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Deuteronomy 32:10-14

Context

32:10 The Lord 1  found him 2  in a desolate land,

in an empty wasteland where animals howl. 3 

He continually guarded him 4  and taught him; 5 

he continually protected him 6  like the pupil 7  of his eye.

32:11 Like an eagle that stirs up 8  its nest,

that hovers over its young,

so the Lord 9  spread out his wings and took him, 10 

he lifted him up on his pinions.

32:12 The Lord alone was guiding him, 11 

no foreign god was with him.

32:13 He enabled him 12  to travel over the high terrain of the land,

and he ate of the produce of the fields.

He provided honey for him from the cliffs, 13 

and olive oil 14  from the hardest of 15  rocks, 16 

32:14 butter from the herd

and milk from the flock,

along with the fat of lambs,

rams and goats of Bashan,

along with the best of the kernels of wheat;

and from the juice of grapes you drank wine.

1 tn Heb “he.” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn The reference is to “his people/Jacob” (cf. v. 9), that is, Israel (using a collective singular). The singular pronouns are replaced by plural ones throughout vv. 10-14 by some English versions as an aid to the modern reader (cf. NAB, NCV, TEV, NLT).

3 tn Heb “in an empty, howling wasteland.” The word “howling” is derived from a verbal root that typically refers to the wailing of mourners. Here it likely refers to the howling of desert animals, or perhaps to the howling wind, in which case one may translate, “in an empty, windy wasteland.”

4 tn Heb “was surrounding him.” The distinctive form of the suffix on this verb form indicates that the verb is an imperfect, not a preterite. As such it draws attention to God’s continuing care during the period in view. See A. F. Rainey, “The Ancient Hebrew Prefix Conjugation in the Light of Amarnah Canaanite,” Hebrew Studies 27 (1986): 15-16.

5 tn Heb “he gave him understanding.” The form of the suffix on this verb form indicates that the verb is a preterite, not an imperfect. As such it simply states the action factually. See A. F. Rainey, “The Ancient Hebrew Prefix Conjugation in the Light of Amarnah Canaanite,” Hebrew Studies 27 (1986): 15-16.

6 tn The distinctive form of the suffix on this verb form indicates that the verb is an imperfect, not a preterite. As such it draws attention to God’s continuing protection during the period in view. See A. F. Rainey, “The Ancient Hebrew Prefix Conjugation in the Light of Amarnah Canaanite,” Hebrew Studies 27 (1986): 15-16.

7 tn Heb “the little man.” The term אִישׁוֹן (’ishon) means literally “little man,” perhaps because when one looks into another’s eyes he sees himself reflected there in miniature. See A. Harman, NIDOTTE 1:391.

8 tn The prefixed verbal form is an imperfect, indicating habitual or typical behavior. The parallel verb (cf. “hovers” in the next line) is used in the same manner.

9 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

10 tn The form of the suffix on this and the following verb forms (cf. “lifted him up”) indicates that the verbs are preterites, not imperfects. As such they simply state the action factually. The use of the preterite here suggests that the preceding verb (cf. “spread out”) is preterite as well.

11 tn The distinctive form of the suffix on this verb form indicates that the verb is an imperfect, not a preterite. As such it draws attention to God’s continuing guidance during the period in view.

12 tn The form of the suffix on this verbal form indicates that the verb is a preterite, not an imperfect. As such it simply states the action factually. Note as well the preterites with vav (ו) consecutive that follow in the verse.

13 tn Heb “he made him suck honey from the rock.”

14 tn Heb “oil,” but this probably refers to olive oil; see note on the word “rock” at the end of this verse.

15 tn Heb “flinty.”

16 sn Olive oil from rock probably suggests olive trees growing on rocky ledges and yet doing so productively. See E. H. Merrill, Deuteronomy (NAC), 415; cf. TEV “their olive trees flourished in stony ground.”



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