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Deuteronomy 9:13-29

Context
9:13 Moreover, he said to me, “I have taken note of these people; they are a stubborn 1  lot! 9:14 Stand aside 2  and I will destroy them, obliterating their very name from memory, 3  and I will make you into a stronger and more numerous nation than they are.”

9:15 So I turned and went down the mountain while it 4  was blazing with fire; the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 9:16 When I looked, you had indeed sinned against the Lord your God and had cast for yourselves a metal calf; 5  you had quickly turned aside from the way he 6  had commanded you! 9:17 I grabbed the two tablets, threw them down, 7  and shattered them before your very eyes. 9:18 Then I again fell down before the Lord for forty days and nights; I ate and drank nothing because of all the sin you had committed, doing such evil before the Lord as to enrage him. 9:19 For I was terrified at the Lord’s intense anger 8  that threatened to destroy you. But he 9  listened to me this time as well. 9:20 The Lord was also angry enough at Aaron to kill him, but at that time I prayed for him 10  too. 9:21 As for your sinful thing 11  that you had made, the calf, I took it, melted it down, 12  ground it up until it was as fine as dust, and tossed the dust into the stream that flows down the mountain. 9:22 Moreover, you continued to provoke the Lord at Taberah, 13  Massah, 14  and Kibroth-Hattaavah. 15  9:23 And when he 16  sent you from Kadesh-Barnea and told you, “Go up and possess the land I have given you,” you rebelled against the Lord your God 17  and would neither believe nor obey him. 9:24 You have been rebelling against him 18  from the very first day I knew you!

Moses’ Plea on Behalf of the Lord’s Reputation

9:25 I lay flat on the ground before the Lord for forty days and nights, 19  for he 20  had said he would destroy you. 9:26 I prayed to him: 21  O, Lord God, 22  do not destroy your people, your valued property 23  that you have powerfully redeemed, 24  whom you brought out of Egypt by your strength. 25  9:27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; ignore the stubbornness, wickedness, and sin of these people. 9:28 Otherwise the people of the land 26  from which you brought us will say, “The Lord was unable to bring them to the land he promised them, and because of his hatred for them he has brought them out to kill them in the desert.” 27  9:29 They are your people, your valued property, 28  whom you brought out with great strength and power. 29 

1 tn Heb “stiff-necked.” See note on the word “stubborn” in 9:6.

2 tn Heb “leave me alone.”

3 tn Heb “from under heaven.”

4 tn Heb “the mountain.” The translation uses a pronoun for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

5 tn On the phrase “metal calf,” see note on the term “metal image” in v. 12.

6 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.

7 tn The Hebrew text includes “from upon my two hands,” but as this seems somewhat obvious and redundant, it has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Heb “the anger and the wrath.” Although many English versions translate as two terms, this construction is a hendiadys which serves to intensify the emotion (cf. NAB, TEV “fierce anger”).

9 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.

10 tn Heb “Aaron.” The pronoun is used in the translation to avoid redundancy.

11 tn Heb “your sin.” This is a metonymy in which the effect (sin) stands for the cause (the metal calf).

12 tn Heb “burned it with fire.”

13 sn Taberah. By popular etymology this derives from the Hebrew verb בָעַר (baar, “to burn”), thus, here, “burning.” The reference is to the Lord’s fiery wrath against Israel because of their constant complaints against him (Num 11:1-3).

14 sn Massah. See note on this term in Deut 6:16.

15 sn Kibroth-Hattaavah. This place name means in Hebrew “burial places of appetite,” that is, graves that resulted from overindulgence. The reference is to the Israelites stuffing themselves with the quail God had provided and doing so with thanklessness (Num 11:31-35).

16 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.

17 tn Heb “the mouth of the Lord your God,” that is, against the commandment that he had spoken.

18 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.

19 tn The Hebrew text includes “when I prostrated myself.” Since this is redundant, it has been left untranslated.

20 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.

21 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 9:3.

22 tn Heb “Lord Lord” (אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה, ’adonay yÿhvih). The phrase is customarily rendered by Jewish tradition as “Lord God” (אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהִים, ’adonayelohim). See also the note on the phrase “Lord God” in Deut 3:24.

23 tn Heb “your inheritance”; NLT “your special (very own NRSV) possession.” Israel is compared to landed property that one would inherit from his ancestors and pass on to his descendants.

24 tn Heb “you have redeemed in your greatness.”

25 tn Heb “by your strong hand.”

26 tc The MT reads only “the land.” Smr supplies עַם (’am, “people”) and LXX and its dependents supply “the inhabitants of the land.” The truncated form found in the MT is adequate to communicate the intended meaning; the words “the people of” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

27 tn Or “wilderness” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV, NLT).

28 tn Heb “your inheritance.” See note at v. 26.

29 tn Heb “an outstretched arm.”



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