Douay-Rheims Bible

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Moses before his death blesseth the tribes of Israel.

[1] This is the blessing, wherewith the man of God Moses blessed the children of Israel, before his death. [2] And he said: The Lord came from Sinai, and from Seir he rose up to us: he hath appeared from mount Pharan, and with him thousands of saints. In his right hand a fiery law. [3] He hath loved the people, all the saints are in his hand: and they that approach to his feet, shall receive of his doctrine. [4] Moses commanded us a law, the inheritance of the multitude of Jacob. [5] He shall be king with the most right, the princes of the people being assembled with the tribes of Israel.

[6] Let Ruben live, and not die, and be he small in number. [7] This is the blessing of Juda. Hear, O Lord, the voice of Juda, and bring him in unto his people: his hands shall fight for him, and he shall be his helper against his enemies. [8] To Levi also he said: Thy perfection, and thy doctrine be to thy holy man, whom thou hast proved in the temptation, and judged at the waters of contradiction: [9] Who hath said to his father, and to his mother: I do not know you; and to his brethren: I know you not: and their own children they have not known. These have kept thy word, and observed thy covenant, [10] Thy judgments, O Jacob, and thy law, O Israel: they shall put incense in thy wrath and holocaust upon thy altar.

[8] "Holy man": Aaron and his successors in the priesthood.

[9] "Who hath said": It is the duty of the priestly tribe to prefer God's honour and service before all considerations of flesh and blood: in such manner as to behave as strangers to their nearest akin, when these would withdraw them from the business of their calling.

[11] Bless, O Lord, his strength, and receive the works of his hands. Strike the backs of his enemies, and let not them that hate him rise. [12] And to Benjamin he said: The best beloved of the Lord shall dwell confidently in him: as in a bride chamber shall he abide all the day long, and between his shoulders shall be rest. [13] To Joseph also he said: Of the blessing of the Lord be his land, of the fruits of heaven, and of the dew, and of the deep that lieth beneath. [14] Of the fruits brought forth by the sun and by the moon. [15] Of the tops of the ancient mountains, of the fruits of the everlasting hills:

[12] "Shall dwell": This seems to allude to the temple being built in the confines of the tribe of Benjamin.

[16] And of the fruits of the earth, and of the fulness thereof. The blessing of him that appeared in the bush, come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren. [17] His beauty as of the firstling of a bullock, his horns as the horns of a rhinoceros: with them shall he push the nations even to the ends of the earth. These are the multitudes of Ephraim and these the thousands of Manasses. [18] And to Zabulon he said: Rejoice, O Zabulon, in thy going out; and Issachar in thy tabernacles. [19] They shall call the people to the mountain: there shall they sacrifice the victims of justice. Who shall suck as milk the abundance of the sea, and the hidden treasures of the sands. [20] And to Gad he said: Blessed be Gad in his breadth: he hath rested as a lion, and hath seized upon the arm and the top of the head.

[16] "The Nazarite": See the note on Gen. 49. 26.

[21] And he saw his pre-eminence, that in his portion the teacher was laid up: who was with the princes of the people, and did the justices of the Lord, and his judgment with Israel. [22] To Dan also he said: Dan is a young lion, he shall flow plentifully from Basan. [23] And to Nephtali he said: Nephtali shall enjoy abundance, and shall be full of the blessings of the Lord: he shall possess the sea and the south. [24] To Aser also he said: Let Aser be blessed with children, let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil. [25] His shoe shall be iron and brass. As the days of thy youth, so also shall thy old age be.

[21] "He saw": The pre-eminence of the tribe of Gad, to which this alludeth, was their having the lawgiver Moses buried in their borders; though the particular place was not known.

[23] "The sea": The lake of Genesareth.

[26] There is no other God like the God of the rightest: he that is mounted upon the heaven is thy helper. By his magnificence the clouds run hither and thither. [27] His dwelling is above, and underneath are the everlasting arms: he shall cast out the enemy from before thee, and shall say: Be thou brought to nought. [28] Israel shall dwell in safety, and alone. The eye of Jacob in a land of corn and wine, and the heavens shall be misty with dew. [29] Blessed are thou, Israel: who is like to thee, O people, that art saved by the Lord? the shield of thy help, and the sword of thy glory: thy enemies shall deny thee, and thou shalt tread upon their necks.

[27] "Underneath are the everlasting arms": Though the dwelling of God be above in heaven, his arms are always stretched out to help us here below.

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