||Listen heaven! I will speak! Earth! Hear the words of my mouth!
||My lesson shall drop like rain, my saying shall flow down like the dew - like a downpour on the herb, like a shower on the grass.
||When I proclaim God's name, praise God for His greatness.
||The deeds of the Mighty One are perfect, for all His ways are just. He is a faithful God, never unfair; righteous and moral is He.
||Destruction is His children's fault, not His own, you warped and twisted generation.
||Is this the way you repay God, you ungrateful, unwise nation? Is He not your Father, your Master, the One who made and established you?
||Remember days long gone by. Ponder the years of each generation. Ask your father and let him tell you, and your grandfather, who will explain it.
||When the Most High gave nations their heritage and split up the sons of man, He set up the borders of nations to parallel the number of Israel's descendants.
||But His own nation remained God's portion; Jacob was the lot of His heritage.
||He brought them into being in a desert region, in a desolate, howling wasteland. He encompassed them and granted them wisdom, protecting them like the pupil of His eye.
||Like an eagle arousing its nest, hovering over its young, He spread His wings and took them, carrying them on His pinions.
||God alone guided them; there was no alien power with Him.
||He carried them over the earth's highest places, to feast on the crops of the field. He let them suckle honey from the bedrock, oil from the flinty cliff.
||[They had] the cheese of cattle, milk of sheep, fat of lambs, rams of the Bashan, and luscious fat wheat. They drank the blood of grapes for wine.
||Jeshurun thus became fat and rebelled. You grew fat, thick and gross. [The nation] abandoned the God who made it and spurned the Mighty One who was its support.
||They provoked His jealousy with alien practices; made Him angry with vile deeds.
||They sacrificed to demons who were non-gods, deities they never knew. These were new things, recently arrived, which their fathers would never consider.
||You thus ignored the Mighty One who bore you; forgot the Power who delivered you.
||When God saw this, He was offended, provoked by His sons and daughters.
I will hide My face from them, and see what will be their end. They are a generation which reverses itself and cannot be trusted.
||They have been faithless to Me with a non-god, angering Me with their meaningless acts. Now I will be unfaithful to them with a non-nation, provoking them with a nation devoid of gratitude.
||My anger has kindled a fire, burning to the lowest depths. It shall consume the land and its crops, setting fire to the foundations of mountains.
||I will heap evil upon them, striking them with My arrows.
||[They will be] bloated by famine, consumed by fever, cut down by bitter plague. I will send against them fanged beasts, with venomous creatures who crawl in the dust.
||Outside, the sword shall butcher boys, girls, infants, white-headed elders, while inside, there shall be terror.
||I was prepared to exterminate them, to make their memory vanish from among mankind.
||But I was concerned that their enemies would be provoked, and their attackers alienated, so that they would say, 'Our superior power and not God, was what caused all this.'
||But they are a nation who destroys good advice, and they themselves have no understanding.
||If they were wise, they would contemplate this, and understand what their end will be.
||How could one [man] pursue a thousand, or two [men], ten thousand, if their Mighty One had not given them over, and God had not trapped them?
||Their powers are not like our Mighty One, although our enemies sit in judgment.
||But their vine is from the vine of Sodom and the shoot of Gomorrah. Their grapes are poison grapes; their grape cluster is bitterness to them.
||Their vine is serpents' venom, like the poison of the dreadful cobra.
||But it is concealed with Me for the future, sealed up in My treasury.
||I have vengeance and retribution, waiting for their foot to slip. Their day of disaster is near, and their time is about to come.
||God will then take up the cause of His people, and comfort His servants. He will have seen that their power is gone, with nothing left to keep or abandon.
||[God] will then say: Where is their god, the power in which they trusted?
||[Where are the gods] who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their libations? Let them now get up and help you! Let them be your protector!
||But now see! It is I! I am the [only] One! There are no [other] gods with Me! I kill and give life! If I crushed, I will heal! But there is no protection from My power!
||I lift My hand to heaven and say: I am Life forever.
||I will whet My lightning sword and grasp judgment in My hand. I will bring vengeance against My foes, and repay those who hated Me.
||I will make My arrows drunk with blood, My sword consuming flesh. The enemy's first punishment will be the blood of the slain and wounded.
||Let the tribes of His nation sing praise, for He will avenge His servants' blood. He will bring vengeance upon His foes, and reconcile His people [to] His land.
