Deuteronomy 33:7 MEANING

Deuteronomy 33:7
(7) And this (he said) of Judah.--The words which follow are a kingly blessing: "Hear, Lord, the voice of Judah, and bring him to his people." In other words, when we think of "the Lion of the tribe of Judah," "Thy kingdom come." Rashi reminds us of the many prayers in Old Testament history which were heard from Judah's lips. The prayers of David and Solomon; of Asa and Jehoshaphat; of Hezekiah against Sennacherib;--and, we may add, of King Manasseh, and Daniel the prophet--were all "the voice of Judah." The last line of Old Testament history is a prayer of Judah by the mouth of Nehemiah, "Remember me, O my God, for good." The psalms of David, again, are all "the voice of Judah." And, best of all, every prayer of our Lord's is "the voice of Judah" also. The remainder of the blessing is easily understood. The "hands" of Judah embrace those Hands which were "sufficient" for the salvation of mankind. "His enemies" include all, even to Death, the "last enemy," whom God shall subdue under His feet.

Verse 7. - The blessing on Judah is in the form of prayer to Jehovah. As Jacobhad promised to Judah supremacy over his brethren and success in war, so Moses here names him next after Reuben, whose pre-eminence he had assumed, and prays for him that, going forth at the head of the tribes, he might return in triumph, being helped of the Lord. Let his hands be sufficient for him; rather, with his hands he contendeth for it (to wit, his people). רַב here is not the adj. much, enough, but the part. of the verb רִיב, to contend, to strive; and יָדָיו is the aeons, of instrument. The rendering in the Authorized Version is grammatically possible; but the meaning thereby brought out is not in keeping with the sentiment of the passage; for if Judah's hands, i.e. his own power and resources, were sufficient for him, what need had he of help from the Lord?

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 this is the blessing of Judah,.... Which follows; the same supplement of the words is made in the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; but Aben Ezra thinks it refers to what goes before, that this, the same thing prayed for or prophesied of Reuben, belongs also to Judah, that he should live and not die; it may be in the wars in which that tribe would be and was engaged:

and he said, hear, Lord, the voice of Judah; in prayer, as all the Targums paraphrase it, which was eminently fulfilled in David, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and other kings, which were of this tribe; who, when in distress, lifted up their voice in prayer to God, and were heard and delivered, as the Lord's people in all ages are: Judah signifies professing, confessing, praising, &c. this tribe was both a praying and praising people, as all good men be; they profess the name of the Lord, and their faith in him; they confess their sins and unworthiness; they praise the Lord for his mercies, temporal and spiritual, and pray to him for what they want; and their voice is heard with pleasure, and answered: particularly Judah was a type of Christ, who was of this tribe, and whose voice in prayer for his people has been always heard:

and bring him unto his people; in peace, often engaged war, so all the Targums: and as it may refer to Christ his antitype, it may respect his incarnation, when he came to his own and was not received by them; and to his resurrection from the dead, when he appeared to his disciples, to their great joy; and to the ministry of the Gospel among the Gentiles, when to him was the gathering of the people; and will be further accomplished at the last day, when he shall return and appear to them that look for him, a second time, without sin unto salvation:

let his hands be sufficient for him; both to work with, and provide for themselves all the necessaries of life, and to fight with their enemies, and defend themselves against them; so Christ's hands have been sufficient, or he has had a sufficiency of power and strength in his hands, to combat with and overcome all his and our enemies, to work out the salvation of his people, and to supply all their wants:

and be thou an help to him from his enemies: which this tribe often experienced in their wars with their enemies, being very warlike and courageous, successful and victorious, both before they had kings and in the several kings of their tribe, as David, Jehoshaphat, and others; and was remarkably fulfilled in Christ, whose helper the Lord was as man and Mediator, see Isaiah 1:7; no mention is made of Simeon, because of the affair of Baalpeor, in which that tribe had a great concern, Numbers 25:1; as Aben Ezra observes; or because, according to Jacob's prophecy, it was to be scattered in Israel; though the same is also said of Levi, who yet is here blessed; rather therefore the reason is, because Simeon had his inheritance in the midst of the tribe of Judah, and so was blessed in it, see Joshua 19:1; thus the Targum of Jonathan expresses it here,"and he joined in his portion and in his blessing, Simeon his brother;''some copies of the Septuagint version, as that in the king of Spain's Bible, make mention of him at the end of Reuben's blessing,"and let Simeon be much in number.''

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