Deuteronomy 31:1-34:12

31:1 Then Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel. 2 He said to them, “Today I am 120 years old. I am no longer able to get about, and the Lord has said to me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan.’ 3 As for the Lord your God, he is about to cross over before you; he will destroy these nations before you, and you will dispossess them. As for Joshua, he is about to cross before you just as the Lord has said. 4 The Lord will do to them just what he did to Sihon and Og, the Amorite kings, and to their land, which he destroyed. 5 The Lord will deliver them over to you, and you will do to them according to the whole commandment I have given you. 6 Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!” 7 Then Moses called out to Joshua in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will accompany these people to the land that the Lord promised to give their ancestors, and you will enable them to inherit it. 8 The Lord is indeed going before you—he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!”

9 Then Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all Israel’s elders. 10 He commanded them: “At the end of seven years, at the appointed time of the cancellation of debts, at the Feast of Shelters, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, you must read this law before them within their hearing. 12 Gather the people—men, women, and children, as well as the resident foreigners in your villages—so they may hear and thus learn about and fear the Lord your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. 13 Then their children, who have not known this law, will also hear about and learn to fear the Lord your God for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The day of your death is near. Summon Joshua and present yourselves in the tent of meeting so that I can commission him.” So Moses and Joshua presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 15 The Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud that stood above the door of the tent. 16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die, and then these people will begin to prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land into which they are going. They will reject me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 At that time my anger will erupt against them, and I will abandon them and hide my face from them until they are devoured. Many disasters and distresses will overcome them so that they will say at that time, ‘Have not these disasters overcome us because our God is not among us?’ 18 But I will certainly hide myself at that time because of all the wickedness they will have done by turning to other gods. 19 Now write down for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites. Put it into their very mouths so that this song may serve as my witness against the Israelites! 20 For after I have brought them to the land I promised to their ancestors—one flowing with milk and honey—and they eat their fill and become fat, then they will turn to other gods and worship them; they will reject me and break my covenant. 21 Then when many disasters and distresses overcome them this song will testify against them, for their descendants will not forget it. I know the intentions they have in mind today, even before I bring them to the land I have promised.” 22 So on that day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites, 23 and the Lord commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will take the Israelites to the land I have promised them, and I will be with you.”

24 When Moses finished writing on a scroll the words of this law in their entirety, 25 he commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, 26 “Take this scroll of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. It will remain there as a witness against you, 27 for I know about your rebellion and stubbornness. Indeed, even while I have been living among you to this very day, you have rebelled against the Lord; you will be even more rebellious after my death! 28 Gather to me all your tribal elders and officials so I can speak to them directly about these things and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after I die you will totally corrupt yourselves and turn away from the path I have commanded you to walk. Disaster will confront you in future days because you will act wickedly before the Lord, inciting him to anger because of your actions.” 30 Then Moses recited the words of this song from start to finish in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel:

32:1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;

hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.

2 My teaching will drop like the rain,

my sayings will drip like the dew,

as rain drops upon the grass,

and showers upon new growth.

3 For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;

you must acknowledge the greatness of our God.

4 As for the Rock, his work is perfect,

for all his ways are just.

He is a reliable God who is never unjust,

he is fair and upright.

5 His people have been unfaithful to him;

they have not acted like his children—this is their sin.

They are a perverse and deceitful generation.

6 Is this how you repay the Lord,

you foolish, unwise people?

Is he not your father, your Creator?

He has made you and established you.

7 Remember the ancient days;

bear in mind the years of past generations.

Ask your father and he will inform you,

your elders, and they will tell you.

8 When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,

when he divided up humankind,

he set the boundaries of the peoples,

according to the number of the heavenly assembly.

9 For the Lord’s allotment is his people,

Jacob is his special possession.

10 The Lord found him in a desolate land,

in an empty wasteland where animals howl.

He continually guarded him and taught him;

he continually protected him like the pupil of his eye.

11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,

that hovers over its young,

so the Lord spread out his wings and took him,

he lifted him up on his pinions.

12 The Lord alone was guiding him,

no foreign god was with him.

13 He enabled him to travel over the high terrain of the land,

and he ate of the produce of the fields.

He provided honey for him from the cliffs,

and olive oil from the hardest of rocks,

14 butter from the herd

and milk from the flock,

along with the fat of lambs,

rams and goats of Bashan,

along with the best of the kernels of wheat;

and from the juice of grapes you drank wine.

