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Deuteronomy 33:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of Jehovah shall dwell in safety by him; He covereth him all the day long, And he dwelleth between his shoulders.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— [And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Of Benjamin he said, “May the beloved of the LORD dwell in security by Him, Who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders.”
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— [And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by him; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of Jehovah,—he shall dwell in safety by him; He will cover him all the day long, And dwell between his shoulders.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Of Benjamin, he said, The beloved of Yahweh, shall settle down securely,—With one to throw a shade over him all the day long, Yea, between his shoulders, hath he found rest.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Of Benjamin he said:—The beloved of Jehovah doth tabernacle confidently by him, Covering him over all the day; Yea, between his shoulders He doth tabernacle.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— And to Benjamin he said: The best beloved of the Lord shall dwell confidently in him: as in a bride chamber shall he abide all the day long, and between his shoulders shall be rest.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— [And] of Beniamin he said, The beloued of the LORD shall dwell in safetie by him, [and the Lord] shall couer him all the day long, and he shall dwell betweene his shoulders.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And to Benjamin he said, The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in confidence, and God overshadows him always, and he rested between his shoulders.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— [And] of Binyamin he said, The beloved of Yahweh shall dwell in safety by him; [and Yahweh] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
[And] of Binymn בִּניָמִין 1144
{1144} Prime
בִּנְיָמִן
Binyamiyn
{bin-yaw-mene'}
From H1121 and H3225; son of (the) right hand; Binjamin, youngest son of Jacob; also the tribe descended from him, and its territory.
he said, 559
{0559} Prime
אָמַר
'amar
{aw-mar'}
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
The beloved 3039
{3039} Prime
יָדִיד
y@diyd
{yed-eed'}
From the same as H1730; loved.
of Yhw יָהוֶה 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
shall dwell 7931
{7931} Prime
שָׁכַן
shakan
{shaw-kan'}
A primitive root (apparently akin (by transmutation) to H7901 through the idea of lodging; compare H5531 and H7925); to reside or permanently stay (literally or figuratively).
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
in safety 983
{0983} Prime
בֶּטַח
betach
{beh'-takh}
From H0982; properly a place of refuge; abstractly safety, both the fact (security) and the feeling (trust); often (adverbially with or without preposition) safely.
by x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
him; [and Yhw יָהוֶה] shall cover 2653
{2653} Prime
חפף
chophaph
{khaw-faf'}
A primitive root (compare H2645, H3182); to cover (in protection).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
him all x3605
(3605) Complement
כֹּל
kol
{kole}
From H3634; properly the whole; hence all, any or every (in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
the day 3117
{3117} Prime
יוֹם
yowm
{yome}
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
long, and he shall dwell 7931
{7931} Prime
שָׁכַן
shakan
{shaw-kan'}
A primitive root (apparently akin (by transmutation) to H7901 through the idea of lodging; compare H5531 and H7925); to reside or permanently stay (literally or figuratively).
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
between x996
(0996) Complement
בַּיִן
beyn
{bane}
(Sometimes in the plural masculine or feminine); properly the constructively contracted form of an otherwise unused noun from H0995; a distinction; but used only as a preposition, between (repeated before each noun, often with other particles); also as a conjugation, either... or.
his shoulders. 3802
{3802} Prime
כָּתֵף
katheph
{kaw-thafe'}
From an unused root meaning to clothe; the shoulder (proper, that is, upper end of the arm; as being the spot where the garments hang); figuratively side piece or lateral projection or anything.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Deuteronomy 33:12

_ _ of Benjamin he said — A distinguishing favor was conferred on this tribe in having its portion assigned near the temple of God.

