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In this chapter we have a very sublime description of the majesty of God ; the blessings of the twelve tribes ; and the excellency of Israel; being the last words of Moses, who dies, like his ancestors, expressing his good wishes for Israel, and leaving behind him a prophetical blessing, which should in due time be fulfilled. The dying words of great and eminent men, often make a deep impression ; these were probably left in writing. 1 A ND this [is] the blessing wherewith Moses the man of
M1 God blessed the children of Israel before his death, 2 which was a prophecy of what should befall them hereafter. And
he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran,* and he came with ten thousands of saints : from his right hand [went] a
fiery law for them. In this verse he celebrates the goodness of 3 God in giving them the law from Sinai. Yea, he loved the
people ; all his saints [are] in thy hand : and they sat down at thy feet ; [every one) shall receive of thy words. The giving of the law, though attended with terror, was a token of his special love to them. They were in his hand, or under his providence and protection ; and during their abode at Sinai, they sat at his feet to receive his words, like scholars at their master's feet. They are then reminded by whose hand it was given, and the Jews say, this was the first thing they were to 'teach their children. Moses commanded us a law, (even] the inheritance of the congregation of Jacob ; Moses commanded us
to receive this law, which God hath given, and which was the 5 best inheritance to them and their children. And he was king
in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people [and] the tribes of Israel were gathered together ; Moses was, under God, their supreme ruler and governor. He then proceeds to bless
each particular tribe. 6 Let' Reuben live, and not die ; and let [not] his men be
few.f :7 And this [is the blessing] of Judah : and he said, Hear,
Lord, the voice of Judah ; that is, hear their prayers : iť intimates that much of a devotional spirit should remain among them, and that their prayers should be answered : and bring him unto his people, that is, after the captivity; which was accomplished : let his hands be sufficient for him ; and be thou an help [to him] from his enemies ; that is, avenge him of his enemies,
• Seir and Paran were two neighbouring hills that were enlightened with the glory of God. which shone on Sinai ; from hence, amidst an host of angels, he delivered the law with his right hand to Moses out of the midst of the fire.
+ The last not should be left ont; though his nien be few, it should still exist as a tribe, though not be so numerous as soine others.
and let his own strength be sufficient, without the aid of his brethren. Accordingly, this was the most valiant and successful gribe, and continued langest. Nothing is said of Simeon, because he was included in the lot of Judah, Joshua xix. 1. they went together in their expeditions.
And of Levi he said, (Let] thy Thummim and thy Urim [be] with thy holy one ; let the breastplate of judgment, which was the Urim and Thummim,) let light and uprightness be with Aaron and his seed ; whom thou didst prove at Massah, sand with] whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah, whom
thou didst severely try and awfully reprove, and shut out of Ca9 naan ; Who said unto his father and to his mother, I have
not seen him ; neither did he acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children : for they have observed thy word, and kept thy covenant ; in the execution of thy judgments
concerning the golden calf, they showed no respect of persona, 10 and adhered to God when none else did 80 ; therefore They shall
teach Jacob thy judgments, and Israel thy law : they shall put incense before thee, and whole burnt sacrifice upon thine
altar ; 'they shall be continued in fhia honourable employment, Il shall teach thy law, and offer sacrifices. Bless, LORD, his sub
stance, and accept the work of his hands : smite through the
lains of them that rise against him, and of them that hate him, .e. that they rise not again ; they will have many enemies, perhape to more, because of their being God's ministers; but thou wilt
bless and prosper them. 12 [And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall
dwell in safety by, or before, him ; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long ; the tribe of Benjamin, who is beloved of God, as Benjamin was of his father, shall have his lot near the temple of God, who will protect him from çil; and he shall dwell between his shoulders ; that is, God's templę, wherein he dwelt, shall be built on mount Moriah, which was in that
tribe. 13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD [be] his land,
for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the ; deep that coucheth beneath ; his shall be & fruitful country, 14 enriched with dews, and showers, and springs of water ; And - for the precious fruits [brought forth] by the sun, and for the
precious things put forth by the moon, or, as in the margin of
our bibles, by the moons ; that is, fruits shall be brought forth 15 successively in their several months. And for the chief things
of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the
lasting hills ; their hills shall bring forth vines, and olives, and 16 figs without, and within shall be full of rich metals. And for
the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and (for) the good will of him that dwelt in the bush ; the crown of all was the Shekinah, which appeared to Mo868, the good will and Vol. II.
favour of God, the fountain of all blessings, and who clone can give a relish to all : let [the blessing) come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the top of the head of him that was sęparated from his brethren ; let blessings come in a large, plentiful, conspicuous manner, and crown the head of him that was sepaa
rated from his brethren, but separated to honour and glory in 17 Egypt. His glory [is like] the firstling of his bullock, and
his horns [are like] the horns of unicorns : with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth; he shall enjoy kingly authority, have power and strength to push and destroy his enemies to the ends of the earth, or the land : and they [are) the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they (are] the thousands of Manasseh ; though the men of Manasseh are now more than the men of Ephraim, in firocess of time, Ephraim shall exceed Manassch, according to Jacob's prophecy, Gen. xlviii. 19.
