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32 “Skies, listen and I will speak.
    Earth, hear the words of my mouth.
My teachings will come like the rain,
    like a mist falling to the ground,
like a gentle rain on the soft grass,
    like rain on the green plants.
Praise God[a]
    as I speak the Lord’s name!

“The Lord is the Rock,
    and his work is perfect!
    Yes, all his ways are right!
God is true and faithful.
    He is good and honest.
And you are not really his children.
    You are completely unfaithful to him.
    You are crooked liars.
Is this the way you repay the Lord for all he has done for you?
    You are stupid, foolish people.
He is your Father and your Creator.
    He made you, and he supports you.

“Remember the days of the past.
    Think about what happened so long ago.
Ask your father; he will tell you.
    Ask your leaders; they will tell you.
God Most High separated the people on earth
    and gave each nation its land.
He set up borders for all people.
    He made as many nations as there are angels.[b]
The Lord chose his people to be his own.
    The people of Jacob belong to him.

10 “The Lord found them in the desert,
    in an empty, windy land.
He surrounded them and watched over them.
    He protected them like the pupil of his eye,
11 like an eagle when she makes her young leave the nest to fly.
    She stays close to them, ready to help.
She spreads her wings to catch them when they fall
    and carries them to a safe place.
12 The Lord alone led his people.
    They had no help from any foreign god.
13 The Lord helped them take control of the hill country.
    They took the harvest in the fields.
He gave them honey from the cliffs
    and olive oil from the rocky ground.
14 He gave his people butter from the herd and milk from the flock.
    He gave them lambs and goats.
They had the best rams from Bashan and the finest wheat.
    They drank the best wine made from the juice of red grapes.

15 “But Jeshurun[c] became fat and kicked like a bull.
    (Yes, you people were fed well and became full and fat.)
They left the God who made them!
    They ran away from the Rock who saved them.
16 They made him jealous by worshiping other gods.
    They made him angry with those disgusting idols.
17 They offered sacrifices to demons—gods that are not God.
    These were new gods they had not known before,
    gods their ancestors never knew.
18 You people left the Rock who made you;
    you forgot the God who gave you life.

19 “The Lord saw this and became upset.
    His sons and daughters made him angry!
20 So he said, ‘I will turn away from them,
    then let’s see what happens!
They are a rebellious people.
    They are like children who will not learn their lessons.
21 They made me jealous with things that are not really gods.
    They made me angry with their worthless idols.
So I will use people who are not really a nation to make them jealous.
    I will use a worthless[d] nation to make them angry.
22 My anger will burn like a fire,
    burning down to the deepest grave,
burning the earth and all it produces,
    burning deep down below the mountains.

23 “‘I will bring troubles to the Israelites.
    I will shoot all my arrows at them.
24 They will become thin from hunger.
    Terrible diseases will destroy them.
I will send wild animals against them.
    Poisonous snakes and lizards will bite them.
25 In the streets, soldiers will kill them.
    In their houses, terrible things will happen.
Soldiers will kill young men and women.
    They will kill babies and old people.

26 “‘I thought about destroying the Israelites
    so that people would forget them completely!
27 But I know what their enemies would say.
    The enemy would not understand.
They would brag and say,
    “The Lord did not destroy Israel.
    We won by our own power!”’

28 “They are foolish.
    They don’t understand.
29 If they were wise,
    they would understand;
    they would know what would happen to them.
30 Can one person chase away 1000 men?
    Can two men cause 10,000 men to run away?
It will happen only if the Lord gives them to their enemy.
    This will happen only if their Rock sells them like slaves.
31 The ‘rock’ of our enemies is not strong like our Rock.
    Even our enemies know that.
32 Their vines and fields will be destroyed
    like Sodom and Gomorrah.
Their grapes are like bitter poison.
33     Their wine is like the poison of deadly snakes.

34 “The Lord says, ‘I am saving that punishment.
    I have it locked up in my storehouse!
35 I will punish them for the bad things they did.
    But I am saving that punishment for when they slip and do bad things.
Their time of trouble is near.
    Their punishment will come quickly.’

36 “The Lord will judge his people.
    They are his servants, and he will show them mercy.
He will see that their power is gone.
    He will see that they are all helpless—
    the slaves and free people too.
37 Then the Lord will say, ‘Where are the false gods?
    Where is the “rock” that you ran to for protection?
38 Those false gods ate the fat of your sacrifices.
    And they drank the wine of your offerings.
So let them get up and help you!
    Let them protect you!