15 But Jeshurun became fat and kicked;

you got fat, thick, and stuffed!

Then he deserted the God who made him,

and treated the Rock who saved him with contempt.

16 They made him jealous with other gods,

they enraged him with abhorrent idols.

17 They sacrificed to demons, not God,

to gods they had not known;

to new gods who had recently come along,

gods your ancestors had not known about.

18 You forgot the Rock who fathered you,

and put out of mind the God who gave you birth.

19 But the Lord took note and despised them

because his sons and daughters enraged him.

20 He said, “I will reject them.

I will see what will happen to them;

for they are a perverse generation,

children who show no loyalty.

21 They have made me jealous with false gods,

enraging me with their worthless gods;

so I will make them jealous with a people they do not recognize,

with a nation slow to learn I will enrage them.

22 For a fire has been kindled by my anger,

and it burns to lowest Sheol;

it consumes the earth and its produce,

and ignites the foundations of the mountains.

23 I will increase their disasters;

I will use up my arrows on them.

24 They will be starved by famine,

eaten by plague, and bitterly stung;

I will send the teeth of wild animals against them,

along with the poison of creatures that crawl in the dust.

25 The sword will make people childless outside,

and terror will do so inside;

they will destroy both the young man and the virgin,

the infant and the gray-haired man.

26 “I said, ‘I want to cut them in pieces.

I want to make people forget they ever existed.

27 But I fear the reaction of their enemies,

for their adversaries would misunderstand

and say, “Our power is great,

and the Lord has not done all this!”’

28 They are a nation devoid of wisdom,

and there is no understanding among them.

29 I wish that they were wise and could understand this,

and that they could comprehend what will happen to them.”

30 How can one man chase a thousand of them,

and two pursue ten thousand,

unless their Rock had delivered them up—

and the Lord had handed them over?

31 For our enemies’ rock is not like our Rock,

as even our enemies concede.

32 For their vine is from the stock of Sodom,

and from the fields of Gomorrah.

Their grapes contain venom;

their clusters of grapes are bitter.

33 Their wine is snakes’ poison,

the deadly venom of cobras.

34 “Is this not stored up with me?” says the Lord,

“Is it not sealed up in my storehouses?

35 I will get revenge and pay them back

at the time their foot slips;

for the day of their disaster is near,

and the impending judgment is rushing upon them!”

36 The Lord will judge his people,

and will change his plans concerning his servants;

when he sees that their power has disappeared,

and that no one is left, whether confined or set free.

37 He will say, “Where are their gods,

the rock in whom they sought security,

38 who ate the best of their sacrifices,

and drank the wine of their drink offerings?

Let them rise and help you;

let them be your refuge!

39 “See now that I, indeed I, am he!” says the Lord,

“and there is no other god besides me.

I kill and give life,

I smash and I heal,

and none can resist my power.

40 For I raise up my hand to heaven,

and say, ‘As surely as I live forever,

41 I will sharpen my lightning-like sword,

and my hand will grasp hold of the weapon of judgment;

I will execute vengeance on my foes,

and repay those who hate me!

42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,

and my sword will devour flesh—

the blood of the slaughtered and captured,

the chief of the enemy’s leaders.’”

43 Cry out, O nations, with his people,

for he will avenge his servants’ blood;

he will take vengeance against his enemies,

and make atonement for his land and people.

44 Then Moses went with Joshua son of Nun and recited all the words of this song to the people. 45 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel 46 he said to them, “Keep in mind all the words I am solemnly proclaiming to you today; you must command your children to observe carefully all the words of this law. 47 For this is no idle word for you—it is your life! By this word you will live a long time in the land you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.”

48 Then the Lord said to Moses that same day, 49 “Go up to this Abarim hill country, to Mount Nebo (which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho), and look at the land of Canaan that I am giving to the Israelites as a possession. 50 You will die on the mountain that you ascend and join your deceased ancestors, just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and joined his deceased ancestors, 51 for both of you rebelled against me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribah Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin when you did not show me proper respect among the Israelites. 52 You will see the land before you, but you will not enter the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”

33:1 This is the blessing Moses the man of God pronounced upon the Israelites before his death. 2 He said:

“The Lord came from Sinai

and revealed himself to Israel from Seir.

He appeared in splendor from Mount Paran,

and came forth with ten thousand holy ones.

With his right hand he gave a fiery law to them.

3 Surely he loves the people;

all your holy ones are in your power.

