Deuteronomy 31:20-24 (5 p'sukim)
Deuteronomy 31:20-24 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
20 “For when I bring them to the land flowing with milk and honey that I swore to their fathers, and they eat and are satisfied and grow fat—then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and they will spurn Me and break My covenant. 21 Now when many evils and troubles have come on them, this song will confront them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their descendants. For I know the intention they are devising this day, even before I bring them into the land that I swore.” 22 That day Moses wrote this song and taught it to Bnei-Yisrael.
23 Then he commissioned Joshua son of Nun and said, “Chazak! Be courageous! For you will bring Bnei-Yisrael into the land I swore to them—and I will be with you.”
24 Now when Moses had finished writing the words of this Torah on a scroll, right to the end . . .
20 כִּֽי־אֲבִיאֶ֜נּוּ אֶֽל־הָאֲדָמָ֣ה׀ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתִּי לַאֲבֹתָ֗יו זָבַ֤ת חָלָב֙ וּדְבַ֔שׁ וְאָכַ֥ל וְשָׂבַ֖ע וְדָשֵׁ֑ן וּפָנָ֞ה אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֤ים אֲחֵרִים֙ וַעֲבָד֔וּם וְנִ֣אֲצ֔וּנִי וְהֵפֵ֖ר אֶת־בְּרִיתִֽי׃
21 וְ֠הָיָה כִּֽי־תִמְצֶ֨אןָ אֹת֜וֹ רָע֣וֹת רַבּוֹת֮ וְצָרוֹת֒ וְ֠עָנְתָה הַשִּׁירָ֨ה הַזֹּ֤את לְפָנָיו֙ לְעֵ֔ד כִּ֛י לֹ֥א תִשָּׁכַ֖ח מִפִּ֣י זַרְע֑וֹ כִּ֧י יָדַ֣עְתִּי אֶת־יִצְר֗וֹ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה֤וּא עֹשֶׂה֙ הַיּ֔וֹם בְּטֶ֣רֶם אֲבִיאֶ֔נּוּ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבָּֽעְתִּי׃
22 וַיִּכְתֹּ֥ב מֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא וַֽיְלַמְּדָ֖הּ אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
23 וַיְצַ֞ו אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן וַיֹּאמֶר֮ חֲזַ֣ק וֶֽאֱמָץ֒ כִּ֣י אַתָּ֗ה תָּבִיא֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתִּי לָהֶ֑ם וְאָנֹכִ֖י אֶֽהְיֶ֥ה עִמָּֽךְ׃
24 וַיְהִ֣י׀ כְּכַלּ֣וֹת מֹשֶׁ֗ה לִכְתֹּ֛ב אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַתּוֹרָֽה־הַזֹּ֖את עַל־סֵ֑פֶר עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם׃
Franz Delitzsch gives a great summary of Devarim 31, which include our pesukim today:
"Moses' Farewell and Death - Deuteronomy 31-34
With the renewal of the covenant, by the choice set before the people between blessing and curse, life and death, Moses had finished the interpretation and enforcement of the law (Deuteronomy 1:5), and brought the work of legislation to a close. But in order that the work to which the Lord had called him might be thoroughly completed, it still remained for him, before his approaching death, to hand over the task of leading the people into Canaan to Joshua, who had been appointed as his successor, to finish writing out the laws, and to hand over the book of the law to the priests. The Lord also directed him to write an ode (Song), as a witness against the people, on account of their obstinacy, and teach it to the Israelites. To these last arrangements and acts of Moses, which are narrated in ch. 31 and 32, there are added in ch. 33 the blessing with which this man of god bade farewell to the tribes of Israel, and in ch. 34 the account of his death, with which the Torah closes."
John Gill's comments about this Song that remains a testimony "against" Israel are also noteworthy:
"...and whereas the death of Moses was very near, and the Lord foreseeing the people would quickly fall into idolatry, which would bring great calamities upon them, he directed Moses to write a song, which should be a witness for him, and against them, in ages to come; which Moses accordingly did, Deuteronomy 31:14; and Moses having given a charge to Joshua, and finished the writing of the law in a book, gave it to the Levites to put it in the side of the ark, Deuteronomy 31:23; and then ordered the chief of the tribes to be gathered together, that he might deliver the song, which by the direction and under the inspiration of God he had written, Deuteronomy 31:28; which song is recorded in Deuteronomy 32:1."
