The fourth heading: Moses’ blessing

This is the blessing that Moses the man of God gave the Israelites before he died. He said:
The Lord came from Sinai:
from Seir he shone like the dawn on us,[a]
from Paran Mountain he beamed down.
Thousands of holy ones were with him;[b]
his warriors were next to him, ready.[c]
Yes, those who love[d] the nations—
all his holy ones—were at your command;
they followed your footsteps;
they got moving when you said so.
Moses gave the Instruction to us—
it’s the prized possession of Jacob’s assembly.
A king came to rule in Jeshurun,
when the people’s leaders gathered together,
when Israel’s tribes were one.
“I pray that Reuben lives, doesn’t die,
though his numbers are so few.”
Moses said this to Judah:
“Lord, listen to Judah’s voice!
Bring him back to his own people,
strengthen his hands;[e]
be his help against every enemy.”
Then he told Levi:
“Give your Thummim to Levi,[f]
your Urim to your faithful one—
the one you tested at Massah,
the one you challenged by Meribah’s waters;
the one who said of his own mother and father:
‘I don’t consider them as such’;
of their siblings: ‘I don’t recognize them’;
of their own children, ‘I don’t know them’—
but who obeyed your words
and who guarded your covenant!
10 They teach your case laws to Jacob,
your Instruction to Israel.
They hold sweet incense to your nose;
put the entirely burned offering on your altar.
11 I pray that the Lord blesses Levi’s strength,
favors his hard work,
and crushes the insides of his enemies
so that those who hate him can’t fight anymore.”
12 He said to Benjamin:
“The Lord’s dearest one
rests safely on him.
The Lord always shields him;
he rests on God’s chest.”
13 Then he told Joseph:
“I pray that his land is blessed by God:
with heaven’s gifts from above,[g]
with the deep waters stretching out underneath;
14 with the gifts produced by the sun,
with the gifts generated by the moon;[h]
15 with the best fruit from ancient mountains,
with the gifts of eternal hills;
16 with the gifts of the earth and all that fills it,
and the favor of the one who lives on Sinai.[i]
I pray that all these rest on Joseph’s head,
on the crown of that prince among brothers.
17 A firstborn bull[j]—that’s how majestic he is!
A wild ox’s horns—those are his horns!
With them he gores all peoples
completely, to the far ends of the earth!
His horns[k] are Ephraim’s tens of thousands.
His horns are Manasseh’s thousands.”
18 Then he told Zebulun:
“Zebulun: celebrate when you are out and about;
Issachar: celebrate when you are at home in your tents!
19 They call all sorts of people to the mountain,
where they offer right sacrifices.
It’s true: They’re nourished on the sea’s abundance;
they are nourished on buried treasures in the sand.”
20 Then he told Gad:
“May Gad’s broad lands[l] be blessed!
He lives like a lion:
he rips an arm, even a head!
21 He chose the best part for himself
because there, where the commander’s portion was,
the leaders of the people gathered together.[m]
Gad executed the Lord’s justice
and the Lord’s judgments for Israel.”[n]
22 Then he told Dan:
“Dan is a lion cub.
He jumps up from Bashan.”
23 Then he told Naphtali:
“Naphtali—you are full of favor,
overflowing with the Lord’s blessing—
go possess the west and the south!”
24 Finally, he told Asher:
“Asher is the most blessed of sons.
I pray that he’s his brothers’ favorite—
one who dips his foot in fine oil.
25 I pray that your dead bolts are iron and copper,
and that your strength lasts all your days.”[o]
26 Jeshurun! No one compares to God!
He rides through heaven to help you,
rides majestically through the clouds.
27 The most ancient God is a place of safety;[p]
the eternal arms are a support.[q]
He drove out the enemy before you.
He commanded: “Destroy them!”
28 So Israel now lives in safety—
Jacob’s residence[r] is secure—
in a land full of grain and wine,
where the heavens drip dew.
29 Happy are you, Israel! Who is like you?
You are a people saved by the Lord!
He’s the shield that helps you,
your majestic sword!
Your enemies will come crawling on their knees to you,
but you will stomp on their backs![s]


  1. Deuteronomy 33:2 Correcting with LXX, Vulg, Syr, Tg Onkelos (see 33:4); MT and Sam on them
  2. Deuteronomy 33:2 Correction; cf LXX, Sam, Syr, Vulg; MT he came from Ribeboth-kodesh
  3. Deuteronomy 33:2 LXX angels; Heb uncertain
  4. Deuteronomy 33:3 Correction; MT lover of
  5. Deuteronomy 33:7 Or with his hands he contended
  6. Deuteronomy 33:8 DSS (4QDeuth, 4QTest) and LXX; MT lacks Give to Levi.
  7. Deuteronomy 33:13 Or from the dew
  8. Deuteronomy 33:14 Or moons or months
  9. Deuteronomy 33:16 Or lives in a bush
  10. Deuteronomy 33:17 Sam, LXX, Vulg; DSS (4QDeuth) and Heb the oldest offspring of his bull
  11. Deuteronomy 33:17 Or they; also in the next line
  12. Deuteronomy 33:20 Or the one who makes Gad large
  13. Deuteronomy 33:21 Cf LXX; MT there the commander’s portion was reserved; he came at the front of the people or there was the portion of the respected commander; the people’s leaders came.
  14. Deuteronomy 33:21 Heb uncertain
  15. Deuteronomy 33:25 Heb uncertain
  16. Deuteronomy 33:27 Or He humiliates the oldest gods.
  17. Deuteronomy 33:27 Or He shatters the most ancient forces.
  18. Deuteronomy 33:28 Or fountain
  19. Deuteronomy 33:29 Or their shrines