Deuteronomy 32:7-14 (The Song of Moses, Part II)

Deuteronomy 32:7-14
The Song of Moses, Part II

There are some magnificent literary devices used by Moses in the verses today. He uses parallelism, but he does so in various ways. He uses metaphor. He uses the imperative form of verbs to add vibrancy and life to what he is saying. He uses a form of a verb that gives the sense of a command a couple of times.

These and other such devices bring the passage to a state of animation that brings you directly into what he is saying, as if you are participating in what is happening. If you close your eyes as it is being read, you will be able to form mental images in this way, putting yourself directly into the life of Israel.

Moses will also say something in verse 8 that leaves many guessing as to the intent. Because of variations in the source texts of the verse, it is hard to know exactly what the true rendering is.

Unfortunately, because of this, biblical sensationalists will take what is said and incorrectly apply it to shoddy theology they have developed elsewhere. It sells well, but it really isn’t responsible theology.

Text Verse: “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:26-29

Properly looking at terms that are used throughout Scripture, one can develop a right understanding of otherwise improperly developed themes, if one is willing to do so. But, typically, people hear something, stick with what they have been told, and would rather go down with the ship than adapt to what is evidently right as concerns that particular thought.

When we get to verse 8, I will give my best analysis of what I think the true rendering is, and why I think it is so. It doesn’t mean I’m right, but there is a logical way to look at the various source texts and come to a reasonable conclusion concerning the variations.

The verse had to start with an original set of words. Attempting to figure out what they are will help us to consider other such changes in source texts as well. With this, we can begin to discern various agendas that are behind the manipulation of what is said.

Sometimes, a normal translational change is responsible, sometimes it is a misunderstanding of what is being conveyed, sometimes it may reveal a bias in thought, and sometimes such a change may be purposeful in order to hide something otherwise quite obvious.

Studying the word is a lifelong pursuit. We should do so with all of our attention and diligence, and we should be careful to refrain from sensationalism. The reason for this is that sensationalism will draw our attention away from what is most sensational of all… Jesus. Let us remember this as we evaluate the word.

Great things are to be found in His superior word. And so, let us turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.

I. The Calling of Israel (verses 7-9)

In our evaluation of the song now before us concerning an outline, we first divided into verses 1 & 2 which were set forth as an introduction of the song. Verses 3 & 4 proclaimed the perfections of Yehovah. And verses 5 & 6 provided a contrast as seen in the imperfections of Israel.

Now, the next major division of the song goes from verses 7 to 14. They speak of the calling, establishment, and exalting of the nation. That thought is introduced with the words of verse 7…

“Remember the days of old,

zekor yemoth olam – “Remember days antiquity.” The verb is singular. It could be speaking of Israel collectively or as a directive to each person individually. Based on the poetic structure of the verse, I would say it is the latter. Each person is to remember.

The word olam is a common one that has to be carefully translated to avoid confusion. It speaks of time out of mind, either into the past or into the future. In this case, because it is defining the word “remember,” it refers to ancient days gone by.

In some instances, it can speak of days completely out of mind, where there is no understanding of the reference at all. This is found, for example, in Micah 5 when referring to the coming Messiah –

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.” Micah 5:2

The very nature of the surrounding words calls forth the idea of Someone who will come, but who had already existed for a period that cannot even be mentally grasped.

However, the days that Moses now refers to are not unknowable. This is because Moses is specifically calling for remembrance. As this is the case, there is an oral or written account of what occurred that is being called to mind.

Thus, olam here is speaking of days that are knowable, but which are out of mind to the hearer only in the sense that they predate his personal existence. The record of those days is being called to memory as a tool for future instruction. That continues to be understood from the next words…

7 (con’t) Consider the years of many generations

binu shenoth dor va’dor – “Mentally scan years generation and generation.” Whereas the verb in the last clause was singular, it is now plural, “you all.” The alternating use of the singular and plural is a marvelous tool that Moses employs to captivate the collective mind of the audience as well as each individual mind within it.

