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Deuteronomy 29:1--33:29

Context
Narrative Interlude

29:1 (28:69) 1  These are the words of the covenant that the Lord commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb. 2 

The Exodus, Wandering, and Conquest Reviewed

29:2 Moses proclaimed to all Israel as follows: “You have seen all that the Lord did 3  in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, all his servants, and his land. 29:3 Your eyes have seen the great judgments, 4  those signs and mighty wonders. 29:4 But to this very day the Lord has not given you an understanding mind, perceptive eyes, or discerning ears! 5  29:5 I have led you through the desert for forty years. Your clothing has not worn out 6  nor have your sandals 7  deteriorated. 29:6 You have eaten no bread and drunk no wine or beer – all so that you might know that I 8  am the Lord your God! 29:7 When you came to this place King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to make war and we defeated them. 29:8 Then we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

The Present Covenant Setting

29:9 “Therefore, keep the terms 9  of this covenant and obey them so that you may be successful in everything you do. 29:10 You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God – the heads of your tribes, 10  your elders, your officials, every Israelite man, 29:11 your infants, your wives, and the 11  foreigners living in your encampment, those who chop wood and those who carry water – 29:12 so that you may enter by oath into the covenant the Lord your God is making with you today. 12  29:13 Today he will affirm that you are his people and that he is your God, 13  just as he promised you and as he swore by oath to your ancestors 14  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 29:14 It is not with you alone that I am making this covenant by oath, 29:15 but with whoever stands with us here today before the Lord our God as well as those not with us here today. 15 

The Results of Disobedience

29:16 “(For you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations as we traveled. 29:17 You have seen their detestable things 16  and idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold.) 17  29:18 Beware that the heart of no man, woman, clan, or tribe among you turns away from the Lord our God today to pursue and serve the gods of those nations; beware that there is among you no root producing poisonous and bitter fruit. 18  29:19 When such a person 19  hears the words of this oath he secretly 20  blesses himself 21  and says, “I will have peace though I continue to walk with a stubborn spirit.” 22  This will destroy 23  the watered ground with the parched. 24  29:20 The Lord will be unwilling to forgive him, and his intense anger 25  will rage 26  against that man; all the curses 27  written in this scroll will fall upon him 28  and the Lord will obliterate his name from memory. 29  29:21 The Lord will single him out 30  for judgment 31  from all the tribes of Israel according to all the curses of the covenant written in this scroll of the law. 29:22 The generation to come – your descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigner who will come from distant places – will see 32  the afflictions of that land and the illnesses that the Lord has brought on it. 29:23 The whole land will be covered with brimstone, salt, and burning debris; it will not be planted nor will it sprout or produce grass. It will resemble the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed in his intense anger. 33  29:24 Then all the nations will ask, “Why has the Lord done all this to this land? What is this fierce, heated display of anger 34  all about?” 29:25 Then people will say, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 29:26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods they did not know and that he did not permit them to worship. 35  29:27 That is why the Lord’s anger erupted against this land, bringing on it all the curses 36  written in this scroll. 29:28 So the Lord has uprooted them from their land in anger, wrath, and great rage and has deported them to another land, as is clear today.” 29:29 Secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants 37  forever, so that we might obey all the words of this law.

The Results of Covenant Reaffirmation

30:1 “When you have experienced all these things, both the blessings and the curses 38  I have set before you, you will reflect upon them 39  in all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you. 30:2 Then if you and your descendants 40  turn to the Lord your God and obey him with your whole mind and being 41  just as 42  I am commanding you today, 30:3 the Lord your God will reverse your captivity and have pity on you. He will turn and gather you from all the peoples among whom he 43  has scattered you. 30:4 Even if your exiles are in the most distant land, 44  from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 30:5 Then he 45  will bring you to the land your ancestors 46  possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors. 30:6 The Lord your God will also cleanse 47  your heart and the hearts of your descendants 48  so that you may love him 49  with all your mind and being and so that you may live. 30:7 Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. 30:8 You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving 50  you today. 30:9 The Lord your God will make the labor of your hands 51  abundantly successful and multiply your children, 52  the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil. For the Lord your God will once more 53  rejoice over you to make you prosperous 54  just as he rejoiced over your ancestors, 30:10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this scroll of the law. But you must turn to him 55  with your whole mind and being.

Exhortation to Covenant Obedience

30:11 “This commandment I am giving 56  you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it too remote. 30:12 It is not in heaven, as though one must say, “Who will go up to heaven to get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 30:13 And it is not across the sea, as though one must say, “Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 30:14 For the thing is very near you – it is in your mouth and in your mind 57  so that you can do it.

30:15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 30:16 What 58  I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are about to possess. 59  30:17 However, if you 60  turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 30:18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly 61  perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. 62  30:19 Today I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! 30:20 I also call on you 63  to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually 64  in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

Succession of Moses by Joshua

31:1 Then Moses went 65  and spoke these words 66  to all Israel. 31:2 He said to them, “Today I am a hundred and twenty years old. I am no longer able to get about, 67  and the Lord has said to me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan.’ 31:3 As for the Lord your God, he is about to cross over before you; he will destroy these nations before you and dispossess them. As for Joshua, he is about to cross before you just as the Lord has said. 31:4 The Lord will do to them just what he did to Sihon and Og, the Amorite kings, and to their land, which he destroyed. 31:5 The Lord will deliver them over to you and you will do to them according to the whole commandment I have given you. 31:6 Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!” 31:7 Then Moses called out to Joshua 68  in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will accompany these people to the land that the Lord promised to give their ancestors, 69  and you will enable them to inherit it. 31:8 The Lord is indeed going before you – he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!”

