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Chapter 32

[a]Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak;
    let the earth hear the words of my mouth!(A)
May my teaching soak in like the rain,
    and my utterance drench like the dew,
Like a downpour upon the grass,
    like a shower upon the crops.
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord,
    praise the greatness of our God!

The Rock—how faultless are his deeds,
    how right all his ways!
A faithful God, without deceit,
    just and upright is he!(B)

Yet his degenerate children have treated him basely,
    a twisted and crooked generation!(C)
Is this how you repay the Lord,
    so foolish and unwise a people?
Is he not your father who begot you,
    the one who made and established you?(D)

Remember the days of old,
    consider the years of generations past.
Ask your father, he will inform you,
    your elders, they will tell you:(E)
When the Most High allotted each nation its heritage,
    when he separated out human beings,(F)
He set up the boundaries of the peoples
    after the number of the divine beings;[b]
But the Lord’s portion was his people;
    his allotted share was Jacob.(G)

10 He found them in a wilderness,
    a wasteland of howling desert.
He shielded them, cared for them,
    guarded them as the apple of his eye.(H)
11 As an eagle incites its nestlings,
    hovering over its young,
So he spread his wings, took them,
    bore them upon his pinions.(I)
12 The Lord alone guided them,
    no foreign god was with them.(J)

13 (K)He had them mount the summits of the land,[c]
    fed them the produce of its fields;
He suckled them with honey from the crags
    and olive oil from the flinty rock;
14 Butter from cows and milk from sheep,
    with the best of lambs;
Bashan[d] bulls and goats,
    with the cream of finest wheat;
    and the foaming blood of grapes you drank.

15 So Jacob ate and was satisfied,
    Jeshurun[e] grew fat and kicked;
    you became fat and gross and gorged.
They forsook the God who made them
    and scorned the Rock of their salvation.(L)
16 With strange gods they incited him,
    with abominations provoked him to anger.(M)
17 They sacrificed to demons, to “no-gods,”
    to gods they had never known,
Newcomers from afar,
    before whom your ancestors had never trembled.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you,
    you forgot the God who gave you birth.(N)

19 The Lord saw and was filled with loathing,
    provoked by his sons and daughters.(O)
20 He said, I will hide my face from them,
    and see what becomes of them.
For they are a fickle generation,
    children with no loyalty in them!(P)
21 Since they have incited me with a “no-god,”
    and provoked me with their empty idols,
I will incite them with a “no-people”;[f]
    with a foolish nation I will provoke them.(Q)
22 For by my wrath a fire is kindled
    that has raged to the depths of Sheol,
It has consumed the earth with its yield,
    and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.(R)
23 I will heap evils upon them
    and exhaust all my arrows against them:(S)
24 Emaciating hunger and consuming fever
    and bitter pestilence,
And the teeth of wild beasts I will send among them,
    with the venom of reptiles gliding in the dust.(T)
25 Out in the street the sword shall bereave,
    and at home the terror
For the young man and the young woman alike,
    the nursing babe as well as the gray beard.(U)
26 I said: I will make an end of them
    and blot out their name from human memory,
27 Had I not feared the provocation by the enemy,
    that their foes might misunderstand,
And say, “Our own hand won the victory;
    the Lord had nothing to do with any of it.”(V)
28 For they are a nation devoid of reason,[g]
    having no understanding.
29 If they had insight they would realize this,
    they would understand their end:
30 “How could one rout a thousand,
    or two put ten thousand to flight,
Unless it was because their Rock sold them,
    the Lord delivered them up?”

31 Indeed, their “rock” is not like our Rock;
    our enemies are fools.
32 For their vine is from the vine of Sodom,
    from the vineyards of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are grapes of poison,
    and their clusters are bitter.(W)
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
    the cruel poison of vipers.
34 Is not this stored up with me,
    sealed up in my storehouses?
35 Vengeance is mine and recompense,
    for the time they lose their footing;
Because the day of their disaster is at hand
    and their doom is rushing upon them!(X)

36 Surely, the Lord will do justice for his people;
    on his servants he will have pity.
When he sees their strength is gone,
    and neither bond nor free[h] is left,(Y)
37 He will say, Where are their gods,(Z)
    the rock in whom they took refuge,
38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices
    and drank the wine of their libations?
Let them rise up now and help you!
    Let them be your protection!
39 See now that I, I alone, am he,
    and there is no god besides me.
It is I who bring both death and life,
    I who inflict wounds and heal them,
    and from my hand no one can deliver.(AA)
40 For I raise my hand to the heavens
    and will say: As surely as I live forever,
41 When I sharpen my flashing sword,
    and my hand lays hold of judgment,
With vengeance I will repay my foes
    and requite those who hate me.(AB)
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
    and my sword shall devour flesh—
With the blood of the slain and the captured,
    from the long-haired heads of the enemy.

