Deuteronomy 33:21
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He chose the best of the land for himself, for there a commander’s portion was reserved; and he came with the heads of the people, with Israel he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments for Israel.”

King James Bible
And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.

American Standard Version
And he provided the first part for himself, For there was the lawgiver's portion reserved; And he came with the heads of the people; He executed the righteousness of Jehovah, And his ordinances with Israel.

Douay-Rheims Bible
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.

English Revised Version
And he provided the first part for himself, For there was the lawgiver's portion reserved; And he came with the heads of the people, He executed the justice of the LORD, And his judgments with Israel.

Webster's Bible Translation
And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated: and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.

Deuteronomy 33:21 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Joseph. - Deuteronomy 33:13. "Blessed of the Lord be his land, of (in) the most precious things of heaven, the dew, and of the flood which lies beneath, (Deuteronomy 33:14) and of the most precious of the produce of the sun, and of the most precious of the growth of the moons, (Deuteronomy 33:15) and of the head of the mountains of olden time, and of the most precious thing of the everlasting hills, (Deuteronomy 33:16) and of the most precious thing of the earth, and of its fulness, and the good-will of Him that dwelt in the bush: let it come upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of him that is illustrious among his brethren." What Jacob desired and solicited for his son Joseph, Moses also desires for this tribe, namely, the greatest possible abundance of earthly blessing, and a vigorous manifestation of power in conflict with the nations. But however unmistakeable may be the connection between these words and the blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49:22.), not only in the things desired, but even in particular expression, there is an important difference which equally strikes us, namely, that in the case of Jacob the main point of the blessing is the growth of Joseph into a powerful tribe, whereas with Moses it is the development of power on the part of this tribe in the land of its inheritance, in perfect harmony with the different times at which the blessings were pronounced. Jacob described the growth of Joseph under the figure of the luxuriant branch of a fruit-tree planted by the water; whilst Moses fixes his eye primarily upon the land of Joseph, and desires for him the richest productions. "May his land be blessed by Jehovah from (מן of the cause of the blessing, whose author was Jehovah; vid., Psalm 28:7; Psalm 104:3) the most precious thing of the heaven." מגד, which only occurs again in the Sol 4:13, Sol 4:16, and Sol 7:13, is applied to precious fruits. The most precious fruit which the heaven yields to the land is the dew. The "productions of the sun," and גּרשׁ, ἅπ. λεγ. from גּרשׁ, "the produce of the moons," are the fruits of the earth, which are matured by the influence of the sun and moon, by their light, their warmth. At the same time, we can hardly so distinguish the one from the other as to understand by the former the fruits which ripen only once a year, and by the latter those which grow several times and in difference months; and Ezekiel 47:12 and Revelation 22:2 cannot be adduced as proofs of this. The plural "moons" in parallelism with the sun does not mean months, as in Exodus 2:2, but the different phases which the moon shows in its revolution round the earth. מראשׁ (from the head), in Deuteronomy 33:15, is a contracted expression signifying "from the most precious things of the head." The most precious things of the head of the mountains of old and the eternal hills, are the crops and forests with which the tops of the mountains and hills are covered. Moses sums up the whole in the words, "the earth, and the fulness thereof:" everything in the form of costly good that the earth and its productions can supply. - To the blessings of the heaven and earth there are to be added the good-will of the Lord, who appeared to Moses in the thorn-bush to redeem His people out of the bondage and oppression of Egypt and bring it into the land of Canaan, the land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 3:2.). The expression "that dwells in the bush" is to be explained from the significance of this manifestation of God as shown at Exodus 3, which shadowed forth a permanent relation between the Lord and His people. The spiritual blessing of the covenant grace is very suitably added to the blessings of nature; and there is something no less suitable in the way in which the construction commencing with וּרצון is dropped, so that an anakolouthon ensues. This word cannot be taken as an accusative of more precise definition, as Schultz supposes; nor is מן to be supplied before it, as Knobel suggests. Grammatically considered, it is a nominative to which the verb תּבואתה properly belongs, although, as a matter of fact, not only the good-will, but the natural blessings, of the Lord were also to come upon the head of Joseph. Consequently we have not יבוא (masc.), which רצון would require, but the lengthened poetical feminine form תּבואתה (vid., Ewald, 191, c.), used in a neuter sense. It, i.e., everything mentioned before, shall come upon Joseph. On the expression, "illustrious among his brethren," see at Genesis 49:26. In the strength of this blessing, the tribe of Joseph would attain to such a development of power, that it would be able to tread down all nations.

Deuteronomy 33:21 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the first part

Numbers 32:1-6,16,17 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer...

a portion

Numbers 32:33 And Moses gave to them, even to the children of Gad, and to the children of Reuben, and to half the tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph...

Joshua 1:14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan...

Joshua 22:4 And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brothers, as he promised them: therefore now return you, and get you to your tents...

seated [heb] cieled
he came

Numbers 32:16,21 And they came near to him, and said, We will build sheepfolds here for our cattle, and cities for our little ones...

Joshua 4:12,13 And the children of Reuben, and the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh, passed over armed before the children of Israel...

Judges 5:2,11 Praise you the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves...

Cross References
Numbers 32:1
Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of Jazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock.

Numbers 34:14
For the tribe of the people of Reuben by fathers' houses and the tribe of the people of Gad by their fathers' houses have received their inheritance, and also the half-tribe of Manasseh.

Joshua 4:12
The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh passed over armed before the people of Israel, as Moses had told them.

Joshua 22:1
At that time Joshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh,

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