The Deposit of the Covenant Text

31:9 Then Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all Israel’s elders. 31:10 He 70  commanded them: “At the end of seven years, at the appointed time of the cancellation of debts, 71  at the Feast of Temporary Shelters, 72  31:11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, you must read this law before them 73  within their hearing. 31:12 Gather the people – men, women, and children, as well as the resident foreigners in your villages – so they may hear and thus learn about and fear the Lord your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. 31:13 Then their children, who have not known this law, 74  will also hear about and learn to fear the Lord your God for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

The Commissioning of Joshua

31:14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The day of your death is near. Summon Joshua and present yourselves in the tent 75  of meeting 76  so that I can commission him.” 77  So Moses and Joshua presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 31:15 The Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud that 78  stood above the door of the tent. 31:16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die, 79  and then these people will begin to prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land into which they 80  are going. They 81  will reject 82  me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 83  31:17 At that time 84  my anger will erupt against them 85  and I will abandon them and hide my face from them until they are devoured. Many disasters and distresses will overcome 86  them 87  so that they 88  will say at that time, ‘Have not these disasters 89  overcome us 90  because our 91  God is not among us 92 ?’ 31:18 But I will certainly 93  hide myself at that time because of all the wickedness they 94  will have done by turning to other gods. 31:19 Now write down for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites. Put it into their very mouths so that this song may serve as my witness against the Israelites! 31:20 For after I have brought them 95  to the land I promised to their 96  ancestors – one flowing with milk and honey – and they 97  eat their fill 98  and become fat, then they 99  will turn to other gods and worship them; they will reject me and break my covenant. 31:21 Then when 100  many disasters and distresses overcome them 101  this song will testify against them, 102  for their 103  descendants will not forget it. 104  I know the 105  intentions they have in mind 106  today, even before I bring them 107  to the land I have promised.” 31:22 So on that day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites, 31:23 and the Lord 108  commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will take the Israelites to the land I have promised them, and I will be with you.” 109 

Anticipation of Disobedience

31:24 When Moses finished writing on a scroll the words of this law in their entirety, 31:25 he 110  commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, 31:26 “Take this scroll of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. It will remain there as a witness against you, 31:27 for I know about your rebellion and stubbornness. 111  Indeed, even while I have been living among you to this very day, you have rebelled against the Lord; you will be even more rebellious after my death! 112  31:28 Gather to me all your tribal elders and officials so I can speak to them directly about these things and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them. 31:29 For I know that after I die you will totally 113  corrupt yourselves and turn away from the path I have commanded you to walk. Disaster will confront you in the days to come because you will act wickedly 114  before the Lord, inciting him to anger because of your actions.” 115  31:30 Then Moses recited the words of this song from start to finish in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel.

Invocation of Witnesses

32:1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;

hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

32:2 My teaching will drop like the rain,

my sayings will drip like the dew, 116 

as rain drops upon the grass,

and showers upon new growth.

32:3 For I will proclaim the name 117  of the Lord;

you must acknowledge the greatness of our God.

32:4 As for the Rock, 118  his work is perfect,

for all his ways are just.

He is a reliable God who is never unjust,

he is fair 119  and upright.

32:5 His people have been unfaithful 120  to him;

they have not acted like his children 121  – this is their sin. 122 

They are a perverse 123  and deceitful generation.

32:6 Is this how you repay 124  the Lord,

you foolish, unwise people?

Is he not your father, your creator?

He has made you and established you.

32:7 Remember the ancient days;

bear in mind 125  the years of past generations. 126 

Ask your father and he will inform you,

your elders, and they will tell you.

32:8 When the Most High 127  gave the nations their inheritance,

when he divided up humankind, 128 

he set the boundaries of the peoples,

according to the number of the heavenly assembly. 129 

32:9 For the Lord’s allotment is his people,

Jacob is his special possession. 130 

32:10 The Lord 131  found him 132  in a desolate land,

in an empty wasteland where animals howl. 133 

He continually guarded him 134  and taught him; 135 

he continually protected him 136  like the pupil 137  of his eye.

32:11 Like an eagle that stirs up 138  its nest,

that hovers over its young,

so the Lord 139  spread out his wings and took him, 140 

he lifted him up on his pinions.

32:12 The Lord alone was guiding him, 141 

no foreign god was with him.

32:13 He enabled him 142  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, 143 

and olive oil 144  from the hardest of 145  rocks, 146 

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 147  became fat and kicked,

you 148  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, 149 

they enraged him with abhorrent idols. 150 

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 151  had not known about.

32:18 You have forgotten 152  the Rock who fathered you,

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

A Word of Judgment

32:19 But the Lord took note and despised them

because his sons and daughters enraged him.

32:20 He said, “I will reject them, 153 

I will see what will happen to them;

for they are a perverse generation,

children 154  who show no loyalty.

32:21 They have made me jealous 155  with false gods, 156 

enraging me with their worthless gods; 157 

so I will make them jealous with a people they do not recognize, 158 

with a nation slow to learn 159  I will enrage them.