And they sit at your feet,

each receiving your words.

4 Moses delivered to us a law,

an inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.

5 The Lord was king over Jeshurun,

when the leaders of the people assembled,

the tribes of Israel together.

6 “May Reuben live and not die,

and may his people multiply.”

7 And this is the blessing to Judah. He said,

“Listen, O Lord, to Judah’s voice,

and bring him to his people.

May his power be great,

and may you help him against his foes.”

8 Of Levi he said:

“Your Thummim and Urim belong to your godly one,

whose authority you challenged at Massah,

and with whom you argued at the waters of Meribah.

9 He said to his father and mother, ‘I have not seen him,’

and he did not acknowledge his own brothers

or know his own children,

for they kept your word,

and guarded your covenant.

10 They will teach Jacob your ordinances

and Israel your law;

they will offer incense as a pleasant odor,

and a whole offering on your altar.

11 Bless, O Lord, his goods,

and be pleased with his efforts;

undercut the legs of any who attack him,

and of those who hate him, so that they cannot stand.”

12 Of Benjamin he said:

“The beloved of the Lord will live safely by him;

he protects him all the time,

and the Lord places him on his chest.”

13 Of Joseph he said:

“May the Lord bless his land

with the harvest produced by the sky, by the dew,

and by the depths crouching beneath;

14 with the harvest produced by the daylight

and by the moonlight;

15 with the best of the ancient mountains

and the harvest produced by the age-old hills;

16 with the harvest of the earth and its fullness

and the pleasure of him who resided in the burning bush.

May blessing rest on Joseph’s head,

and on the top of the head of the one set apart from his brothers.

17 May the firstborn of his bull bring him honor,

and may his horns be those of a wild ox;

with them may he gore all peoples,

all the far reaches of the earth.

They are the ten thousands of Ephraim,

and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”

18 Of Zebulun he said:

“Rejoice, Zebulun, when you go outside,

and Issachar, when you are in your tents.

19 They will summon peoples to the mountain,

there they will sacrifice proper sacrifices;

for they will enjoy the abundance of the seas,

and the hidden treasures of the shores.”

20 Of Gad he said:

“Blessed be the one who enlarges Gad.

Like a lioness he will dwell;

he will tear at an arm—indeed, a scalp.

21 He has selected the best part for himself,

for the portion of the ruler is set aside there;

he came with the leaders of the people,

he obeyed the righteous laws of the Lord

and his ordinances with Israel.”

22 Of Dan he said:

“Dan is a lion’s cub;

he will leap forth from Bashan.”

23 Of Naphtali he said:

“O Naphtali, overflowing with favor,

and full of the Lord’s blessing,

possess the west and south.”

24 Of Asher he said:

“Asher is blessed with children;

may he be favored by his brothers,

and may he dip his foot in olive oil.

25 The bars of your gates will be made of iron and bronze,

and may you have lifelong strength.”

26 “There is no one like God, O Jeshurun,

who rides through the sky to help you,

on the clouds in majesty.

27 The everlasting God is a refuge,

and underneath you are his eternal arms;

he has driven out enemies before you,

and has said, ‘Destroy!’

28 Israel lives in safety,

the fountain of Jacob is quite secure,

in a land of grain and new wine;

indeed, its heavens rain down dew.

29 You have joy, Israel! Who is like you?

You are a people delivered by the Lord,

your protective shield

and your exalted sword.

May your enemies cringe before you;

may you trample on their backs.”

34:1 Then Moses ascended from the rift valley plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the summit of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. The Lord showed him the whole land—Gilead to Dan, 2 and all of Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the distant sea, 3 the Negev, and the plain of the Valley of Jericho, the city of date palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the Lord said to him, “This is the land I promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it, but you will not cross over there.”

5 So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab as the Lord had said. 6 He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab near Beth Peor, but no one knows his exact burial place to this very day. 7 Moses was 120 years old when he died, but his eye was not dull nor had his vitality departed. 8 The Israelites mourned for Moses in the rift valley plains of Moab for thirty days; then the days of mourning for Moses ended.

9 Now Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had placed his hands on him; and the Israelites listened to him and did just what the Lord had commanded Moses. 10 No prophet ever again arose in Israel like Moses, who knew the Lord face to face. 11 He did all the signs and wonders the Lord had sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, all his servants, and the whole land, 12 and he displayed great power and awesome might in view of all Israel.