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Deuteronomy 32:32-44

Context

32:32 For their vine is from the stock 1  of Sodom,

and from the fields of Gomorrah. 2 

Their grapes contain venom,

their clusters of grapes are bitter.

32:33 Their wine is snakes’ poison,

the deadly venom of cobras.

32:34 “Is this not stored up with me?” says the Lord, 3 

“Is it not sealed up in my storehouses?

32:35 I will get revenge and pay them back

at the time their foot slips;

for the day of their disaster is near,

and the impending judgment 4  is rushing upon them!”

32:36 The Lord will judge his people,

and will change his plans concerning 5  his servants;

when he sees that their power has disappeared,

and that no one is left, whether confined or set free.

32:37 He will say, “Where are their gods,

the rock in whom they sought security,

32:38 who ate the best of their sacrifices,

and drank the wine of their drink offerings?

Let them rise and help you;

let them be your refuge!

The Vindication of the Lord

32:39 “See now that I, indeed I, am he!” says the Lord, 6 

“and there is no other god besides me.

I kill and give life,

I smash and I heal,

and none can resist 7  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; 8 

I will execute vengeance on my foes,

and repay those who hate me! 9 

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 10  of the enemy’s leaders!’”

32:43 Cry out, O nations, with his people,

for he will avenge his servants’ blood;

he will take vengeance against his enemies,

and make atonement for his land and people.

Narrative Interlude

32:44 Then Moses went with Joshua 11  son of Nun and recited all the words of this song to the people.

1 tn Heb “vine.”

2 sn Sodom…Gomorrah. The term “vine” is a reference to the pagan deities which, the passage says, find their ultimate source in Sodom and Gomorrah, that is, in the soil of perversion exemplified by these places (cf. Gen 18:20; 19:4-28; Isa 1:10; 3:9; Jer 23:14; Lam 4:6; Ezek 16:44-52; Matt 10:15; 11:23-24).

3 tn Verses 34-35 appear to be a quotation of the Lord and so the introductory phrase “says the Lord” is supplied in the translation.

4 tn Heb “prepared things,” “impending things.” See BDB 800 s.v. עָתִיד.

5 tn The translation understands the verb in the sense of “be grieved, relent” (cf. HALOT 689 s.v. נחם hitp 2); cf. KJV, ASV “repent himself”; NLT “will change his mind.” Another option is to translate “will show compassion to” (see BDB 637 s.v. נחם); cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV.

6 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.

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

8 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.

9 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).

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

11 tn Heb “Hoshea” (so KJV, ASV), another name for the same individual (cf. Num 13:8, 16).



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