43 Exult with him, you heavens,
    bow to him, all you divine beings!
For he will avenge the blood of his servants,
    take vengeance on his foes;
He will requite those who hate him,
    and purge his people’s land.(AC)

44 So Moses, together with Hoshea,[i] son of Nun, went and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people.(AD)

Final Appeal. 45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them,(AE) Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today, words you should command your children, that they may observe carefully every word of this law. 47 For this is no trivial matter for you, but rather your very life; by this word you will enjoy a long life on the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.(AF)

Moses Looks upon Canaan. 48 On that very day the Lord said to Moses, 49 Ascend this mountain of the Abarim,[j] Mount Nebo in the land of Moab facing Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites as a possession.(AG) 50 Then you shall die on the mountain you are about to ascend, and shall be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor[k] and there was gathered to his people,(AH) 51 because both of you broke faith with me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin: you did not manifest my holiness among the Israelites.[l](AI) 52 You may indeed see the land from a distance, but you shall not enter that land which I am giving to the Israelites.(AJ)


  1. 32:1–43 The whole song is a poetic sermon, having for its theme the Lord’s benefits to Israel (vv. 1–14) and Israel’s ingratitude and idolatry in turning to the gods of the nations; these sins will be punished by the nations themselves (vv. 15–29); in turn, the foolish pride of the nations will be punished, and the Lord’s honor will be vindicated (vv. 30–43).
  2. 32:8 Divine beings: lit., “sons of God” (see also v. 43); members of the divine assembly; cf. 1 Kgs 22:19; Jb 1:6; 2:1; 38:7; Ps 82; 89:6–7. The nations are portrayed as having their respective tutelary deities.
  3. 32:13 The land: Canaan.
  4. 32:14 Bashan: a fertile grazing land east of the Jordan, famous for its sleek, strong cattle. Cf. Ps 22:13; Ez 39:18; Am 4:1.
  5. 32:15 Jeshurun: a term for Israel from yashar, meaning “upright”; its use here is possibly ironic.
  6. 32:21 “No-god”…“no-people”: worship of the gods of the nations brings destruction at the hands of a foreign invader. A false god cannot sustain or protect (cf. Jer 14:22); and though the nations seem “foolish” (see their characterization in such passages as Ps 114:1; Is 28:11; 33:19), they will prove to be anything but nonentities when the Lord stirs them up against Israel (Is 9:10–12). For the “no-” or “not-” construction, see Hos 1:6, 9; 2:1, 25.
  7. 32:28–35 The reference is to the nations, not to Israel.
  8. 32:36 Neither bond nor free: an all-inclusive expression; cf. 1 Kgs 14:10; 2 Kgs 9:8.
  9. 32:44 Hoshea: a variant of “Joshua.” Cf. note on Nm 13:16.
  10. 32:49 Abarim: probably the mountain range to the east of the Dead Sea.
  11. 32:50 Mount Hor: on the western border of Seir or Edom; cf. Nm 20:23–28; 33:37–38. Dt 10:6 locates elsewhere the place of Aaron’s death.
  12. 32:51 Cf. note on 3:26.

32 Listen,(A) you heavens,(B) and I will speak;
    hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.(C)
Let my teaching fall like rain(D)
    and my words descend like dew,(E)
like showers(F) on new grass,
    like abundant rain on tender plants.

I will proclaim(G) the name of the Lord.(H)
    Oh, praise the greatness(I) of our God!
He is the Rock,(J) his works are perfect,(K)
    and all his ways are just.
A faithful God(L) who does no wrong,
    upright(M) and just is he.(N)

They are corrupt and not his children;
    to their shame they are a warped and crooked generation.(O)
Is this the way you repay(P) the Lord,
    you foolish(Q) and unwise people?(R)
Is he not your Father,(S) your Creator,[a]
    who made you and formed you?(T)

Remember the days of old;(U)
    consider the generations long past.(V)
Ask your father and he will tell you,
    your elders, and they will explain to you.(W)
When the Most High(X) gave the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided all mankind,(Y)
he set up boundaries(Z) for the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of Israel.[b](AA)
For the Lord’s portion(AB) is his people,
    Jacob his allotted inheritance.(AC)

10 In a desert(AD) land he found him,
    in a barren and howling waste.(AE)
He shielded(AF) him and cared for him;
    he guarded him as the apple of his eye,(AG)
11 like an eagle that stirs up its nest
    and hovers over its young,(AH)
that spreads its wings to catch them
    and carries them aloft.(AI)
12 The Lord alone led(AJ) him;(AK)
    no foreign god was with him.(AL)

13 He made him ride on the heights(AM) of the land
    and fed him with the fruit of the fields.
He nourished him with honey from the rock,(AN)
    and with oil(AO) from the flinty crag,
14 with curds and milk from herd and flock
    and with fattened lambs and goats,
with choice rams of Bashan(AP)
    and the finest kernels of wheat.(AQ)
You drank the foaming blood of the grape.(AR)

15 Jeshurun[c](AS) grew fat(AT) and kicked;
    filled with food, they became heavy and sleek.
They abandoned(AU) the God who made them
    and rejected the Rock(AV) their Savior.
16 They made him jealous(AW) with their foreign gods
    and angered(AX) him with their detestable idols.
17 They sacrificed(AY) to false gods,(AZ) which are not God—
    gods they had not known,(BA)
    gods that recently appeared,(BB)
    gods your ancestors did not fear.
18 You deserted the Rock, who fathered you;
    you forgot(BC) the God who gave you birth.