Presenting the Song
||Moses came and proclaimed all the words of this song to the people, along with Hoshea son of Nun.
||When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel,
||he said to them, 'Pay close attention to all the words through which I warn you today, so that you will be able to instruct your children to keep all the words of this Torah carefully.
||It is not an empty teaching for you. It is your life, and with it you will long endure on the land which you are crossing the Jordan to occupy.'
Moses Told to Die
||On that very day,God spoke to Moses, saying:
||Climb the Avarim Mountain here to Mount Nebo, in the land of Moab facing Jericho, and see the land of Canaan that I am giving the Israelites as a holding.
||Die on the mountain that you are climbing, and be gathered up to your people, just as your brother Aaron died on Hor Mountain and was gathered to his people.
||This is because you broke faith with me in the midst of the Israelites at the Waters of Dispute at Kadesh in the Tzin Desert, and because you did not sanctify Me among the Israelites.
||You will therefore see the land from afar, but you will not come there to the land I am giving the Israelites.
Literally, (Ibn Ezra; Ramban). Or, 'angels in heaven' (Saadia); or, 'the soul' (Paaneach Razah; cf. Sanhedrin 91a).
Lekach in Hebrew. Wise teaching (Ibn Janach), or, in particular, 'oral teaching' (cf. Radak, Sherashim). Some say from the root lakach, 'to take,' since it is taken from on high (Bachya), is taken up by the student (Hirsch), or brings the soul to good (Ralbag; Abarbanel).
Or, 'May my lesson drop as rain ...' (both in Chizzkuni).
(Ibn Ezra). Araf in Hebrew, possibly related to oref, the back of the neck, or araf, to decapitate (cf. Exodus 13:13). Variously translated as, 'flow down' (Saadia; Rashi; Radak, Sherashim; Ibn Janach); 'be pleasant' (Targum), 'be sought as' (Septuagint), 'be gathered' (Sifri), 'penetrate' (Hirsch); 'strike' (Targum Yonathan; Sifri; Taanith 7a; Malbim); 'strike its target' (Midrash HaGadol); or, 'strike from behind' (Sifri; Chizzkuni).
Or, 'rainstorm' (Targum; Rashi; Bachya). Or, 'mist' (Ibn Ezra; Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim). Se'irimin Hebrew.
(Rashi). Revivim in Hebrew. Or, 'heavy rains' (Ibn Ezra; Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim); 'late rains' (Targum; cf. Deuteronomy 11:14); or, 'snow' (Septuagint).
Or, 'God's teaching' (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah; cf. Berakhhoth 21a).
(Targum; Sifri; Ibn Ezra; Bachya). Tzur in Hebrew, usually denoting 'rock,' or 'bedrock.' The Septuagint simply translates it as 'God' (cf. Berakhoth 5b). Some see this as indicating that God is permanent like a rock (Ibn Ezra). Others see it denoting that God is the bedrock of our existence (Moreh Nevukhim 1:16). Others see the word tzur as coming from yatzar, 'to form,' denoting that God is the creator (Sifri). Or, from tzayar, 'to draw,' that He is the divine artist (Berakhoth 10a). Or, from tzarar, 'to bind together,' indicating that He is the unifying force in the universe, and the one to whom all are bound (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).
Or, 'true Omnipotent One' (Ibn Ezra).
(Ralbag; Malbim; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). Literally, 'Destruction to Him not His children their defect.' Or, 'They have hurt themselves, not Him, faulted children' (Targum); 'The defect of His non-children is that they have been corrupt to Him' (Ibn Ezra; Ramban; Sforno); 'They were corrupt to Him, not [like] children; this is the defect of the warped and twisted generation' (Saadia; cf. Lekach Tov); 'They have been corrupt, not Him, it is His children's defect' (Ralbag); 'The ones who have corrupted His [name] are not His children because of their defect' (Abarbanel); 'Is destruction His? No! It is the fault of His children' (Moreh Nevukhim 3:12; Chizzkuni); 'Have they corrupted Him? No. It is [merely] their own defect' (Abarbanel); 'He destroyed His non-children, but it was their own fault' (Chizzkuni); 'Their defect has corrupted it so that they are no longer His children' (Hirsch); or, 'They were corrupt, not [pleasing] Him, defective children' (Septuagint).