32:22 For a fire has been kindled by my anger,

and it burns to lowest Sheol; 160 

it consumes the earth and its produce,

and ignites the foundations of the mountains.

32:23 I will increase their 161  disasters,

I will use up my arrows on them.

32:24 They will be starved by famine,

eaten by plague, and bitterly stung; 162 

I will send the teeth of wild animals against them,

along with the poison of creatures that crawl in the dust.

32:25 The sword will make people childless outside,

and terror will do so inside;

they will destroy 163  both the young man and the virgin,

the infant and the gray-haired man.

The Weakness of Other Gods

32:26 “I said, ‘I want to cut them in pieces. 164 

I want to make people forget they ever existed.

32:27 But I fear the reaction 165  of their enemies,

for 166  their adversaries would misunderstand

and say, “Our power is great, 167 

and the Lord has not done all this!”’

32:28 They are a nation devoid of wisdom,

and there is no understanding among them.

32:29 I wish that they were wise and could understand this,

and that they could comprehend what will happen to them.”

32:30 How can one man chase a thousand of them, 168 

and two pursue ten thousand;

unless their Rock had delivered them up, 169 

and the Lord had handed them over?

32:31 For our enemies’ 170  rock is not like our Rock,

as even our enemies concede.

32:32 For their vine is from the stock 171  of Sodom,

and from the fields of Gomorrah. 172 

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, 173 

“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 174  is rushing upon them!”

32:36 The Lord will judge his people,

and will change his plans concerning 175  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, 176 

“and there is no other god besides me.

I kill and give life,

I smash and I heal,

and none can resist 177  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; 178 

I will execute vengeance on my foes,

and repay those who hate me! 179 

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 180  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 181  son of Nun and recited all the words of this song to the people. 32:45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel 32:46 he said to them, “Keep in mind all the words I am solemnly proclaiming to you today; you must command your children to observe carefully all the words of this law. 32:47 For this is no idle word for you – it is your life! By this word you will live a long time in the land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.”

Instructions about Moses’ Death

32:48 Then the Lord said to Moses that same day, 32:49 “Go up to this Abarim 182  hill country, to Mount Nebo (which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho 183 ) and look at the land of Canaan that I am giving to the Israelites as a possession. 32:50 You will die 184  on the mountain that you ascend and join your deceased ancestors, 185  just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor 186  and joined his deceased ancestors, 32:51 for both of you 187  rebelled against me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the desert of Zin when you did not show me proper respect 188  among the Israelites. 32:52 You will see the land before you, but you will not enter the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”

Introduction to the Blessing of Moses

33:1 This is the blessing Moses the man of God pronounced upon the Israelites before his death. 33:2 He said:

A Historical Review

The Lord came from Sinai

and revealed himself 189  to Israel 190  from Seir.

He appeared in splendor 191  from Mount Paran,

and came forth with ten thousand holy ones. 192 

With his right hand he gave a fiery law 193  to them.

33:3 Surely he loves the people; 194 

all your holy ones 195  are in your power. 196 

And they sit 197  at your feet,

each receiving 198  your words.

33:4 Moses delivered to us a law, 199 

an inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.

33:5 The Lord 200  was king over Jeshurun, 201 

when the leaders of the people assembled,

the tribes of Israel together. 202 

Blessing on Reuben

33:6 May Reuben live and not die,

and may his people multiply. 203 

Blessing on Judah

33:7 And this is the blessing 204  to Judah. He said,

Listen, O Lord, to Judah’s voice,

and bring him to his people.

May his power be great,

and may you help him against his foes.

Blessing on Levi

33:8 Of Levi he said:

Your Thummim and Urim 205  belong to your godly one, 206 

whose authority you challenged at Massah, 207 

and with whom you argued at the waters of Meribah. 208 

33:9 He said to his father and mother, “I have not seen him,” 209 

and he did not acknowledge his own brothers

or know his own children,

for they kept your word,

and guarded your covenant.

33:10 They will teach Jacob your ordinances

and Israel your law;

they will offer incense as a pleasant odor,

and a whole offering on your altar.

33:11 Bless, O Lord, his goods,

and be pleased with his efforts;

undercut the legs 210  of any who attack him,

and of those who hate him, so that they cannot stand.

Blessing on Benjamin

33:12 Of Benjamin he said:

The beloved of the Lord will live safely by him;

he protects him all the time,

and the Lord 211  places him on his chest. 212 

Blessing on Joseph

33:13 Of Joseph he said:

May the Lord bless his land

with the harvest produced by the sky, 213  by the dew,

and by the depths crouching beneath;

33:14 with the harvest produced by the daylight 214 

and by 215  the moonlight; 216 

33:15 with the best 217  of the ancient mountains

and the harvest produced by the age-old hills;

33:16 with the harvest of the earth and its fullness

and the pleasure of him who resided in the burning bush. 218 

May blessing rest on Joseph’s head,

and on the top of the head of the one set apart 219  from his brothers.

33:17 May the firstborn of his bull bring him honor,

and may his horns be those of a wild ox;

with them may he gore all peoples,

all the far reaches of the earth.

They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, 220 

and they are the thousands of Manasseh.

Blessing on Zebulun and Issachar

33:18 Of Zebulun he said:

Rejoice, Zebulun, when you go outside,

and Issachar, when you are in your tents.

