Chapter 31

1And Moses went, and he spoke the following words to all Israel.   אוַיֵּ֖לֶךְ משֶׁ֑ה וַיְדַבֵּ֛ר אֶת־הַדְּבָרִ֥ים הָאֵ֖לֶּה אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
2He said to them, "Today I am one hundred and twenty years old. I can no longer go or come, and the Lord said to me, "You shall not cross this Jordan."   בוַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֗ם בֶּן־מֵאָה֩ וְעֶשְׂרִ֨ים שָׁנָ֤ה אָֽנֹכִי֙ הַיּ֔וֹם לֹֽא־אוּכַ֥ל ע֖וֹד לָצֵ֣את וְלָב֑וֹא וַֽיהֹוָה֙ אָמַ֣ר אֵלַ֔י לֹ֥א תַֽעֲבֹ֖ר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֥ן הַזֶּֽה:
Moses went…I can no longer go or come: One might think [this means] that Moses’ strength had ebbed [and that is why he could no longer go or come]. Scripture [however] states [regarding Moses], “His eye had not dimmed, nor had he lost his [natural] moisture” (Deut. 34:7) [which teaches us that his powers were intact even on the day of his passing]. So what then is [the meaning of] “I can no longer”? [Here it means:] “I am not permitted,” because authority was taken from him and granted to Joshua.   וילך משה וגו', לֹֽא־אוּכַל עוֹד לָצֵאת וְלָבוֹא: יָכוֹל שֶׁתָּשַׁשׁ כֹּחוֹ, תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר "לֹא כָהֲתָה עֵינוֹ וְלא נָס לֵחֹה", אֶלָּא מַהוּ לא אוכל? אֵינִי רַשַּׁאי, שֶׁנִּטְּלָה מִמֶּנִּי הָרְשׁוּת וְנִתְּנָה לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ.
and the Lord said to me: This is the meaning of “I can no longer go or come,” because “the Lord said to me….”   וה' אָמַר אֵלַי: זֶהוּ פֵּרוּשׁ לא אוכל עוד לצאת ולבוא — לְפִי שֶׁה' אמר אלי:
Today I am [one-hundred and twenty years old]: [That is to say,] today [is the exact day that] my days and my years have become complete; on this very day [the seventh of Adar] I was born, and on this day I will die. — [Sotah 13b] Another interpretation of “[I can no longer] go or come” is: [I can no longer figuratively go and come, i.e., I can no longer negotiate] in matters of Torah. This teaches us that the channels of transmission and the well-springs of wisdom were closed up from him [i.e., from Moses on that day]. — [Sotah 13b] [That is the order of the early editions and should be preserved. Rashi means that according to the first interpretation, that God did not permit him to go and come before the people, we do not explain the beginning of the verse to mean that Moses’ days were completed, but that God had taken away the authority from Moses. According to the Talmud, which states that Moses’ days were completed, we explain that he could not go and come in matters of Torah, and according to that interpretation, we do not explain that “the Lord said to me” as the meaning for “I can no longer go or come,” but another reason for Moses’ inability to cross the Jordan.]   אָֽנֹכִי הַיּוֹם: הַיּוֹם מָלאוּ יָמַי וּשְׁנוֹתַי, בְּיוֹם זֶה נוֹלַדְתִּי וּבְיוֹם זֶה אָמוּת (סוטה י"ג). דָּבָר אַחֵר — לצאת ולבוא. בְּדִבְרֵי תוֹרָה, מְלַמֵּד שֶׁנִּסְתְּמוּ מִמֶּנּוּ מָסוֹרוֹת וּמַעְיְנוֹת הַחָכְמָה (סוטה י"ג):
3The Lord, your God He will cross before you; He will destroy these nations from before you so that you will possess them. Joshua he will cross before you, as the Lord has spoken.   גיְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ ה֣וּא | עֹבֵ֣ר לְפָנֶ֗יךָ הֽוּא־יַשְׁמִ֞יד אֶת־הַגּוֹיִ֥ם הָאֵ֛לֶּה מִלְּפָנֶ֖יךָ וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֑ם יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ ה֚וּא עֹבֵ֣ר לְפָנֶ֔יךָ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֥ר יְהֹוָֽה:
4And the Lord will do to them, as He did to the Amorite kings, Sihon and Og, and to their land, [all of] which He destroyed.   דוְעָשָׂ֤ה יְהֹוָה֙ לָהֶ֔ם כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֗ה לְסִיח֥וֹן וּלְע֛וֹג מַלְכֵ֥י הָֽאֱמֹרִ֖י וּלְאַרְצָ֑ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִשְׁמִ֖יד אֹתָֽם:
