar.(AB)
11 Bless all his skills, Lord,
    and be pleased with the work of his hands.(AC)
Strike down those who rise against him,
    his foes till they rise no more.”

12 About Benjamin(AD) he said:

“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him,(AE)
    for he shields him all day long,(AF)
    and the one the Lord loves(AG) rests between his shoulders.(AH)

13 About Joseph(AI) he said:

“May the Lord bless his land
    with the precious dew from heaven above
    and with the deep waters that lie below;(AJ)
14 with the best the sun brings forth
    and the finest the moon can yield;
15 with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains(AK)
    and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;
16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
    and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.(AL)
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
    on the brow of the prince among[e] his brothers.(AM)
17 In majesty he is like a firstborn bull;
    his horns(AN) are the horns of a wild ox.(AO)
With them he will gore(AP) the nations,
    even those at the ends of the earth.
Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim;(AQ)
    such are the thousands of Manasseh.(AR)

18 About Zebulun(AS) he said:

“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
    and you, Issachar,(AT) in your tents.
19 They will summon peoples to the mountain(AU)
    and there offer the sacrifices of the righteous;(AV)
they will feast on the abundance of the seas,(AW)
    on the treasures hidden in the sand.”

20 About Gad(AX) he said:

“Blessed is he who enlarges Gad’s domain!(AY)
    Gad lives there like a lion,
    tearing at arm or head.
21 He chose the best land for himself;(AZ)
    the leader’s portion was kept for him.(BA)
When the heads of the people assembled,
    he carried out the Lord’s righteous will,(BB)
    and his judgments concerning Israel.”

22 About Dan(BC) he said:

“Dan is a lion’s cub,
    springing out of Bashan.”

23 About Naphtali(BD) he said:

“Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the Lord
    and is full of his blessing;
    he will inherit southward to the lake.”

24 About Asher(BE) he said:

“Most blessed of sons is Asher;
    let him be favored by his brothers,
    and let him bathe his feet in oil.(BF)
25 The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze,(BG)
    and your strength will equal your days.(BH)

26 “There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,(BI)
    who rides(BJ) across the heavens to help you(BK)
    and on the clouds(BL) in his majesty.(BM)
27 The eternal(BN) God is your refuge,(BO)
    and underneath are the everlasting(BP) arms.
He will drive out your enemies before you,(BQ)
    saying, ‘Destroy them!’(BR)
28 So Israel will live in safety;(BS)
    Jacob will dwell[f] secure
in a land of grain and new wine,
    where the heavens drop dew.(BT)
29 Blessed are you, Israel!(BU)
    Who is like you,(BV)
    a people saved by the Lord?(BW)
He is your shield and helper(BX)
    and your glorious sword.
Your enemies will cower before you,
    and you will tread on their heights.(BY)

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 33:2 Or from
  2. Deuteronomy 33:2 The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  3. Deuteronomy 33:5 Jeshurun means the upright one, that is, Israel; also in verse 26.
  4. Deuteronomy 33:6 Or but let
  5. Deuteronomy 33:16 Or of the one separated from
  6. Deuteronomy 33:28 Septuagint; Hebrew Jacob’s spring is
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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