33:19 They will summon peoples to the mountain,

there they will sacrifice proper 221  sacrifices;

for they will enjoy 222  the abundance of the seas,

and the hidden treasures of the shores. 223 

Blessing on Gad

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. 224 

33:21 He has selected the best part for himself,

for the portion of the ruler 225  is set aside 226  there;

he came with the leaders 227  of the people,

he obeyed the righteous laws of the Lord

and his ordinances with Israel.

Blessing on Dan

33:22 Of Dan he said:

Dan is a lion’s cub;

he will leap forth from Bashan. 228 

Blessing on Naphtali

33:23 Of Naphtali he said:

O Naphtali, overflowing with favor,

and full of the Lord’s blessing,

possess the west and south.

Blessing on Asher

33:24 Of Asher he said:

Asher is blessed with children,

may he be favored by his brothers

and may he dip his foot in olive oil. 229 

33:25 The bars of your gates 230  will be made of iron and bronze,

and may you have lifelong strength.

General Praise and Blessing

33:26 There is no one like God, O Jeshurun, 231 

who rides through the sky 232  to help you,

on the clouds in majesty.

33:27 The everlasting God is a refuge,

and underneath you are his eternal arms; 233 

he has driven out enemies before you,

and has said, “Destroy!”

33:28 Israel lives in safety,

the fountain of Jacob is quite secure, 234 

in a land of grain and new wine;

indeed, its heavens 235  rain down dew. 236 

33:29 You have joy, Israel! Who is like you?

You are a people delivered by the Lord,

your protective shield

and your exalted sword.

May your enemies cringe before you;

may you trample on their backs.

1 sn Beginning with 29:1, the verse numbers through 29:29 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 29:1 ET = 28:69 HT, 29:2 ET = 29:1 HT, 29:3 ET = 29:2 HT, etc., through 29:29 ET = 29:28 HT. With 30:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

2 sn Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai (which some English versions substitute here for clarity, cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

3 tn The Hebrew text includes “to your eyes,” but this is redundant in English style (cf. the preceding “you have seen”) and is omitted in the translation.

4 tn Heb “testings.” This is a reference to the plagues; see note at 4:34.

5 tn Heb “a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear” (NASB similar); NAB, NRSV “a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear.”

6 tn The Hebrew text includes “on you.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

7 tn The Hebrew text includes “from on your feet.”

8 tc The LXX reads “that he is the Lord your God.”

9 tn Heb “words.”

10 tc Heb “your heads, your tribes.” The Syriac presupposes either “heads of your tribes” or “your heads, your judges,” etc. (reading שֹׁפְטֵכֶם [shofÿtekhem] for שִׁבְטֵיכֶם [shivtekhem]). Its comparative difficulty favors the originality of the MT reading. Cf. KJV “your captains of your tribes”; NRSV “the leaders of your tribes”; NLT “your tribal leaders.”

11 tn Heb “your.”

12 tn Heb “for you to pass on into the covenant of the Lord your God and into his oath, which the Lord your God is cutting with you today.”

13 tn Heb “in order to establish you today to him for a people and he will be to you for God.” Verses 10-13 are one long sentence in Hebrew. The translation divides this into two sentences for stylistic reasons.

14 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 25).

15 tn This is interpreted by some English versions as a reference to generations not yet born (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).

16 tn The Hebrew term שִׁקּוּץ (shiquts) refers to anything out of keeping with the nature and character of Yahweh and therefore to be avoided by his people Israel. It is commonly used with or as a synonym for תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, “detestable, abhorrent”; 2 Kgs 23:13; Jer 16:18; Ezek 5:11; 7:20; 11:18, 21; see note on the term “abhorrent” in Deut 7:25). See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:243-46.

17 tn The Hebrew text includes “which were with them.” Verses 16-17 constitute a parenthetical comment.

18 tn Heb “yielding fruit poisonous and wormwood.” The Hebrew noun לַעֲנָה (laanah) literally means “wormwood” (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB), but is used figuratively for anything extremely bitter, thus here “fruit poisonous and bitter.”

19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the subject of the warning in v. 18) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

20 tn Heb “in his heart.”

21 tn Or “invokes a blessing on himself.” A formalized word of blessing is in view, the content of which appears later in the verse.

22 tn Heb “heart.”

23 tn Heb “thus destroying.” For stylistic reasons the translation begins a new sentence here.

24 tn Heb “the watered with the parched.” The word “ground” is implied. The exact meaning of the phrase is uncertain although it appears to be figurative. This appears to be a proverbial observation employing a figure of speech (a merism) suggesting totality. That is, the Israelite who violates the letter and even spirit of the covenant will harm not only himself but everything he touches – “the watered and the parched.” Cf. CEV “you will cause the rest of Israel to be punished along with you.”

25 tn Heb “the wrath of the Lord and his zeal.” The expression is a hendiadys, a figure in which the second noun becomes adjectival to the first.

26 tn Heb “smoke,” or “smolder.”

27 tn Heb “the entire oath.”

28 tn Or “will lie in wait against him.”

29 tn Heb “blot out his name from under the sky.”

30 tn Heb “set him apart.”

31 tn Heb “for evil”; NAB “for doom”; NASB “for adversity”; NIV “for disaster”; NRSV “for calamity.”

32 tn Heb “will say and see.” One expects a quotation to appear, but it seems to be omitted. To avoid confusion in the translation, the verb “will say” is omitted.

