Moses blessed the Israeli tribes
1 Before God's prophet Moses died, he asked God to bless the Israeli people. 2 This is what he said:
“Yahweh came and spoke to us at Sinai Mountain;
he came like [MET] the sun rises in the Edom region
and like his light shone on us when we were in the desert near Paran Mountain after we left Sinai Mountain.
He came with ten thousand angels,
and there was a flaming fire at his right side.
3 Yahweh truly loves his people,
and protects [MTY] all those who belong to him.
So they prostrate themselves in front of him,
and they listen to his instructions.
4 I gave them laws to obey,
laws that would be the most precious thing that the descendants of Jacob owned.
5 So Yahweh became the king of his Israeli people
when all the tribes and their leaders were gathered together.
6 I say this about the tribe of Reuben:
I desire/hope that their tribe will never disappear,
but they will never become numerous.
7 I say this about the tribe of Judah:
Yahweh, listen to them when they call out for help;
and unite them with the other tribes again.
Fight for them,
and help them to fight against their enemies.
8 I say this about the tribe of Levi:
Yahweh, give to those who are dedicated to you the sacred stones that they will use to find out what you want to be done;
You tested them at a spring in the desert, a spring that they named Massah and also named Meribah
to find out if they would ◄remain loyal to/continue to obey► you.
9 The tribe of Levi did what you told them to do
and obeyed the agreement that you made with the Israeli people;
those laws were more important to them [HYP]
than their siblings and parents and children.
10 The tribe of Levi will teach the Israeli people [DOU] your rules and regulations,
and they are the ones who will burn incense and who will completely burn on the altar the offerings that the people bring.
11 Yahweh, bless their work
and ◄accept/be pleased with► all that they do.
Crush/Destroy all their enemies;
do not enable their enemies to be able to fight against them again.
12 I say this about the tribe of Benjamin:
They are the tribe that Yahweh loves;
he keeps them safe.
He protects them continually,
and he lives among their hills [MET].
13 I say this about the tribes of Joseph:
I desire/hope that Yahweh will bless their land
by giving them rain/dew from the sky
and water from deep in the ground,
14 by giving them good fruit ripened by the sun
and good crops at harvest time.
15 I desire/hope that very nice fruit will grow on trees in their ancient mountains/hills [DOU],
16 and that their land will be have many good crops,
blessed by Yahweh, the one who appeared to me in a burning bush.
I desire/hope that Yahweh will bless the tribes of Joseph in all those ways,
because he was the leaders of his older brothers when they were in Egypt.
17 The descendants of Joseph will be as strong as [SIM] a bull;
with their weapons they will wound their enemies, like [MET] a wild ox gores other animals with its horns.
They will force other people-groups,
all of them, to be exiled to the most distant places on the earth.
That is what the descendants of the two sons of Joseph will do,
the ten thousands of the tribe of Ephraim and the thousands of the tribe of Manasseh.
18 I say this about the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar:
I desire/hope that the people of Zebulun will prosper in their travels across the seas,
and that the people of Issachar will prosper while they stay at home and take care of their cattle and crops.
19 They will invite people from the other Israeli tribes to the mountain where they worship Yahweh,
and they will offer the correct/proper sacrifices to him.
They will become rich from the work that they do on the seas
and from the things that they make from (OR, find in) the sand on the beaches.
20 I say this about the tribe of Gad:
Praise Yahweh, the one who made their territory large.
The people of their tribe will attack their enemies fiercely [SIM] like a lion that crouches,
waiting to tear off the arm or the scalp of some animal.
21 They chose the best part of the land for themselves;
a large share of the land, a share that should be given to a leader was allotted to them.
When the leaders of the tribes of Israel gathered together,
they decided that the tribe of Gad should have a large share of the land.
The tribe of Gad obeyed the commands of Yahweh and the things that he decided that they should do.
22 I say this about the tribe of Dan:
The people of the tribe of Dan are like [SIM] a young lion;
they leap from their caves in the Bashan region to attack their enemies.
23 I say this about the tribe of Naphtali:
The people of the tribe of Naphtali have been blessed by Yahweh, who has been very kind to them;
their land extends far south from Lake Galilee.
24 I say this about the tribe of Asher:
May Yahweh bless the descendants of Asher more than he will bless the other tribes.
May he favor Asher's descendants most of all.
I desire/hope that their land will be filled with olive trees that will produce a lot of [IDM] olives to make olive oil.
25 Their towns will be protected by high walls with gates that have bronze and iron bars;
I desire/hope that they will be strong and secure/protected all the time that they are alive.
26 You people of Israel, there is no god like your God,
who rides majestically across the sky to help you.
27 God, who lives forever, is the one who ◄gives you refuge/protects you►;
it is as though he puts his everlasting arms under you to support you.
He will expel your enemies while you advance;
he has told you to destroy all of them.
28 So, you Israeli people will live safely;
you descendants of Jacob will not be disturbed by others;
in the land where you will live, there will be plenty of grain and wine,
and there will be plenty of rain.
29 You people of Israel, Yahweh ◄has blessed/is pleased with► you.
There is certainly [RHQ] no nation like your nation,
whom Yahweh has rescued from being slaves in Egypt.
He will be like [MET] a shield to protect you
and like [MET] a sword to enable you to defeat your enemies.
Your enemies will come to you begging for you to act mercifully toward them,
but you will trample on their backs/necks.”