_ _ between his shoulders — that is, on his sides or borders. Mount Zion, on which stood the city of Jerusalem, belonged to Judah; but Mount Moriah, the site of the sacred edifice, lay in the confines of Benjamin.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Deuteronomy 33:12-17

_ _ Here is, I. The blessing of Benjamin, Deuteronomy 33:12. Benjamin is put next to Levi, because the temple, where the priests' work lay, was just upon the edge of the lot of this tribe; and it is put before Joseph because of the dignity of Jerusalem (part of which was in this tribe) above Samaria, which was in the tribe of Ephraim, and because Benjamin adhered to the house of David, and to the temple of the Lord, when the rest of the tribes deserted both with Jeroboam. 1. Benjamin is here called the beloved of the Lord, and the father of this tribe was Jacob's beloved son, the son of his right hand. Note, Those are blessed indeed that are beloved of the Lord. Saul the first king, and Paul the great apostle, were both of this tribe. 2. He is here assured of the divine protection: he shall dwell safely. Note, Those are safe whom God loves, Psalms 91:1. 3. It is here intimated that the temple in which God would dwell should be built in the borders of this tribe. Jerusalem the holy city was in the lot of this tribe (Joshua 18:28); and though Zion, the city of David, is supposed to belong to Judah, yet Mount Moriah, on which the temple was built, was in Benjamin's lot. God is therefore said to dwell between his shoulders, because the temple stood on that mount, as the head of a man upon his shoulders. And by this means Benjamin was covered all the day long under the protection of the sanctuary (Psalms 125:2), which is often spoken of as a place of refuge, Psalms 27:4, Psalms 27:5; Nehemiah 6:10. Benjamin, dwelling by the temple of God, dwelt in safety by him. Note, It is a happy thing to be in the neighbourhood of the temple. This situation of Benjamin, it is likely, was the only thing that kept that tribe in adherence with Judah to the divine institutions, when the other ten tribes apostatized. Those have corrupt and wicked hearts indeed who, the nearer they are to the church, are so much the further from God.

_ _ II. The blessing of Joseph, including both Manasseh and Ephraim. In Jacob's blessing (Gen. 49) that of Joseph is the largest, and so it is here; and thence Moses here borrows the title he gives to Joseph (Deuteronomy 33:16), that he was separated from his brethren, or, as it might be read, a Nazarite among them, both in regard of his piety, wherein it appears, by many instances, he excelled them all, and of his dignity in Egypt, where he was both their ruler and benefactor. His brethren separated him from them by making him a slave, but God distinguished him from them by making him a prince. Now the blessings here prayed for, and prophesied of, for this tribe, are great plenty and great power.

_ _ 1. Great plenty, Deuteronomy 33:13-16. In general: Blessed of the Lord be his land. Those were very fruitful countries that fell into the lot of Ephraim and Manasseh, yet Moses prays they might be watered with the blessing of God, which makes rich, and on which all fruitfulness depends. Now,

_ _ (1.) He enumerates many particulars which he prays may contribute to the wealth and abundance of those two tribes, looking up to the Creator for the benefit and serviceableness of all the inferior creatures, for they are all that to us which he makes them to be. He prays, [1.] For seasonable rains and dews, the precious things of heaven; and so precious they are, though but pure water, that without them the fruits of the earth would all fail and be cut off. [2.] For plentiful springs, which help to make the earth fruitful, called here the deep that coucheth beneath; both are the rivers of God (Psalms 65:9), and he made particularly the fountains of waters, Revelation 14:7. [3.] For the benign influences of the heavenly bodies (Deuteronomy 33:14), for the precious fruits (the word signifies that which is most excellent, and the best in its kind) put forth by the quickening heat of the sun, and the cooling moisture of the moon. “Let them have the yearly fruits in their several months, according to the course of nature, in one month olives, in another dates,” etc. So some understand it. [4.] For the fruitfulness even of their hills and mountains, which in other countries used to be barren (Deuteronomy 33:15): Let them have the chief things of the ancient mountains; and, if the mountains be fruitful, the fruits on them will be first and best ripened. They are called ancient mountains, not because prior in time to other mountains, but because , like the first-born, they were superior in worth and excellency; and lasting hills, not only because as other mountains they were immovable (Habakkuk 3:6), but because the fruitfulness of them should continue. [5.] For the productions of the lower grounds (Deuteronomy 33:16): For the precious things of the earth. Though the earth itself seems a useless worthless lump of matter, yet there are precious things produced out of it, for the support and comfort of human life. Job 28:5. Out of it cometh bread, because out of it came our bodies, and to it they must return. But what are the precious things of the earth to a soul that came from God and must return to him? Or what is its fulness to the fulness that is in Christ, whence we receive grace for grace? Some make these precious things here prayed for to be figures of spiritual blessings in heavenly things by Christ, the gifts, graces, and comforts of the Spirit.

