6 "Let Reuben live and not die, nor his people be few." 7 And this he said about Judah: "Hear, Lord, the cry of Judah; bring him to his people. With his own hands he defends his cause. Oh, be his help against his foes!"
8 About Levi he said: "Your Thummim and Urim belong to your faithful servant. You tested him at Massah; you contended with him at the waters of Meribah. 9 He said of his father and mother, 'I have no regard for them.' He did not recognize his brothers or acknowledge his own children, but he watched over your word and guarded your covenant. 10 He teaches your precepts to Jacob and your law to Israel. He offers incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. 11 Bless all his skills, Lord, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Strike down those who rise against him, his foes till they rise no more."
12 About Benjamin he said: "Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders." 13 About Joseph he said: "May the Lord bless his land with the precious dew from heaven above and with the deep waters that lie below; 14 with the best the sun brings forth and the finest the moon can yield; 15 with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills; 16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. 17 In majesty he is like a firstborn bull; his horns are the horns of a wild ox. With them he will gore the nations, even those at the ends of the earth. Such are the ten thousands of Ephraim; such are the thousands of Manasseh."
18 About Zebulun he said: "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out, and you, Issachar, in your tents. 19 They will summon peoples to the mountain and there offer the sacrifices of the righteous; they will feast on the abundance of the seas, on the treasures hidden in the sand." 20 About Gad he said: "Blessed is he who enlarges Gad's domain! Gad lives there like a lion, tearing at arm or head. 21 He chose the best land for himself; the leader's portion was kept for him. When the heads of the people assembled, he carried out the Lord's righteous will, and his judgments concerning Israel."
22 About Dan he said: "Dan is a lion's cub, springing out of Bashan." 23 About Naphtali he said: "Naphtali is abounding with the favor of the Lordand is full of his blessing; he will inherit southward to the lake."
6 Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few. 7 And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people: let his hands be sufficient for him; and be thou an help to him from his enemies.
8 And of Levi he said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah; 9 Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children: for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant. 10 They shall teach
12 And of Benjamin he said, 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. 13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath, 14 And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, 15 And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, 16 And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 17 His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns:
18 And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. 19 They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand. 20 And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head. 21 And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated;
22 And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's whelp: he shall leap from Bashan. 23 And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, and full with the blessing of the Lord: possess thou the west and the south.
6 "Let Reuben live, and not die, but let his men be few." 7 And this he said of Judah: "Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him in to his people. With your hands contend
8 And of Levi he said, "Give to Levi
12 Of Benjamin he said, "The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety. The High God
18 And of Zebulun he said, "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out, and Issachar, in your tents. 19 They shall call peoples to their mountain; there they offer right sacrifices; for they draw from the abundance of the seas and the hidden treasures of the sand." 20 And of Gad he said, "Blessed be he who enlarges Gad! Gad crouches like a lion; he tears off arm and scalp. 21 He chose the best of the land for himself, for there a commander's portion was reserved; and he came with the heads of the people, with Israel he executed the justice of the Lord, and his judgments for Israel."
22 And of Dan he said, "Dan is a lion's cub that leaps from Bashan." 23 And of Naphtali he said, "O Naphtali, sated with favor, and full of the blessing of the Lord, possess the lake
6 Reuben: "Let Reuben live and not die, but just barely, in diminishing numbers." 7 Judah: "Listen, God, to the Voice of Judah, bring him to his people; Strengthen his grip, be his helper against his foes."
8 Levi: "Let your Thummim and Urim belong to your loyal saint; The one you tested at Massah, whom you fought with at the Waters of Meribah, 9 Who said of his father and mother, 'I no longer recognize them.' He turned his back on his brothers and neglected his children, Because he was guarding your sayings and watching over your Covenant. 10 Let him teach your rules to Jacob and your Revelation to Israel, Let him keep the incense rising to your nostrils and the Whole-Burnt-Offerings on your Altar. 11 God bless his commitment, stamp your seal of approval on what he does; Disable the loins of those who defy him, make sure we've heard the last from those who hate him."
12 Benjamin: "God's beloved; God's permanent residence. Encircled by God all day long, within whom God is at home." 13 Joseph: "Blessed by God be his land: The best fresh dew from high heaven, and fountains springing from the depths; 14 The best radiance streaming from the sun and the best the moon has to offer; 15 Beauty pouring off the tops of the mountains and the best from the everlasting hills; 16 The best of Earth's exuberant gifts, the smile of the Burning-Bush Dweller. All this on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the consecrated one among his brothers. 17 In splendor he's like a firstborn bull, his horns the horns of a wild ox; He'll gore the nations with those horns, push them all to the ends of the Earth. Ephraim by the ten thousands will do this, Manasseh by the thousands will do this."
18 Zebulun and Issachar: "Celebrate, Zebulun, as you go out, and Issachar, as you stay home. 19 They'll invite people to the Mountain and offer sacrifices of right worship, For they will have hauled riches in from the sea and gleaned treasures from the beaches." 20 Gad: "Blessed is he who makes Gad large. Gad roams like a lion, tears off an arm, rips open a skull. 21 He took one look and grabbed the best place for himself, the portion just made for someone in charge. He took his place at the head, carried out God's right ways and his rules for life in Israel."
22 Dan: "Dan is a lion's cub leaping out of Bashan." 23 Naphtali: "Naphtali brims with blessings, spills over with God's blessings As he takes possession of the sea and southland."
6 "Let Reuben live, and not die, Nor let his men be few." 7 And this he said of Judah: "Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, And bring him to his people; Let his hands be sufficient for him, And may You be a help against his enemies."
