Moses Blessings on The Tribes

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Moses pronounces his blessing upon each tribe just before his death. The total number of tribes listed is only ten. The tribe of Simeon is omitted. Perhaps this is because of Jacob’s prediction that Simeon would be scattered (Genesis 49:7) and her land would be divided with the children of Judah (Joshua 19:1). Then Joseph’s name is substituted as one tribe for his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh.

This chapter begins with an introduction of Moses as “the man of God” (v. 1). It is speculated that another author (perhaps Joshua) wrote this as Moses would not have said this about himself since he was the meekest man on the face of the earth (Numbers 12:3).

The following are several items to be noted in this list of  blessings on the tribes. Reuben would multiply (v. 6). Judah would be safeguarded against evil (v. 7). Levi was to continue to be Israel’s leader in worship (vv. 8-11). Benjamin  would be beloved and protected (v. 12). Joseph would have material prosperity and military success (vv. 16-17).


In these verses we can see the differences in blessing that God gave to each tribe. It is easy for us to see someone with a particular blessing and think that God must love that person more than others.  Instead God draws out of all people their unique gifts and talents to complete His plan. I should not  envy the gifts and talents of others but resolve to do the tasks God has uniquely qualified me to do.

Deuteronomy 33:1-17 (English Standard Version)

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