The Song of Moses
1“Listen, O heavens, and I will speak;
And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
2Let my teaching drop as the rain,
My speech distill as the dew,
As the light rain upon the tender grass,
And as the spring showers upon the herb.
3For I proclaim the name [and presence] of the Lord;
Ascribe greatness and honor to our God!
4The Rock! His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness without iniquity (injustice),
Just and upright is He.
5They (Israel) have acted corruptly toward Him.
They are not His children, because of their [moral] defect;
But are a perverse and crooked generation.
6Do you thus repay the Lord,
O foolish and unwise people?
Is not He your Father who has acquired you [as His own]?
He has made you and established you [as a nation].
7Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of many generations.
Ask your father, and he will inform you,
Your elders, and they will tell you.
8When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance,
When He separated the sons of man,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the sons of Israel.
9For the Lord’s portion and chosen share is His people;
Jacob (Israel) is the allotment of His inheritance.
10He found him in a desert land,
In the howling wasteland of a wilderness;
He kept circling him, He took care of him,
He protected him as the apple of His eye.
11As an eagle that protects its nest,
That flutters over its young,
He spread out His wings and took them,
He carried them on His pinions.
12So the Lord alone led him;
There was no foreign god with him.
13He made him (Israel) ride on the high places of the earth,
And he ate the produce of the field;
And He made him suck honey from the rock,
And [olive] oil from the flinty rock,
14Butter and curds of cows, and milk of the flock,
With fat of lambs,
And rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats,
With the finest of the wheat;
And you drank wine, the blood of grapes.
15“But Jeshurun (Israel) became fat and kicked [at God].
You became fat, thick, sleek, and obstinate!
Then he abandoned God who had made him,
And scorned the Rock of his salvation.
16They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods [by denying Him the honor and loyalty that is rightfully and uniquely His];
And with repulsive acts they provoked Him to anger.
17They sacrificed to demons, not to God,
To gods whom they have not known,
New gods who came lately,
Whom your fathers never feared.
18You were unmindful of the Rock who bore you,
And you forgot the God who gave you birth.
19“The Lord saw it, and rejected them,
Out of indignation with His sons and His daughters.
20Then He said, ‘I will hide My face from them,
I will see what their end shall be;
For they are a perverse generation,
Sons in whom there is no faithfulness.
21They have made Me jealous with what is not God;
They have provoked Me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people;
I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22For a fire is kindled by My anger,
And it burns to the depths of Sheol (the place of the dead, the nether world),
It devours the earth with its yield,
And sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.
23‘I will heap misfortunes on them;
I will use My arrows on them.
24They will be wasted by hunger, and consumed by plague
And a bitter destruction;
And I will send the teeth of beasts against them,
With the venom of crawling things of the dust.
25Outside the sword will bereave,
And inside [the chambers] terror—
For both young man and virgin,
For the nursing child and the man of gray hair.
26I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces [scattering them far away],
I will remove the memory of them from men,”
27Had I not feared the provocation of the enemy,
That their adversaries would misjudge,
That they would say, “Our [own] hand has prevailed,
And the Lord has not done all this.” ’
28“For they are a nation devoid of counsel,
And there is no understanding in them.
29O that they were wise, that they understood this,
That they could discern their future and ultimate fate!
30How could one chase a thousand,
And two put ten thousand to flight,
Unless their Rock had sold them,
And the Lord had given them up?
31For their rock is not like our Rock,
Even our enemies themselves judge this.
32For their vine is from the vine of Sodom,
And from the fields of Gomorrah;
Their grapes are grapes of poison,
Their clusters, bitter.
33Their wine is the venom of serpents,
And the deadly poison of vipers.
34‘Is it not laid up in store with Me,
Sealed up in My treasuries?
35Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,
In due time their foot will slip;
For the day of their disaster is at hand,
And their doom hurries to meet them.’
36For the Lord will vindicate His people,
And will have compassion on His servants,
When He sees that their strength (hand) is gone,
And none remains, whether bond or free.
37And He will say, ‘Where are their gods,
The rock in which they took refuge?
38Who ate the fat of their sacrifices,
And drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you,
Let them be your hiding place!
39See now that I, I am He,
And there is no god besides Me;
It is I who put to death and I who give life.
I have wounded and it is I who heal,
And there is no one who can deliver from [the power of] My hand.
40Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven,
And say (swear an oath), as I live forever,
41If I sharpen the lightning of My sword,
And My hand takes hold of judgment,
I will render vengeance on My adversaries,
And I will repay those who hate Me.
42I will make My arrows drunk with blood,
And My sword will devour flesh,
With the blood of the slain and the captives,
From the heads of the leaders of the enemy.’
43Rejoice, O nations, with His people;
For He will avenge the blood of His servants,
And will render vengeance on His adversaries,
And will atone for His land and His people.”
44Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun. 45When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all [the people of] Israel, 46he said to them, “Take to heart all the words of warning which I am speaking to you today; and you shall command your children to observe them carefully—to do all the words of this law. 47For it is not an empty or trivial matter for you; indeed it is your [very] life. By [honoring and obeying] this word you will live long in the land, which you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
48And the Lord said to Moses that very same day, 49“Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel as a possession. 50Then die on the mountain which you climb, and be gathered to your people [in death], just as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51because you broke faith with Me among of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the Wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat Me as holy among of the sons of Israel. 52For you shall see the land opposite you from a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving to the children of Israel.”