Deuteronomy 32

Moses' song

1 Sky and earth, listen to my words! Hear what I am saying!

2 My teaching will be like the rain that falls.

My messages will help the people who hear them,

as rain helps new grass to grow.

3 I will praise the Lord's name.

Everyone must know that our God is very great!

4 He is the strong Rock where we can be safe.

Everything that he does is perfect.

He only does what is right and fair.

We can trust him to be faithful.

5 But you, his people, have not served him faithfully.

Because of your sins, you cannot continue to be his children.

You have turned against him.

You enjoy doing bad things.

6 You are fools who do not understand what is right.

You should not do these things against the Lord.

He is your Father, the one who created you.

He made you become a strong nation.

7 Remember what happened a long time ago.

Think about the lives of your ancestors.

Ask your father or the old men.

They will tell you what happened in the past.

8 The Most High God gave land to be the home of each nation.

When he made people into separate groups,

he decided where their borders should be.

He did that to match the number of angels in heaven.

32:8‘angels in heaven’ or ‘Israel's people’.

9 But the Lord himself takes care of his own people.

Jacob's descendants are his special people.

10 The Lord found them in a desert place.

It was a place where strong winds blew and nobody lived.

He took care of them and he kept them safe.

He protected them, like someone protects their own eyes.

11 The Lord took care of his people,

like an eagle takes care of its babies.

As an eagle flies with its babies on its back,

the Lord helped his people to be safe.

12 The Lord alone was a guide for his people.

He needed no foreign god to help him.

13 The Lord helped them to travel over the high places in the land.

He fed them with food from the fields.

He made them strong with honey from the rocks.

He gave them olive oil from trees in ground with many stones.

14 Their cows and their goats gave them plenty of milk and butter.

Their lambs, sheep and goats became fat,

so they ate the best meat.

They ate the best bread from their wheat.

They drank the best wine from their grapes.

15 The Israelites became rich and fat.

32:15The Israelites are here called by a special name, ‘Jeshurun’.

They turned against God.

They were full of good food, but they turned away from God.

He was the one who made them.

He was the strong Rock who kept them safe.

But they no longer respected him.

16 They worshipped foreign gods.

So the Lord became angry and jealous.

They made idols which he hated.

17 They offered sacrifices to demons, instead of to God.

They worshipped new gods which they had not known before.

Your ancestors had never respected those gods.

18 You forgot about your strong Rock,

the God who gave you life.

19 When the Lord saw this, he turned away from them.

His sons and daughters had made him angry.

20 He said, ‘I will not continue to help them.

I will see what happens to them when I leave them alone.

They are children who do not obey me.

They have not served me faithfully.

21 They have made me jealous as they serve false gods.

They have made me angry as they worship useless idols.

So I will make them jealous as I help a useless nation.

I will make them angry as I bless a foolish nation.

22 I will become so angry that I punish them very much.

I will destroy them like a hot fire.

It will be like a fire that reaches deep down into the place of dead people.

It will destroy the ground and everything that grows on it.

It will burn deep down to the foundations of the mountains.

23 I will cause them to have many kinds of trouble.

I will attack them like a soldier who shoots all his arrows.

24 They will become weak and hungry.

They will have bad diseases that give them much pain.

I will cause wild animals to attack them.

Snakes will bite them and they will die.

25 If they go out of their homes, their enemies will kill them.

If they stay at home, they will die from fear.

Young men and young women will die.

Babies and old men will also die.

26 I wanted to remove my people completely,

so that nobody would ever remember them.

27 But then their enemies would boast.

They would not understand.

They would say, “We have destroyed these people with our own strength!

The Lord has not done this!” ’

28 Israel is a nation without wisdom.

They do not understand what will happen to them.

29 If they were wise, they would understand.

They would know what would happen to them in the end.

30 One man can chase away 1,000 of my people!

Two men can chase away 10,000 of them!

How can that happen? God, their strong Rock, has left them.

The Lord has given their enemies power over them.

31 The gods of our enemies are not strong like our Rock.

Even our enemies know that their own gods are weak.

32 Our enemies are like grapes full of poison.

They are like grapes that have grown in the fields of Sodom and Gomorrah.

32:32The people of Sodom and Gomorrah did wicked things. God punished them and he destroyed the cities. See Genesis 19:24-25.

33 The wine from their grapes kills people,

like dangerous poison from snakes.

34 The Lord says, ‘I will not forget to punish Israel's enemies.

I have already decided what I will do, and I will do it!

35 When the right time comes,

I will punish them as they deserve.

They will suddenly fall

and great trouble will quickly destroy them.’

36 At that time, the Lord will bring justice for his people.

He will forgive his servants.

He will rescue them when he sees that they are weak,

and very few of them remain, as slaves or free people.

37 Then the Lord will ask his people,

‘Why could your gods not help you?

Those were the gods that you thought would keep you safe.

38 You fed them with the best part of your sacrifices.

You let them drink the wine from your offerings.

So they should be there to help you!

They should keep you safe!

39 Realize the truth! I alone am God.

There is no other god as well as me.

I can kill and I can give life.

I can hurt people and I can make them well again.

Nobody can stop me doing what I choose to do.

40 I lift up my hand to heaven and I make this strong promise:

“I promise you this, as surely as I live for ever:

41 I will make my sword very sharp.

It will move like lightning as I hold it in my hand.

I will punish my enemies as they deserve.

I will pay back everyone who hates me.

42 My arrows will have blood all over them.

My sword will cut into the bodies of my enemies.

Everyone that I take hold of will die.

I will cut off the heads of their leaders.” ’

43 So you people of other nations,

join with God's people to praise him!

He will punish those who have killed his servants.

He will punish all his enemies.

But he will forgive the sins of his people,

and he will make their land clean again.

Moses and Joshua warn the people

44 Moses went and he spoke all the words of this song to the Israelites. He did this together with Joshua, son of Nun. 45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words, 46 he said to the people, ‘Remember carefully the message that I have spoken to you today. You must teach these words to your children. They must learn to obey all the words of God's Law. 47 These are not just useless words. This is a message that gives life! If you obey it, you will live for many years in the land on the other side of the Jordan River. That is the land that will be your new home.’

Moses will die on Mount Nebo

48 On the same day, the Lord said to Moses, 49 ‘Go up into the hill country of Abarim in Moab's land. Climb Mount Nebo where you can see Jericho city on the other side of the river. Look at the land of Canaan. I am giving this land to the Israelites as their new home. 50 You will die on Mount Nebo, as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor. 51 Both of you refused to obey me at the waters of Meribah Kadesh, in the Zin desert. You did not show the Israelites that you respected me as God. 52 So you will not go into the land that I am giving to the Israelites. You will only see it from far away.’