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Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak;

let the earth hear the words of my mouth.


May my teaching drop like the rain,

my speech condense like the dew;

like gentle rain on grass,

like showers on new growth.


For I will proclaim the name of the L ord;

ascribe greatness to our God!



The Rock, his work is perfect,

and all his ways are just.

A faithful God, without deceit,

just and upright is he;


yet his degenerate children have dealt falsely with him,

a perverse and crooked generation.


Do you thus repay the L ord,

O foolish and senseless people?

Is not he your father, who created you,

who made you and established you?


Remember the days of old,

consider the years long past;

ask your father, and he will inform you;

your elders, and they will tell you.


When the Most High apportioned the nations,

when he divided humankind,

he fixed the boundaries of the peoples

according to the number of the gods;


the L ord’s own portion was his people,

Jacob his allotted share.



He sustained him in a desert land,

in a howling wilderness waste;

he shielded him, cared for him,

guarded him as the apple of his eye.


As an eagle stirs up its nest,

and hovers over its young;

as it spreads its wings, takes them up,

and bears them aloft on its pinions,


the L ord alone guided him;

no foreign god was with him.


He set him atop the heights of the land,

and fed him with produce of the field;

he nursed him with honey from the crags,

with oil from flinty rock;


curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,

with fat of lambs and rams;

Bashan bulls and goats,

together with the choicest wheat—

you drank fine wine from the blood of grapes.


Jacob ate his fill;

Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked.

You grew fat, bloated, and gorged!

He abandoned God who made him,

and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.


They made him jealous with strange gods,

with abhorrent things they provoked him.


They sacrificed to demons, not God,

to deities they had never known,

to new ones recently arrived,

whom your ancestors had not feared.


You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you;

you forgot the God who gave you birth.



The L ord saw it, and was jealous;

he spurned his sons and daughters.


He said: I will hide my face from them,

I will see what their end will be;

for they are a perverse generation,

children in whom there is no faithfulness.


They made me jealous with what is no god,

provoked me with their idols.

So I will make them jealous with what is no people,

provoke them with a foolish nation.


For a fire is kindled by my anger,

and burns to the depths of Sheol;

it devours the earth and its increase,

and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.


I will heap disasters upon them,

spend my arrows against them:


wasting hunger,

burning consumption,

bitter pestilence.

The teeth of beasts I will send against them,

with venom of things crawling in the dust.


In the street the sword shall bereave,

and in the chambers terror,

for young man and woman alike,

nursing child and old gray head.


I thought to scatter them

and blot out the memory of them from humankind;


but I feared provocation by the enemy,

for their adversaries might misunderstand

and say, “Our hand is triumphant;

it was not the L ord who did all this.”



They are a nation void of sense;

there is no understanding in them.


If they were wise, they would understand this;

they would discern what the end would be.


How could one have routed a thousand,

and two put a myriad to flight,

unless their Rock had sold them,

the L ord had given them up?


Indeed their rock is not like our Rock;

our enemies are fools.


Their vine comes from the vinestock of Sodom,

from the vineyards of Gomorrah;

their grapes are grapes of poison,

their clusters are bitter;


their wine is the poison of serpents,

the cruel venom of asps.



Is not this laid up in store with me,

sealed up in my treasuries?


Vengeance is mine, and recompense,

for the time when their foot shall slip;

because the day of their calamity is at hand,

their doom comes swiftly.



Indeed the L ord will vindicate his people,

have compassion on his servants,

when he sees that their power is gone,

neither bond nor free remaining.


Then he will say: Where are their gods,

the rock in which they took refuge,


who ate the fat of their sacrifices,

and drank the wine of their libations?

Let them rise up and help you,

let them be your protection!



See now that I, even I, am he;

there is no god besides me.

I kill and I make alive;

I wound and I heal;

and no one can deliver from my hand.


For I lift up my hand to heaven,

and swear: As I live forever,


when I whet my flashing sword,

and my hand takes hold on judgment;

I will take vengeance on my adversaries,

and will repay those who hate me.


