Deuteronomy 33:25
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.

King James Bible
Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

Darby Bible Translation
Iron and brass shall be thy bolts; And thy rest as thy days.

World English Bible
Your bars shall be iron and brass. As your days, so your strength will be.

Young's Literal Translation
Iron and brass are thy shoes, And as thy days -- thy strength.

Deuteronomy 33:25 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Thy shoes shall be iron and brass - Some suppose this may refer to the iron and copper mines in their territory; but it is more likely that it relates to their warlike disposition, as we know that greaves, boots, shoes, etc., of iron, brass, and tin, were used by ancient warriors. Goliath had greaves of brass on his legs, 1 Samuel 17:6; and the brazen-booted Greeks, χαλκοκνημιδες Αχαιοι, is one of the epithets given by Homer to his heroes; see Iliad. lib. viii., ver. 41.

And as thy days, so shall thy strength be - If we take this clause as it appears here, we have at once an easy sense; and the saying, I have no doubt, has comforted the souls of multitudes. The meaning is obvious: "Whatever thy trials or difficulties may be, I shall always give thee grace to support thee under and bring thee through them." The original is only two words, the latter of which has been translated in a great variety of ways, וכימיך דבאך ucheyameycha dobecha. Of the first term there can be no doubt, it literally means, and as thy days; the second word, דבא dobe, occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible: the Septuagint have rendered it by ισχυς, strength, and most of the versions have followed them; but others have rendered it affliction, old age, fame, weakness, etc., etc. It would be almost endless to follow interpreters through their conjectures concerning its meaning. It is allowed among learned men, that where a word occurs not as a verb in the Hebrew Bible, its root may be legitimately sought in the Arabic. He who controverts this position knows little of the ground on which he stands. In this language the root is found; daba signifies he rested, was quiet. This gives a very good sense, and a very appropriate one; for as the borders of this tribe lay on the vicinity of the Phoenicians, it was naturally to be expected that they should be constantly exposed to irruptions, pillage, etc.; but God, to give them confidence in his protection, says, According to thy days - all circumstances and vicissitudes, so shall thy Rest be - while faithful to thy God no evil shall touch thee; thy days shall increase, and thy quiet be lengthened out. This is an unfailing promise of God: "I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon me, because he trusteth in me;" therefore "trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength;" Isaiah 26:4. Some derive it from dabi, he abounded in riches; the interpretation then would be, As thy days increase, so shall thy riches. This makes a very good sense also. See Rosenmuller.

Moses, having now finished what God gave him to predict concerning the twelve tribes, and what he was led in the fullness of his heart to pray for in their behalf, addresses all the tribes collectively under the names Jeshurun and Israel; and in an ode of astonishing energy and elegance describes this wondrous people, and their still more wonderful privileges. The reader will observe that, though the latter part of this chapter appears in the form of prose in our Bibles, yet it is written in hemistichs or short metrical lines in the original, which is the form in which all the Hebrew poetry is written; and as in other cases, so in this, it would contribute much to the easy understanding of the author's meaning, were the translation produced in lines corresponding to those of the original.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thy shoes, etc. or, Under thy shoes shall be iron

Deuteronomy 8:9 A land wherein you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron...

Luke 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

and as thy

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth...

Psalm 138:3 In the day when I cried you answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.

Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increases strength.

Isaiah 41:10 Fear you not; for I am with you: be not dismayed; for I am your God: I will strengthen you; yes, I will help you...

1 Corinthians 10:13 There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful...

2 Corinthians 12:9,10 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness...

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brothers, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.

Colossians 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, to all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness;

Library
Israel the Beloved
'The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders.'--DEUT. xxxiii. 12. Benjamin was his father's favourite child, and the imagery of this promise is throughout drawn from the relations between such a child and its father. So far as the future history of the tribes is shadowed in these 'blessings' of this great ode, the reference of the text may be to the tribe of Benjamin, as specially distinguished by Saul
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Shoes of Iron, and Strength Sufficient: a New Year's Promise
"And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be."--Deuteronomy 33:24-25. I once heard an old minister say that he thought the blessing of Asher was peculiarly the blessing of ministers; and his eyes twinkled as he added, "At any rate, they are usually blessed with children, and it is a great blessing for them if they are acceptable to their
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 35: 1889

On Deut. xxxiii. Ii
On Deut. xxxiii. II Hippolytus, the expositor of the Targum, has said that Moses, when he had finished this prophecy, also pronounced a blessing upon all the children of Israel, by their several tribes, and prayed for them. Then God charged Moses, saying to him, Go up to Mount Nebo, which indeed is known by the name of the mount of the Hebrews, which is in the land of Moab over against Jericho. And He said to him: View the land of Chanaan, which I am to give to the children of Israel for an inheritance.
Hippolytus—The Extant Works and Fragments of Hippolytus

The Best Things Work for Good to the Godly
WE shall consider, first, what things work for good to the godly; and here we shall show that both the best things and the worst things work for their good. We begin with the best things. 1. God's attributes work for good to the godly. (1). God's power works for good. It is a glorious power (Col. i. 11), and it is engaged for the good of the elect. God's power works for good, in supporting us in trouble. "Underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deut. xxxiii. 27). What upheld Daniel in the lion's den?
Thomas Watson—A Divine Cordial

Cross References
Genesis 49:20
"Asher's food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king.

Deuteronomy 4:40
Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.

Deuteronomy 32:47
They are not just idle words for you--they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."

Psalm 147:13
He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you.

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