Rev. Bernie Schey, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Old Dime Box, TX, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Deuteronomy 33:1-17.
As Jacob had blessed his twelve sons before he died, now Moses blesses the twelve tribes of Israel before he dies. In his blessing, Moses shows his fatherly care for the nation that he has led for forty years. The blessing begins with a reminder of the LORD’s love for Israel shown from Sinai onward. As Moses begins to work his way from one tribe to the next, he blesses them appropriately both concerning their history and coming inheritance. Each blessing points forward to the blessing that is ours in Christ Jesus.
“The Law of God is Good and Wise” is a series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Deuteronomy. Though Moses’ lengthy sermons in Deuteronomy may be tempting to skip, this influential book is essential reading for Christians. As Moses strengthened Israel on the plains of Moab before the people entered the Promised Land, so the book of Deuteronomy still strengthens the Church as we prepare to enter the Resurrection with Christ, the Prophet greater than Moses.
Sharper Iron, hosted by Rev. Timothy Appel, looks at the text of Holy Scripture both in its broad context and its narrow detail, all for the sake of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen for sinners. Two pastors engage with God’s Word to sharpen not only their own faith and knowledge, but the faith and knowledge of all who listen.
Sharper Iron is underwritten by Lutheran Church Extension Fund, where your investments help support the work of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Visit lcef.org.
Moses’ Final Blessing on Israel
33 This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. 2 He said,
“The Lord came from Sinai
and dawned from Seir upon us;[a]
he shone forth from Mount Paran;
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire[b] at his right hand.
3 Yes, he loved his people,[c]
all his holy ones were in his[d] hand;
so they followed[e] in your steps,
receiving direction from you,
4 when Moses commanded us a law,
as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
5 Thus the Lord[f] became king in Jeshurun,
when the heads of the people were gathered,
all the tribes of Israel together.
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[g] for him,
and be a help against his adversaries.”
8 And of Levi he said,
“Give to Levi[h] your Thummim,
and your Urim to your godly one,
whom you tested at Massah,
with whom you quarreled at the waters of Meribah;
9 who said of his father and mother,
‘I regard them not’;
he disowned his brothers
and ignored his children.
For they observed your word
and kept your covenant.
10 They shall teach Jacob your rules
and Israel your law;
they shall put incense before you
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Bless, O Lord, his substance,
and accept the work of his hands;
crush the loins of his adversaries,
of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”
12 Of Benjamin he said,
“The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.
The High God[i] surrounds him all day long,
and dwells between his shoulders.”
13 And of Joseph he said,
“Blessed by the Lord be his land,
with the choicest gifts of heaven above,[j]
and of the deep that crouches beneath,
14 with the choicest fruits of the sun
and the rich yield of the months,
15 with the finest produce of the ancient mountains
and the abundance of the everlasting hills,
16 with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
and the favor of him who dwells in the bush.
May these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the pate of him who is prince among his brothers.
17 A firstborn bull[k]—he has majesty,
and his horns are the horns of a wild ox;
with them he shall gore the peoples,
all of them, to the ends of the earth;
they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
- Deuteronomy 33:2 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew them
- Deuteronomy 33:2 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
- Deuteronomy 33:3 Septuagint; Hebrew peoples
- Deuteronomy 33:3 Hebrew your
- Deuteronomy 33:3 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
- Deuteronomy 33:5 Hebrew Thus he
- Deuteronomy 33:7 Probable reading; Hebrew With his hands he contended
- Deuteronomy 33:8 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint; Masoretic Text lacks Give to Levi
- Deuteronomy 33:12 Septuagint; Hebrew dwells in safety by him. He
- Deuteronomy 33:13 Two Hebrew manuscripts and Targum; Hebrew with the dew
- Deuteronomy 33:17 Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint, Samaritan; Masoretic Text His firstborn bull
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. esv.org