Deuteronomy 33:2

Hebrew Bible

1 This is the blessing Moses the man of God pronounced upon the Israelites before his death. 2 He said: “The Lord came from Sinai and revealed himself to Israel from Seir. He appeared in splendor from Mount Paran, and came forth with ten thousand holy ones. With his right hand he gave a fiery law to them. 3 Surely he loves the people; all your holy ones are in your power. And they sit at your feet, each receiving your words. 4 Moses delivered to us a law, an inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.

1 Enoch 71:8


6 I observed the girdle of fire encircling this fiery house, with streams of living fire on all four sides. 7 Around it were Seraphim, Cherubim, and Ophanim, who do not sleep and guard the throne of His glory. 8 There, I saw countless angels, thousands of thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, surrounding the house. Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Phanuel, and the holy angels from above the heavens entered and left the house. 9 They emerged from that house, and along with Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Phanuel, came many holy angels beyond number. 10 With them was the Head of Days, whose head was white and pure as wool, and His garments were beyond description.

 Notes and References

"... As with chapter 32, this text is thought to be older than the earlier portions of Deuteronomy, and it has possible connections to Judges 5 and 2 Samuel 22. Deuteronomy 33:2 seems to be a reference to the giving of the law on Mt. Sinai, though commentators have suggested otherwise. Michalak views Deuteronomy 33:2-3 as alluding to military activity. Although the text of Exodus does not mention these heavenly beings at Sinai, the passage from Deuteronomy is alluded to in several later texts (Compare Psalm 68:16-18; Daniel 7:10; Jude 14-15; Revelation 5:11; 1 Enoch 1:17, 14:22, 71:8-9, 13. See also texts regarding the parousia: Matthew 24:30-31; Mark 8:38; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:7; Hebrews 12:18-24, etc.) and is apparently the basis for later claims that the law was given by angels. In Deuteronomy 33:2 קדש (here a noun) is in the singular where one might expect the word to be plural, as the number modifying קדש is רבבת in the plural. Indeed, many scholars believe that the text probably should be read as “holy ones” (taking the singular noun as a collective), not “Holy One,” or a place name. The Masoretic text reading here is the same as in the Samaritan Pentateuch, while the DSS is fragmentary (4Q45 f42_43:1). Both the LXX (Codices Alexandrinus and Vaticanus) and the Targums differ from the Masoretic tradition. The Targum says “ten thousand holy ones”. The LXX treats קדש as a place name (Καδης), but then adds “from his right, angels with him”. What is significant is that all of these textual traditions provide evidence of multiple lesser beings in the company of YHWH ..."

McGuire-Moushon, Joni Amanda Angels and Sub-Divine Supernatural Beings: Their Characteristics, Function, and Relationship to God and Humanity in Deuteronomy-Function, and Relationship to God and Humanity in Deuteronomy-Kings (pp. 32-33) Andrews University, 2019

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