33 tn Heb “the anger and the wrath.” This construction is a hendiadys intended to intensify the emotion.

34 tn Heb “this great burning of anger”; KJV “the heat of this great anger.”

35 tn Heb “did not assign to them”; NASB, NRSV “had not allotted to them.”

36 tn Heb “the entire curse.”

37 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); KJV, ASV, NIV, NRSV “children.”

38 tn Heb “the blessing and the curse.”

39 tn Heb “and you bring (them) back to your heart.”

40 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); KJV, ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “children.”

41 tn Or “heart and soul” (also in vv. 6, 10).

42 tn Heb “according to all.”

43 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

44 tn Heb “are at the farthest edge of the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

45 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.

46 tn Heb “fathers” (also later in this verse and in vv. 9, 20).

47 tn Heb “circumcise” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “will give you and your descendents obedient hearts.” See note on the word “cleanse” in Deut 10:16.

48 tn Heb “seed” (so KJV, ASV).

49 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.

50 tn Heb “commanding”; NAB “which I now enjoin on you.”

51 tc The MT reads “hand” (singular). Most versions read the plural.

52 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV); NRSV “of your body.”

53 tn Heb “return and.” The Hebrew verb is used idiomatically here to indicate the repetition of the following action.

54 tn The Hebrew text includes “for good.”

55 tn Heb “to the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.

56 tn Heb “commanding”; NAB “which I enjoin on you.”

57 tn Heb “heart.”

58 tc A number of LXX mss insert before this verse, “if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God,” thus translating אֲשֶׁר (’asher) as “which” and the rest as “I am commanding you today, to love,” etc., “then you will live,” etc.

59 tn Heb “which you are going there to possess it.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

60 tn Heb “your heart,” as a metonymy for the person.

61 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “certainly.”

62 tn Heb “to go there to possess it.”

63 tn The words “I also call on you” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text vv. 19-20 are one long sentence, which the translation divides into two.

64 tn Heb “he is your life and the length of your days to live.”

65 tc For the MT reading וַיֵּלֶךְ (vayyelekh, “he went”), the LXX and Qumran have וַיְכַל (vaykhal, “he finished”): “So Moses finished speaking,” etc. The difficult reading of the MT favors its authenticity.

66 tn In the MT this refers to the words that follow (cf. NIV, NCV).

67 tn Or “am no longer able to lead you” (NIV, NLT); Heb “am no longer able to go out and come in.”

68 tn The Hebrew text includes “and said to him.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

69 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 20).

70 tn Heb “Moses.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.

71 tn The Hebrew term שְׁמִטָּה (shÿmittah), a derivative of the verb שָׁמַט (shamat, “to release; to relinquish”), refers to the procedure whereby debts of all fellow Israelites were to be canceled. Since the Feast of Tabernacles celebrated God’s own deliverance of and provision for his people, this was an appropriate time for Israelites to release one another. See note on this word at Deut 15:1.

72 tn The Hebrew phrase הַסֻּכּוֹת[חַג] ([khag] hassukot, “[festival of] huts” [or “shelters”]) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. See note on the name of the festival in Deut 16:13.

sn For the regulations on this annual festival see Deut 16:13-15.

73 tn Heb “before all Israel.”

74 tn The phrase “this law” is not in the Hebrew text, but English style requires an object for the verb here. Other translations also supply the object which is otherwise implicit (cf. NIV “who do not know this law”; TEV “who have never heard the Law of the Lord your God”).

75 tc The LXX reads “by the door of the tent” in line with v. 10 but also, perhaps, as a reflection of its tendency to avoid over-familiarity with Yahweh and his transcendence.

76 tn Heb “tent of assembly” (מוֹעֵד אֹהֶל, ’ohel moed); this is not always the same as the tabernacle, which is usually called מִשְׁכָּן (mishkan, “dwelling-place”), a reference to its being invested with God’s presence. The “tent of meeting” was erected earlier than the tabernacle and was the place where Yahweh occasionally appeared, especially to Moses (cf. Exod 18:7-16; 33:7-11; Num 11:16, 24, 26; 12:4).

77 tn Heb “I will command him.”

78 tn Heb “and the pillar of cloud.” This phrase was not repeated in the translation; a relative clause was used instead.

79 tn Heb “lie down with your fathers” (so NASB); NRSV “ancestors.”

80 tn Heb “he.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “they,” which is necessary in any case in the translation because of contemporary English style. The third person singular also occurs in the Hebrew text twice more in this verse, three times in v. 17, once in v. 18, five times in v. 20, and four times in v. 21. Each time it is translated as third person plural for stylistic reasons.

81 tn Heb “he.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “they.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

82 tn Or “abandon” (TEV, NLT).

83 tn Heb “him.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “them.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

84 tn Heb “on that day.” This same expression also appears later in the verse and in v. 18.

85 tn Heb “him.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “them.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

86 tn Heb “find,” “encounter.”

87 tn Heb “him.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “them.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

88 tn Heb “he.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “they.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

89 tn Heb “evils.”

90 tn Heb “me.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “us,” which is necessary in any case in the translation because of contemporary English style.

91 tn Heb “my.”

92 tn Heb “me.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “us,” which is necessary in any case in the translation because of contemporary English style.

93 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “certainly.”

94 tn Heb “he.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “they.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

95 tn Heb “him.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “them.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

96 tn Heb “his.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “their.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

97 tn Heb “he.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “they.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

98 tn Heb “and are satisfied.”