The important thing to remember about this song is that it indeed is a testimony "against" us. It is incredibly interesting to read that Moshe and this generation of B'nei Yisrael knew and received the prophetic foreknowledge that in future generations and specifically in the end of days, Israel would fail to keep this Torah and the words of this Song would "confront" us and never be forgotten by our children. As in pesuk 21:
21 Now when many evils and troubles have come on them, this song will confront them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their descendants.
There are actually three "songs" Moshe wrote: "Song at the Sea" (Exodus 15; "Psalm 90" & "Song of Moses" (Deut. 32).
Az Yashir Moshe (Ex. 15), recited daily in the Shacarit morning prayer service, and furthermore we see that in the very end of days, we will continue to sing all the Songs of Moshe...
Revelation 15:3 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
3 And they are singing the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and wonderful are Your deeds,
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the nations!
One of the best modern examples of our generations singing this song even in these last days, is this clip from Youtube that you can enjoy: (this is the cutest!!!) how precious!
If you're not familiar with the Hebrew, the English translation is below it, Exodus 15:
אָ֣ז יָשִֽׁיר־מֹשֶׁה֩ וּבְנֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֤ה הַזֹּאת֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ לֵאמֹ֑ר אָשִׁ֤ירָה לַֽיהוָה֙ כִּֽי־גָאֹ֣ה גָּאָ֔ה ס֥וּס וְרֹכְב֖וֹ רָמָ֥ה בַיָּֽם׃
2 עָזִּ֤י וְזִמְרָת֙ יָ֔הּ וַֽיְהִי־לִ֖י לִֽישׁוּעָ֑ה זֶ֤ה אֵלִי֙ וְאַנְוֵ֔הוּ אֱלֹהֵ֥י אָבִ֖י וַאֲרֹמְמֶֽנְהוּ׃
3 יְהוָ֖ה אִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֑ה יְהוָ֖ה שְׁמֽוֹ׃
4 מַרְכְּבֹ֥ת פַּרְעֹ֛ה וְחֵיל֖וֹ יָרָ֣ה בַיָּ֑ם וּמִבְחַ֥ר שָֽׁלִשָׁ֖יו טֻבְּע֥וּ בְיַם־סֽוּף׃
5 תְּהֹמֹ֖ת יְכַסְיֻ֑מוּ יָרְד֥וּ בִמְצוֹלֹ֖ת כְּמוֹ־אָֽבֶן׃
6 יְמִֽינְךָ֣ יְהוָ֔ה נֶאְדָּרִ֖י בַּכֹּ֑חַ יְמִֽינְךָ֥ יְהוָ֖ה תִּרְעַ֥ץ אוֹיֵֽב׃
7 וּבְרֹ֥ב גְּאוֹנְךָ֖ תַּהֲרֹ֣ס קָמֶ֑יךָ תְּשַׁלַּח֙ חֲרֹ֣נְךָ֔ יֹאכְלֵ֖מוֹ כַּקַּֽשׁ׃
8 וּבְר֤וּחַ אַפֶּ֙יךָ֙ נֶ֣עֶרְמוּ מַ֔יִם נִצְּב֥וּ כְמוֹ־נֵ֖ד נֹזְלִ֑ים קָֽפְא֥וּ תְהֹמֹ֖ת בְּלֶב־יָֽם׃
9 אָמַ֥ר אוֹיֵ֛ב אֶרְדֹּ֥ף אַשִּׂ֖יג אֲחַלֵּ֣ק שָׁלָ֑ל תִּמְלָאֵ֣מוֹ נַפְשִׁ֔י אָרִ֣יק חַרְבִּ֔י תּוֹרִישֵׁ֖מוֹ יָדִֽי׃
10 נָשַׁ֥פְתָּ בְרוּחֲךָ֖ כִּסָּ֣מוֹ יָ֑ם צָֽלֲלוּ֙ כַּֽעוֹפֶ֔רֶת בְּמַ֖יִם אַדִּירִֽים׃
11 מִֽי־כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ יְהוָ֔ה מִ֥י כָּמֹ֖כָה נֶאְדָּ֣ר בַּקֹּ֑דֶשׁ נוֹרָ֥א תְהִלֹּ֖ת עֹ֥שֵׂה פֶֽלֶא׃
12 נָטִ֙יתָ֙ יְמִ֣ינְךָ֔ תִּבְלָעֵ֖מוֹ אָֽרֶץ׃
13 נָחִ֥יתָ בְחַסְדְּךָ֖ עַם־ז֣וּ גָּאָ֑לְתָּ נֵהַ֥לְתָּ בְעָזְּךָ֖ אֶל־נְוֵ֥ה קָדְשֶֽׁךָ׃
14 שָֽׁמְע֥וּ עַמִּ֖ים יִרְגָּז֑וּן חִ֣יל אָחַ֔ז יֹשְׁבֵ֖י פְּלָֽשֶׁת׃
15 אָ֤ז נִבְהֲלוּ֙ אַלּוּפֵ֣י אֱד֔וֹם אֵילֵ֣י מוֹאָ֔ב יֹֽאחֲזֵ֖מוֹ רָ֑עַד נָמֹ֕גוּ כֹּ֖ל יֹשְׁבֵ֥י כְנָֽעַן׃