I will make my arrows drunk with blood,

and my sword shall devour flesh—

with the blood of the slain and the captives,

from the long-haired enemy.



Praise, O heavens, his people,

worship him, all you gods!

For he will avenge the blood of his children,

and take vengeance on his adversaries;

he will repay those who hate him,

and cleanse the land for his people.

44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua son of Nun. 45When Moses had finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46he said to them: “Take to heart all the words that I am giving in witness against you today; give them as a command to your children, so that they may diligently observe all the words of this law. 47This is no trifling matter for you, but rather your very life; through it you may live long in the land that you are crossing over the Jordan to possess.”

Moses’ Death Foretold

48 On that very day the L ord addressed Moses as follows: 49“Ascend this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites for a possession; 50you shall die there on the mountain that you ascend and shall be gathered to your kin, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his kin; 51because both of you broke faith with me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, by failing to maintain my holiness among the Israelites. 52Although you may view the land from a distance, you shall not enter it—the land that I am giving to the Israelites.”

24. They shall be burnt with hunger. He now descends to some particular modes of punishment, not, indeed, to enumerate them all, but only to adduce such specimens of them as to inspire the people with greater terror, inasmuch as mere generalities would not have sufficiently affected them. He mentions three especial scourges, pestilence, famine, and the sword, on which the prophets constantly dilate, when their object was to apply the Law to the actual use of the people, from whence it arose that they familiarly employ many of the expressions used by Moses. He introduces indeed other punishments, which the prophets also mention; but the sum of what he says is this, that the Israelites should feel that God was armed with all the punishments which were only too well known by experience, and by them would utterly destroy them.

First., he says, that they should be dried up, or rather roasted with hunger. 271271     Professor Liebig has pointed out the dreadful fact, in singular confirmation of the expression here employed by Moses, that “when a person is starved to death, he is, in fact, slowly burnt, as, during the process of starvation, a slow combustion of the body takes place.” Instead of pestilence he uses the words burning (uredinem,) and bitter destruction: and before he speaks of the sword, declares that He would send forth beasts and serpents, so that on the one hand, open violence should assail them, and, on the other, secret wiles. Amos has also imitated this figure:

“The day of the Lord (he says) is darkness and not light: as if a man did flee from a lion and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.”
(Amos 5:18, 19.)

To war, and the cruelty of enemies he adds another evil, viz., terror: and this is, indeed, an aggravation worse than death itself, when we tremble within with terror, for it would be better to be slain ten times over bravely fighting in battle, than to be consumed with constant fear, as by a lingering death. 272272     Un accessoire pire que toutes los morts du monde, quand nous maigrissons et sommes minez de frayeur;” an aggravation worse than all the deaths in the world, when we are wasted away, and preyed upon by fear. — Fr.

Let us learn, then, from this passage, that, whatever perils surround us, and whatever adversities, they are God’s weapons, and that they do not occur by chance to this or that person, but are directed by His hand. Thus it is the case that He not; only stirs up enemies against us, but fierce and noisome beasts also; that He shuts up the heaven and the earth; that He infects the atmosphere with deadly disease; that, in a word, he draws forth from all the elements manifold means of destruction.

But if it be the fact, that the godly are involved in similar punishments, since they suffer from hunger and want, and are not exempt from any evil; for even Paul acknowledges that he had himself experienced what God here denounces against those that wickedly despise Him, for he says that he was troubled without with fightings, and within with fears, (2 Corinthians 7:5;) we must bear in mind that all adversities are in themselves signs of God’s wrath, since they derive their origin from sin; but that through God’s marvelous provision it comes to pass, that to believers they are exercises of their faith and proofs of their patience. Hence we often see God’s children afflicted in common with the ungodly, but to a different end; though nevertheless all adversities are proofs of God’s wrath against the reprobate. On this point I have spoken at greater length in treating of the curses of the Law.

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