8 And of Levi he said: "Let Your Thummim and Your Urim be with Your holy one, Whom You tested at Massah, And with whom You contended at the waters of Meribah, 9 Who says of his father and mother, 'I have not seen them'; Nor did he acknowledge his brothers, Or know his own children; For they have observed Your word And kept Your covenant. 10 They shall teach Jacob Your judgments, And Israel Your law. They shall put incense before You, And a whole burnt sacrifice on Your altar. 11 Bless his substance, Lord, And accept the work of his hands; Strike the loins of those who rise against him, And of those who hate him, that they rise not again."
12 Of Benjamin he said: "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, Who shelters him all the day long; And he shall dwell between His shoulders." 13 And of Joseph he said: "Blessed of the Lord is his land, With the precious things of heaven, with the dew, And the deep lying beneath, 14 With the precious fruits of the sun, With the precious produce of the months, 15 With the best things of the ancient mountains, With the precious things of the everlasting hills, 16 With the precious things of the earth and its fullness, And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush. Let the blessing come 'on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.' 17 His glory is like a firstborn bull, And his horns like the horns of the wild ox; Together with them He shall push the peoples To the ends of the earth; They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, And they are the thousands of Manasseh."
18 And of Zebulun he said: "Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out, And Issachar in your tents! 19 They shall call the peoples to the mountain; There they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness; For they shall partake of the abundance of the seas And of treasures hidden in the sand." 20 And of Gad he said: "Blessed is he who enlarges Gad; He dwells as a lion, And tears the arm and the crown of his head. 21 He provided the first part for himself, Because a lawgiver's portion was reserved there. He came with the heads of the people; He administered the justice of the Lord, And His judgments with Israel."
22 And of Dan he said: "Dan is a lion's whelp; He shall leap from Bashan." 23 And of Naphtali he said: "O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, And full of the blessing of the Lord, Possess the west and the south."
6 Moses said this about the tribe of Reuben: "Let the tribe of Reuben live and not die out, though they are few in number." 7 Moses said this about the tribe of Judah: "O Lord, hear the cry of Judah and bring them together as a people. Give them strength to defend their cause; help them against their enemies!"
8 Moses said this about the tribe of Levi: "O Lord, you have given your Thummim and Urim-the sacred lots- to your faithful servants the Levites. You put them to the test at Massah and struggled with them at the waters of Meribah. 9 The Levites obeyed your word and guarded your covenant. They were more loyal to you than to their own parents. They ignored their relatives and did not acknowledge their own children. 10 They teach your regulations to Jacob; they give your instructions to Israel. They present incense before you and offer whole burnt offerings on the altar. 11 Bless the ministry of the Levites, O Lord, and accept all the work of their hands. Hit their enemies where it hurts the most; strike down their foes so they never rise again."
12 Moses said this about the tribe of Benjamin: "The people of Benjamin are loved by the Lord and live in safety beside him. He surrounds them continuously and preserves them from every harm." 13 Moses said this about the tribes of Joseph: "May their land be blessed by the Lord with the precious gift of dew from the heavens and water from beneath the earth; 14 with the rich fruit that grows in the sun, and the rich harvest produced each month; 15 with the finest crops of the ancient mountains, and the abundance from the everlasting hills; 16 with the best gifts of the earth and its bounty, and the favor of the one who appeared in the burning bush. May these blessings rest on Joseph's head, crowning the brow of the prince among his brothers. 17 Joseph has the majesty of a young bull; he has the horns of a wild ox. He will gore distant nations, even to the ends of the earth. This is my blessing for the multitudes of Ephraim and the thousands of Manasseh."
18 Moses said this about the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar : "May the people of Zebulun prosper in their travels. May the people of Issachar prosper at home in their tents. 19 They summon the people to the mountain to offer proper sacrifices there. They benefit from the riches of the sea and the hidden treasures in the sand." 20 Moses said this about the tribe of Gad: "Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad's territory! Gad is poised there like a lion to tear off an arm or a head. 21 The people of Gad took the best land for themselves; a leader's share was assigned to them. When the leaders of the people were assembled, they carried out the Lord 's justice and obeyed his regulations for Israel."
22 Moses said this about the tribe of Dan: "Dan is a lion's cub, leaping out from Bashan." 23 Moses said this about the tribe of Naphtali: "OÂ Naphtali, you are rich in favor and full of the Lord 's blessings; may you possess the west and the south."
Matthew Henry's Commentary on Deuteronomy 33:6-23
Commentary on Deuteronomy 33:6-23
(Read Deuteronomy 33:6-23)
The order in which the tribes are here blessed, is not the same as is observed elsewhere. The blessing of Judah may refer to the whole tribe in general, or to David as a type of Christ. Moses largely blesses the tribe of Levi. Acceptance with God is what we should all aim at, and desire, in all our devotions, whether men accept us or not, 2 Corinthians 5:9. This prayer is a prophecy, that God will keep up a ministry in his church to the end of time. The tribe of Benjamin had their inheritance close to mount Zion. To be situated near the ordinances, is a precious gift from the Lord, a privilege not to be exchanged for any worldly advantage, or indulgence. We should thankfully receive the earthly blessings sent to us, through the successive seasons. But those good gifts which come down from the Father of lights, through the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring out of his Spirit like the rain which makes fruitful, are infinitely more precious, as the tokens of his special love. The precious things here prayed for, are figures of spiritual blessing in heavenly things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and comforts of the Spirit. When Moses prays for the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush, he refers to the covenant, on which all our hopes of God's favour must be founded. The providence of God appoints men's habitations, and wisely disposes men to different employments for the public good. Whatever our place and business are, it is our wisdom and duty to apply thereto; and it is happiness to be well pleased therewith. We should not only invite others to the service of God, but abound in it. The blessing of Naphtali. The favour of God is the only favour satisfying to the soul. Those are happy indeed, who have the favour of God; and those shall have it, who reckon that in having it they have enough, and desire no more.