Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bible Study Notes in Deuteronomy- Chapter 33

Deuteronomy 33

-Moses, described as “the man of God,” is now in a position near physical death where he pronounces his final blessing upon the sons of Israel and His Almighty God who has been ever faithful in bringing him and his people to the verge of the Promised Land. The great prophet, speaking much like the patriarchs of previous generations, reiterated the fact that the LORD indeed loved His people as they, the holy ones, followed in His steps receiving His words. They were charged with a Law; it was the “possession for the assembly of Jacob.” They were together as a free people about to enter their inheritance, as God’s chosen and adored, each by their tribe (Deuteronomy 33:1-5). Ruben is blessed that he will live and not die with multiplicity of descendants (Deuteronomy 33:6). Judah has contended for his people and has been brought to them. God would help him against all of his enemies (Deuteronomy 33:7). The Godly men of Levi received the word of God through means like the Urim and Thummin. They contended for the LORD at places like Massah and Meribah. They were to be teachers of the laws and ordinances of the LORD in their nation burning the incense and making sacrifices on the altar before God. Their substance was blessed by the fellow Levite, Moses, as he beckons God to favor the work of their hands and shatter the ones that rise up against them in hate (Deuteronomy 33:8-11). Benjamin was beloved of the LORD and would dwell securely by Him, “between His shoulders (a place of affection and protection),” who shields all the day (Deuteronomy 33:12). Joseph was blessed on multiple levels. His land and the choicest things of the land were mentioned over him. Even things under the land in springs of water and all the animals of his territory were blessed. Joseph was one distinguished among his brothers; majesty was his with double portion, and his tribes would be conquerors to the ends of the earth (Deuteronomy 33:13-17). Zebulun should rejoice in his going forth and Issachar would be able to have joy in his tents. They will call people to worship the LORD on the mountain where they will offer righteous sacrifices. They will be sea faring people who draw out the abundance of the seas and hidden treasures of the sand (Deuteronomy 33:18-19). Gad will be enlarged with blessing as “he lies down as a lion” and “tears the arm, also the crown of the head.” The first part will be for himself, and he would execute “the justice of the LORD and His ordinances with Israel (Deuteronomy 33:20-21).” Dan is a lion’s whelp (cub, offspring) that leaps forth from the northern country of Bashan, which was northeast of the Sea of Galilee in what is today the Golan Heights (Deuteronomy 33:22). Naphtali, who was satisfied with favor and full of blessing, was to take possession of the sea and the south (Deuteronomy 33:23). Asher had pronounced favor by all of his brothers and would have dipped feet in oil (enjoying prosperity) with locks of iron and bronze (a protective barrier blessing for fortification along the highway where invaders would likely attempt to invade the Holy Land) in a leisurely walk (Deuteronomy 33:24-25). The final phase of the blessing glorified the Great God of Heaven and earth. There was none like Him. He helps His people. He is eternal and is a dwelling place for the righteous. Israel is safe in His everlasting Arms. He drives out the enemy before them and destroys the opposition. Therefore, Israel will dwell securely in a land of grain and new wine with moisture to provide abundance. Israel as a whole is blessed because they have been saved by the LORD. God is the shield of their help and the sword of their majesty frightening their enemies as they tread on the high places in victory (Deuteronomy 33:26-29).

-*Application* These blessings were more than empty wishes and once uttered carried the promise of fulfillment (from Deuteronomy: An Introduction & Commentary, J.A. Thompson, Inter-varsity Press: Leicester, England & Downers Grove, Illinois, 1974, pg. 306). Our words also carry much meaning. Are you speaking blessing with your mouth, or are you cursing and condemning people? In the final analysis, speak life, not death (see

Verse to Memorize: Deuteronomy 33:27

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