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Blessings of Moses on Israel

33 Now[a] this is the blessing with which Moses, the man of God, blessed the Israelites[b] before[c] his death.

Then[d] he said,

“Yahweh came from Sinai,
    and he dawned upon them from Seir;
    he shone forth from Mount Paran,
and he came with myriads of holy ones,
    at his right hand a fiery law for them.[e]
Moreover,[f] he loves his people,[g]
    all the holy ones were in your hand,
and they bowed down to[h] your feet,
    each one accepted directions from you.[i]
A law Moses instructed for us,
    as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
And then a king arose in Jeshurun,
    at the gathering of the leaders of the people,
    united were the tribes of Israel.[j]
“May Reuben live, and may he not die,
    and let his number not be few.”[k]
And he said this of Judah,[l]
“Hear, O Yahweh, the voice of Judah,
    and bring him to his people;
his own hands strive[m] for him,
    and may you be a help against[n] his foes.”
And of Levi he said,
    “Your Thummim and your Urim
are for your faithful one,[o]
    whom you tested at Massah;[p]
you contended with him
    at the waters of Meribah.
The one saying of his father and of his mother,
    ‘I have not regarded them,’
and his brothers he did not acknowledge,
    and his children[q] he did not know,
but rather they observed your word,
    and your covenant they kept.
10 They taught[r] your regulations to Jacob,
    and your law to Israel;
they placed incense smoke before you,[s]
    and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Bless, O Yahweh, his substance,
    and with the work of his hands you must be pleased;
smite the loins of those who attack him,
    and those hating him, so that they cannot arise.”[t]
12 Of Benjamin he said,
“The beloved of Yahweh dwells securely,[u]
    the Most High[v] shields all around him,
all the day,
    and between his shoulders he dwells.”
13 And of Joseph he said,
    “Blessed by Yahweh is his land,
with[w] the choice things of heaven,
    with[x] dew, and with[y] the deep lying down beneath,
14 and with[z] the choice things of the fruits[aa] of the the sun,
    and with the choice things of the yield of the seasons,[ab]
15 and with[ac] the finest things of the ancient mountains,
    and with[ad] the choice things of the eternal hills,[ae]
16 and with[af] the choice things of the earth and its fullness,
    and the favor of the one who dwelt[ag] in the bush.[ah]
Let them come to the head of Joseph,
    and to the crown of the prince among his brothers.
17 As the firstborn of his ox, majesty belongs to him,[ai]
    and his horns are the horns of a wild ox;
with them he drives people together,[aj]
    and they are the myriads of Ephraim,
    and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
18 And of Zebulun he said,
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
    and rejoice, Issachar, in your tents;
19 They summon people to the mountains;[ak]
    there they sacrifice the sacrifices of righteousness,
because the affluence of the seas they suck out,
    and the most hidden treasures of the sand.”[al]
20 And of Gad he said,
    “Blessed be the one who enlarges Gad;[am]
like a lion he dwells,
    and he tears an arm as well as a scalp.
21 And he selected[an] the best part for himself, [ao]
    for there the portion of a ruler is included,
and he came with the heads of the people;[ap]
    he did[aq] the righteousness of Yahweh,
    and his regulations for Israel.”
22 And of Dan he said,
“Dan is a cub of a lion;
    he leaps from Bashan.”[ar]
23 And of Naphtali, he said,
“Oh, Naphtali, sated of favor,
    and full of the blessing of Yahweh;
take possession of the lake,
    and the land to the south.”
24 And of Asher he said,
    “Blessed more than sons[as] is Asher;
may he be the favorite[at] of his brothers,
    dipping his feet in the oil.[au]
25 Your bars are[av] iron and bronze,
    and as your days, so is[aw] your strength.”
26 “There is no one like God, O, Jeshurun,
    who rides through the heavens to your help,
    and with his majesty through the skies.
27 The God of ancient time[ax] is a hiding place,
    and underneath are the arms of eternity,[ay]
and he drove out from before[az] you your enemy,
    and he said, ‘Destroy them!’
28 So Israel dwells alone and carefree,
    the spring of Jacob in a land of grain and wine;
    his heavens even drip dew.
29 Blessed are you, O Israel.
    Who is like you, a people who is saved by Yahweh,
the shield of your help,
    and who is the sword of your triumph,
and your enemies, they shall fawn before you,[ba]
    and you shall tread on their backs.”


