The last words of Moses to the tribes of Israel
1 Before his death, Moses, the man who knew God so well, spoke these good words to all the Israelites. 2 And he said:
‘The LORD came from Mount Sinai. He shone like the sun over Edom.
He shone on his people from Mount Paran.
Thousands (1000s) of angels came with him, from the south, from the mountains.
In his right hand, there was a burning Law for them.
3 LORD, you love your people. You are careful about all those holy people who belong to you.
We pray to you. We worship you and we obey your words.
4 We obey your rules, which Moses gave to us.
They are the special gift that you gave to all the descendants of Jacob.
5 You became our king when the leaders of the people and all the tribes came together.
6 Cause the tribe of Reuben live for all time. And do not cause them to be only a few men.’
7 And Moses said about the tribe of Judah:
‘LORD, listen to Judah when they ask for help. Bring them back to their own people.
They fight for themselves.
LORD, help them against their enemies.’
8 About the tribe of Levi he said:
‘Your Urim and Thummim belong to your true servants, the Levites.
You checked them at Massah and you argued with them at the waters of Meribah.
9 Levi loved and obeyed you more than his parents, more than his brothers or his children.
He studied your words and your promise was very special to him.
10 The Levites teach your rules to Israel's people and your decrees to the sons of Jacob.
They offer powder that has a sweet smell to you, on your altar. And they put burnt-offerings on your altar.
11 LORD, make good things happen to them in everything that they do.
Make all their work give you pleasure.
Destroy all their enemies completely.’
12 About the tribe of Benjamin he said:
‘The LORD loves this tribe. They will rest and be safe, near to him.
The LORD keeps them safe every day. He lives among them.’
13 About the tribe of Joseph he said:
‘LORD, send good things to their country.
Send rain from the sky above,
and water from under the earth.
14 Make good fruit grow in their fields,
the best fruit of each season.
15 Send them good gifts from the mountains and the hills that are so old.
Make the hills full of good fruit.
16 Fill their country with everything that is good.
Make them very happy with the love of the LORD,
the God who lived in the burning bush.
Send all these good things to the tribe of Joseph,
the man who was special among his brothers.
17 Joseph is as strong as a bull. He has horns like a wild bull.
All the strong men from Ephraim and Manasseh are his horns!
With them, he attacks the people of other countries.
He pushes them to the edges of the world.’
18 About the tribe of Zebulun he said:
‘Be happy, Zebulun, as you go out of your home.
Be happy, Issachar, in your home.
19 They ask foreign people to come to their mountain.
Then these people will offer the right gifts there.
They eat good things from the sea. They find special things in the sand.’
20 About the tribe of Gad he said:
‘Happy is the man who makes Gad's land wider!
Gad lives there like a lion. He fights anyone who comes into his country.
21 He took the best part of the country for himself.
Moses gave to Gad's tribe the part that belongs to a leader.
When Israel's people came together, the tribe of Gad did good things.
They did what the LORD wanted. They judged in Israel in the way that he commanded.’
22 About the tribe of Dan he said:
‘The tribe of Dan are like young lions. They jump out from Bashan and surprise their enemies.’
23 About the tribe of Naphtali he said:
‘The LORD has been very kind to the tribe of Naphtali.
They are full of the good things that the LORD has given to them.
They will have all the land, as far as to the south of Lake Galilee.’
24 About the tribe of Asher he said:
‘The LORD has given more good things to the tribe of Asher than to all the tribes.
Their brothers will say that they are very important.
They will be rich enough to bathe their feet in oil.
25 They will make the gates of their towns from iron and yellow metal.
They will always be strong.
26 Israelites, there is no god like your God.
He rides across the sky to help you.
He travels to you on the clouds, with great authority.
27 He is the God who has always been alive. He is the safe place where you can hide.
And his strong arms are always under you, to hold you.
He will send away your enemies in front of you.
He says to you, “Destroy them!”
28 So Israel's people will live alone safely. Their fountain of water is safe in a country that has corn and fresh wine. There, dew drops from the sky.
29 Israelites, how happy you are! There is no other nation like you.
The LORD himself has saved you from Egypt and from all your enemies.
He is like a strong wall in front of you. He is like a big, sharp knife against your enemies.
He helps you.
Your enemies will be very afraid of you. And you will destroy the special places where they pray to their gods.’