The minds of the people are now asked to contemplate that which occurred long ago, mentally scanning what has been so that they can rightly understand what now is. As it is written as a witness to Israel for all generations (31:19-21), then it is something that is to be a living and active call to remember throughout their history.

Repeating the word “generation” as he does (dor va’dor) is a poetic way of stating a plural not unlike how we may employ such a thought today –

Today I am living here
Just as did my ancestors, year to year

Moses has marvelously employed both switching of the number and parallelism in these first two clauses –

(a) +Remember (sg) *days -antiquity
(a) +Mentally scan (pl) *years – generation and generation

He will continue with this in the next two clauses…

7 (con’t) Ask your father, and he will show you;

sheal avikha v’yagedekha – “Ask your father and he is to declare to you.” The words switch back to the singular, but this is surely referring to each individual – “Each of you is to ask.” Further, the verb of the response to the question is a jussive which is a mood that expresses almost a command. In essence, “When you ask, he is given the command to know and be able to then pass on what you have inquired of.” Likewise…

7 (con’t) Your elders, and they will tell you:

zeqenekha v’yomeru lak – “Your elders and they will say to you.” The father is the spiritual elder of the house. The elders are the spiritual fathers of the people. “Just as the father is to know and convey a response to you, so the elders are to do.” Again, notice the parallelism and the change in number –

(b) +Your father *and he (sg) –is to declare to you.
(b) +Your elders *and they (pl) -will say to you.

Just as when reading Shakespeare, one can see that there is attentive thought to every word and all words in each clause. Taken together, the four clauses read –

(a) Remember (sg) *days -antiquity.
(a) Mentally scan (pl) *years – generation and generation.
(b) +Your father *and he (sg) –is to declare to you.
(b) +Your elders *and they (pl) -will say to you.

Great attentive care is certainly the case with the next words…

When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations,

The NKJV gives a good sense of what the meaning is. A literal rendering says: b’hankhel elyon goyim – “In bequeathing Most High nations.” In other words, the nations of the world were purposefully divided by Elyon, the Most High. He is above all nations, and He is the Decider of their place and destiny.

What has taken place is not arbitrary. As such, there is a deterministic force that has caused the nations to be who they are and where they are. This is to be understood from both testaments of the Bible, both implicitly and explicitly –

“But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” Genesis 11:5-9

It is implied by the dividing of the languages that the people will then be gathered according to those languages. This is clearly stated in the Table of Nations found in Genesis 10 and is based upon the division of these languages found in Genesis 11. This is found in the last words of Genesis 10 –

“These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.” Genesis 10:32

The hand of the Lord, directing the people in this way, is clearly evidenced. Likewise in Acts 17, Paul builds upon this thought, stating it to the people of Athens in a manner which they could understand. In his speech, he cites the words of two Greek philosophers – Aratus and Cleanthes – in order to show them that this knowledge still existed in their collective mind –

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’” Acts 17:26-28

8 (con’t) When He separated the sons of Adam,

b’haprido bene adam – “In His separating sons of man.” There are two opposing opinions regarding the correct interpretation of the word adam: should it be rendered as a descriptor of man or as a reference to the first man, Adam. The word means both, but the parallelism calls for the former, man.

Adam begat Seth and so on until Noah. During his time, the world was destroyed by flood. From there, the sons of Noah were then divided among their descendants, as is recorded in the table of nations, by name, as it repeatedly says, e.g., “according to their languages, in their lands and in their nations” (Genesis 10:20).

This is understood even many generations later as is stated repeatedly in the psalms concerning the sons of Ham –

“Israel also came into Egypt,
And Jacob dwelt in the land of Ham.” Psalm 105:23

Likewise, the establishment and continuance of the nations and their locations, even into the distant future, is spoken of as a surety in the prophets many hundreds of years later –

“I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.” Ezekiel 36:4-6

So deterministic are these words of Moses that they even apply to the last chapters of the last book of Scripture –

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city.” Revelation 20:7-9

Even on the last page of the Bible, the nations are identified as individual entities –

