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Moses' Blessing - Deuteronomy 33

This song contains a number of difficult or unique words and expressions, and is complex in both content and delivery. In an attempt to capture something of this, the vocabulary used here is deliberately slightly archaic.

 TranslationTransliteration
1. This is the blessing with which Mosheh the man of Elohim blessed the children of Yisrael, in the face of his death. wezô’th habberâkhâh ’asher bêrakh môsheh ’îysh hâ’elôhîym ’eth-benêy yisrâ’êl liphenêy môwthôw
2. He said:
“Yahweh came from Sinai,
he dawned from Se'ir for them,
he shone out from Mount Paran.
He arose out of surpassing sacredness
and from his right hand, flashing fire for them.”
wayyô’mar
YHVH miççîynay bâ’
wezârach missê‘îyr lâmôw
hôwphîya‘ mêhar pâ’rân
we’âthâh mêribebôth qôdesh
mîymîynôw ’êshdâth lâmôw
3. So, bosom-friend of the tribes,
all his holy ones are in your hand.
They throng at your feet:
each takes from your words.
’aph chôbêb ‘amîym
kol-qedôshâyw beyadekhâ
wehêm tukkû leragelekhâ
yissâ’ middaberôtheykhâ
4. Mosheh charged us with Torah,
the inheritance of the congregation of Ya'aqob,
tôwrâh tsiwwâh-lânû môsheh
môwrâshâh qehillah ya‘aqôb
5. and so he was a king for the Upright One
in the convocation of the leaders of the people,
the mustering of Yisrael united.
wayehîy bîyshurûn melekh
behith’aççêph ra’shêy ‘âm
yachad shibetêy yisrâ’êl
6. “Let Re'uben live, and let him not die,
but his people will be scanty.”
yechîy re’ûben we’al-yâmôth
wîyhîy methâyw miçepâr
7. These things he said regarding Yehudah.
“Yahweh, hear the battle-shout of Yehudah
and bring him in among his people.
His forceful hand is for this,
so be respite from his assailants.”
Ç wezô’th lîyhûdâh wayyô’mar
shema‘ YHVH qôwl yehûdâh
we’el-‘ammôw tebîy’ennû
yâdâyw râb lôw
we‘êzer mitstsârâyw tiheyeh
8. Regarding Levi he said,
“Your Tummim and your Urim
are for a man of your devotion,
which he tested at Maah,
defended at the Waters of Meribah.”
ûlelêwîy ’âmar
tummeykhâ we’ûreykhâ
le’îysh chaçîydekhâ
asher niççîythôw bemaççâh
terîybêhû ‘al-mêy merîybâh
9. And it is said,
‘he did not look out for his father or his mother,
did not recognise his brother,
did not know his son’,
for they watched over your words,
and guard your covenant.
hâ’ômêr
le’âbîyw ûle’immôw lô’ re’îythîyw
we’eth-’echâyw lô’ hîkkîyr
we’eth-bânâw lô’ yâdâ‘
kîy shâmerû ’imerâthekhâ
ûberîythekhâ yinetsôrû
10. “They set out your judgements to Ya'aqob
and your Torah to Yisrael.
They set sacrifical smoke before you
and whole offerings on your altar.
yôwrû mishpâtekhâ leya‘aqôb
wethôwrâthekhâ leyisrâ’êl
yâsîymû qetôwrâh be’appekhâ
wekhâlîyl ‘al-mizbechekhâ
11. O Yahweh, bless his strength
and accept the work of his hands.
Strike down progeny of those who oppose
and hate him, from arising against him.”
bârêkh YHVH chêylôw
ûphô‘al yâdâyw tiretseh
mechats mâthenayim qâmâyw
ûmesane’âyw min-yeqûmûn
12. Regarding Binyamin he said,
“Beloved of Yahweh,
may he abide in safety upon he who
enfolds around him all the day:
he settles between his shoulders.”
Ç lebinyâmin ’âmar
yedîyd YHVH
yishekôn lâbetach ‘âlâyw
chôphêph ‘âlâyw kol-hayyôwm
ûbêyn kethêphâyw shâkhên
13. Ç Regarding Yoseph he said,
“Blessed of Yahweh is his land
with the wealth of the skies, with dew,
and with the deep stretched out below,
Ç ûleyôwçêph ’âmar
mebôrekheth YHVH ’aretsôw
mimmeged shâmayim mittal
ûmittehôwm rôbetseth tâchath
14. with the wealth of the produce of the sun,
and the wealth of the yield of the months,
ûmimmeged tebû’ôth shâmesh
ûmimmeged geresh yerâchîym
15. from the chief of the ancient mountains
