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Deuteronomy 33:8 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And of Levi he said, Thy Thummim and thy Urim are with thy godly one, Whom thou didst prove at Massah, With whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— And of Levi he said, [Let] thy Thummim and thy Urim [be] with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, [and with] whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Of Levi he said, “[Let] Your Thummim and Your Urim [belong] to Your godly man, Whom You proved at Massah, With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— And of Levi he said, [Let] thy Thummim and thy Urim [be] with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, [and with] whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And of Levi he said, Thy Thummim and thy Urim are for thy godly one, Whom thou didst prove at Massah, With whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— And, of Levi, he said: Let, thy perfections and thy lights, belong unto thy man of lovingkindness,—Whom thou didst put to the proof at Massah, With whom thou didst contend over the waters of Meribah;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And of Levi he said:—Thy Thummim and thy Urim [are] for thy pious one, Whom Thou hast tried in Massah, Thou dost strive with Him at the waters of Meribah;
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— To Levi also he said: Thy perfection, and thy doctrine be to thy holy man, whom thou hast proved in the temptation, and judged at the waters of contradiction:
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— And of Leui hee said, Let thy Thummim and thy Urim [be] with thy holy one, whom thou diddest prooue at Massah, [& with] whom thou didst striue at the waters of Meribah:
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— And to Levi he said, Give to Levi his manifestations, and his truth to the holy man, whom they tempted in the temptation; they reviled him at the water of strife.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— And of Lewi he said, [Let] thy Tummim and thy Urim [be] with thy holy one, whom thou didst prove at Massah, [and with] whom thou didst strive at the waters of Merivah;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
And of Lw לֵוִי 3878
{3878} Prime
From H3867; attached; Levi, a son of Jacob.
he said, 559
{0559} Prime
A primitive root; to say (used with great latitude).
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
[Let] thy Tmmm תּוּמִּים 8550
{8550} Prime
Plural of H8537; perfections, that is, (technically) one of the epithets of the objects in the high priest's breastplate as an emblem of complete Truth.
and thy rm אוּרִים 224
{0224} Prime
Plural of H0217; lights; Urim, the oracular brilliancy of the figures in the high priest's breastplate.
[be] with thy holy 2623
{2623} Prime
From H2616; properly kind, that is, (religiously) pious (a saint).
one, 376
{0376} Prime
Contracted for H0582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.).
whom x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
thou didst prove 5254
{5254} Prime
A primitive root; to test; by implication to attempt.
<8765> Grammar
Stem - Piel (See H8840)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 2121
at Mass מַסָּה, 4532
{4532} Prime
The same as H4531; Massah, a place in the Desert.
[and with] whom thou didst strive 7378
{7378} Prime
A primitive root; properly to toss, that is, grapple; mostly figuratively to wrangle, that is, hold a controversy; (by implication) to defend.
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
at x5921
(5921) Complement
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.
the waters 4325
{4325} Prime
Dual of a primitive noun (but used in a singular sense); water; figuratively juice; by euphemism urine, semen.
of Mrv מְרִיבָה; 4809
{4809} Prime
The same as H4808; Meribah, the name of two places in the Desert.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Deuteronomy 33:8-10

_ _ of Levi he said — The burden of this blessing is the appointment of the Levites to the dignified and sacred office of the priesthood (Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 22:8; Deuteronomy 17:8-11), a reward for their zeal in supporting the cause of God, and their unsparing severity in chastising even their nearest and dearest relatives who had participated in the idolatry of the molten calf (Exodus 32:25-28; compare Malachi 2:4-6).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Deuteronomy 33:8-11

_ _ In blessing the tribe of Levi, Moses expresses himself more at large, not so much because it was his own tribe (for he takes no notice of his relation to it) as because it was God's tribe. The blessing of Levi has reference.

