Deuteronomy 33:22 MEANING

Deuteronomy 33:22
(22) Dan is a lion's whelp.--Jacob compared him to a serpent and an adder. The lion of the tribe of Dan is not like the lion of the tribe of Judah.

He shall leap from Bashan.--The taking of Laish is probably referred to. It was a sudden, treacherous surprise, like the spring of a lion on his prey (Judges 18:27-28). The "hill of Bashan" is opposed to God's hill in Psalm 68:15. The "king of Bashan" are reproved (Amos 4:1). The "bulls of Bashan" represent the enemies of Christ in Psalm 22:12.

O Naphtali . . . possess thou the west (literally, the sea) and the south.--This is not easy to interpret literally. The only sea in Naphtali's inheritance was the Sea of Galilee. If we look on to the days when that sea becomes famous in Holy Scripture, we find our Saviour dwelling in "the land of Zeoulun and the land of Naphtali," and through his Galilean followers possessing the west and the south, taking the "nations for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for His possession."

Verse 22. - Jacob compared Dan to a serpent that suddenly springs forth by the way, and bites the heels of a horse so that the rider falls backward. Moses here compares the tribe to a young lion that suddenly leaps from its lair in Bashan on the object of its attack. Both similitudes relate to the vigor and force which the tribe should display in conflict.

33:6-23 The order in which the tribes are here blessed, is not the same as is observed elsewhere. The blessing of Judah may refer to the whole tribe in general, or to David as a type of Christ. Moses largely blesses the tribe of Levi. Acceptance with God is what we should all aim at, and desire, in all our devotions, whether men accept us or not, 2Co 5:9. This prayer is a prophecy, that God will keep up a ministry in his church to the end of time. The tribe of Benjamin had their inheritance close to mount Zion. To be situated near the ordinances, is a precious gift from the Lord, a privilege not to be exchanged for any worldly advantage, or indulgence. We should thankfully receive the earthly blessings sent to us, through the successive seasons. But those good gifts which come down from the Father of lights, through the rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring out of his Spirit like the rain which makes fruitful, are infinitely more precious, as the tokens of his special love. The precious things here prayed for, are figures of spiritual blessing in heavenly things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and comforts of the Spirit. When Moses prays for the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush, he refers to the covenant, on which all our hopes of God's favour must be founded. The providence of God appoints men's habitations, and wisely disposes men to different employments for the public good. Whatever our place and business are, it is our wisdom and duty to apply thereto; and it is happiness to be well pleased therewith. We should not only invite others to the service of God, but abound in it. The blessing of Naphtali. The favour of God is the only favour satisfying to the soul. Those are happy indeed, who have the favour of God; and those shall have it, who reckon that in having it they have enough, and desire no more.And of Dan he said,.... Of the tribe of Dan, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem:

Dan is a lion's whelp; or like one for boldness, strength, and courage; and was verified in Samson, who was of this tribe; who, when a young lion roared against him, the Spirit of the Lord came on him, and he tore it to pieces, Judges 14:5,

he shall leap from Bashan; not Dan, for he was seated far from that country; but the sense is, he was like to a young lion for its strength, when it leaps from Bashan, as Aben Ezra rightly explains it. Bashan was a mountain in which lions haunted, and from whence they might be said to leap, as they do when they seize on their prey: it may have some respect to the leap of the Danites from the northwest part of the land of Israel, where they were settled, but was not sufficient for them, to the northeast of it, when they went against Leshem, and took it, and called it Dan; see Joshua 19:47.

Courtesy of Open Bible