Deuteronomy 33:1


(1) Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel.--The title man of God is here used for the first time. Its counterpart is to be found in Deuteronomy 34:5 : "Moses the servant of Jehovah died." The more any man is a "servant to Jehovah," the more is he a "man of Elohim" to his fellow-men. After Moses, Elijah and Elisha are more especially described by this title ("man of God ") in the Old Testament.

Blessed . . . Israel before his death.--"And if not then, when should he?" (Rashi.)

Verse 1. - Moses the man of God. This appellation is applied to Moses only here and in Joshua 14:6 and the heading of Psalm 90. The phrase, "man of God," indicates one favored with Divine communications, and employed as God's messenger to men (cf. 1 Samuel 9:6; 1 Kings 12:22). In this heading, the author of the blessing is clearly distinguished from the person by whom it was inserted in this place.

33:1-5 To all his precepts, warnings, and prophecies, Moses added a solemn blessing. He begins with a description of the glorious appearances of God, in giving the law. His law works like fire. If received, it is melting, warming, purifying, and burns up the dross of corruption; if rejected, it hardens, sears, pains, and destroys. The Holy Spirit came down in cloven tongues, as of fire; for the gospel also is a fiery law. The law of God written in the heart, is a certain proof of the love of God shed abroad there: we must reckon His law one of the gifts of his grace.And this is the blessing wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. Namely, what is related in the following verses, this being the general title to the chapter: Moses is called "the man of God", being raised up of God, and eminently qualified by him with gifts for the work he was called unto, and by whom he was inspired to say what is after expressed: it is a title given to prophets, 1 Samuel 9:6; and so Onkelos here paraphrases it,"Moses the prophet of the Lord,''and Aben Ezra observes, that this is said to show that he blessed Israel by a spirit of prophecy, and which he did a little before his death, when very near it; and, as the same writer says, on the very day of his death.
Deuteronomy 32:52
Top of Page
Top of Page