_ _ (2.) He crowns all with the good-will, or favourable acceptance, of him that dwelt in the bush (Deuteronomy 33:16), that is, of God, that God who appeared to Moses in the bush that burned and was not consumed (Exodus 3:2), to give him his commission for the bringing of Israel out of Egypt. Though God's glory appeared there but for a while, yet it is said to dwell there, because it continued as long as there was occasion for it: the good-will of the shechinah in the bush; so it might be read, for shechinah signifies that which dwelleth; and, though it was but a little while a dweller in the bush, yet it continued to dwell with the people of Israel. My dweller in the bush; so it should be rendered; that was an appearance of the divine Majesty to Moses only, in token of the particular interest he had in God, which he desires to improve for the good of this tribe. Many a time God has appeared to Moses, but now that he is just dying he seems to have the most pleasing remembrance of that which was the first time, when his acquaintance with the visions of the Almighty first began, and his correspondence with heaven was first settled: that was a time of love never to be forgotten. It was at the bush that God declared himself the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and so confirmed the promise made to the fathers, that promise which reached as far as the resurrection of the body and eternal life, as appears by our Saviour's argument from it, Luke 20:37. So that, when he prays for the good-will of him that dwelt in the bush, he has an eye to the covenant then and there renewed, on which all our hopes of God's favour must be bottomed. Now he concludes this large blessing with a prayer for the favour or good-will of God, [1.] Because that is the fountain and spring-head of all these blessings; they are gifts of God's good-will; they are so to his own people, whatever they are to others. Indeed when Ephraim (a descendant from Joseph) slid back from God, as a backsliding heifer, those fruits of his country were so far from being the gifts of God's good-will that they were intended but to fatten him for the slaughter, as a lamb in a large place, Hosea 4:16, Hosea 4:17. [2.] Because that is the comfort and sweetness of all these blessings; then we have joy of them when we taste God's good-will in them. [3.] Because that is better than all these, infinitely better; for if we have but the favour and good-will of God we are happy, and may be easy in the want of all these things, and may rejoice in the God of our salvation though the fig-tree do not blossom, and there be no fruit in the vine, Habakkuk 3:17, Habakkuk 3:18.

_ _ 2. Great power Joseph is here blessed with, Deuteronomy 33:17. Here are three instances of his power foretold: (1.) His authority among his brethren: His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, or young bull, which is a stately creature, and therefore was formerly used as an emblem of royal majesty. Joshua, who was to succeed Moses, was of the tribe of Ephraim the son of Joseph, and his glory was indeed illustrious, and he was an honour to his tribe. In Ephraim was the royal city of the ten tribes afterwards. And of Manasseh were Gideon, Jephthah, and Jair, who were all ornaments and blessings to their country. Some think he is compared to the firstling of the bullock because the birthright which Reuben lost devolved upon Joseph (1 Chronicles 5:1, 1 Chronicles 5:2), and to the firstling of his bullock, because Bashan, which was in the lot of Manasseh, was famous for bulls and cows, Psalms 22:12; Amos 4:1. (2.) His force against his enemies and victory over them: His horns are like the horn of a unicorn, that is, “The forces he shall bring into the field shall be very strong and formidable, and with them he shall push the people,” that is, “He shall overcome all that stand in his way.” It appears from the Ephraimites' contests, both with Gideon (Judges 8:1) and with Jephthah (Judges 12:1), that they were a warlike tribe and fierce. Yet we find the children of Ephraim, when they had forsaken the covenant of God, though they were armed, turning back in the day of battle (Psalms 78:9, Psalms 78:10); for, though here pronounced strong and bold as unicorns, when God had departed from them they became as weak as other men. (3.) The numbers of his people, in which Ephraim, though the younger house, exceeded, Jacob having, in the foresight of the same thing, crossed hands, Genesis 48:19. They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and the thousands of Manasseh. Jonathan's Targum applies it to the ten thousands of Canaanites conquered by Joshua, who was of the tribe of Manasseh. And the gloss of the Jerusalem Targum upon the former part of this verse is observable, that “as the firstlings of the bullock were never to be worked, nor could the unicorn ever be tamed, so Joseph should continue free; and they would have continued free if they had not by sin sold themselves.”

