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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.”

41 If I whet my glittering sword. The conditional particle does not leave the matter doubtful, or in suspense, but must be resolved into an adverb of time; as though He had said, As soon as He should take up arms, the destruction of the enemies would be certain; not indeed that God wants arms for the overthrow of His enemies; just as when He adds directly afterwards, “When my hand shall have taken hold of judgment,” He does not mean that it ever is taken away from Him, or escapes Him, but He thus designates its present and manifest operation. 295295     “C’est pour signifier un effet present et manifest, lequel n’estoit point apparu devant;” it is to signify a present and manifest effect, which had appeared before. — Fr. Since, therefore, God, when He spares His enemies, seems, as it were, to have thrown aside His weapons, and to be at rest, having ceased to execute the office of judge, He declares that His arms shall be ready wherewith to destroy His enemies; and again, that then He will once more take upon Him the judgment which He had seemed to lay aside; in which words He indirectly animadverts upon the foolish security of those who conceive that His power is annihilated, unless He openly exerts it, and that the judgment which He postpones is altogether extinct.

42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood. In these words He describes a horrible massacre, as though He had said, There shall be no end to my vengeance, until the earth shall be full of blood and corpses. Elsewhere 296296     Jeremiah 46:10. also, God’s sword is said to be “drunk with blood,” as here His arrows, when His wrath proceeds to inflict great acts of carnage; and in the same sense it is here said to “devour flesh.”

The second מדם, midam, some render, “on account of the blood;” and I admit that מ, mem, is sometimes the causalparticle. They understand it, then, that this would be the just recompense of their cruelty, when the wicked, who had slain the Israelites, or led them away captive, should be cut off by God. But I do not see why the same word should be expounded in two different senses; and I have no doubt but that it is a repetition of the same thing, that God will make His “arrows drunk with blood;” 297297     Addition in Fr., “pour confermer le propos avee plus grand vehemence;” to confirm the point in question with greater vehemence. but He says, “the blood both of the slain and of the captives,” since, when an army is put to the sword, some fall in the battle itself, whilst others, maimed and wounded, make an effort to escape.

The conclusion of the verse is twisted into various senses; some expound the word “head” by change of number, “heads,” as though it were said, “I will cut off the heads of the enemies;” it would, however, be more plausible to apply it metaphorically to the leaders. But others translate it more correctly, “the beginning,” not, indeed, with reference to time, but as though it were said, the flower, or best of the multitude, according to the common phrase, “from the first to the last.” My interpretation of “the revenges of the enemy” is, not those which God will inflict upon His enemies, but such as are capital, or deadly, as though He had said that He would deal as an enemy with the wicked, so that there should be no place for mercy. 298298     מראש פרעות אויב A.V., “From the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.” S.M.,”From the head of revenges of the enemy.” V. and Luther,” Of the bare head of the enemies.’ LXX., “From the head of the chief enemies.” The word ראש is either the head of a body, or the beginning of an event. פרעות comes from a verb signifying to deal out retribution, and has therefore been taken by some to mean revenge, and by others to mean chiefs or rulers, whose office it is to avenge wrongs; there are, however, instances in which פרע is acknowledged to be the hair of the head. W.

43. Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people. The appositive reading, which some prefer, “Praise him, O nations, His people,” supplying the word “God,” is constrained. For there is no incongruity in the notion that the Gentiles should celebrate the benefits which God has conferred upon His people; at any rate, it is more simple to take it thus, that so conspicuous was the favor of God towards the Israelites, that the knowledge and favor of it should diffuse itself far and wide, and be renowned even among the Gentiles. For Scripture thus magnifies some of the more memorable exertions of God’s power, especially when reference is made to the redemption of the elect people, and commands His praise to be proclaimed among the nations, since it would be by no means fitting that it should be confined within the narrow limits of Judea. A question, however, occurs, because Paul seems to quote this passage differently; for he says, “Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people,” (Romans 15:10;) and undoubtedly the word נקם, nakam, which Moses uses, also signifies to rejoice. 299299     It would scarcely be conceded now that נקם ever means to rejoice. — W If we admit that Paul took this sentence from Moses, the same Spirit, who spoke both by Moses and Paul, is the best interpreter of His own words; nor will it be inconsistent that the Gentiles should rejoice at the felicity of God’s people. But it may have been the case that Paul did not take this testimony from any particular place, but from the general teaching of Scripture. At any rate, the dignity of the people is celebrated on the ground that God esteems their blood precious, and will deem their persecutors His own adversaries.

The word כפר, capbar, at the end of the verse, some render to expiate, others, to be propitious, which is the rendering I have preferred, although I do not reject the former meaning. The verb כפר, caphar, signifies that an expiation is made with sacrifice to appease God; and it is probable that Moses alludes to the legal mode of reconciliation; nevertheless, in my judgment, he means that God will restore His land and people to His favor.

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