Or, 'a warped.'
(Rashi; Ramban on Deuteronomy 32:15; Abarbanel). Nabhal in Hebrew. Or, 'foolish' (Targum Yonathan; Septuagint); 'degraded' (Radak, Sherashim); or, 'non-believing' (Abarbanel).
Koneh in Hebrew; (see Genesis 14:19). 'The One who made us His' (Abarbanel). Or, 'the one who rectified us' (Chizzkuni).
By teaching you the Torah (Ralbag; Abarbanel; cf. Genesis 12:5).
With a land (Abarbanel).
(Targum). Or, 'Adam' (Septuagint). Referring to the the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).
Seventy nations (note on Genesis 10:32), paralleling the seventy individuals who went to Egypt with Jacob (Genesis 46:27; Targum Yonathan; Rashi).
(Sifri). Chevel in Hebrew. Or, 'group' (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah; cf. Sifri; Rashi); 'portion' (Chizzkuni); 'line' (Septuagint), or, 'rope' (cf. Rashi).
|brought them into being|
(Malbim). Or, 'found them,' or, 'sustained them' (Targum). Or, 'They found Him' (Ralbag).
(Targum Yonathan; Rashi; Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim). Yelel in Hebrew. Or, 'parched' (Targum; Septuagint).
Yeshimon. See Numbers 21:19.
Or, 'led them around' (Ralbag).
(Sifri). See Exodus 19:4. Or, 'spreading its wings ...' (Ibn Ezra; Septuagint).
Or, 'led' (Rashi; Septuagint). Or, 'gave them rest' (Chizzkuni; cf. Ibn Ezra).
Literally, 'made them ride.'
(Targum Yonathan; Rashi; Septuagint). Sadai in Hebrew. Or, 'their spoilers' (Targum).
Chalamish in Hebrew. See Deuteronomy 8:15.
Chemah in Hebrew. See Genesis 18:8. Or, 'meat' (Ibn Ezra).
Or, 'the best parts of' (see Leviticus 3:9).
The best place for livestock; see Numbers 32:4.
(Chizzkuni). Kilyoth in Hebrew. Or, 'fat kidneys of wheat' (Ketuvoth 111b; Septuagint).
'The one who sees' (Ibn Ezra; Bachya; Sforno). Or, 'the upright one' (Ibn Ezra; Abarbanel; Hirsch), or, 'the beloved one' (Septuagint). A poetic name for Israel.
(Saadia; Radak, Sherashim). Kasah in Hebrew. Or, 'covered with fat' (Rashi; Ibn Ezra), or, 'broad' (Septuagint).
(Rashi). Nabhal in Hebrew. Or, 'profaned' (Ibn Ezra); 'ignored' (Ralbag); or, 'was ungrateful to' (Ramban). See Deuteronomy 32:6.
(Sifri; Rashi). Or, 'idolatry' (Ibn Ezra).
(Saadia; Ibn Janach; Paaneach Razah). Sa'ar in Hebrew. Or, 'dread' (Sifri; Ibn Ezra; Hirsch); 'worship' (Radak, Sherashim); 'be involved with' (Targum); 'appraise' (Lekach Tov); 'imagine' (Ralbag); 'even grasp by a hair' (Ralbag); or, 'knew' (Septuagint).
(Rashi). Chalal in Hebrew. Or, 'gave birth to' (Ibn Ezra; Chizzkuni); 'began' or 'made' (Targum; Ralbag); 'suffered for you' (Sifri); 'placed His name on you' (Sifri); 'forgives your sins' (Sifri); who made you dance' (Chizzkuni); 'who fed you' (Septuagint); or, 'who is still forming you' (Targum Yonathan; Hirsch).
Na'atz. Angry (Targum). Or, 'disgusted with them' (Adereth Eliahu; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah; cf. Numbers 14:11).
|hide My face...|
See Deuteronomy, 31:18.
