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The Song of Moses

32 Hear, heavens, and I will speak!
    Listen, earth, to the words of my mouth!
May my instructions descend like rain
    and may my words flow like dew,
as light rain upon the grass,
    and as showers upon new plants.
For I’ll proclaim the name of our Lord.
    Ascribe greatness to our God!

Flawless is the work of the Rock,
    because all his ways are just.
A faithful God—never unjust—
    righteous and upright is he.
But those who are not his children
    acted corruptly against him;
        they are a defective and perverted generation.
This is not the way to repay the Lord, is it,
    you foolish and witless people?
Is he not your father,
    who bought you, formed you, and established you?

An Exhortation to Remember God’s Work

Remember the days of old,
    reflect on the years of previous generations.
Ask your father,
    and he’ll tell you;
        your elders will inform you.
When the Most High gave nations as their inheritance,
    when he separated the human race,
he set boundaries for the people
    according to the number of the children of God.[a]
For the Lord’s portion is his people;
    Jacob is his allotted portion.

The Lord’s Work on Behalf of Israel

10 The Lord[b] found him[c] in a desert land,
    in a barren, eerie[d] wilderness.
He surrounded, cared for, and guarded him
    as the pupil of his eye.
11 Like an eagle stirs its nest,
    hovering near its young,
spreading out his wings to take him
    and carry him on his pinions,
12 the Lord alone guided him.
    There was no foreign god with him.
13 He mounted him on a high place above the earth,
    feeding him from the produce of the field.
He nourished[e] him with honey from the rock
    and with oil from the flint rock,
14 with curds from cattle and with milk from sheep,
    with the fat of lambs, with rams from Bashan,
with the fat of goats, with the finest[f] of wheat—
    and from the juice of grapes you drank wine.

Israel’s Rebellion

15 Jacob dined until satisfied;[g]
    Jeshurun[h] grew fat and kicked.
He[i] grew fat, coarse, and gross,
    so that he abandoned the God who made him
        and spurned the Rock that was his salvation.
16 They provoked him to jealousy over foreigners
    and to anger over detestable things.
17 They sacrificed to demons—
    not to the real God—
gods whom they didn’t know,
    new neighbors who had recently appeared,
        whom your ancestors never feared.
18 You[j] neglected the Rock that fathered you;
    you abandoned God, who was awaiting your birth.[k]

The Lord’s Response

19 The Lord saw it and became jealous,[l]
    provoked by his sons and daughters.
20 So he said:

“Let me hide my face from them.
    I will observe what their end will be,
because they are a perverted generation,
    children within whom there is no loyalty.
21 They provoked me to jealousy over non-gods,
    and to be angry over their vanity.
Now I’ll provoke them to jealousy over a non-people;
    and over a foolish nation I’ll provoke them to anger.
22 For a fire breaks out in my anger—
    burning to the deepest part of[m] the afterlife,[n]
consuming the earth and its produce
    and igniting the foundations of the mountains.
23 I’ll bury them in misfortunes
    and bring them to an end with my arrows.
24 Emaciated from famine,
    feverish from plague,
    and destroyed by bitterness,
I’ll send fanged beasts against them,
    along with poisonous snakes that glide through the dust.
25 Outside, the sword will cause bereavement;
    within,[o] there will be terror
        for the young man and virgin alike,
        also for the nursing infant and the aged man.”[p]

26 “I said,

‘I will scatter them,[q]
    erasing their memory from the human race,[r]
27 if it weren’t for dreading the taunting of their enemies—
    otherwise, their adversary might misinterpret and say,
“Our power is great.
    It isn’t the Lord who made all of this happen.”’”

Moses Warns Israel

28 They are a nation devoid of purpose
    and without insight.
29 O, that they were wise to understand this
    and consider their future![s]
30 How can one person[t] chase a thousand of them
    and two put a myriad[u] to flight,
unless their Rock delivers them
    and the Lord gives them up?
31 For their rock isn’t like our Rock,
    as even[v] our enemies admit.[w]
32 Instead,[x] their vine is from the vines of Sodom
    and the vineyards of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are poisonous,
    their clusters bitter.
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
    a poisonous cobra.

The Lord’s Response

34 “Is this not kept in reserve,
    sealed up with me in my treasury?
35 To me belong vengeance and recompense.
    In due time their feet will slip,
because their time of calamity is near
    and the things prepared for them draw near.
36 For the Lord will vindicate his people
    and bring comfort to his servants,
because he will observe that their power[y] has waned,
    when neither prisoner[z] nor free person remain.

