Deuteronomy 33
Contemporary English Version

Moses Blesses the Tribes of Israel

1Moses was a prophet, and before he died, he blessed the tribes of Israel by saying:

2The Lord came from Mount Sinai.

From Edom, he gave light

to his people,

and his glory was shining

from Mount Paran.

Thousands of his warriors

were with him, and fire

was at his right hand.+

3 The Lord loves the tribes

of Israel,+

and he protects his people.

They listen to his words

and worship at his feet.

* 4I called a meeting

of the tribes of Israel+

and gave you God's Law.

5Then you and your leaders

made the Lord your king.

6Tribe of Reuben, you will live,

even though your tribe

will always be small.+

7The Lord will listen to you,

tribe of Judah, as you beg

to come safely home.

You fought your enemies alone;+

now the Lord will help you.

8 At Massah and Meribah Spring,+

the Lord tested you,

tribe of Levi.

You were faithful,+

and so the priesthood+ belongs

to the Levi tribe.

9Protecting Israel's agreement

with the Lord

was more important to you

than the life of your father

or mother,

or brothers or sisters,

or your own children.+

10You teach God's laws to Israel,+

and at the place of worship

you offer sacrifices

and burn incense.

11I pray that the Lord will bless

everything you do,

and make you strong enough

to crush your enemies.

12The Lord Most High+ loves you,

tribe of Benjamin.

He will live among your hills

and protect you.

13Descendants of Joseph,

the Lord will bless you

with precious water

from deep wells

and with dew from the sky.

14Month by month, your fruit

will ripen in the sunshine.

15You will have a rich harvest

from the slopes

of the ancient hills.

16The Lord who appeared

in the burning bush

wants to give you the best

the land can produce,

and it will be a princely crown

on Joseph's head.

17The armies of Ephraim

and Manasseh

are majestic and fierce

like a bull or a wild ox.

They will run their spears

through faraway nations.

18Be happy, Zebulun,

as your boats set sail;

be happy, Issachar,

in your tents.

19The sea will make you wealthy,

and from the sandy beach

you will get treasure.+

So invite the other tribes+

to celebrate with you

and offer sacrifices to God.

20Tribe of Gad,

the Lord will bless you

with more land.

So shout his praises!

Your tribe is like a lion

ripping up its victim.

21Your leaders met together

and chose the best land

for your tribe,

but you obeyed the Lord

and helped the other tribes.+

22Tribe of Dan,

you are like a lion cub,

startled by a snake.+

23The Lord is pleased with you,

people of Naphtali.

He will bless you

and give you the land

to the west and the south.+

24The Lord's greatest blessing

is for you, tribe of Asher.

You will be the favorite

of all the other tribes.

You will be rich with olive oil

25and have strong town gates

with bronze and iron bolts.

Your people will be powerful

for as long as they live.

26Israel,+ no other god

is like ours—

the clouds are his chariot

as he rides across the skies

to come and help us.

27The eternal God

is our hiding place;

he carries us in his arms.

When God tells you

to destroy your enemies,

he will make them run.

28Israel, you will live in safety;

your enemies will be gone.+

The dew will fall from the sky,

and you will have plenty

of grain and wine.

29The Lord has rescued you

and given you more blessings

than any other nation.

He protects you like a shield

and is your majestic sword.

Your enemies will bow in fear,

and you will trample

on their backs.




Footnotes:

33.2 Thousands … right hand: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
33.3 the tribes of Israel: Or “the nations.”
33.4 Israel: The Hebrew text also uses the name “Jeshurun,” a rare name for “Israel.”
33.6 even though … small: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
33.7 beg … alone: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
33.8 Massah and Meribah Spring: See Exodus 17.1-7; Numbers 20.1-13.
33.8 the Lord tested you, tribe of Levi. You were faithful: Or “the Lord tested me. I was faithful” or “the Lord tested Aaron and me. We were faithful.”
33.8 priesthood: The Hebrew text has “your thummim and your urim,” objects that were used by priests to get answers from God.
33.9 Protecting Israel's agreement … your own children: See Exodus 32.25-29.
33.10 Israel: See the note at 32.9.
33.12 Most High: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
33.19 sandy beach … treasure: Possibly a reference to glass made from sand; glass was rare and very valuable.
33.19 other tribes: Or “nations.”
33.21 tribes: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 21. The Gad tribe asked for some of the land east of the Jordan River, but promised that their warriors would cross the Jordan and help the other tribes take over the land west of the Jordan (see Numbers 32.1-33; Joshua 4.10-13).
33.22 startled by a snake: Or “jumping out from the forest of Bashan.”
33.23 land to the west and the south: Or “land south as far as Lake Galilee.”
33.26 Israel: See the note at 33.4.
33.28 your enemies will be gone: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.


Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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