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Blessing on Reuben

“May Reuben live and not die,
and may his people multiply.”[a]

Blessing on Judah

And this is the blessing[b] 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

Of Levi he said:
“Your Thummim and Urim[c] belong to your godly one,[d]
whose authority you challenged at Massah,[e]
and with whom you argued at the waters of Meribah.[f]

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  1. Deuteronomy 33:6 tn Heb “and [not] may his men be few” (cf. KJV, NASB, NIV).
  2. Deuteronomy 33:7 tn The words “the blessing” are supplied in the translation for clarity and stylistic reasons.
  3. Deuteronomy 33:8 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.
  4. Deuteronomy 33:8 tn Heb “godly man.” The reference is probably to Moses as representative of the whole tribe of Levi.
  5. Deuteronomy 33:8 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.
  6. Deuteronomy 33:8 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.