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Deuteronomy 33:12

Of Benjamin — Benjamin is put next to Levi, because the temple, where the work of the Levites lay, was upon the edge of the lot of this tribe. And 'tis put before Joseph, because of the dignity of Jerusalem, (part of which was in this lot) above Samaria, which was in the tribe of Ephraim: likewise because Benjamin adhered to the house of David and to the temple of God, when the rest of the tribes deserted both. The beloved of the Lord — So called in allusion to their father Benjamin who was the beloved of his father Jacob; and because of the kindness of God to this tribe which appeared both in this, that they dwelt in the best part of the land, as Josephus affirms, and in the following privilege. Shall dwell in safety by him — Shall have his lot nigh to God's temple, which was both a singular comfort and safeguard to him. Shall cover — Shall protect that tribe continually while they cleave to him. He — The Lord shall dwell, that is, his temple shall be placed, between his shoulders, that is, in his portion, or between his border's as the word shoulder is often used. And this was truly the situation of the temple, on both sides whereof was Benjamin's portion. And though mount Sion was in the tribe of Judah, yet mount Moriah, on which the temple was built, was in the tribe of Benjamin.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Deuteronomy 33:12

[And] of Benjamin he said, The beloved of the LORD shall (k) dwell in safety by him; [and the LORD] shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.

(k) Because the temple would be built in Zion, which was in the tribe of Benjamin, he shows that God would dwell with him there.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
The beloved:

Deuteronomy 33:27-29 The eternal God [is thy] refuge, and underneath [are] the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy [them]. ... Happy [art] thou, O Israel: who [is] like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and who [is] the sword of thy excellency! and thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.
Joshua 18:11-28 And the lot of the tribe of the children of Benjamin came up according to their families: and the coast of their lot came forth between the children of Judah and the children of Joseph. ... And Zelah, Eleph, and Jebusi, which [is] Jerusalem, Gibeath, [and] Kirjath; fourteen cities with their villages. This [is] the inheritance of the children of Benjamin according to their families.
Judges 1:21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.
1 Kings 12:21 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he assembled all the house of Judah, with the tribe of Benjamin, an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen men, which were warriors, to fight against the house of Israel, to bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam the son of Solomon.
2 Chronicles 11:1 And when Rehoboam was come to Jerusalem, he gathered of the house of Judah and Benjamin an hundred and fourscore thousand chosen [men], which were warriors, to fight against Israel, that he might bring the kingdom again to Rehoboam.
2 Chronicles 15:2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD [is] with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
2 Chronicles 17:17-19 And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valour, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand. ... These waited on the king, beside [those] whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah.
Psalms 132:14 This [is] my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.
Isaiah 37:22 This [is] the word which the LORD hath spoken concerning him; The virgin, the daughter of Zion, hath despised thee, [and] laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee.
Isaiah 37:35 For I will defend this city to save it for mine own sake, and for my servant David's sake.

cover him:

Psalms 91:4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth [shall be thy] shield and buckler.
Isaiah 51:16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou [art] my people.
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not!
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Dt 33:27. Jsh 18:11. Jg 1:21. 1K 12:21. 2Ch 11:1; 15:2; 17:17. Ps 91:4; 132:14. Is 37:22, 35; 51:16. Mt 23:37.

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