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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

Chapter 33

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Blessing upon the Tribes. 1This is the blessing which Moses, the man of God, pronounced upon the Israelites before he died. 2He said:

“The LORD came from Sinai* and dawned on his people from Seir; He shone forth from Mount Paran and advanced from Meribath‐kadesh, While at his right hand a fire blazed forth and his wrath devastated the nations. e Ex 19, 18. 20; Jgs 5, 4f . 3But all his holy ones were in his hand;* they followed at his feet and he bore them up on his pinions. 4A law he gave to us; he made the community of Jacob his domain, f Jn 1, 17; 7, 19 . 5and he became king of his darling,* When the chiefs of the people assembled and the tribes of Israel came together. 6 “May Reuben live and not die out, g Gn 49, 3f . but let his men be few.”*

7The following is for Judah. He said:

“The LORD hears the cry of Judah; you will bring him to his people.* His own hands defend his cause and you will be his help against his foes.” h Gn 49, 8–12 .

8Of Levi he said:

“To Levi belong your Thummim, to the man of your favor your Urim;* For you put him to the test at Massah and you contended with him at the waters of Meribah. i Gn 49, 5; Ex 17, 7; 28, 30; Nm 20, 13 . 9He said of his father, ‘I regard him not’; his brothers he would not acknowledge, and his own children he refused to recognize. Thus the Levites keep your words, and your covenant they uphold.* 10 They promulgate your decisions to Jacob and your law to Israel. They bring the smoke of sacrifice to your nostrils, and burnt offerings to your altar. j Ex 30, 7f . 11 Bless, O LORD, his possessions and accept the ministry of his hands. Break the backs of his adversaries and of his foes, that they may not rise.”

12Of Benjamin he said:

“Benjamin is the beloved of the LORD, who shelters him all the day, while he abides securely at his breast.” k Gn 49, 27 .

13Of Joseph he said: l 13–17: Gn 49, 22–26 .

“Blessed by the LORD is his land with the best of the skies above and of the abyss crouching beneath; 14With the best of the produce of the year, and the choicest sheaves of the months; 15With the finest gifts of the age‐old mountains and the best from the timeless hills; 16With the best of the earth and its fullness, and the favor of him who dwells in the bush.* These shall come upon the head of Joseph and upon the brow of the prince among his brothers, 17The majestic bull, his father's first‐born, whose horns are those of the wild ox With which to gore the nations, even those at the ends of the earth.” [These are the myriads of Ephraim, and these the thousands of Manasseh.]

18Of Zebulun he said: m 18f: Gn 49, 13ff .

“Rejoice, O Zebulun, in your pursuits, and you, Issachar, in your tents! 19You who invite the tribes to the mountains where feasts are duly held, Because you suck up the abundance of the seas* and the hidden treasures of the sand.”

20Of Gad he said: n 20f: Gn 49, 19 .

“Blessed be he who has made Gad so vast! He lies there like a lion that has seized the arm and head of the prey. 21He saw that the best should be his when the princely portion* was assigned, while the heads of the people were gathered. He carried out the justice of the LORD and his decrees respecting Israel.” o Nm 32, 1. 5. 16–19. 31f; Jos 1, 12–15; 1 Chr 5, 18–22 .

22Of Dan he said:

“Dan is a lion's whelp, p Gn 49, 16f . that springs forth from Bashan!”*

23Of Naphtali he said:

“Naphtali is enriched with favors and filled with the blessings of the LORD; The lake* and south of it are his possession!” q Gn 49, 21; Jos 19, 32–39 .

24Of Asher he said: r 24f: Gn 49, 20 .

“More blessed than the other sons be Asher! May he be the favorite among his brothers, as the oil of his olive trees runs over his feet!* 25May your bolts be of iron and bronze; may your strength endure through all your days!”

26“There is no god like the God of the darling, who rides the heavens in his power, and rides the skies in his majesty; 27He spread out the primeval tent; he extended the ancient canopy. He drove the enemy out of your way and the Amorite he destroyed. 28Israel has dwelt securely, and the fountain of Jacob has been undisturbed. In a land of grain and wine, where the heavens drip with dew. s Gn 27, 28 . 29How fortunate you are, O Israel! Where else is a nation victorious in the LORD? The LORD is your saving shield, and his sword is your glory. Your enemies fawn upon you, as you stride upon their heights.” t Dt 4, 7f .

Notes:

e: Ex 19, 18. 20; Jgs 5, 4f .

f: Jn 1, 17; 7, 19 .

g: Gn 49, 3f .

h: Gn 49, 8–12 .

i: Gn 49, 5; Ex 17, 7; 28, 30; Nm 20, 13 .

j: Ex 30, 7f .

k: Gn 49, 27 .

l: 13–17: Gn 49, 22–26 .

m: 18f: Gn 49, 13ff .

n: 20f: Gn 49, 19 .

o: Nm 32, 1. 5. 16–19. 31f; Jos 1, 12–15; 1 Chr 5, 18–22 .

p: Gn 49, 16f .

q: Gn 49, 21; Jos 19, 32–39 .

r: 24f: Gn 49, 20 .

s: Gn 27, 28 .

t: Dt 4, 7f .

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