Chapter 9

  1. And Moses called unto all Israel and said unto them, You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land — the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great miracles. Yet the Lord has not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not grown old upon you and your shoe has not grown old upon your foot. You have not eaten bread, neither have you drunk wine or strong drink, that you might know that I am the Lord your God. And when you came unto this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out against us unto battle, and we smote them. And we took their land and gave it for an inheritance unto the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh. Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
  2. You stand this day, all of you, before the Lord your God — your captains of your tribes, your elders, and your officers, with all the men of Israel, your little ones, your wives, and your stranger that is in your camp, from the hewer of your wood unto the drawer of your water — that you should enter into covenant with the Lord your God, and into his oath, which the Lord your God makes with you this day, that he may establish you today for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto you a God, as he has said unto you and as he has sworn unto your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath, but with him that stands here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day.
  3. For you know how we have dwelled in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the nations which you passed by, and you have seen their abominations and their idols — wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them — lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turns away this day from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that bears gall and wormwood, and it come to pass when he hears the words of this curse that he bless himself in his heart, saying, I shall have peace though I walk in the imagination of my heart — to add drunkenness to thirst. The Lord will not spare him, but then the anger of the Lord and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the Lord shall blot out his name from under heaven. And the Lord shall separate him unto evil, out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this book of the law, so that the generation to come of your children that shall rise up after you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land shall say — when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the Lord has laid upon it, and that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sowed, nor bearing, nor any grass grows therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and in his wrath — even all nations shall say, Why has the Lord done thus unto this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean? Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt; for they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not and whom he had not given unto them. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book. And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day. The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.
  4. And it shall come to pass, when all these things have come upon you — the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and shall return unto the Lord your God, and shall obey his voice according to all that I command you this day, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul — that then the Lord your God will turn your captivity, and have compassion upon you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of yours are driven out unto the outermost parts of heaven, from there will the Lord your God gather you, and from there will he fetch you. And the Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it, and he will do you good and multiply you above your fathers.
  5. And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. And the Lord your God will put all these curses upon your enemies, and on them that hate you, who persecuted you. And you shall return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command you this day. And the Lord your God will make you plenteous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, and in the fruit of your cattle, and in the fruit of your land, for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers, if you shall listen unto the voice of the Lord your God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if you turn unto the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
  6. For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us and bring it unto us, that we may hear it and do it? But the word is very near unto you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
  7. See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil, in that I command you this day to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, that you may live and multiply. And the Lord your God shall bless you in the land into which you go to possess it. But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare unto you this day that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days upon the land to which you passed over Jordan to go to possess it. I call Heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore, choose life, that both you and your seed may live, that you may love the Lord your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may cleave unto him; for he is your life and the length of your days that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore unto your fathers — to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob — to give them.
  8. And Moses went and spoke these words unto all Israel. And he said unto them, I am a hundred twenty years old this day. I can no more go out and come in. Also, the Lord has said unto me, You shall not go over this Jordan. The Lord your God, he will go over before you, and he will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall possess them. And Joshua, he shall go over before you as the Lord has said. And the Lord shall do unto them as he did to Sihon and to Og, kings of the Amorites, and unto the land of them whom he destroyed. And the Lord shall give them up before your face, that you may do unto them according unto all the commandments which I have commanded you. Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, he it is that does go with you. He will not fail you, nor forsake you.
  9. And Moses called unto Joshua and said unto him, in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage, for you must go with this people unto the land which the Lord has sworn unto their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord — he it is that does go before you — he will be with you. He will not fail you, neither forsake you. Fear not, neither be dismayed.
  10. And Moses wrote this law and delivered it unto the priests, the sons of Levi who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years — in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, when all Israel has come to appear before the Lord your God in the place which he shall choose — you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together — men, and women, and children, and your stranger that is within your gates — that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law. And that their children who have not known anything may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land to which you go over Jordan to possess it.
  11. And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, your days approach that you must die. Call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge. And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the tabernacle of the congregation. And the Lord appeared in the tabernacle, in a pillar of a cloud, and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle. And the Lord said unto Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers. And this people will rise up and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land where they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.
  12. Now therefore write this song for you and teach it to the children of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, that flows with milk and honey, and they shall have eaten, and filled themselves, and grown fat, then will they turn unto other gods and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness, for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed. For I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore. Moses therefore wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the children of Israel. And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage, for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore unto them, and I will be with you.
  13. And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. For I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. Behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against the Lord. And how much more after my death? Gather unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call Heaven and earth to record against them. For I know that after my death, you will utterly corrupt yourselves and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days because you will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.
