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Deuteronomy 32:39-42

Context
The Vindication of the Lord

32:39 “See now that I, indeed I, am he!” says the Lord, 1 

“and there is no other god besides me.

I kill and give life,

I smash and I heal,

and none can resist 2  my power.

32:40 For I raise up my hand to heaven,

and say, ‘As surely as I live forever,

32:41 I will sharpen my lightning-like sword,

and my hand will grasp hold of the weapon of judgment; 3 

I will execute vengeance on my foes,

and repay those who hate me! 4 

32:42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,

and my sword will devour flesh –

the blood of the slaughtered and captured,

the chief 5  of the enemy’s leaders!’”

1 tn Verses 39-42 appear to be a quotation of the Lord and so the introductory phrase “says the Lord” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “deliver from” (so NRSV, NLT).

3 tn Heb “judgment.” This is a metonymy, a figure of speech in which the effect (judgment) is employed as an instrument (sword, spear, or the like), the means, by which it is brought about.

4 tn The Hebrew term שָׂנֵא (sane’, “hate”) in this covenant context speaks of those who reject Yahweh’s covenant overtures, that is, who disobey its stipulations (see note on the word “rejecting” in Deut 5:9; also see Deut 7:10; 2 Chr 19:2; Ps 81:15; 139:20-21).

5 tn Or “head” (the same Hebrew word can mean “head” in the sense of “leader, chieftain” or “head” in the sense of body part).



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