  1. Deuteronomy 33:1 Or “And”
  2. Deuteronomy 33:1 Literally “sons/children of Israel”
  3. Deuteronomy 33:1 Literally “to the face of”
  4. Deuteronomy 33:2 Or “And”
  5. Deuteronomy 33:2 This pointing of the MT is very difficult; here HALOT 93 suggests “fire a law for them” as a translation of the compound Hebrew word made up of “fire” + “law,” which I render as “a fiery law”
  6. Deuteronomy 33:3 Or “Indeed”
  7. Deuteronomy 33:3 Literally “a lover of peoples”
  8. Deuteronomy 33:3 Or “at”
  9. Deuteronomy 33:3 Literally “he takes up from your words”
  10. Deuteronomy 33:5 Literally “together the tribes of Israel”
  11. Deuteronomy 33:6 Literally “let he be his people of number”
  12. Deuteronomy 33:7 Literally “and this concerning/to Judah, and he said”
  13. Deuteronomy 33:7 Or “is/are great” on his behalf
  14. Deuteronomy 33:7 Literally “from”
  15. Deuteronomy 33:8 Literally “man, your faithful one”
  16. Deuteronomy 33:8 Literally “whom you tested him at Massah”
  17. Deuteronomy 33:9 Or “sons”
  18. Deuteronomy 33:10 Or “teach/will teach”
  19. Deuteronomy 33:10 Literally “in your nose”
  20. Deuteronomy 33:11 Literally “so that not they stand up”
  21. Deuteronomy 33:12 Literally “in confidence”
  22. Deuteronomy 33:12 This is the most likely reading in context (Most High God). Literally the Hebrew text reads “upon him,” so the NASV translates the first line as: dwell in security “by him”
  23. Deuteronomy 33:13 Hebrew “from”
  24. Deuteronomy 33:13 Hebrew “from”
  25. Deuteronomy 33:13 Hebrew “from”
  26. Deuteronomy 33:14 Hebrew “from”
  27. Deuteronomy 33:14 Or “produce of”
  28. Deuteronomy 33:14 Literally “months”
  29. Deuteronomy 33:15 Hebrew “from”
  30. Deuteronomy 33:15 Hebrew “from”
  31. Deuteronomy 33:15 Literally “the hills of eternity never ending ages
  32. Deuteronomy 33:16 Hebrew “from”
  33. Deuteronomy 33:16 Literally “dwells” but context puts the event into the past; literally “dweller of the bush”
  34. Deuteronomy 33:16 Some scholars suggest that this expression must be read as: on Sinai
  35. Deuteronomy 33:17 Literally “is for him”
  36. Deuteronomy 33:17 Or “all at once” (NASB)
  37. Deuteronomy 33:19 Hebrew “mountain”
  38. Deuteronomy 33:19 Literally “the covered of the hidden of the sand”
  39. Deuteronomy 33:20 Literally “the enlarger of Gad”
  40. Deuteronomy 33:21 Or “provided”
  41. Deuteronomy 33:21 Hebrew “for him”
  42. Deuteronomy 33:21 Or possibly, “the heads of the people came/assembled” (compare NEB)
  43. Deuteronomy 33:21 Or “worked”
  44. Deuteronomy 33:22 Hebrew “the Bashan,” referring to a well-known geographical and agricultural area
  45. Deuteronomy 33:24 Literally “blessed from/of sons is” features the comparative use the Hebrew preposition min, “than”
  46. Deuteronomy 33:24 Literally “may he be favored”
  47. Deuteronomy 33:24 Literally “and dipping in the oil his feet”
  48. Deuteronomy 33:25 Or “will be”
  49. Deuteronomy 33:25 Or “so will be/may be”
  50. Deuteronomy 33:27 Literally “before/earlier times
  51. Deuteronomy 33:27 Or “everlasting ages” or “everlasting arms”
  52. Deuteronomy 33:27 Literally “from your face”
  53. Deuteronomy 33:29 Hebrew “to you”