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:1, 2

The sons of man have been separated, and they will retain distinct natures even when all things have been restored to the perfection originally intended for humanity. Again, notice the structure of the clauses –

(a) In +bequeathing Most High *nations (pl)
(b) In His -separating *sons (pl) of man

It is in doing these things that the Lord has determined the groups of people, but in order for them to be groups, they need to be grouped. That is seen in the next words…

8 (con’t) He set the boundaries of the peoples

yatsev gevuloth ammim – “He establishes boundaries peoples.” The verb is another jussive. It is as if the Lord commands the establishment of the boundaries. He has determined how they will be placed, if they will be uprooted, and where they will go. Jeremiah confirms that this is solely at the direction of the Lord –

“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the Lord. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, 10 if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it.” Jeremiah 18:5-10

However, despite nations being destroyed before Him, it is the Most High who defined their borders in a very purposeful manner, which is…

8 (con’t) According to the number of the children of Israel.

l’mispar bene Yisrael – “To number sons Israel.” This is one of the most debated and argued over clauses of the entire song, and it is a verse that is used, and manipulated, in order to justify rather poor theology. Two variant readings of it are:

“angels (meaning ‘messengers’) of God” (LXX (Greek), DSS
“sons of God” (Symmachus, Latin)

Which translation is correct is hard to know. People will pick the translation that fits their presupposition concerning their view on other passages in Scripture which they want to support. However, the LXX, the Symmachus, and the Latin are all translated from Hebrew manuscripts.

As this is so, the word “God” is probably likely. From there, the compilers of the Masoretic Text (which is used as the source for the NKJV and many other versions) probably then decided that this was referring to Israel who are the “sons” or “messengers” of God.

It would seem likely that “sons of God” would be interpreted as “angels” (meaning messengers) by some, rather than the opposite, which is a common misunderstanding of the use of the term “sons of God” found in Genesis 6:2 and Job 1:6 & 2:1.

As such, if I were to hypothesize, the true original would be l’mispar bene elohim, or “To number sons of God,” meaning true believers in the Lord God. As I said, the Masoretes then decided that this must be referring to them and changed “God” to “Israel” to define them as the subject.

By doing this, it would argue against the Christian belief that it included them because they are “sons of God” through faith in Christ. This is not an unimportant exercise in analysis, but it is a key point upon which a lot of other theology hangs.

The Masoretic text has been purposefully corrupted in other areas to hide passages that clearly reveal the coming of Christ Jesus. If my proposition is correct (and why would I be rong?), the words are actually stating that the nations are aligned as a tally of true believers in the Lord, something that would correspond to what is said in verse 21, and which Paul uses in Romans 10 when referring to the Gentile believers –

“They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God;
They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols.
But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation;
I will move them to anger by a foolish nation.”

This would also then correspond to the truth that there were Gentile believers in the Lord prior to the establishment of Israel as is clearly recorded in Genesis and in Job 1 & 2. The structure would then look like this –

(a) He +establishes boundaries peoples
(b) To -number sons of God

With this in mind, we can then see the parallelism of the verse more clearly –

(a) In +bequeathing Most High *nations (pl)
(b) In His -separating ^sons of man (sg)
(a) He +establishes boundaries *peoples (pl)
(b) To -number ^sons of God

Obviously, I am coming at this with my own presuppositions as well, but they are based on a rational and consistent analysis of the greater concepts that are found elsewhere in Scripture, not on a sensationalistic approach, or one that denies that Messiah has come and has fulfilled what is prefigured in the interpretation of this otherwise really difficult verse. With that noted, Moses next says…

For the Lord’s portion is His people;

ki kheleq Yehovah amo – “For portion Yehovah His people.” The words are all in the singular. The immediate context is obviously Israel. But, being in the singular, it must include those who came before Israel, such as Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and so on. Also, it must include Job and the other “sons of God” who are noted in Genesis 6 and Job 1 & 2.

As this is so, then it – by default – must ultimately be inclusive of any who belongs to the Lord. However, the next clause seems to deny this…

9 (con’t) Jacob is the place of His inheritance.