(Targum Yonathan; Rashi). Or, 'because I see their end' (Targum; Ibn Ezra); or, 'because I see they have no future' (Sforno; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah).
(Abarbanel; Hirsch). Tah'pukhoth in Hebrew. Or, 'easily changed' (Radak, Sherashim; Chizzkuni); 'turns the wrong way' (Ibn Ezra); or, 'that seeks contradictions' (Ralbag).
|cannot be trusted|
Or, 'has no faith' (Sifri). Or, 'that has no one to raise them correctly' (Rashi).
That is, 'violated My demand for exclusiveness' (see Exodus 20:5). Or, 'provoked Me to jealousy.'
(Rashi). Or, 'non-power' (Ibn Ezra). Or, 'by [saying that I am] not [their] God' (see Deuteronomy 32:21 'non-nation').
(Rashi; Ramban). Or, 'by [declaring that they] are not [My] nation' (Ibn Ezra).
|devoid of gratitude|
See note on Deuteronomy 32:6.
Or, 'gather' (Targum; Sifri; Ibn Ezra; Septuagint). Aspeh in Hebrew. Or, 'join' (Rashi), 'add' (Saadia); 'make sweep down' (Ibn Ezra); 'send destruction through' (Radak, Sherashim; Ralbag), or, 'use up' (Rashi; Sifethey Chakhamim; Ibn Janach).
(Targum; Septuagint). Kalah in Hebrew. Or, 'using up' (Rashi; Hirsch), or, 'scattering' (Saadia).
|They will be|
Or, 'I will send against them, bloating famine ...'
(Targum). Mezey in Hebrew. Or, 'burned,' or 'consumed' (Saadia; Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim; Septuagint); 'melted away' (Ralbag; cf. Chullin 45b); 'feverish from' (Abarbanel); or, 'cast about' (Lekach Tov).
Or, 'eaten' (Targum; Ibn Janach; Chizzkuni). Lechum in Hebrew, possibly from lechem, bread; lacham to battle; or chum, heat. Or, 'attacked' (Rashi), 'fever' (Saadia), or, 'flesh' (Ralbag).
(Saadia; Radak, Sherashim; Ralbag). Reshef in Hebrew. See Habbakuk 3:5, Job 5:7. Also see Psalms 76:4, 78:48, Song of Songs 8:6. Or, 'birds' (Targum; Ibn Ezra; Lekach Tov; Septuagint); 'demons' (Berakhoth 5a; Rashi); 'suffering' (Berakhoth 5a); 'burning fire' (Ibn Ezra; Chizzkuni); 'hot coals,' 'firebolts,' or, 'meteorites?' (Baaley Tosafoth; Rashbam); 'arrows' (Chizzkuni).
Hence, 'consumed by fever,' 'with burning flesh,' 'eaten by birds' 'stricken by firebolts,' 'attacked by demons.'
(Rashi; Baaley Tosafoth;Ralbag).Ketev in Hebrew; see Isaiah 28:2, Hosea 13:14, Psalms 91:6. Or, 'plague,' al-chalaf in Arabic (Saadia; Ibn Janach; Ibn Ezra; Bachya; Radak, Sherashim); 'destruction' (Septuagint); 'crushed' (Targum).
(Saadia), or 'bad air,' possibly 'malaria' (Ibn Ezra; Ralbag). Meriri in Hebrew. Or, 'unquenchable destruction' (Septuagint); 'robbers' (Rashbam); 'evil spirits,' or, 'bad vapors' (Targum); 'demons' (Sifri; Rashi); or, 'madness' (Tzafenath Paaneach; cf. Sifri on Deuteronomy 21:18).
See Deuteronomy 32:33. Literally, 'anger of,' chamath in Hebrew. Or, 'bites of' (Ibn Ezra).
(Rashi; Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim). Zachal in Hebrew. Or, 'who are terrifying' (Ibn Ezra; cf. Job 32:6).
|I was prepared|
Literally, 'I said that I would ...'
