christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 33:1-34:12, vezot haberakhah

Yes, He loves the people, All His saints are in Your hand, They sit down at Your feet To receive Your words.

Deuteronomy 33:3

Read Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12 at Bible Gateway.

The paragraph divisions are posted here. The blessing on the twelve tribes forms its own chiastic structure:

Deu 33:1-29
1a) Deu 33:1-5, The giving of the Torah;
1b) Deu 33:6 {s} The blessing on Reuben;
1c) Deu 33:7 {p} The blessing on Judah;
1d) Deu 33:8-11 {s} The blessing on Levi;
1e) Deu 33:12 {s} The blessing on Benjamin;
central axis) Deu 33:13-17 {s} The blessing on Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh);
2e) Deu 33:18-19 {s} The blessing on Zebulun and Issachar;
2d) Deu 33:20-21 {s} The blessing on Gad;
2c) Deu 33:22-23 {s} The blessing on Dan and Naphtali;
2b) Deu 33:24-25, The blessing on Asher;
2a) Deu 33:26-29 {s} The excellency of God.

Only eleven tribes are mentioned by name. Where is Simeon? Did Moses forget him? There are no accidental words in Torah. It is a puzzle filed away in my Torah puzzles file.

There are two interesting highlights in this structure. The only strong paragraph division follows the blessing on Judah, so that he is set apart from the other brothers. Then the blessing on Joseph forms the central axis. We see again the spotlight on the two tribes, Judah and Joseph, which we first noted in Genesis. These are the two houses, the southern kingdom of Judah, and the northern kingdom of Ephraim (the ten tribes), which separated during the reign of Solomon’s son. They appear throughout the prophets, and Ezekiel prophesies of their reuinification in the last days under a single King (Eze 37:15-17). These are also the two witnesses, who appear throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation, bearing witness that YHVH is God, Creator and King.

The remaining section of the parashah, Deu 34:1-12, is left as a loose end, which allows us to find the chiastic structure from Deu 31:1-34:12.


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