_ _ I. To the high priest, here called God's holy one (Deuteronomy 33:8), because his office was holy, in token of which, Holiness to the Lord was written upon his forehead. 1. He seems to acknowledge that God might justly have displaced Aaron and his seed, for his sin at Meribah, (Exodus 17:7), which might be very remarkable, and which God might have an eye to in conferring the priesthood upon him, though no mention is made of it there. All the Chaldee paraphrasts agree that it was a trial in which he was found perfect and faithful, and stood in the trial; therefore not that, Numbers 20:2. He prays that the office of the high priest might ever remain: Let thy thummim and thy urim be with him. It was given him for some eminent piece of service, as appears, Malachi 2:5. “Lord, let it never be taken from him.” Notwithstanding this blessing, the urim and thummim were lost in the captivity, and never restored under the second temple. But this prayer has its full accomplishment in Jesus Christ, God's Holy One, and our great high priest, of whom Aaron was a type: with him who had lain in the Father's bosom from eternity the urim and thummim shall remain; for he is the wonderful and everlasting counsellor. Some translate the thummim and urim appellatively, the rather because the usual order is here inverted, and here only. Thummim signifies integrity, and Urim illumination: Let these be with thy holy one, that is, “Lord, let the high priest ever be both an upright man and an understanding man.” A good prayer to be put up for the ministers of the gospel, that they may have clear heads and honest hearts; light and sincerity make a complete minister.

_ _ II. To the inferior priests and Levites, Deuteronomy 33:9-11.

_ _ 1. He commends the zeal of this tribe for God when they sided with Moses (and so with God) against the worshippers of the golden calf (Exodus 32:26 etc.), and, being employed in cutting off the ring-leaders in that wickedness, they did it impartially: the best friends they had in the world, though as dear to them as their next relations, they did not spare if they were idolaters. Note, Our regard to God and to his glory ought always to prevail above our regard to any creature whatsoever. And those who not only keep themselves pure from the common iniquities of the times and places in which they live, but, as they are capable, bear testimony against them, and stand up for God against the evil-doers, shall have special marks of honour put upon them. Perhaps Moses may have an eye to the sons of Korah, who refused to join with their father in his gain-saying, Numbers 26:11. Also to Phinebas, who executed judgment, and stayed the plague. And indeed the office of the priests and Levites, which engaged their constant attendance, at least in their turns, at God's altar, laid them under a necessity of being frequently absent from their families, which they could not take such care of, nor make such provision for, as other Israelites might. This was the constant self-denial they submitted to, that they might observe God's word, and keep the covenant of priesthood. Note, Those that are called to minister in holy things must sit loose to the relations and interests that are dearest to them in this world, and prefer the gratifying of the best friend they have, Acts 21:13; Acts 20:24. Our Lord Jesus knew not his mother and his brethren when they would have taken him off from his work, Matthew 12:48.

_ _ 2. He confirms the commission granted to this tribe to minister in holy things, which was the recompence of their zeal and fidelity, Deuteronomy 33:10. (1.) They were to deal for God with the people: “They shall teach Jacob thy judgments and Israel thy laws, both as preachers in thy religious assemblies, reading and expounding the law (Nehemiah 8:7, Nehemiah 8:8), and as judges, determining doubtful and difficult cases that were brought before them,” 2 Chronicles 17:8, 2 Chronicles 17:9. The priests' lips kept this knowledge for the use of the people, who were to ask the law at their mouth, Malachi 2:7. Even Haggai, a prophet, consulted the priests in a case of conscience, Haggai 2:11, etc. Note, Preaching is necessary, not only for the first planting of churches, but for the preserving and edifying of churches when they are planted. See Ezekiel 44:23, Ezekiel 44:24. (2.) They were to deal for the people with God, in burning incense to the praise and glory of God, and offering sacrifices to make atonement for sin and to obtain the divine favour. This was the work of the priests, but the Levites attended and assisted in it. Those that would have benefit by their incense and offerings must diligently and faithfully observe their instructions.

