1673.) Deuteronomy 33

“Moses from the Bible” by Marc Chagall

Deuteronomy 33 (English Standard Version)

Moses’ Final Blessing on Israel

He could not leave them without first blessing them! You might find it interesting to compare Moses’ blessings on the tribes (verses 6-25) with Jacob’s blessings of his sons in Genesis 49.

1This is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the people of Israel before his death. 2He said,

“The LORD came from Sinai
and dawned from Seir upon us;
he shone forth from Mount Paran;
he came from the ten thousands of holy ones,
with flaming fire at his right hand.

Hebrews 12:29 (NKJV)

For our God is a consuming fire.

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart,
Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move;
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies:
But take the dimness of my soul above.

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The baptism of the heaven descended Dove;
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

3Yes, he loved his people,
all his holy ones were in his hand;
so they followed in your steps,
receiving direction from you,
4when Moses commanded us a law,
as a possession for the assembly of Jacob.
5Thus the LORD became king in Jeshurun,
when the heads of the people were gathered,
all the tribes of Israel together.

“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Reuben” by Marc Chagall

6 “Let Reuben live, and not die,
but let his men be few.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Judah” by Marc Chagall

7And this he said of Judah:

“Hear, O LORD, the voice of Judah,
and bring him in to his people.
With your hands contend for him,
and be a help against his adversaries.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Levi” by Marc Chagall

8And of Levi he said,

“Give to Levi your Thummim,
and your Urim to your godly one,
whom you tested at Massah,
with whom you quarreled at the waters of Meribah;
9who said of his father and mother,
‘I regard them not’;
he disowned his brothers
and ignored his children.
For they observed your word
and kept your covenant.
10 They shall teach Jacob your rules
and Israel your law;
they shall put incense before you
and whole burnt offerings on your altar.
11Bless, O LORD, his substance,
and accept the work of his hands;
crush the loins of his adversaries,
of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Benjamin” by Marc Chagall

12 Of Benjamin he said,

“The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety.
The High God surrounds him all day long,
and dwells between his shoulders.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Joseph” by Marc Chagall

13And of Joseph he said,

“Blessed by the LORD be his land,
with the choicest gifts of heaven above,
and of the deep that crouches beneath,
14with the choicest fruits of the sun
and the rich yield of the months,
15with the finest produce of the ancient mountains
and the abundance of the everlasting hills,
16with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness
and the favor of him who dwells in the bush.

Exodus 3:1-2 (NIV)

Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up.

May these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the pate of him who is prince among his brothers.
17 A firstborn bull—he has majesty,
and his horns are the horns of a wild ox;
with them he shall gore the peoples,
all of them, to the ends of the earth;
they are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Zebulun” by Marc Chagall

18And of Zebulun he said,

“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,

“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Issachar” by Marc Chagall

and Issachar, in your tents.
19They shall call peoples to their mountain;
there they offer right sacrifices;
for they draw from the abundance of the seas
and the hidden treasures of the sand.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Gad” by Marc Chagall

20And of Gad he said,

“Blessed be he who enlarges Gad!
Gad crouches like a lion;
he tears off arm and scalp.
21 He chose the best of the land for himself,
for there a commander’s portion was reserved;
and he came with the heads of the people,
with Israel he executed the justice of the LORD,
and his judgments for Israel.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Dan” by Marc Chagall

22And of Dan he said,

“Dan is a lion’s cub
that leaps from Bashan.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Naphtali” by Marc Chagall

23And of Naphtali he said,

“O Naphtali, sated with favor,
and full of the blessing of the LORD,
possess the lake and the south.”


“Jerusalem Windows: The Tribe of Asher” by Marc Chagall

24And of Asher he said,

“Most blessed of sons be Asher;
let him be the favorite of his brothers,
and let him dip his foot in oil.
25Your bars shall be iron and bronze,
and as your days, so shall your strength be.


26 “There is none like God, O Jeshurun,
who rides through the heavens to your help,
through the skies in his majesty.
27The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.

Psalm 63:8 (King James Version)

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

And he thrust out the enemy before you
and said, Destroy.
28So Israel lived in safety,
Jacob lived alone,
in a land of grain and wine,
whose heavens drop down dew.
29Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you,
a people saved by the LORD,
the shield of your help,
and the sword of your triumph!
Your enemies shall come fawning to you,
and you shall tread upon their backs.”



HERE  is “Fire Fall Down”  by Hillsong United — a worship song for God, who is refining fire and worthy of all praise.


Marc Chagall, photographed in 1941.

about Marc Chagall and the Jerusalem Windows:

Artist Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was born into a Jewish community in the Russian Empire, but spent most of his adult life in France and the United States.  In 1960 he began creating stained glass windows for the synagogue of Hebrew University’s Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem.  The twelve windows represent the twelve tribes of Israel.  They were installed in 1962, each window about 11 feet high and 8 feet wide.  I love the color and the vibrant singing quality of them!

French philosopher Gaston Bachelard said:   “Chagall reads the Bible and suddenly the passages become light.”


English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.

Images courtesy of:
Chagall: Moses.   http://static.goldmarkart.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/a/marc-chagall-moses-iii.jpg
fire on the altar.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/33-fire.jpg
Marc Chagall:  “Jerusalem Windows.”  All the  tribes.
burning bush.    http://www.fireonyourhead.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/burning-bush-web.jpg
man holding child in his right hand.    http://china.notspecial.org/blogimages/life_uyghur_baby.jpg
photograph of Chagall.    http://en.academic.ru/pictures/enwiki/77/Marc_Chagall_1941.jpg

One Response to 1673.) Deuteronomy 33

  1. Sue says:

    Rebecca – so wonderful again to read these blessings – of course Benjamin’s blessing is my favorite – and those Chagall Jerusalem windows?!!! Oh my goodness – If you had them on Deut. the first time, I paid no attention – so today they have thrilled me. My favorite is Zebulun. Thank you for this post! – and love –

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