Yaaqov khevel nakhalato – “Jacob line His inheritance.” The word khevel, signifies a cord, territory, band, line, and so on. It comes from khaval meaning to bind or to pledge. Ultimately, it comes from a root signifying to wind tightly, as a rope.

A cord, or a line, is used to measure something, thus establishing a set number, portion, allotment, and so on. As such, the inheritance of the Lord is found measured in Jacob. It is speaking of the man, not the location where he will settle. That makes it seem that Jacob, who is Israel (meaning his descendants), is the sum total of the inheritance of the Lord.

But there is no reason to assume that based on two things. First, Jesus descends from Jacob, and in Him is found the joining of Gentiles into what is given to Israel –

“Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” Ephesians 2:11-13

There is, therefore, no reason to assume that what Moses says now excludes any outside of Jacob in the absolute sense. Rather, the line of Jacob encompasses those who come to Christ by faith. This can be seen in how the verses are set in parallel –

(a) +Portion Yehovah ^His people
(b) -Jacob line ^His inheritance

Jacob defines the parameter of who the Lord’s people are because Messiah comes through Jacob. And so, secondly, this must be so because Abraham, for example, is clearly one of the Lord’s people, and yet Jacob descends from him.

There is an immediate context, and there is a greater context that must be inferred. With that in mind, the call of Jacob is next referred to by Moses…

There is no other God; I know not one
Search in the highest heavens and there will be only Me
Seek throughout the earth until your days are done
And no other god shall you see

I alone am the Lord your God
And I alone led you in those early days
Out of a howling, a wasteland you did trod
Therefore, you shall commit yourself to Me always

Trust in Me, and I will give you rest
I will lead you on soft paths, lush and green
In your soul, you shall be forever blessed
Because you have no other gods; to you only I am seen

II. The Establishment and Exalting of Israel (verses 10-14)

10 “He found him in a desert land

The verbs here and in the verses to come are imperfect, producing a state of vividness: yimtsaehu b’erets midbar – “He finds him in a land – a wilderness.” It is as if a movie is playing while Moses describes what is occurring as it happens. Hosea was probably thinking of these words when he wrote –

“I found Israel
Like grapes in the wilderness;
I saw your fathers
As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.” Hosea 9:10

Now, Moses proceeds…

10 (con’t) And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;

u-b’tohu yelel yeshimon – “And in chaos – a howling, wasteland.” The word tohu has only been seen once so far, in Genesis 1:2, where it described the formless earth. There is also a new word, found only here in the Bible, yelel. It is a noun, not a verb, signifying “a howling.”

Everything about what is said gives the sense of aimlessness, confusion, and a lack of order or purpose. But then…

10 (con’t) He encircled him, He instructed him,

yesovevenhu yevonehu – “He encompasses him; He educates him.” The first verb is savav. It can mean to turn about, go around, or encircle. As such, it could be the Lord is leading him around, or that He is personally encompassing him. “Encompassing” would form proper parallelism. The words speak of the event with a sense of stability and purpose. The chaos is ending.

The second verb is bin, to discern. As such, it is more than instruction, which may or may not take hold. Rather, it is instruction that leads to discernment. Thus, “He educates him” is the intent. There is no longer a chaotic state, a howling, but a reasoned understanding. And more…

10 (con’t) He kept him as the apple of His eye.

yitserenhu k’iyshon eno – “He guards him as little man His eye.” It is a marvelously poetic way of describing the pupil. The word ishon is a diminutive form of ish, or man. Thus, it is the “little man”. Being in the Lord’s eye, it signifies His pupil.

The sense is that as one will guard his pupil from any harm, so the Lord guarded Israel with the same intensity. The four clauses form two parallel ideas.