39 “‘Now, see that I, and only I, am God!
    There is no other God!
I put people to death,
    and I let people live.
I can hurt people,
    and I can make them well.
    No one can save another person from my power!
40 I raise my hand toward heaven and make this promise.
    As surely as I live forever, these things will happen!
41 I swear,
    I will sharpen my flashing sword.
I will use it to punish my enemies.
    I will give them the punishment they deserve.
42 My enemies will be killed and taken as prisoners.
    My arrows will be covered with their blood.
    My sword will cut off the heads of their soldiers.’

43 “The whole world should be happy for God’s people!
    God punishes people who kill his servants.
He gives his enemies the punishment they deserve.
    And he makes his land and people pure.”

Moses Teaches the People His Song

44 Moses and Joshua son of Nun came and sang all the words of this song for the Israelites to hear. 45 When Moses finished giving these teachings to the people, 46 he said to them, “You must be sure to pay attention to all the commands I tell you today. And you must tell your children to obey completely the commands in this Law. 47 Don’t think these teachings are not important. They are your life! Through these teachings you will live a long time in the land across the Jordan River that you are ready to take.”

Moses on Mount Nebo

48 The Lord spoke to Moses that same day. He said, 49 “Go to the Abarim Mountains. Go up on Mount Nebo in the land of Moab across from the city of Jericho. Then you can look at the land of Canaan that I am giving to the Israelites to live in. 50 You will die on that mountain. You will go to be with your people, the same as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor. 51 This is because you both sinned against me. You were at the waters of Meribah near Kadesh, in the desert of Zin. There, in front of the Israelites, you did not honor me and show that I am holy. 52 So now you may see the land that I am giving to the Israelites. But you cannot go into that land.”

Moses Blesses the People

33 This is the blessing that Moses, the man of God, gave the Israelites before he died:

“The Lord came from Sinai,
    like a light shining at dawn over Seir,
    like a light shining from Mount Paran.
He came with 10,000 holy ones.[e]
    God’s mighty soldiers were by his side.[f]
Yes, the Lord loves his people.
    All his holy people are in his hand.
They sit at his feet
    and learn his teachings!
Moses gave us the law.
    These teachings are for Jacob’s people.
At that time the Israelites
    and their leaders met together,
    and the Lord became Jeshurun’s[g] king!

Reuben’s Blessing

“Let Reuben live, and not die!
    But let there be only a few people in his tribe!”

Judah’s Blessing

Moses said this about Judah:

Lord, listen to the leader from Judah when he calls for help.
    Bring him to his people.
Make him strong,
    and help him defeat his enemies!”

Levi’s Blessing

Moses said this about Levi:

“Levi is your true follower.
    He keeps the Urim and Thummim.
At Massah you tested the people of Levi.
    At the waters of Meribah,[h] you challenged them.
They were more loyal to you, Lord, than to their own families.
    They ignored their fathers and mothers.
They did not recognize their brothers.
    They did not pay attention to their children.
But they obeyed your commands.
    They kept your agreement.
10 They will teach your rules to Jacob
    and your Law to Israel.
They will burn incense before you.
    They will offer burnt offerings on your altar.

11 Lord, bless everything Levi has.
    Accept what he does.
Destroy those who attack him!
    Defeat his enemies so that they will never attack again.”

Benjamin’s Blessing

12 Moses said this about Benjamin:

“Benjamin is loved by the Lord
    and lives close to him in safety.
The Lord protects him all the time
    like a child at rest on its mother’s back.”[i]

Joseph’s Blessing

13 Moses said this about Joseph:

“May the Lord bless Joseph’s land
    with rain from the skies above
    and water from the ground below.
14 Let the sun give them good fruit.
    Let each month bring its best fruit.
15 Let the hills and ancient mountains
    produce their best fruit.
16 Let the earth give its best to Joseph.
    He was separated from his brothers.
    So may the Lord in the burning bush give his best to Joseph.
17 Joseph is like a powerful bull.
    His two sons are like bull’s horns.
They will attack other people
    and push them to the ends of the earth!
Yes, Manasseh has thousands of people,
    and Ephraim has ten thousands.”

Zebulun and Issachar’s Blessing

18 Moses said this about Zebulun:

“Zebulun, be happy when you go out.
    Issachar, be happy in your tents at home.
19 They will call the people to their mountain.
    There they will offer good sacrifices.
They will take riches from the sea
    and treasures from the shore.”