99 tn Heb “he.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “they.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

100 tn Heb “Then it will come to pass that.”

101 tn Heb “him.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “them.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

102 tn Heb “him.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “them.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

103 tn Heb “his.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “their.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

104 tn Heb “it will not be forgotten from the mouth of his seed.”

105 tn Heb “his.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “their.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

106 tn Heb “which he is doing.”

107 tn Heb “him.” Smr, LXX, and the Targums read the plural “them.” See note on the first occurrence of “they” in v. 16.

108 tn Heb “he.” Since the pronoun could be taken to refer to Moses, the referent has been specified as “the Lord” in the translation for clarity. See also the note on the word “you” later in this verse.

109 tc The LXX reads, “as the Lord promised them, and he will be with you.” This relieves the problem of Moses apparently promising to be with Joshua as the MT reads on the surface (“I will be with you”). However, the reading of the LXX is clearly an attempt to clarify an existing obscurity and therefore is unlikely to reflect the original.

110 tn Heb “Moses.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

111 tn Heb “stiffness of neck” (cf. KJV, NAB, NIV). See note on the word “stubborn” in Deut 9:6.

112 tn Heb “How much more after my death?” The Hebrew text has a sarcastic rhetorical question here; the translation seeks to bring out the force of the question.

113 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “totally.”

114 tn Heb “do the evil.”

115 tn Heb “the work of your hands.”

116 tn Or “mist,” “light drizzle.” In some contexts the term appears to refer to light rain, rather than dew.

117 tc Smr and Tg read “in the name.”

118 tc The LXX reads Θεός (qeos, “God”) for the MT’s “Rock.”

sn The Hebrew term depicts God as a rocky summit where one may find safety and protection. Within a covenantal context it serves as a reminder to the people that their God has committed himself to their protection in return for their allegiance.

119 tn Or “just” (KJV, NAB, NRSV, NLT) or “righteous” (NASB).

120 tc The 3rd person masculine singular שָׁחַת (shakhat) is rendered as 3rd person masculine plural by Smr, a reading supported by the plural suffix on מוּם (mum, “defect”) as well as the plural of בֵּן (ben, “sons”).

tn Heb “have acted corruptly” (so NASB, NIV, NLT); NRSV “have dealt falsely.”

121 tn Heb “(they are) not his sons.”

122 tn Heb “defect” (so NASB). This highly elliptical line suggests that Israel’s major fault was its failure to act like God’s people; in fact, they acted quite the contrary.

123 tn Heb “twisted,” “crooked.” See Ps 18:26.

124 tn Or “treat” (TEV).

125 tc The Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate read 2nd person masculine singular whereas the MT has 2nd person masculine plural. The former is preferred, the latter perhaps being a misreading (בִּינוּ [binu] for בִּינָה [binah]). Both the preceding (“remember”) and following (“ask”) imperatives are singular forms in the Hebrew text.

126 tn Heb “generation and generation.” The repetition of the singular noun here singles out each of the successive past generations. See IBHS 116 §7.2.3b.

127 tn The Hebrew term עֶליוֹן (’elyon) is an abbreviated form of the divine name El Elyon, frequently translated “God Most High” (so here NCV, CEV) or something similar. This full name (or epithet) occurs only in Gen 14, though the two elements are parallel in Ps 73:11; 107:11; etc. Here it is clear that Elyon has to do with the nations in general whereas in v. 9, by contrast, Yahweh relates specifically to Israel. See T. Fretheim, NIDOTTE 1:400-401. The title depicts God as the sovereign ruler of the world, who is enthroned high above his dominion.

128 tn Heb “the sons of man” (so NASB); or “the sons of Adam” (so KJV).

129 tc Heb “the sons of Israel.” The idea, perhaps, is that Israel was central to Yahweh’s purposes and all other nations were arranged and distributed according to how they related to Israel. See S. R. Driver, Deuteronomy (ICC), 355-56. For the MT יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּנֵי (bÿney yisrael, “sons of Israel”) a Qumran fragment has “sons of God,” while the LXX reads ἀγγέλων θεοῦ (angelwn qeou, “angels of God”), presupposing בְּנֵי אֵל (bÿneyel) or בְּנֵי אֵלִים (beneyelim). “Sons of God” is undoubtedly the original reading; the MT and LXX have each interpreted it differently. MT assumes that the expression “sons of God” refers to Israel (cf. Hos. 1:10), while LXX has assumed that the phrase refers to the angelic heavenly assembly (Pss 29:1; 89:6; cf. as well Ps 82). The phrase is also attested in Ugaritic, where it refers to the high god El’s divine assembly. According to the latter view, which is reflected in the translation, the Lord delegated jurisdiction over the nations to his angelic host (cf. Dan. 10:13-21), while reserving for himself Israel, over whom he rules directly. For a defense of the view taken here, see M. S. Heiser, “Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God,” BSac 158 (2001): 52-74.

130 tc Heb “the portion of his inheritance.” The LXX and Smr add “Israel” and BHS suggests the reconstruction: “The Lord’s allotment is Jacob, the portion of his inheritance is Israel” (cf. NAB). While providing good parallelism, it destroys a fine chiastic structure: “allotment” (a), “his people” (b), “Jacob (b’), and “inheritance” (a’).

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

132 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).

133 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.”

134 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.

135 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.

