Song of Moses

Pay attention, heavens, and I will speak;
listen, earth, to the words of my mouth.(A)
Let my teaching fall like rain
and my word settle like dew,
like gentle rain on new grass
and showers on tender plants.
For I will proclaim Yahweh’s name.
Declare the greatness of our God!
The Rock—His work is perfect;
all His ways are entirely just.
A faithful God, without prejudice,
He is righteous and true.
His people have acted corruptly toward Him;
this is their defect(a)—they are not His children
but a devious and crooked generation.
Is this how you repay the Lord,
you foolish and senseless people?
Isn’t He your Father and Creator?
Didn’t He make you and sustain you?
Remember the days of old;
consider the years long past.
Ask your father, and he will tell you,
your elders, and they will teach you.
When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance(b)
and divided the human race,(B)
He set the boundaries of the peoples
according to the number of the people of Israel.(c)
But the Lord’s portion is His people,
Jacob, His own inheritance.
He found him in a desolate land,
in a barren, howling wilderness;
He surrounded him, cared for him,
and protected him as the pupil of His eye.(C)
He watches over(d) His nest like an eagle
and hovers over His young;
He spreads His wings, catches him,
and lifts him up on His pinions.(D)
The Lord alone led him,
with no help from a foreign god.(e)
He made him ride on the heights of the land(E)
and eat the produce of the field.
He nourished him with honey from the rock
and oil from flint-like rock,
cream from the herd and milk from the flock,
with the fat of lambs,
rams from Bashan, and goats,
with the choicest grains of wheat;
you drank wine from the finest grapes.(f)
Then(g) Jeshurun(h)(F) became fat and rebelled—
you became fat, bloated, and gorged.
He abandoned the God who made him
and scorned the Rock of his salvation.
They provoked His jealousy with foreign gods;
they enraged Him with detestable practices.(G)
They sacrificed to demons, not God,
to gods they had not known,
new gods that had just arrived,
which your fathers did not fear.(H)
You ignored the Rock who gave you birth;
you forgot the God who gave birth to you.
When the Lord saw this, He despised them,
provoked to anger by His sons and daughters.
He said: “I will hide My face from them;
I will see what will become of them,
for they are a perverse generation—
unfaithful children.
They have provoked My jealousy
with their so-called gods;(i)
they have enraged Me with their worthless idols.
So I will provoke their jealousy
with an inferior people;(j)
I will enrage them with a foolish nation.(I)
For fire has been kindled because of My anger
and burns to the depths of Sheol;
it devours the land and its produce,
and scorches the foundations of the mountains.
“I will pile disasters on them;
I will use up My arrows against them.
They will be weak from hunger,
ravaged by pestilence and bitter plague;
I will unleash on them wild beasts with fangs,
as well as venomous snakes that slither in the dust.
Outside, the sword will take their children,
and inside, there will be terror;
the young man and the young woman will be killed,
the infant and the gray-haired man.(J)
“I would have said: I will cut them to pieces(k)
and blot out the memory of them from mankind,
if I had not feared insult from the enemy,
or feared that these foes might misunderstand
and say: ‘Our own hand has prevailed;
it wasn’t the Lord who did all this.’”
Israel is a nation lacking sense
with no understanding at all.(l)
If only they were wise, they would figure it out;
they would understand their fate.
How could one man pursue a thousand,
or two put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
unless the Lord had given them up?
But their “rock” is not like our Rock;
even our enemies concede.
For their vine is from the vine of Sodom
and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are poisonous;
their clusters are bitter.
Their wine is serpents’ venom,
the deadly poison of cobras.
“Is it not stored up with Me,
sealed up in My vaults?
Vengeance(m) belongs to Me; I will repay.(n)(K)
In time their foot will slip,
for their day of disaster is near,
and their doom is coming quickly.”
The Lord will indeed vindicate His people
and have compassion on His servants(L)
when He sees that their strength is gone
and no one is left—slave or free.
He will say: “Where are their gods,
the ‘rock’ they found refuge in?
Who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offerings?
Let them rise up and help you;
let it(o) be a shelter for you.
See now that I alone am He;
there is no God but Me.(M)
I bring death and I give life;
I wound and I heal.
No one can rescue anyone from My hand.(N)
I raise My hand to heaven and declare:
As surely as I live forever,
when I sharpen My flashing sword,
and My hand takes hold of judgment,
I will take vengeance on My adversaries
and repay those who hate Me.
I will make My arrows drunk with blood
while My sword devours flesh—
the blood of the slain and the captives,
the heads of the enemy leaders.”(p)
Rejoice, you nations, concerning His people,(q)(O)
for He will avenge the blood of His servants.(r)
He will take vengeance on His adversaries;(s)(P)
He will purify His land and His people.(t)
44 Moses came with Joshua(u) son of Nun and recited all the words of this song in the presence of the people. 45 After Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all these words I am giving as a warning to you today, so that you may command your children to carefully follow all the words of this law. 47 For they are not meaningless words to you but they are your life, and by them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

Moses’ Impending Death

48 On that same day the Lord spoke to Moses,(Q) 49 “Go up Mount Nebo in the Abarim range in the land of Moab, across from Jericho, and view the land of Canaan I am giving the Israelites as a possession. 50 Then you will die on the mountain that you go up, and you will be gathered to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people.(R) 51 For both of you broke faith with Me among the Israelites at the waters of Meribath-kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin by failing to treat Me as holy in their presence. 52 Although from a distance you will view the land that I am giving the Israelites, you will not go there.”(S)


a. Deuteronomy 32:5: Or Him; through their fault; Hb obscure
b. Deuteronomy 32:8: Or Most High divided the nations
c. Deuteronomy 32:8: One DSS reads number of the sons of God; LXX reads number of the angels of God
d. Deuteronomy 32:11: Or He stirs up
e. Deuteronomy 32:12: Lit him, and no foreign god with Him
f. Deuteronomy 32:14: Lit the blood of grapes
g. Deuteronomy 32:15: DSS, Sam, LXX add Jacob ate his fill;
h. Deuteronomy 32:15: Upright One, referring to Israel
i. Deuteronomy 32:21: Lit with no gods
j. Deuteronomy 32:21: Lit with no people
k. Deuteronomy 32:26: LXX reads will scatter them
l. Deuteronomy 32:28: Lit understanding in them
m. Deuteronomy 32:35: Sam, LXX read On a day of vengeance
n. Deuteronomy 32:35: LXX, Tg, Vg read Me; and recompense I will recompense
o. Deuteronomy 32:38: Sam, LXX, Tg, Vg read them
p. Deuteronomy 32:42: Or the long-haired heads of the enemy
q. Deuteronomy 32:43: LXX reads Rejoice, you heavens, along with Him, and let all the sons of God worship Him; rejoice, you nations, with His people, and let all the angels of God strengthen themselves in Him; DSS read Rejoice, you heavens, along with Him, and let all the angels worship Him; Heb 1:6
r. Deuteronomy 32:43: DSS, LXX read sons
s. Deuteronomy 32:43: DSS, LXX add and He will recompense those who hate Him; v. 41
t. Deuteronomy 32:43: Syr, Tg; DSS, Sam, LXX, Vg read His people’s land
u. Deuteronomy 32:44: LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads Hoshea; Nm 13:8,16

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