33:3 Surely he loves the people; 1
all your holy ones 2 are in your power. 3
And they sit 4 at your feet,
each receiving 5 your words.
33:20 Of Gad he said:
Blessed be the one who enlarges Gad.
Like a lioness he will dwell;
he will tear at an arm – indeed, a scalp. 6
33:28 Israel lives in safety,
the fountain of Jacob is quite secure, 7
in a land of grain and new wine;
indeed, its heavens 8 rain down dew. 9
1 tc Heb “peoples.” The apparent plural form is probably a misunderstood singular (perhaps with a pronominal suffix) with enclitic mem (ם). See HALOT 838 s.v. עַם B.2.
2 tc Heb “his holy ones.” The third person masculine singular suffix of the Hebrew MT is problematic in light of the second person masculine singular suffix on בְּיָדֶךָ (bÿyadekha, “your hands”). The LXX versions by Lucian and Origen read, therefore, “the holy ones.” The LXX version by Theodotion and the Vulgate, however, presuppose third masculine singular suffix on בְּיָדָיו (bÿyadayv, “his hands”), and thus retain “his holy ones.” The efforts to bring pronominal harmony into the line is commendable but unnecessary given the Hebrew tendency to be untroubled by such grammatical inconsistencies. However, the translation harmonizes the first pronoun with the second so that the referent (the Lord) is clear.
3 tn Heb “hands.” For the problem of the pronoun see note on the term “holy ones” earlier in this verse.
4 tn The Hebrew term תֻּכּוּ (tuku, probably Pual perfect of תָּכָה, takhah) is otherwise unknown. The present translation is based on the reference to feet and, apparently, receiving instruction in God’s words (cf. KJV, ASV). Other options are as follows: NIV “At your feet they all bow down” (cf. NCV, CEV); NLT “They follow in your steps” (cf. NAB, NASB); NRSV “they marched at your heels.”
5 tn The singular verbal form in the Hebrew text (lit. “he lifts up”) is understood in a distributive manner, focusing on the action of each individual within the group.
6 tn Heb “forehead,” picturing Gad attacking prey.
7 tn Heb “all alone.” The idea is that such vital resources as water will some day no longer need protection because God will provide security.
8 tn Or “skies.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
9 tn Or perhaps “drizzle, showers.” See note at Deut 32:2.