136 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.

137 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.

138 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.

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

140 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.

141 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.

142 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.

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

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

145 tn Heb “flinty.”

146 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.”

147 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).

148 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.

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

150 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.”

151 tn Heb “your fathers.”

152 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.”

153 tn Heb “I will hide my face from them.”

154 tn Heb “sons” (so NAB, NASB); TEV “unfaithful people.”

155 sn They have made me jealous. The “jealousy” of God is not a spirit of pettiness prompted by his insecurity, but righteous indignation caused by the disloyalty of his people to his covenant grace (see note on the word “God” in Deut 4:24). The jealousy of Israel, however (see next line), will be envy because of God’s lavish attention to another nation. This is an ironic wordplay. See H. Peels, NIDOTTE 3:938-39.

156 tn Heb “what is not a god,” or a “nondeity.”

157 tn Heb “their empty (things).” The Hebrew term used here to refer pejoratively to the false gods is הֶבֶל (hevel, “futile” or “futility”), used frequently in Ecclesiastes (e.g., Eccl 1:1, “Futile! Futile!” laments the Teacher, “Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!”).

158 tn Heb “what is not a people,” or a “nonpeople.” The “nonpeople” (לֹא־עָם, lo-am) referred to here are Gentiles who someday would become God’s people in the fullest sense (cf. Hos 1:9; 2:23).

159 tn Heb “a foolish nation” (so KJV, NAB, NRSV); NIV “a nation that has no understanding”; NLT “I will provoke their fury by blessing the foolish Gentiles.”

160 tn Or “to the lowest depths of the earth”; cf. NAB “to the depths of the nether world”; NIV “to the realm of death below”; NLT “to the depths of the grave.”

sn Sheol refers here not to hell and hell-fire – a much later concept – but to the innermost parts of the earth, as low down as one could get. The parallel with “the foundations of the mountains” makes this clear (cf. Pss 9:17; 16:10; 139:8; Isa 14:9, 15; Amos 9:2).

161 tn Heb “upon them.”

162 tn The Hebrew term קֶטֶב (qetev) is probably metaphorical here for the sting of a disease (HALOT 1091-92 s.v.).

163 tn A verb is omitted here in the Hebrew text; for purposes of English style one suitable to the context is supplied.

164 tc The LXX reads “I said I would scatter them.” This reading is followed by a number of English versions (e.g., KJV, ASV, NIV, NCV, NRSV, NLT, CEV).

165 tn Heb “anger.”

166 tn Heb “lest.”

167 tn Heb “Our hand is high.” Cf. NAB “Our own hand won the victory.”

168 tn The words “man” and “of them” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

169 tn Heb “sold them” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

170 tn Heb “their,” but the referent (enemies) is specified in the translation for the sake of clarity.

171 tn Heb “vine.”

172 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).

173 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.

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

175 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.

176 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.

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

178 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.

179 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).

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

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

182 sn Abarim. This refers to the high plateau region of the Transjordan, the highest elevation of which is Mount Pisgah (or Nebo; cf. Deut 34:1). See also the note on the name “Pisgah” in Deut 3:17.

183 map For the location of Jericho see Map5 B2; Map6 E1; Map7 E1; Map8 E3; Map10 A2; Map11 A1.

184 tn In the Hebrew text the forms translated “you will die…and join” are imperatives, but the actions in view cannot really be commanded. The imperative is used here in a rhetorical, emphatic manner to indicate the certainty of Moses’ death on the mountain. On the rhetorical use of the imperative see IBHS 572 §34.4c.

185 tn Heb “be gathered to your people.” The same phrase occurs again later in this verse.

186 sn Mount Hor. See note on the name “Moserah” in Deut 10:6.

187 tn The use of the plural (“you”) in the Hebrew text suggests that Moses and Aaron are both in view here, since both had rebelled at some time or other, if not at Meribah Kadesh then elsewhere (cf. Num 20:24; 27:14).

188 tn Heb “did not esteem me holy.” Cf. NIV “did not uphold my holiness”; NLT “failed to demonstrate my holiness.”

189 tn Or “rose like the sun” (NCV, TEV).

190 tc Heb “to him.” The LXX reads “to us” (לָנוּ [lanu] for לָמוֹ [lamo]), the reading of the MT is acceptable since it no doubt has in mind Israel as a collective singular.

tn Heb “him”; the referent (Israel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

191 tn Or “he shone forth” (NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

192 tc With slight alteration (מִמְרִבַת קָדֵשׁ [mimrivat qadesh] for the MT’s מֵרִבְבֹת קֹדֶשׁ [merivvot qodesh]) the translation would be “from Meribah Kadesh” (cf. NAB, NLT; see Deut 32:51). However, the language of holy war in the immediate context favors the reading of the MT, which views the Lord as accompanied by angelic hosts.

193 tc The mispointed Hebrew term אֵשְׁדָּת (’eshdat) should perhaps be construed as אֵשְׁהַת (’eshhat) with Smr.

194 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.

195 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.

196 tn Heb “hands.” For the problem of the pronoun see note on the term “holy ones” earlier in this verse.

197 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.”

198 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.

199 tn The Hebrew term תּוֹרָה (torah) here should be understood more broadly as instruction.

200 tn Heb “he was king.” The present translation avoids the sudden shift in person and the mistaken impression that Moses is the referent by specifying the referent as “the Lord.”