and with the wealth of the ageless hills,
ûmêrô’sh harerêy-qedem
ûmimmeged gibe‘ôwth ‘ôwlâm
16. with the wealth of the land and her fulness
and the goodwill of the dweller in the thorn-bush -
let this come to the head of Yoseph,
to the crown of one set apart among his brothers,
ûmimmeged ’erets ûmelô’âh
ûretsôwn shôkhenîy çeneh
tâbôw’thâh lerô’sh yôwçêph
ûleqâdeqôd nezîyr ’echâyw
17. the Firstborn of his Bull - honour to him.
His horns are the horns of a wild ox:
with them he will thrust away the peoples,
all together to the edges of the land.
They are the ten-thousands of Ephrayim.
They are the thousands of Manasheh.”
bekhôwr shôwrôw hâdâr lôw
weqarenêy re’êm qarenâyw
bâhem ‘ammîym yenaggach
yachedâw ’apheçêy-’ârets
wehêm ribebôwth ’ephrayim
wehêm ’alephêy menashsheh
18. Regarding Zebulun he said,
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your arising,
and Yissaskar, in your encamping.
Ç welizebûlun ’âmar
semach zebûlun betsê’thekhâ
weyissâskhâr be’ôhâleykhâ
19. They will call the tribes to the mountain,
where they will sacrifice offerings of righteousness,
for they will suckle the abundance of the seas
and the secret reserves of the sand.”
ammîym har-yiqerâ’û
shâm yizbechû zibechêy-tsedeq
kîy shepha‘ yammîym yîynâqû
ûsephunêy temûnêy chôl
20. Regarding Gad he said,
“Blessed is he who enlarges Gad.
Leonine he settles down
and tears at a shoulder or head.
Ç ûlegâd ’âmar
bârûkh marechîyb gâd
kelâbîy’ shâkhên
wetâraph zerôwa‘ ’aph-qâdeqôd
21. He searches out the chief part of it,
for preserved there is the commander's portion.
Then coming with the leaders of the people,
he enacted Yahweh's righteous deeds
and judgements in Yisrael.”
wayyare’ rê’shîyth lôw
kîy-shâm cheleqath mechôqêq çâphûn
wayyêthê’ râ’shêy ‘âm
tsideqath YHVH ‘âsâh
ûmishetâyw ‘im-yisrâ’êl
22. Regarding Dan he said,
“Dan is a lion cub
springing out from Bashan.”
Ç ûledân ’âmar
dân gûr ’areyêh
yezannêq min-habbâshân
23. Regarding Naphtali he said,
“Let Naphtali be satisfied with the favour
and full of the blessing of Yahweh.
Let him dispossess the west and the south.”
ûlenaphtâlîy ’âmar
naphtâlîy seba‘ râtsôwn
ûmâlê’ birekâth YHVH
yâm wedârôwm yerâshâh
24. Regarding Asher he said,
“Asher is blessed among the children:
let him be favoured by his brothers,
and dip his foot in oil.”
ûle’âshêr ’âmar
bârûkh mibbânîym ’âshêr
yehîy retsûy ’echâyw
wetôbêl bashshemen ragelôw
25. Unyielding as bronze may your bindings be
and may your power be like your days.
barzel ûnechôsheth min‘âlekhâ
ûkheyâmeykhâ dâbe’ekhâ
26. There is none like El of the Upright One,
Rider of the skies in your succour
and the clouds in his majesty.
’êyn kâ’êl yeshurûn
rôkhêb shâmayim be‘ezerekhâ
ûbega’awâthôw shechâqîym
27. A singing-place is Elohim the ancient,
and underneath are unwearying arms.
He drives away the enemy from your presence
and then says, “Destroy!”
me‘ônâh ’elôhêy qedem
ûmittachath zerô‘ôth ‘ôwlâm
wayegâresh mippâneykhâ ‘ôwyêb
wayyô’mer hashemed
28. So Yisrael will abide in safety:
security is the well-spring of Ya'aqob
in a land of grain and new wine -
see! his sky drips with dew.
wayyishekôn yisrâ’êl betach
bâdâd ‘êyn ya‘aqôb
’el-’erets dâgân wethîyrôwsh
’aph-shâmâyw ya‘arephû tal
29. O your happiness, Yisrael! Who is like you?
A people delivered by Yahweh -
shield of your succour,
whose sword is your majesty.
Your enemy shrinks before you
and you tread upon his high places.
’ashereykhâ yisrâ’êl mîy khâmôwkhâ
‘am nôwsha‘ baYHVH
mâgên ‘ezerekhâ
wa’asher-chereb ga’awâthekhâ
weyikkâchashû ’ôybekhâ lâkh
we’attâh ‘al-bâmôwthêymôw thiderôkh

 

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