Deuteronomy 32
Contemporary English Version

1Earth and Sky,

listen to what I say!

2Israel, I will teach you.

My words will be like gentle rain

on tender young plants,

or like dew on the grass.

3Join with me in praising

the wonderful name

of the Lord our God.

4The Lord is a mighty rock,+

and he never does wrong.

God can always be trusted

to bring justice.

5But you lie and cheat

and are unfaithful to him.

You have disgraced yourselves

and are no longer worthy

to be his children.+

6Israel, the Lord is your Father,

the one who created you,

but you repaid him

by being foolish.

7Think about past generations.

Ask your parents

or any of your elders.

They will tell you

8 that God Most High

gave land to every nation.

He assigned a guardian angel

to each of them,+

9but the Lord himself

takes care of Israel.+

10Israel, the Lord discovered you

in a barren desert

filled with howling winds.

God became your fortress,

protecting you as though

you were his own eyes.

11The Lord was like an eagle

teaching its young to fly,

always ready to swoop down

and catch them on its back.

12Israel, the Lord led you,

and without the aid

of a foreign god,

13he helped you

capture the land.

Your fields were rich

with grain.

Olive trees grew

in your stony soil,

and honey was found

among the rocks.

14Your flocks and herds

produced milk and yogurt,

and you got choice meat

from your sheep and goats

that grazed in Bashan.

Your wheat was the finest,

and you drank the best wine.

15Israel,+ you grew fat and rebelled

against God, your Creator

you rejected the Mighty Rock,+

your only place of safety.

16You made God jealous and angry

by worshiping disgusting idols

and foreign gods.

17 You offered sacrifices

to demons, those useless gods+

that never helped you,

new gods that your ancestors

never worshiped.

18You turned away

from God, your Creator;

you forgot the Mighty Rock,+

the source of your life.

19You were the Lord's children,

but you made him angry.

Then he rejected you 20and said,

“You are unfaithful

and can't be trusted.

So I won't answer your prayers;

I'll just watch and see

what happens to you.

21 You worshiped worthless idols,

and made me jealous

and angry!

Now I will send a cruel+

and worthless nation

to make you jealous and angry.

22“My people, I will breathe out fire

that sends you down

to the world of the dead.

It will scorch your farmlands

and burn deep down

under the mountains.

23I'll send disaster after disaster

to strike you like arrows.

24You'll be struck by starvation

and deadly diseases,

by the fangs of wild animals

and poisonous snakes.

25Young and old alike

will be killed in the streets

and terrified at home.

26“I wanted to scatter you,

so no one would remember

that you had ever lived.

27But I dreaded the sound

of your enemies saying,

‘We defeated Israel with no help

from the Lord.’ ”

28People of Israel,

that's what the Lord

has said to you.

But you don't have good sense,

and you never listen

to advice.

29If you did, you could see

where you are headed.

30How could one enemy soldier

chase a thousand

of Israel's troops?

Or how could two of theirs

pursue ten thousand of ours?

It can only happen if the Lord

stops protecting Israel

and lets the enemy win.

31Even our enemies know

that only our God

is a Mighty Rock.+

32Our enemies are grapevines

rooted in the fields

of Sodom and Gomorrah.+

The grapes they produce

are full of bitter poison;

33their wine is more deadly

than cobra venom.

34But the Lord has written

a list of their sins

and locked it in his vault.

35 Soon our enemies will get

what they deserve+

suddenly they will slip,

and total disaster

will quickly follow.

36 When only a few

of the Lord's people remain,

when their strength is gone,

and some of them are slaves,

the Lord will feel sorry for them

and give them justice.

37But first the Lord will say,

“You ran for safety to other gods—

couldn't they help you?

38You offered them wine

and your best sacrifices.

Can't those gods help you now

or give you protection?

39Don't you understand?

I am the only God;

there are no others.

I am the one who takes life

and gives it again.

I punished you with suffering.

But now I will heal you,

and nothing can stop me!

40“I make this solemn promise:

Just as I live forever,

41I will take revenge

on my hateful enemies.

I will sharpen my sword

and let it flash

like lightning.

42My arrows will get drunk

on enemy blood;

my sword will taste the flesh

and the blood of the enemy.

It will kill prisoners,

and cut off the heads

of their leaders.”+

43 Tell the heavens to celebrate

and all gods to bow down

to the Lord,+

because he will take revenge

on those hateful enemies

who killed his people.

He will forgive the sins of Israel

and purify their land.+

44-45Moses spoke the words of the song so that all the Israelites could hear, and Joshua+ helped him. When Moses had finished, 46he said, “Always remember this song I have taught you today. And let it be a warning that you must teach your children to obey everything written in The Book of God's Law. 47The Law isn't empty words. It can give you a long life in the land that you are going to take.”

Moses Will See the Land

48 Later that day the Lord said to Moses:

49Go up into the Abarim Mountain range here in Moab across the Jordan River valley from Jericho. And when you reach the top of Mount Nebo, you will be able to see the land of Canaan, which I am giving to Israel. 50Then you will die and be buried on the mountaintop, just as your brother Aaron died and was buried on Mount Hor. 51Both of you were unfaithful to me at Meribah Spring near Kadesh in the Zin Desert.+ I am God, but there in front of the Israelites, you did not treat me with the honor and respect I deserve. 52So I will give the land to the people of Israel, but you will only get to see it from a distance.


32.4 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
32.5 and are unfaithful … children: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
32.8 He assigned … them: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text “So there were as many nations as Israel (that is, Jacob) had children.”
32.9 Israel: The Hebrew text has “Jacob,” another name for Israel's ancestor.
32.15 Israel: The Standard Hebrew Text has “Jeshurun,” a rare name for Israel related to a word meaning “honest.” The Samaritan Hebrew Text and one ancient translation also use “Jacob,” another name for the ancestor of the nation of Israel.
32.15 Mighty Rock: See the note at 32.4.
32.16,17 disgusting idols … foreign gods … demons … those useless gods: Different ways of referring to gods of other nations.
32.18 Mighty Rock: See the note at 32.4.
32.21 cruel: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
32.31 Mighty Rock: See the note at 32.4.
32.32 Sodom and Gomorrah: Two cities that the Lord destroyed because their people were so evil (see Genesis 18.16—19.28).
32.35 our enemies … deserve: The Samaritan Hebrew Text and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text “I will pay them back.”
32.42 leaders: Or “long-haired warriors,” who let their hair grow to show that they had made sacred promises to their gods.
32.43 Tell … Lord: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text “Let the nations, his people, celebrate.”
32.43 because he will … land: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
32.44,45 Joshua: The Hebrew text has “Hoshea,” another form of Joshua's name.
32.51 Both of you were unfaithful … the Zin Desert: See Numbers 20.1-13.

Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®)

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