Song of Moses
1 Listen, O heavens, as I speak; hear, earth, the words of my mouth.
2 May my teaching be drenching as the rain,
2 and my words, permeate gently as the dew:
2 like abundant rain upon the grass,
2 like a gentle shower on the tender crops.
3 For I will proclaim the name of the Lord and declare the greatness of our God.
4 He is the Rock,
4 and perfect are all his works,
4 just are all his ways.
4 A faithful God he is,
4 upright and just and unerring.
5 Yet he has been treated perversely
5 by his degenerate children—
5 a deceitful and crooked generation.
6 Is this how you repay the Lord,
6 you foolish and senseless people?
6 He is your father, your creator,
6 who formed you and set you up.
7 Recall the days of old,
7 think of the years gone by;
7 your father will teach you about them,
7 your elders will enlighten you.
8 When the Most High divided humankind and gave the nations their inheritance,
8 he set up boundaries for the peoples
8 after the number of the sons of God.
9 But the Lord keeps for himself his portion
9 Jacob, his chosen one.
10 In the wilderness he found them,
10 in a barren, howling wasteland;
10 he shielded them and cared for them
10 as the apple of his eye.
11 Like an eagle watching its nest,
11 hovering over its young,
11 supporting them on its spread wings
11 and carrying them on its pinions,
12 the Lord alone led them,
12 without the aid of a foreign god.
13 He made them ride on the heights
13 and live on the produce of the earth.
13 He gave them honey to suck from the rock,
13 olive oil from the hard stony crag,
14 curds from the herd, milk from the flock,
14 fattened lambs and goats and Bashan bulls,
14 the finest wheat and the best grape wine.
15 Israel grew up well nourished—
15 you were fat, heavy and overfed.
15 But they abandoned God, their creator;
15 they rejected the rock, their savior.
16 They made him jealous with their strange gods;
16 they angered him with their abominable deeds.
17 They sacrificed not to him but to the demons, to gods they had not known,
17 to newly arrived gods they feared
17 but which their ancestors never revered.
18 They have disowned the Rock who fathered them;
18 they have forgotten the God who gave them birth.
19 The Lord saw this, and in his anger rejected his sons and daughters.
20 He said, “I will hide my face from them
20 and see what will become of them.
20 They are so perverse, so unfaithful!
21 They made me jealous with their false gods
21 and angered me with their idols.
21 I will, therefore, make them envious of a foolish people,
21 I will provoke them to anger with an empty-headed nation.
22 For my wrath has kindled a fire,
22 burning the world of death to its depths,
22 devouring the earth and its harvests,
22 setting ablaze the foundations of the mountains.
23 I will send them trouble upon trouble
23 and spend all my arrows upon them;
24 I will afflict them with famine, deadly diseases and pestilence.
24 I will send them wild beasts and venomous snakes.
25 Their children will fall by the sword; terror shall reign within,
25 destroying both young man and virgin,
25 both the nursing child and the old man.
26 I said I would scatter them afar
26 and blot out their memory among human kind,
27 but I feared the enemy’s boasting, lest the adversary misunderstand
27 and say; ‘We have triumphed,
27 the Lord has not brought this about.’
28 They are a senseless and undis cerning nation.
28 Had they wisdom, they would have known
29 the meaning of this and the end awaiting them.
30 For how could one or two men put to flight a thousand or ten thousand,
30 unless their Rock had abandoned them,
30 unless their Lord had given them up?
31 Even our enemies understand this:
31 their rock indeed is not like our Rock:
32 They are an offshoot of Sodom’s vine stock,
32 an outgrowth from the fields of Gomo rrah;
32 their grapes are poison, their clusters bitter,
33 their wine contains venom
33 from the cruel fangs of deadly vipers.
34 I have kept this in reserve
34 and sealed up in my storehouse.
35 Vengeance and recompense is mine.
35 Their feet will slip in due time,
35 their day of calamity is at hand,
35 and swiftly their doom will come.
36 The Lord will give justice to his peo ple
36 and have mercy on his servants,
36 when he sees their strength failing
36 and both slave and free disappearing.
37 He will say, “Where are their gods, the rock they thought could be their refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their libations?
38 Let them rise up now and help you,
38 let them give you protection!
39 Learn this now—that I alone am He; there is no god besides me.
39 It is I who give both death and life;
39 it is I who wound and heal as well
39 and out of my hand no one can deliver.
40 I raise my hand to heaven and swear:
40 as truly as I live forever,
41 when I sharpen my glittering sword and my hand takes hold of judgment,
41 I will deal out vengeance upon my foes
41 and retribution upon those who hate me.
42 My arrows will drip with blood,
42 my sword will sink deep into the flesh—blood of the wounded and slain captives,
42 flesh of beheaded enemy leaders.
43 Rejoice, O nations, with his people, for he will avenge his servants’ blood,
43 take vengeance on his adversaries,
43 and perform the rite of expiation
43 for his people and his land.
44 Moses recited the words of this song in the hearing of the people, and Joshua, son of Nun, was with him.
45 When Moses had finished reciting these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Be attentive to all these words which I declare to you today. Repeat them to your children so that they may take care to put all these laws into practice. 47 It is no slight matter: on this de pends your life, and by this, you shall lengthen your days in the land you are going to conquer after crossing the Jordan.”
48 Yahweh spoke to Moses on that same day and he said: 49 “Go up to the mountains of Abarim in the land of Moab and climb Mount Nebo facing Jericho. From there you shall see the land of Ca naan which I give to the children of Israel. 50 Then you shall die on Mount Nebo and join your fathers as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and went to join them. 51 Remember that you did not trust me at the waters of Meribah in the desert of Zion, when you did not proclaim me be fore the Israelites. 52 Therefore you shall not enter the Land, but shall only see it from afar.”