19 The Lord saw this and rejected them(BD)
    because he was angered by his sons and daughters.(BE)
20 “I will hide my face(BF) from them,” he said,
    “and see what their end will be;
for they are a perverse generation,(BG)
    children who are unfaithful.(BH)
21 They made me jealous(BI) by what is no god
    and angered me with their worthless idols.(BJ)
I will make them envious by those who are not a people;
    I will make them angry by a nation that has no understanding.(BK)
22 For a fire will be kindled by my wrath,(BL)
    one that burns down to the realm of the dead below.(BM)
It will devour(BN) the earth and its harvests(BO)
    and set afire the foundations of the mountains.(BP)

23 “I will heap calamities(BQ) on them
    and spend my arrows(BR) against them.
24 I will send wasting famine(BS) against them,
    consuming pestilence(BT) and deadly plague;(BU)
I will send against them the fangs of wild beasts,(BV)
    the venom of vipers(BW) that glide in the dust.(BX)
25 In the street the sword will make them childless;
    in their homes terror(BY) will reign.(BZ)
The young men and young women will perish,
    the infants and those with gray hair.(CA)
26 I said I would scatter(CB) them
    and erase their name from human memory,(CC)
27 but I dreaded the taunt of the enemy,
    lest the adversary misunderstand(CD)
and say, ‘Our hand has triumphed;
    the Lord has not done all this.’”(CE)

28 They are a nation without sense,
    there is no discernment(CF) in them.
29 If only they were wise and would understand this(CG)
    and discern what their end will be!(CH)
30 How could one man chase a thousand,
    or two put ten thousand to flight,(CI)
unless their Rock had sold them,(CJ)
    unless the Lord had given them up?(CK)
31 For their rock is not like our Rock,(CL)
    as even our enemies concede.(CM)
32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom(CN)
    and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison,(CO)
    and their clusters with bitterness.(CP)
33 Their wine is the venom of serpents,
    the deadly poison of cobras.(CQ)

34 “Have I not kept this in reserve
    and sealed it in my vaults?(CR)
35 It is mine to avenge;(CS) I will repay.(CT)
    In due time their foot will slip;(CU)
their day of disaster is near
    and their doom rushes upon them.(CV)

36 The Lord will vindicate his people(CW)
    and relent(CX) concerning his servants(CY)
when he sees their strength is gone
    and no one is left, slave(CZ) or free.[d]
37 He will say: “Now where are their gods,
    the rock they took refuge in,(DA)
38 the gods who ate the fat of their sacrifices
    and drank the wine of their drink offerings?(DB)
Let them rise up to help you!
    Let them give you shelter!

39 “See now that I myself am he!(DC)
    There is no god besides me.(DD)
I put to death(DE) and I bring to life,(DF)
    I have wounded and I will heal,(DG)
    and no one can deliver out of my hand.(DH)
40 I lift my hand(DI) to heaven and solemnly swear:
    As surely as I live forever,(DJ)
41 when I sharpen my flashing sword(DK)
    and my hand grasps it in judgment,
I will take vengeance(DL) on my adversaries
    and repay those who hate me.(DM)
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,(DN)
    while my sword devours flesh:(DO)
the blood of the slain and the captives,
    the heads of the enemy leaders.”

43 Rejoice,(DP) you nations, with his people,[e][f]
    for he will avenge the blood of his servants;(DQ)
he will take vengeance on his enemies(DR)
    and make atonement for his land and people.(DS)

44 Moses came with Joshua[g](DT) son of Nun and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day,(DU) so that you may command(DV) your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. 47 They are not just idle words for you—they are your life.(DW) By them you will live long(DX) in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

Moses to Die on Mount Nebo

48 On that same day the Lord told Moses,(DY) 49 “Go up into the Abarim(DZ) Range to Mount Nebo(EA) in Moab, across from Jericho,(EB) and view Canaan,(EC) the land I am giving the Israelites as their own possession. 50 There on the mountain that you have climbed you will die(ED) and be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died(EE) on Mount Hor(EF) and was gathered to his people. 51 This is because both of you broke faith with me in the presence of the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh(EG) in the Desert of Zin(EH) and because you did not uphold my holiness among the Israelites.(EI) 52 Therefore, you will see the land only from a distance;(EJ) you will not enter(EK) the land I am giving to the people of Israel.”


  1. Deuteronomy 32:6 Or Father, who bought you
  2. Deuteronomy 32:8 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint) sons of God
  3. Deuteronomy 32:15 Jeshurun means the upright one, that is, Israel.
  4. Deuteronomy 32:36 Or and they are without a ruler or leader
  5. Deuteronomy 32:43 Or Make his people rejoice, you nations
  6. Deuteronomy 32:43 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint) people, / and let all the angels worship him, /
  7. Deuteronomy 32:44 Hebrew Hoshea, a variant of Joshua