(Ibn Ezra; Baaley Tosafoth; Abarbanel), Pa'ah in Hebrew, possibly from pe'ah, a corner. Or, 'destroy their every corner' (Chizzkuni); 'banish them from the world' (Rashbam); 'scatter them to every corner' (Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim, Ibn Janach; Ralbag; Septuagint); 'put them in a corner' (Abarbanel; Hirsch); 'banish them to the ends of the earth' (Rambam); 'rid Myself of them' (Rashi); 'let out My anger against them' (Targum; Malbim); 'be exacting' (Saadia); 'take away their Divine Spirit' (Targum Yonathan); or, 'Where are they' (Sifri).
(Saadia; Ibn Ezra; Baaley Tosafoth; Radak, Sherashim; Ralbag; Sforno). Agur in Hebrew. Or, 'gathering,' making the sentence, 'Except that the enraged enemy might form a gathering' (Targum; Sifri; Rashi; Abarbanel); or, 'might be annoyed' (Hirsch), or, 'might live long' (Septuagint).
(Sifri; Ibn Ezra). Ye-nakru in Hebrew. Or, 'deny the truth' (Saadia; Radak, Sherashim); 'misunderstand it' (Hirsch); or, 'combine against them' (Septuagint).
Literally, 'hand.' (Septuagint). Or, 'Our power is superior. It was not God ...' (Targum).
The gentile nations (Rabbi Nechemiah in Sifri; Rashi; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra; Chizzkuni; Bachya). Or, the Israelites (Rabbi Yehudah in Sifri).
(cf. HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). Or, 'lost.'
|one man pursue...|
See Leviticus 26:8.
|given them over|
(Rashi; Saadia). Or, 'sold them' (Septuagint). 'Them' can refer to Israelites or gentiles; see note on Deuteronomy 32:28.
Literally, 'closed them in.'
Tzur in Hebrew. Literally, 'their 'mighty one.'' That is, 'their god.'
(Targum; Rashi). Or, 'Their god is not like our Mighty One, as even our enemies admit (Ibn Ezra), or, more literally, 'even in our enemy's own judgment' (Hirsch). Or, 'but our enemies will not admit it' (Saadia; Septuagint). Or, 'Although their god is not like ours, our enemies judge us' (Chizzkuni); 'Their god is not like ours, and not fit to be our judge' (Bachya); or, 'When our enemies judge us, [it seems that] our God is not like theirs' (Bachya).
The gentiles' or Israel's (see note on Deuteronomy 32:28). Or, 'Is [Israel's] ... then ...?' (Chizzkuni).
Or, 'vine branch' (Saadia; Radak, Sherashim; Ibn Janach; Septuagint). Shedemah in Hebrew; see Isaiah 16:8, Habakkuk 3:16. Or, 'field' (Rashi; cf. Radak, Sherashim). Or, 'stream' (cf. Targum on 2 Kings 23:4, Jeremiah 31:40).
Rosh in Hebrew; see note on Deuteronomy 29:17. Or, 'gall' (Septuagint), or, 'bitter herb' (Rashi).
Chamath. See Deuteronomy 32:23.
Rosh. See Deuteronomy 32:32.
(cf. Ibn Ezra). Akhzar in Hebrew. Or, 'sadistic' (Rashi); or, 'rage' (Septuagint).
Pethen in Hebrew; cf. Isaiah 11:8, Psalms 48:8, a venomous snake (Ibn Janach; Radak, Sherashim), possibly an asp (Septuagint) or cobra. Pethen may be cognate to the Greek Python, a huge mythical snake.
The deeds of man (Targum); their sins (Malbim); their pride (Rashbam), what they did to Israel (Abarbanel), their punishment (Baaley Tosafoth), their poison (Ibn Ezra; Ramban), the day of reckoning (Chizzkuni), the Messianic age (Abarbanel).
|for the future|
(HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). Or, 'Is it not stored up with Me ...'
|take up the cause|
(cf. Ibn Ezra). Or, 'judge.'