.. REFLECTIONS. Pi. i. W E have great reason to be thankful that God hath given
VV us his law. Moses leads Israel to celebrate this, as a token of his special kindness. A goodly land was their inheritance, but the divine revelation was the best possession for them and theirs : we can leave posterity nothing better than our bibles. Let us bless God for them, as Israel here did for Moses; and maintain a grateful sense of the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to teach us.' The glorious light of the gospel is the greatest blessing our land can boast of. We have, in this respect, all reason to say, The lines are fallen to us in pleasant places, surely we have a goodly heritage.
2. The favour and good will of God, is the best blessing we can ask for our friends. Moses prayed for many blessings upon Joseph, but this was the last and the chief; it is the source of all blessings ; it sweetens all others, and secures the soul from evil. At the bush God renewed his covenant ; let us recommend our children, servants, friends, and acquaintance, to the good will of God, as our covenant God, and instead of being solicitous for a blessing out of the corn floor or wine press, or from worldly prosi perity, let'us pray, that his good will may be with them for time and eternity: is.),.'! , insteinn ,
.CHAP. XXXIII. 18, to the end.
A continuation of the blessing of the twelve tribes, and the excel,
i lency of Israel.', 18 AND of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going
out; and, Issachar, in thy tents. These two were born of the same mother, and their posterity were neighbours. Zebe " "ulun shall have cause to rejoice in his success in trade at home
and abroad, and Issachar in his tents, in the country employe 19 ments of tillage, and feeding cattle. They shall call the peo
ple unto the mountain ; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness; for they shah suck [of] the abundance of the seas, and [of] treasures hid in the sand ; though they had dif
ferent employments, yet both should be serviceable to promote the ... interest of God and religion. They should have great success ...., at seg, and great treasures on the land ; and should give cheer* Fully to support Goďs worship ; inviting strangers to his tem
ple, by their commerce and their exhortations, and offering saca
rifices of righteousness there. 29 And of Gad he said, Blessed [be] he that enlargeth Gad;
blessed be God, who bestows 80 large a portion upon him ; he dwelleth as a lion, and teareth the arm with the crown of the head ; he dwells amidst all his enemies fearless q: a lion, and tears to pieces their arm and their head, their armies and princes. And he provided the first part for himself, because there, [in] a portion of the lawgiver, I was he] seated; he first moved to be settled on the other side Jordan, and Moses, by God's permission, allowed him to do so.; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judg. ments with Israel ; he came forth to war with the princes and captains, to execute God's judgments on the Canaanites. Moses speaks of this as already done from an assurance that they would
do 80. 22 And of Dan he said, Dan [is] á lion's whelp: he shall leap
from Bashan ; he is strong and valiant, and shall surprise his enemies, as a lion leaps on his prey from Bashar, a place that
was noted for them. See Judges xiv. 5. 23 And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour, .and full with the blessing of the LORD : possess thou the .: west and the south, a rich, fruitful country, where Christ reon. sided much, 24. And of Asher he said; [Let] Asher [be] blessed with chil" .dren ; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip • his foot in ofl ; thou shalt have a numerous issue, be of a kind,
affable temper, and have a country so abounding in olives, that 95. Thou shalt wash thy feet in oil. Thy shoos [shall be] iron and
brass, or, under thy shoes shall be iron and brass ; and as thy
days, (so shall] thy strength [be ;) thy country shall abound in rich mines of iron and brass, and thou shalt grow stronger and stronger all thy days ; thine age shall be as thy youth.
He then concludes the whole with a general account of their 26 happiness, as the people of God. [There is) none of the gods
like unto the God of Jeshurun, (who] rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky ; he appears for
the help of his people in the highest magnificence and glory, in 27 the heavens and on the earth, and with infinite power. The
eternal God [is thy) refuge, and underneath Care) the everlasting arms; he is the eternal and unchangeabte God; in him they may always find safety and comfort, and always will do go, if they commit themselves to him: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee ; and shall say, Destroy (them ;]
he shall give thee power to thrust out the Canaanites, and a coma 28 mission to destroy them, Israel then shall dwell in safety alone,
separated from other people, without alliance with them, or dem pendence ution theřn : the fountain of Jacob (shall be) upon a land of corn and wine ; also his heavens shall drop down dew; the posterity of Jacob, who flowed from him as water
from a fountain, shall dwell in a fruitful country, enriched with 29 the dews and showers of heaven. Happy (art] thou, O Israel :
bút being unable to express their happiness, he breaks out into admiration of it : who[is] like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who [is] the sword of thy excellency! a shield to defend thee, a sword to destroy thine enemies : and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places ; they shall suba mit, and firetend friendship through fear; and thou shalt destroy their idol temples and all their strong holde. Thus ended the song, and all that Moses spoke or wrote,
1. T ET us learn from the various particulars of these blessa
v ings, to acknowledge the agency and wisdom of God in the different circumstances of states and kingdoms ; in their various products, as well as in the different tempers of the in, habitants. Some are settled in a fruitful soil ; others have rich mines, which generally are most barren above ; some, like Zebu, lun, are merchants at sea, and are exposed to perils by water, that they may bring abundance from abroad. Others dwell on the land, they live at home, and are engaged in some honourable and useful employment. The different genius and inclinations of men must be ascribed to God, as well as their pursuits and differ, ent occupations. Let us acknowledge God in this, who Ares the bounds of our habitation ; and glorify him with our substapçe, be