when the leaders of the people assembled,
the tribes of Israel together. 3
who rides through the sky 5 to help you,
on the clouds in majesty.
1 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
3 sn The following blessing is given to the tribes in order, although the tribe of Simeon is curiously missing from the list.
5 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.