There is what is lost and what is unknown being replaced with safety and education. And there is insecurity and a lack of definition which is replaced with security and intent. Taken together, the four clauses appear thus –

(a) He finds him *in a land – ^a wilderness
(a) And *in chaos – ^a howling, wasteland
(b) +He encompasses him; He educates him
(b) +He guards him as little man His eye

Moses next continues with the calling…

11 As an eagle stirs up its nest,

It is masculine and describes the father: k’nesher yair qino – “As eagle wakes up his nest.” The Lord is prompting Israel to get up and take flight, abandoning Egypt. He has taught them and protected them in the land where they dwelt, He has guarded them and kept them while destroying their enemies. Now it is time to fly from that nest…

11 (con’t) Hovers over its young

al gozala yerakheph – “Over His young He flutters.” The word gozal, or young bird, was seen in Genesis 15:9, in the first Song of Moses. It is now seen for the second and last time. The word rakhaph has only been seen in Genesis 1:2 where the Spirit of God moved over the surface of the waters.

The Spirit of God brooded over the waters, preparing the creation according to His wisdom. Here, the Lord broods over His young, preparing His people according to His wisdom. Moses is surely tying the preparation of the world for man to His preparation of Israel for being His people. When they are ready, He is..

11 (con’t) Spreading out its wings, taking them up,

The object is singular, not plural. One young is taken: yiprosh kenapha yiqakhehu – “Spreads His wings; He takes him.” It is Israel who is taken up and brought forth from the nest. The imagery is marvelous as the Father cares for His young…

11 (con’t) Carrying them on its wings,

Again, it is singular: yisaehu al evrato – “He lifts him up on His pinions.” It is a new and different word than “wings” of the previous clause, evrah. It signifies the pinions of the bird that the young can cling to. The young need do nothing but enjoy the ride. The idea is similar to that expressed in Exodus 19 –

“And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel: “You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.”’” Exodus 19:3, 4

Notice the new structure for this verse which forms an aa/bb set of parallels –

a) +As eagle -wakes up his nest
a) +Over His young -He flutters
b) *Spreads His wings; ^He takes him
b) ^He lifts him up *on His pinions

Moses pulls out every tool he has available from his store of poetical devices in order to delight the senses of his audience. Next…

12 So the Lord alone led him,

Yehovah bedad yankhenu – “Yehovah alone He leads him.” The imperfect verbs continue, providing a vivid sense of action to the mind. The words now speak of the actual Exodus while the pillar of fire and cloud went before Israel as they departed –

“So they took their journey from Succoth and camped in Etham at the edge of the wilderness. 21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. 22 He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.” Exodus 13:20-22

In this state of being led by Yehovah, Moses further says…

12 (con’t)And there was no foreign god with him.

v imo el nekar – “And no with Him god foreign.” The “Him” refers to the Lord, not Israel. No other god aided Him as He led His people out. As such, Albert Barnes wisely states –

“The Lord alone delivered Israel; Israel therefore ought to have served none other but Him.”

Moses, still pulling out literary delights, provides a contrasting parallel in this verse –

(a) Yehovah alone He leads him
(b) And no with Him god foreign

With the calling complete, Moses moves to the future of where they are now, speaking of the establishment of Israel in the land…

13 “He made him ride in the heights of the earth,

yarkibehu al bamote arets – “He makes him ride upon high places earth.” The idea is that of the Lord causing Israel to subjugate the land, allowing them to take possession of it. The expression is explained in Amos and Micah where the same words are used –

“For behold,
He who forms mountains,
And creates the wind,
Who declares to man what his thought is,
And makes the morning darkness,
Who treads the high places of the earth—
The Lord God of hosts is His name.” Amos 4:13

“For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place;
He will come down
And tread on the high places of the earth.” Micah 1:3

Ultimately, this then looks to be the Lord Himself subduing the earth. But immediately, it speaks of Israel doing so. In the subjugation of the land, Israel can then occupy and enjoy its plunder…

13 (con’t) That he might eat the produce of the fields;

vayokal tenuvoth saday – “And he eats produce fields.” It is a new word, tenuvah, signifying fruit or produce. It is ultimately derived from a word signifying “to germinate.” Hence, that which produces from the seed is what is being referred to.

13 (con’t) He made him draw honey from the rock,

v’yeniqehu debash mi’sela – “And he makes to suck honey from crag.” Israel is a rocky, stony, craggy place. The word sela signifies a craggy rock. In such places, bees will form their hives. Thus, it signifies sweetness, even from a place that would otherwise seem inhospitable.