16 תִּפֹּ֨ל עֲלֵיהֶ֤ם אֵימָ֙תָה֙ וָפַ֔חַד בִּגְדֹ֥ל זְרוֹעֲךָ֖ יִדְּמ֣וּ כָּאָ֑בֶן עַד־יַעֲבֹ֤ר עַמְּךָ֙ יְהוָ֔ה עַֽד־יַעֲבֹ֖ר עַם־ז֥וּ קָנִֽיתָ׃
17 תְּבִאֵ֗מוֹ וְתִטָּעֵ֙מוֹ֙ בְּהַ֣ר נַחֲלָֽתְךָ֔ מָכ֧וֹן לְשִׁבְתְּךָ֛ פָּעַ֖לְתָּ יְהוָ֑ה מִקְּדָ֕שׁ אֲדֹנָ֖י כּוֹנְנ֥וּ יָדֶֽיךָ׃
18 יְהוָ֥ה׀ יִמְלֹ֖ךְ לְעֹלָ֥ם וָעֶֽד׃
19 כִּ֣י בָא֩ ס֨וּס פַּרְעֹ֜ה בְּרִכְבּ֤וֹ וּבְפָרָשָׁיו֙ בַּיָּ֔ם וַיָּ֧שֶׁב יְהוָ֛ה עֲלֵהֶ֖ם אֶת־מֵ֣י הַיָּ֑ם וּבְנֵ֧י יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל הָלְכ֥וּ בַיַּבָּשָׁ֖ה בְּת֥וֹךְ הַיָּֽם׃ פ
Then Moses and Bnei-Yisrael sang this song to Adonai:
I will sing to Adonai, for He is highly exalted!
The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea.
2 Adonai is my strength and song,
and He has become my salvation.
This is my God, and I will glorify Him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
3 Adonai is a warrior—Adonai is His Name!
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
He has hurled into the sea,
and his chosen captains have sunk
into the Sea of Reeds.
5 The deeps cover them.
They sank to the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, Adonai, is glorious in power.
Your right hand, Adonai, dashes the enemy to pieces.
7 In the greatness of Your excellency
You overthrow those who resist You.
You send forth Your wrath—
it consumes them as stubble.
8 With the blast of Your nostrils the waters piled up.
The floods stood upright as a heap.
The deeps became firm ground in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, “I will pursue,
I will overtake, I will divide the spoil.
My lust shall gorge on them!
I will draw my sword—my hand will destroy them.”
10 You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them.
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 Who is like You, Adonai, among the gods?
Who is like You,
glorious in holiness,
awesome in praises,
12 You stretched out Your right hand,
the earth swallowed them.
13 You in Your lovingkindness
led the people You have redeemed.
You guided them in Your strength to Your holy habitation.
14 When the peoples hear, they will tremble—
anguish will seize
the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom are terrified.
Trembling grips Moab’s mighty men.
All of Canaan’s inhabitants will melt away.
16 Terror and dread will fall on them.
By the greatness of Your arm they become still as a stone,
till Your people cross over, Adonai,
till the people whom You purchased cross over.
17 You bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of Your inheritance,
the place, Adonai, that You have made
for Yourself to dwell in—
the Sanctuary, Adonai,
which Your hands have prepared.
18 Adonai will reign forever and ever!
19 For Pharaoh’s horses with his chariots and his horsemen went into the sea, but Adonai brought the waters of the sea back over them. Yet Bnei-Yisrael walked in the midst of the sea on dry ground.