37 “He will say, ‘Where are their gods,
    the rock in which they took refuge?
38 Who ate the fat of their offerings
    and drank the wine that was their drink offering?
Let them rise and help you
    and be your hiding place!’

39 “Look now! I AM,[aa]
    and there is no other god besides me.
I myself cause death
    and I sustain life;
I wound severely
    and I also heal;
        from my power[ab] no one can deliver.

40 “I solemnly swear[ac] to heaven—
    I say ‘As certainly as I’m alive and living forever,
41 I’ll whet my shining sword,
    with my hands in firm grasp of judgment.
I’ll show vengeance on my adversary
    and repay those who keep on hating me.
42 I’ll make my arrows drunk with blood.
    My sword will devour flesh,
        along with the blood of the slain,
    and I’ll take their enemy leaders captive.’

43 “Sing for joy, nations!
    Sing for joy,[ad] people who belong to him!
For he’ll avenge the blood of his servants,
    turn on his adversary,
        and cleanse both his land and his people.”

Moses’ Final Counsel

44 So Moses and Nun’s son Joshua came and recited all the words of this song while the people were assembled. 45 When Moses had finished addressing all of these words to all Israel, 46 he told them, “Take to heart my entire testimony against you today. Command your children to observe carefully every word of this Law, 47 because they’re not just empty words for you—they are your very life. Through these instructions you will live long in the land that you are about to cross over the Jordan River to possess.”

Moses Forbidden to Enter Canaan

48 Later that day, the Lord told Moses, 49 “Ascend this Abarim mountain range[ae] toward Mount Nebo in the land of Moab across from Jericho, and look out over the land of Canaan that I’m about to give to the Israelis as a possession. 50 You will die on the mountain that you are about to ascend and be taken to be with your ancestors, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was taken to be with his ancestors. 51 Both of you acted unfaithfully against me among the Israelis at Meribah-kadesh in the desert of Zin, when you failed to uphold my holiness among the Israelis. 52 You’ll see the land from a distance, but you won’t be able to enter the land that I am about to give to the Israelis.”


  1. Deuteronomy 32:8 So with LXX and DSS 4QDeut. MT reads the Israelis
  2. Deuteronomy 32:10 Lit. He
  3. Deuteronomy 32:10 I.e. Jacob as a personification of national Israel; and so throughout the song
  4. Deuteronomy 32:10 Lit. howling
  5. Deuteronomy 32:13 Or nursed
  6. Deuteronomy 32:14 Lit. kernel
  7. Deuteronomy 32:15 So DSS Q Sam and LXX; the Heb. lacks Jacob dined until satisfied
  8. Deuteronomy 32:15 I.e. a poetic term for national Israel; the Heb. name means Upright One
  9. Deuteronomy 32:15 Lit. You
  10. Deuteronomy 32:18 I.e. the nation of Israel personified in the second person sing. pronoun, and so throughout the verse
  11. Deuteronomy 32:18 Or who was giving birth to you
  12. Deuteronomy 32:19 So DSS, LXX. MT reads and was repulsed
  13. Deuteronomy 32:22 The Heb. lacks part of
  14. Deuteronomy 32:22 Lit. Sheol
  15. Deuteronomy 32:25 Lit. within the room
  16. Deuteronomy 32:25 Lit. and a man of gray hair
  17. Deuteronomy 32:26 Or will break them to pieces
  18. Deuteronomy 32:26 Lit. from among men
  19. Deuteronomy 32:29 Lit. end
  20. Deuteronomy 32:30 The Heb. lacks person
  21. Deuteronomy 32:30 Or put countless ones; Lit. put ten thousand
  22. Deuteronomy 32:31 Lit. and
  23. Deuteronomy 32:31 Or concede
  24. Deuteronomy 32:32 Lit. Because
  25. Deuteronomy 32:36 Lit. hand
  26. Deuteronomy 32:36 Or slave
  27. Deuteronomy 32:39 So LXX; MT reads I, I myself, am he
  28. Deuteronomy 32:39 Lit. hand
  29. Deuteronomy 32:40 Lit. raise my hand
  30. Deuteronomy 32:43 The Heb. lacks Sing for joy
  31. Deuteronomy 32:49 The Heb. lacks range