Despite this as a literal occurrence, debash, or honey, is equated to the word of God in Scripture –

“And He said to me, ‘Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.’ So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.” Ezekiel 3:3

The word sela, or craggy place, is metaphorically used to refer to the Lord at times –

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;” Psalm 18:2

As such one can infer that this metaphorically can speak of Israel drawing out the word of God from the Lord when in the land given to them. A very suitable analogy.

13 (con’t)And oil from the flinty rock;

v’shemen m’khalmish tsur – “And oil from flinty rock.” This is certainly referring to the growth of the olive trees, even out of hard, flinty rock.

Their roots entwine with the rocks, providing them with a stable, enduring foundation. Also, the moisture that results from the changes in temperature causes condensation which is used to feed the tree. Thus, oil is produced from the flinty rock.

However, there is another metaphor being conveyed. Oil in Scripture speaks of anointing, and thus, the presence of the Spirit. And the tsur, or flinty rock is equated to the Lord, even five times in this chapter –

He is the Rock, His work is perfect;
For all His ways are justice,
A God of truth and without injustice;
Righteous and upright is He.” Deuteronomy 32:4

As such, it is a metaphor for the coming forth of the anointing of the Spirit from the Lord, something that would occur in and among Israel. In this verse, we have a new structure where the first clause leads to the resulting second thought, and then to the subordinate clauses –

He makes him ride upon high places earth
And he may eat produce fields
And he makes to suck
-Honey from crag
-And oil from flinty rock

The words of the next verse continue to reveal the delights to be obtained from having entered and subjugated this beautiful land that is provided by the Lord…

14 Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock,

khemat baqar v’khalav tson – “Curd cattle and milk flock.” The curd signifies milk that is in a partially solid or solid state, such as in thick cream or even butter. It, along with honey, is expressly stated to be what Messiah will be nourished on –

“Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. 15 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.” Isaiah 7:14, 15

The curd is then complemented with the fresh milk of sheep. In Scripture, milk is equated to the word as well –

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” 1 Peter 2:1, 2

Moses also notes…

14 (con’t) With fat of lambs;

im khelev karim – “With fat lambs.” Fat is a metaphor for abundance and health of life. The word to describe the lambs is one that signifies them being full-grown and plump. The picture is one of complete abundance and prosperity. Along with that…

14 (con’t) And rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats,

v’elim bene bashan v’athudim – “And rams sons of Bashan and goats.” The type of rams, elim, signify strength. Bashan is an area especially noted for its livestock. As such, it indicates the finest of animals in the best of condition.

The athudim, or rams, signify those that are full grown. The word comes from athad, signifying “to be ready.” Thus, they are perfectly suited for the finest of meals.  And there is yet more…

14 (con’t) With the choicest wheat;

im khelev kilyot khitah – “With fat kidneys wheat.” The fat around the kidneys is the purest of fat. It is the fat that was removed from the animal and burnt upon the altar in the sacrifices of Israel. The kidney is that which signifies the mind and reasoning in the Bible.

These are then used as descriptors of the wheat, it being the very finest of all wheat, being large and with the germ that is exceedingly healthy and ready to burst forth. With this abundance noted, Moses provides one more note in this verse to close us out today. It is stated in the form of an address…

*14 (fin) And you drank wine, the blood of the grapes.

v’dam enav tishteh khamer – “And blood grape you drink wine.” In this is a word found only this once in Scripture, khemer, or wine. It comes from a word signifying to ferment. As such, this is a poetic way of saying that the wine is fermented and pure. Like blood, it is unmixed.

The structure must be considered with the previous verse. Although I’m not a poetic specialist, I would think this is how the two verses are presented by Moses. If someone has a better way to present them, mail it to me with a $10 evaluation charge.