Gad’s Blessing

20 Moses said this about Gad:

“Praise God who gave Gad more land!
    Gad is like a lion that lies down and waits.
    Then he attacks and tears the animal in pieces.
21 He chose the best part for himself.
    He took the king’s share.
The leaders of the people come to him.
    He did what the Lord says is good.
    He did what is right for the Israelites.”

Dan’s Blessing

22 Moses said this about Dan:

“Dan is a lion’s cub
    that jumps out from Bashan.”

Naphtali’s Blessing

23 Moses said this about Naphtali:

“Naphtali, you will get all you want.
    The Lord will really bless you.
    You will get the land by Lake Galilee.”

Asher’s Blessing

24 Moses said this about Asher:

“Asher[j] is the most blessed of the sons.
    Let him be the favorite of his brothers.
    And let him wash his feet in olive oil.
25 Your gates will have locks made from iron and bronze.
    You will be strong all your life.”

Moses Gives Praise to God

26 “There is no one like the God of Israel!
    He rides on the clouds in his divine greatness.
    He comes riding through the skies to help you.
27 God lives forever.
    He is your place of safety.
His power continues forever!
    He is protecting you.
He will force your enemies to leave your land.
    He will say, ‘Destroy the enemy!’
28 So Israel will live in safety.
    Jacob’s well belongs to them.
They will get a land of grain and wine.
    And that land will get plenty of rain.
29 Israel, you are blessed.
    No other nation is like you.
The Lord saved you.
    He is like a strong shield protecting you.
    He is like a powerful sword.
Your enemies will be afraid of you,
    and you will put your foot on their backs![k]

Moses Dies

34 Moses climbed Mount Nebo. Moses went from the Jordan Valley in Moab to the top of Mount Pisgah. This was across the Jordan River from Jericho. The Lord showed Moses all the land from Gilead to Dan. He showed him all the land of Naphtali, Ephraim, and Manasseh. He showed him all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea. He showed Moses the Negev and the valley that goes from Zoar to Jericho, the city of palm trees. The Lord said to Moses, “This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I said to them, ‘I will give this land to your descendants. I have let you see the land, but you cannot go there.’”

Then Moses, the Lord’s servant, died there in the land of Moab. The Lord had told Moses this would happen. He buried Moses in Moab. This was in the valley across from Beth Peor. But even today, no one knows exactly where Moses’ grave is. Moses was 120 years old when he died. He was as strong as ever, and his eyes were still good. The Israelites cried for Moses for 30 days. They stayed in the Jordan Valley in Moab until the time of sadness was finished.

Joshua Becomes the New Leader

Moses had put his hands on Joshua and appointed him to be the new leader. Then Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom. So the Israelites began to obey Joshua, and they did what the Lord had commanded Moses.

10 Israel never had another prophet like Moses: The Lord knew Moses face to face. 11 The Lord sent Moses to do powerful miracles in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh, all his officers, and all the people in Egypt saw those miracles. 12 No other prophet ever did as many powerful and amazing things as Moses did for the Israelites to see.


  1. Deuteronomy 32:3 Praise God Or “Give honor to God” or “Speak of the greatness of God.”
  2. Deuteronomy 32:8 angels This is from the ancient Greek version. Some Hebrew copies at Qumran have “sons of God,” which can also mean “angels.” The standard Hebrew text has “sons of Israel.”
  3. Deuteronomy 32:15 Jeshurun Another name for Israel. It means “good” or “honest.”
  4. Deuteronomy 32:21 worthless Literally, “foolish,” used as a wordplay because in Hebrew it sounds like the word “worthless” used earlier in this verse.
  5. Deuteronomy 33:2 holy one Here, this probably means an angel.
  6. Deuteronomy 33:2 He came … side Or “He came from 10,000 holy angels where his troops were by his right side.”
  7. Deuteronomy 33:5 Jeshurun Another name for the people of Israel. It means “good” or “honest.” Also in verse 26.
  8. Deuteronomy 33:8 Massah … Meribah See Num. 20:1-13 for the story.
  9. Deuteronomy 33:12 like a child … back Literally, “and he rests between his shoulders.” The metaphor may refer to the custom of a mother carrying her baby tied on her back as she works. See Ps. 131:2.
  10. Deuteronomy 33:24 Asher This name means “blessed” or “happy.”
  11. Deuteronomy 33:29 and you … backs Or “You will trample their holy places.”

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