201 sn Jeshurun is a term of affection referring to Israel, derived from the Hebrew verb יָשַׁר (yashar, “be upright”). See note on the term in Deut 32:15.

202 sn The following blessing is given to the tribes in order, although the tribe of Simeon is curiously missing from the list.

203 tn Heb “and [not] may his men be few” (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV).

204 tn The words “the blessing” are supplied in the translation for clarity and stylistic reasons.

205 sn Thummim and Urim. These terms, whose meaning is uncertain, refer to sacred stones carried in a pouch on the breastplate of the high priest and examined on occasion as a means of ascertaining God’s will or direction. See Exod 28:30; Lev 8:8; Num 27:21; 1 Sam 28:6. See also C. Van Dam, NIDOTTE 1:329-31.

206 tn Heb “godly man.” The reference is probably to Moses as representative of the whole tribe of Levi.

207 sn Massah means “testing” in Hebrew; the name is a wordplay on what took place there. Cf. Exod 17:7; Deut 6:16; 9:22; Ps 95:8-9.

208 sn Meribah means “contention, argument” in Hebrew; this is another wordplay on the incident that took place there. Cf. Num 20:13, 24; Ps 106:32.

209 sn This statement no doubt alludes to the Levites’ destruction of their own fellow tribesmen following the golden calf incident (Exod 32:25-29).

210 tn Heb “smash the sinews [or “loins,” so many English versions].” This part of the body was considered to be center of one’s strength (cf. Job 40:16; Ps 69:24; Prov 31:17; Nah 2:2, 11). See J. H. Tigay, Deuteronomy (JPSTC), 325.

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

212 tn Heb “between his shoulders.” This suggests the scene in John 13:23 with Jesus and the Beloved Disciple.

213 tn Heb “from the harvest of the heavens.” The referent appears to be good crops produced by the rain that falls from the sky.

214 tn Heb “goings forth of the sun.”

215 tn Heb “and from the harvest of the yield of.” This has been simplified in the translation to avoid redundancy.

216 tn Heb “the moon.” Many English versions regard this as a reference to “months” (“moons”) rather than the moon itself (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV, NLT).

217 tn Heb “head” or “top.”

218 tn The expression “him who resided in the bush” is frequently understood as a reference to the appearance of the Lord to Moses at Sinai from a burning bush (so NIV, NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT; cf. Exod 2:2-6; 3:2, 4). To make this reference clear the word “burning” is supplied in the translation.

219 sn This apparently refers to Joseph’s special status among his brothers as a result of his being chosen by God to save the family from the famine and to lead Egypt.

220 sn Ephraim and Manasseh were the sons of Joseph who became founders of the two tribes into which Joseph’s descendants were split (Gen 48:19-20). Jacob’s blessing granted favored status to Ephraim; this is probably why Ephraim is viewed here as more numerous than Manasseh.

221 tn Or “acceptable”; Heb “righteous” (so NASB).

222 tn Heb “suck.”

223 tn Heb “of the sand” (so NRSV, NLT); CEV “the sandy beach.”

224 tn Heb “forehead,” picturing Gad attacking prey.

225 tn The Hebrew term מְחֹקֵק (mÿkhoqeq; Poel participle of חָקַק, khaqaq, “to inscribe”) reflects the idea that the recorder of allotments (the “ruler”) is able to set aside for himself the largest and best. See E. H. Merrill, Deuteronomy (NAC), 444-45.

226 tn Heb “covered in” (if from the root סָפַן, safan; cf. HALOT 764-65 s.v. ספן qal).

227 tn Heb “heads” (in the sense of chieftains).

228 sn He will leap forth from Bashan. This may refer to Dan’s conquest of Laish, a region just to the west of Bashan (Judg 18:27-28).

229 sn Dip his foot in olive oil. This is a metaphor for prosperity, one especially apt in light of the abundance of olive groves in the area settled by Asher. The Hebrew term refers to olive oil, which symbolizes blessing in the OT. See R. Way, NIDOTTE 4:171-73.

230 tn The words “of your gates” have been supplied in the translation to clarify the referent of “bars.”

231 sn Jeshurun is a term of affection referring to Israel, derived from the Hebrew verb יָשַׁר (yashar, “be upright”). See note on the term in Deut 32:15.

232 tn Or “(who) rides (on) the heavens” (cf. NIV, NRSV, NLT). This title depicts Israel’s God as sovereign over the elements of the storm (cf. Ps 68:33). The use of the phrase here may be polemical; Moses may be asserting that Israel’s God, not Baal (called the “rider of the clouds” in the Ugaritic myths), is the true divine king (cf. v. 5) who controls the elements of the storm, grants agricultural prosperity, and delivers his people from their enemies. See R. B. Chisholm, Jr., “The Polemic against Baalism in Israel’s Early History and Literature,” BSac 151 (1994): 275.

233 tn Heb “and from under, arms of perpetuity.” The words “you” and “his” are supplied in the translation for clarification. Some have perceived this line to be problematic and have offered alternative translations that differ significantly from the present translation: “He spread out the primeval tent; he extended the ancient canopy” (NAB); “He subdues the ancient gods, shatters the forces of old” (NRSV). These are based on alternate meanings or conjectural emendations rather than textual variants in the mss and versions.

234 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.

235 tn Or “skies.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

236 tn Or perhaps “drizzle, showers.” See note at Deut 32:2.



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