He makes him ride upon high places earth
And he may eat produce fields
*And he makes to suck
-Honey from crag
-And oil from flinty rock
*Curd cattle and milk flock
-With fat lambs
-And rams sons of Bashan and goats.
*With fat kidneys wheat
* And blood grape you drink wine

In these verses, there are both shadows and hints of the Messiah, as well as that which He provides to His people. There is food for the young, there is food for the mature. There is drink for the young, and there is drink for the mature.

There is that which strengthens the weak to grow, and there is nourishment for the mature to be sustained. It is a beautiful reflection of what is found in Christ and in His word.

This is what Israel was provided for their physical lives, both for continuance and enjoyment. And it anticipates that which is for believers in God’s Christ for our growth, nourishment, and enjoyment as well.

We will see how Israel will fare with these blessings in the verses ahead, and we should contemplate how we will fare as we receive, or ignore, our spiritual blessings.

The Song of Moses speaks of realities concerning the future of Israel in a poetic fashion, but it also speaks of things that we can both reflect on and receive in our life before God.

But just as important as this, the song conveys to us ideas and concepts that will help strengthen our understanding of the rest of Scripture in various ways. It will illuminate the errors and follies of Israel and yet it will also illuminate the unceasing faithfulness of the Lord towards them, despite that.

Let us thank God that He will treat us in the same faithful manner when we are called by Him. The Lord will give us abundance and blessing as we live for Him, and He will chasten us as we fail to do so. But the Lord has never cast off Israel, and He will faithfully keep us to the end as well.

This is the greatness of God towards His redeemed. Let us keep this in mind and hold fast to that. But let us also not test Him as Israel was prone to do. In this, we will remain in the sweet spot of being always on His favorable side.

Closing Verse: “Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,
O You who save those who trust in You
From those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 17:7, 8

Next Week: Deuteronomy 32:15-22 More of this amazing body of poetry… (The Song of Moses, Part III) (95th Deuteronomy Sermon)

The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. But He also has expectations of you as He prepares you for entrance into His Land of Promise. So, follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.

The Song of Moses, Part II

“Remember the days of old
Consider the years of many generations
Ask your father, and he will show you
Your elders, and they will tell you; so take your learning stations

When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations
When He separated the sons of Adam, as the word does tell
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel

For the LORD’s portion is His people, this is His stance
Jacob is the place of His inheritance

“He found him in a desert land
And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness: barren and dry
He encircled him, He instructed him
He kept him as the apple of His eye

As an eagle stirs up its nest
Hovers over its young, so it does these things
Spreading out its wings, taking them up
Carrying them on its wings

So the LORD alone led him, not by merely a whim
And there was no foreign god with him

“He made him ride in the heights of the earth
That he might eat the produce of the fields
He made him draw honey from the rock
And oil from the flinty rock, so it yields

Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock
With fat of lambs they did eat
And rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats
With the choicest wheat

And you drank wine
With the blood of the grapes you did dine

Lord God, turn our hearts to be obedient to Your word
Give us wisdom to be ever faithful to You
May we carefully heed each thing we have heard
Yes, Lord God may our hearts be faithful and true

And we shall be content and satisfied in You alone
We will follow You as we sing our songs of praise
Hallelujah to You; to us Your path You have shown
Hallelujah we shall sing to You for all of our days

Hallelujah and Amen…






















“Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of many generations.
Ask your father, and he will show you;
Your elders, and they will tell you:
When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations,
When He separated the sons of Adam,
He set the boundaries of the peoples
According to the number of the children of Israel.
For the Lord’s portion is His people;
Jacob is the place of His inheritance.

10 “He found him in a desert land
And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness;
He encircled him, He instructed him,
He kept him as the apple of His eye.
11 As an eagle stirs up its nest,
Hovers over its young,
Spreading out its wings, taking them up,
Carrying them on its wings,
12 So the Lord alone led him,
And there was no foreign god with him.

13 “He made him ride in the heights of the earth,
That he might eat the produce of the fields;
He made him draw honey from the rock,
And oil from the flinty rock;
14 Curds from the cattle, and milk of the flock,
With fat of lambs;
And rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats,
With the choicest wheat;
And you drank wine, the blood of the grapes.