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Deuteronomy 32:13-18

Context

32:13 He enabled him 1  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, 2 

and olive oil 3  from the hardest of 4  rocks, 5 

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.

Israel’s Rebellion

32:15 But Jeshurun 6  became fat and kicked,

you 7  got fat, thick, and stuffed!

Then he deserted the God who made him,

and treated the Rock who saved him with contempt.

32:16 They made him jealous with other gods, 8 

they enraged him with abhorrent idols. 9 

32:17 They sacrificed to demons, not God,

to gods they had not known;

to new gods who had recently come along,

gods your ancestors 10  had not known about.

32:18 You have forgotten 11  the Rock who fathered you,

and put out of mind the God who gave you birth.

1 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.

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

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

4 tn Heb “flinty.”

5 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.”

6 tn To make the continuity of the referent clear, some English versions substitute “Jacob” here (NAB, NRSV) while others replace “Jeshurun” with “Israel” (NCV, CEV, NLT) or “the Lord’s people” (TEV).

sn Jeshurun is a term of affection derived from the Hebrew verb יָשַׁר (yashar, “be upright”). Here it speaks of Israel “in an ideal situation, with its ‘uprightness’ due more to God’s help than his own efforts” (M. Mulder, TDOT 6:475).

7 tc The LXX reads the third person masculine singular (“he”) for the MT second person masculine singular (“you”), but such alterations are unnecessary in Hebrew poetic texts where subjects fluctuate frequently and without warning.

8 tc Heb “with strange (things).” The Vulgate actually supplies diis (“gods”).

9 tn Heb “abhorrent (things)” (cf. NRSV). A number of English versions understand this as referring to “idols” (NAB, NIV, NCV, CEV), while NLT supplies “acts.”

10 tn Heb “your fathers.”

11 tc The Hebrew text is corrupt here; the translation follows the suggestion offered in HALOT 1477 s.v. שׁיה. Cf. NASB, NLT “You neglected”; NIV “You deserted”; NRSV “You were unmindful of.”



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