  14. And Moses spoke in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song until they were ended: Give ear, O you heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass, because I will publish the name of the Lord. Ascribe greatness unto our God. He is the Rock. His work is perfect, for all his ways are judgment. A God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he. They have corrupted themselves; their spot is not the spot of his children. They are a perverse and crooked generation. Do you thus repay the Lord, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he your father that has bought you? Has he not made you and established you? Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations. Ask your father and he will show you your elders and they will tell you. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance. He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads abroad her wings, takes them, bears them on her wings, so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him. He made him ride on the high places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields. And he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock, butter of cows, and milk of sheep, with fat of lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat. And you did drink the pure blood of the grape.
  15. But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked — you are grown fat, you are grown thick, you are covered with fatness — then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation. They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God — to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
  16. Of the Rock that begot you, you are unmindful, and have forgotten God that formed you. And when the Lord saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons and of his daughters. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be. For they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God. They have provoked me to anger with their vanities; and I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. For a fire is kindled in my anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.
  17. I will heap mischiefs upon them. I will spend my arrows upon them. They shall be burned with hunger, and devoured with burning heat and with bitter destruction. I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust. The sword without and terror within shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs. I said I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men. Were it not that I feared the wrath of the enemy, lest their adversaries should behave themselves strangely and lest they should say, Our hand is high, and the Lord has not done all this. For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.
  18. Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end. How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them and the Lord had shut them up? For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges. For their vine is of the vine of Sodom and of the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter. Their wine is the poison of dragons and the cruel venom of asps. Is not this laid up in store with me and sealed up among my treasures? To me belongs vengeance and recompense. Their foot shall slide in due time, for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste. For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants when he sees that their power is gone, and there is none bond or free. And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, which did eat the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offerings? Let them rise up and help you, and be your protection. See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me. I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal. Neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. For I lift up my hand to Heaven and say, I live for ever. If I sharpen my glittering sword and my hand take hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to my enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh, and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.
  19. Rejoice, O you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land and to his people.
  20. And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people — he, and Joshua the son of Nun. And Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel. And he said unto them, Set your hearts unto all the words which I testify among you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, all the words of this law. For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your life. And through this thing, you shall prolong your days in the land into which you go over Jordan to possess it.
  21. And the Lord spoke unto Moses that selfsame day, saying, Go up into this mountain Abarim, unto Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is across from Jericho, and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession. And die in the mount where you go up, and be gathered unto your people — as Aaron your brother died in Mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people — because you trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. Yet you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there unto the land which I give the children of Israel.
  22. And this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. And he said, The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them. He shined forth from Mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints. From his right hand went a fiery law for them. Yea, he loved the people; all his saints are in your hand. And they sat down at your feet; everyone shall receive of your words. Moses commanded us a law, even the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were gathered together.
  23. Let Reuben live, and not die, and let not his men be few.
  24. And this is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him unto his people. Let his hands be sufficient for him, and be a help to him from his enemies.
  25. And of Levi he said, Let your Thummim and your Urim be with your holy one whom you did prove at Massah, and with whom you did quarrel at the waters of Meribah; who said unto his father and to his mother, I have not seen him — neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children. For they have observed your word and kept your covenant. They shall teach Jacob your judgments, and Israel your law. They shall put incense before you and whole burnt sacrifice upon your altar. Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands. Smite through the loins of them that rise against him and of them that hate him, that they rise not again.
  26. And of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him, and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
  27. And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that crouches beneath, and for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon, and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the lasting hills, and for the precious things of the earth and fullness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelled in the bush. Let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of re’ems. With them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth. And they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.
  28. And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out; and Issachar, in your tents. They shall call the people unto the mountain. There they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness, for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hidden in the sand.
  29. And of Gad he said, Blessed be he who enlarges Gad. He dwells as a lion, and tears the arm with the crown of the head. And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the Lord, and his judgments with Israel.
  30. And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion’s whelp. He shall leap from Bashan.
  31. And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, and full with the blessing of the Lord, possess the west and the south.
  32. And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children, let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. Your shoes shall be iron and brass, and as your days, so shall your strength be.
  33. There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rides upon the heaven in your help, and in his excellence on the sky. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he shall thrust out the enemy from before you, and shall say, Destroy them. Israel then shall dwell in safety alone. The fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of grain and wine; also, his heavens shall drop down dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like unto you, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help, and who is the sword of your excellence? And your enemies shall be found liars unto you, and you shall tread upon their high places.
  34. And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the top of Pisgah that is across from Jericho. And the Lord showed him all the land — of Gilead unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah unto the outermost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto your seed. I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there. So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. For the Lord took him unto his Fathers, in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-Peor. Therefore, no man knows of his sepulcher unto this day. And Moses was a hundred twenty years old when he died. His eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; so the days of weeping and mourning for Moses were ended.
  35. And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him. And the children of Israel listened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses. And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt — to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land — and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.