Bible study 184 – Deuteronomy 32

This chapter is a quite long song about how awesome God is, how the Israelites in Canaan deserted him for other gods, how God considered destroying them, and how he changed his mind because it might look bad to other peoples and gods. It is framed in the previous chapter as being prophetic, but it seems more likely to simply have been written after the Jews were actually exiled to Babylon from Canaan in the 6th century BC.

It also describes how the emperor god Elyon allotted peoples and lands to all the gods, including the Israelites to God. Most of the explicit polytheistic references were apparently at some point removed from the received Hebrew text; they have been restored in modern times using other, older texts, including the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Deuteronomy 32:43
Praise, O heavens, his people,
             Worship him, all you gods! …

Full text.


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