_ _ 3. He prays for them, Deuteronomy 33:11. (1.) That God would prosper them in their estates, and make that which was allotted them for their maintenance comfortable to them. Bless, Lord, his substance. The provision made for them was very plentiful, and came to them easily, and yet they could have no joy of it unless God blessed it to them; and, since God himself was their portion, a particular blessing might be expected to attend this portion. Bless, Lord, his virtue; so some read it. “Lord, increase thy graces in them, and make them more and more fit for their work.” (2.) That he would accept them in their services: “Accept the work of his hands, both for himself and for the people for whom he ministers.” Acceptance with God is that which we should all aim at, and be ambitious of, in all our devotions, whether men accept us or no (2 Corinthians 5:9), and it is the most valuable blessing we can desire either for ourselves or others. (3.) That he would take his part against all his enemies: Smite through the loins of those that rise against him. He supposes that God's ministers would have many enemies: some would hate their persons for their faithfulness, and would endeavour to do them a mischief; others would envy them their maintenance, and endeavour sacrilegiously to deprive them of it; others would oppose them in the execution of their office and not submit to the sentence of the priests; and some would aim to overthrow the office itself. Now he prays that God would blast all such attempts, and return the mischief upon the heads of the authors. This prayer is a prophecy that God will certainly reckon with those that are enemies to his ministers, and will keep up a ministry in his church to the end of time, in spite of all the designs of the gates of hell against it. Saul rose up against the Lord's priests (1 Samuel 22:18), and this filled the measure of his sin.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Deuteronomy 33:8

Let thy Urim — The Thummim and the Urim, which are thine, O Lord by special institution and consecration, (by which he understands the ephod in which they were put, and the high priesthood, to which they were appropriated, and withal the gifts and graces signified by the Urim and Thummim, and necessary for the discharge of that high — office) shall be with thy holy one, that is, with that priest, whom thou hast consecrated to thyself, and who is holy in a more peculiar manner than all the people were; that is, the priesthood shall be confined to and continued in Aaron's family. Whom thou didst prove — Altho' thou didst try him, and rebuke him, yet thou didst not take away the priesthood from him. At Massah — Not at that Massah mentioned Exodus 17:7, which is also called Meribah, but at that other Meribah, Numbers 20:13. Thou didst strive — Whom thou didst reprove and chastise.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
Let thy:

Exodus 28:30 And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.
Exodus 28:36 And thou shalt make a plate [of] pure gold, and grave upon it, [like] the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.
Leviticus 8:8 And he put the breastplate upon him: also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.
Numbers 27:21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask [counsel] for him after the judgment of Urim before the LORD: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, [both] he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
1 Samuel 28:6 And when Saul enquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
Ezra 2:63 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.
Nehemiah 7:65 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood [up] a priest with Urim and Thummim.

with thy:

Leviticus 21:7 They shall not take a wife [that is] a whore, or profane; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband: for he [is] holy unto his God.
Numbers 16:5 And he spake unto Korah and unto all his company, saying, Even to morrow the LORD will shew who [are] his, and [who is] holy; and will cause [him] to come near unto him: even [him] whom he hath chosen will he cause to come near unto him.
2 Chronicles 23:6 But let none come into the house of the LORD, save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they [are] holy: but all the people shall keep the watch of the LORD.
Ezra 8:28 And I said unto them, Ye [are] holy unto the LORD; the vessels [are] holy also; and the silver and the gold [are] a freewill offering unto the LORD God of your fathers.
Psalms 16:10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Psalms 106:16 They envied Moses also in the camp, [and] Aaron the saint of the LORD.
Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
Revelation 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

prove at:

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, [and] to prove thee, to know what [was] in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. ... And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every [word] that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Deuteronomy 8:16 Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end;
Exodus 17:7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
Numbers 20:13 This [is] the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.
Psalms 81:7 Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee in the secret place of thunder: I proved thee at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
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Ex 17:7; 28:30, 36. Lv 8:8; 21:7. Nu 16:5; 20:13; 27:21. Dt 8:2, 16. 1S 28:6. 2Ch 23:6. Ezr 2:63; 8:28. Ne 7:65. Ps 16:10; 81:7; 106:16. He 7:26. Rv 3:7.

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