(cf. Septuagint). Hith-nachem. Or, 'reconcile Himself' (Rashi), or, 'regret what He has done' (Radak, Sherashim).
|their power is gone|
(Sifri; Ibn Ezra; Ralbag). Or, 'their hand is paralyzed' (Septuagint). Or, '[the enemy's] power grows' (Targum; Rashi).
|nothing left to keep or abandon|
(Radak, Sherashim; Ralbag; Abarbanel; Hirsch). Atzur and azuv in Hebrew. Or, 'no protection or help' (Rashi); 'no leader or helper' (Abarbanel), 'none left to set free or take captive' (Ibn Ezra), 'no inhabited or abandoned [city]' (Ibn Janach), 'wiped out because of captivity and abandonment' (Saadia), or, 'failed in invasion' (Septuagint).
|God will then say|
regarding the gentile enemies (Rashi; Septuagint). Or, to Israel (Ralbag). Or, Israel will say of the gentiles (Rabbi Yehudah in Sifri). Or, the gentiles will say to Israel, 'where is their God ...' (Rabbi Nechemiah in Sifri; Targum Yonathan; Saadia; Ibn Ezra; Ramban).
|the gods who ate|
Or, 'Their worshipers ate ...' (Ralbag).
|lift My hand...|
See Genesis 14:22.
|I am Life forever|
(Ramban; Abarbanel; cf. Yad, Yesodey HaTorah 2:10). Or, 'as I live forever' (Ibn Ezra).
(Targum Yonathan; Saadia). Or, 'my sword like lightning' (Septuagint; cf. Targum); or, 'with lightning' (Bachya); or, 'the blade of My sword' (Rashi; Ralbag).
|The enemy's first punishment|
(Targum Yonathan; Rashi; Radak, Sherashim). Literally, 'from head par'oth enemy,' where par'oth can denote punishment, long hair, or be related to Pharaoh. Thus, alternatively, 'of the heads of the enemies who rule over them' (Septuagint); 'from the locks on the head of the enemy' (Hirsch); or, 'from the heads of the most bitter enemy' (Saadia; cf. Targum).
(Ibn Ezra). Or, 'captive.'
|tribes of His nation|
(Radak, Sherashim; Chizzkuni). Or, 'Let the nations sing praise to His people.'
(Targum; Sifri; Rashi; Rashbam; Ibn Ezra). Harnin in Hebrew. Or, 'make His people rejoice' (Ibn Janach, 'rejoice with His people' (Septuagint); or, 'announce' (Ibn Ezra); or, 'wail in regret' (Chizzkuni).
(Chizzkuni; cf. Genesis 32:21). Kapper in Hebrew. Or, 'atone for' (Targum; Ibn Ezra); 'purify' (Ibn Ezra; Ralbag); 'purge' (Septuagint).
|His people to His land|
(Chizzkuni). Or, 'He will atone for His land [and] His people' (Targum; Saadia; Ibn Ezra); 'His Land will atone for His people' (Sifri; Kethuvoth 111a; Ibn Ezra); 'His people will atone for all His world' (Hirsch); 'He will purify His people's land' (Ralbag); 'He will purge His land of His people' (Septuagint).
Some say that Moses proclaimed this song three times, first to those around him (Deuteronomy 31:22); second to the elders (Deuteronomy 31:28), and third to the entire nation (Deuteronomy 31:30) (Abarbanel).
See Numbers 13:16. He was called by the name Hoshea because he considered himself as small as when he was sent as an explorer (Sifri; Bachya; Ralbag; Abarbanel); because this was his popular name among the people (Ibn Ezra); because he was now a leader in his own right (Chizzkuni; Paaneach Razah); since he is now being compared to Moses (Or HaChaim), or, because the generation of the spies was now dead (Kley Yekar).
See Exodus 19:21. Literally, 'bear witness.'
|that very day|
When the song was proclaimed (Ibn Ezra). Or, 'at midday' (Sifri; Rashi); see Genesis 7:11.
See Numbers 27:12 (Abarbanel). Also see Numbers 33:47,48.
See Numbers 32:38, 33:47.
The mountain was across the Jordan from Jericho.
(Bachya; Adereth Eliahu; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). Or, 'prepare to die' (Ibn Ezra).
|Aaron died on Hor Mountain|
See Numbers 20:22-28, 33:38.
|Waters of Dispute|
See Numbers 20:13.
(Rashi). Or, 'before you' (Septuagint).