5And [when] the Lord delivers them before you, you shall do to them according to all the commandment that I have commanded you.   הוּנְתָנָ֥ם יְהֹוָ֖ה לִפְנֵיכֶ֑ם וַֽעֲשִׂיתֶ֣ם לָהֶ֔ם כְּכָ֨ל־הַמִּצְוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶתְכֶֽם:
6Be strong and courageous! Neither fear, nor be dismayed of them, for the Lord, your God He is the One Who goes with you. He will neither fail you, nor forsake you."   וחִזְק֣וּ וְאִמְצ֔וּ אַל־תִּֽירְא֥וּ וְאַל־תַּֽעַרְצ֖וּ מִפְּנֵיהֶ֑ם כִּ֣י | יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ ה֚וּא הַֽהֹלֵ֣ךְ עִמָּ֔ךְ לֹ֥א יַרְפְּךָ֖ וְלֹ֥א יַֽעַזְבֶֽךָּ:
He will neither fail you: Heb. לֹא יַרְפְּךָ. [The word יַרְפְּךָ stems from the root רפה, meaning “weak.” Thus, the expression here means:] God will not give you [cause for] weakness [resulting] from your being forsaken by Him.   לֹא יַרְפְּךָ: לֹא יִתֵּן לְךָ רִפְיוֹן לִהְיוֹת נֶעֱזָב מִמֶּנּוּ:
7And Moses called Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous! For you shall come with this people to the land which the Lord swore to their forefathers to give them. And you shall apportion it to them as an inheritance.   זוַיִּקְרָ֨א משֶׁ֜ה לִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו לְעֵינֵ֣י כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֘ חֲזַ֣ק וֶֽאֱמָץ֒ כִּ֣י אַתָּ֗ה תָּבוֹא֙ אֶת־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה אֶל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהֹוָ֛ה לַֽאֲבֹתָ֖ם לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֑ם וְאַתָּ֖ה תַּנְחִילֶ֥נָּה אוֹתָֽם:
for you shall come with this people: Heb. כִּי אַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶת-הָעָם הַזֶּה [as the Targum renders:] “For you shall come with this people,” [hence, the אֶת here means “with.” Accordingly, Moses’ statement of leadership role to Joshua can be understood as follows]: Moses said to Joshua, “The elders of the generation will be with you, [for] everything should be done according to their opinion and counsel.” In contrast, however, the Holy One, Blessed is He, said to Joshua, “For you shall bring (תָּבִיא) the children of Israel to the land which I have sworn to them” (verse 23). [God’s statement of leadership role to Joshua here means:] “You shall bring them [even if it is] against their will! Everything depends [only] upon you; [if necessary,] you must take a rod and beat them over their heads! There can be [only] one leader for a generation, not two leaders for a generation.”- [Sanh. . 8a]   כִּי אַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶת־הָעָם הַזֶּה: "אֲרֵי אַתְּ תֵּעוּל עִם עַמָּא הָדֵין": מֹשֶׁה אָמַר לוֹ לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ זְקֵנִים שֶׁבַּדּוֹר יִהְיוּ עִמְּךָ, הַכֹּל לְפִי דַעְתָּן וַעֲצָתָן, אֲבָל הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא אָמַר לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ "כִּי אַתָּה תָּבִיא אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לָהֶם" — תָּבִיא עַל כָּרְחָם, הַכֹּל תָּלוּי בְּךָ, טֹל מַקֵּל וְהַךְ עַל קָדְקֳדָן, דַּבָּר אֶחָד לְדוֹר וְלֹא שְׁנֵי דַבָּרִים לְדוֹר (סנהדרין ח'):
8The Lord He is the One Who goes before you; He will be with you; He will neither fail you, nor forsake you. Do not fear, and do not be dismayed."   חוַֽיהֹוָ֞ה ה֣וּא | הַֽהֹלֵ֣ךְ לְפָנֶ֗יךָ ה֚וּא יִֽהְיֶ֣ה עִמָּ֔ךְ לֹ֥א יַרְפְּךָ֖ וְלֹ֥א יַֽעַזְבֶ֑ךָּ לֹ֥א תִירָ֖א וְלֹ֥א תֵחָֽת:
9Then Moses wrote this Torah, and gave it to the priests, the descendants of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.   טוַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב משֶׁה֘ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּאת֒ וַיִּתְּנָ֗הּ אֶל־הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ בְּנֵ֣י לֵוִ֔י הַנֹּ֣שְׂאִ֔ים אֶת־אֲר֖וֹן בְּרִ֣ית יְהֹוָ֑ה וְאֶל־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
And Moses then wrote [this Torah] and gave it [to the kohanim]: When it was entirely completed, he gave it to the members of his tribe [i.e., Levi. The verse here is referring to the entire Torah as we know it. Compare Rashi on verse 11].   וַיִּכְתֹּב משֶׁה וַיִּתְּנָהּ: כְּשֶׁנִּגְמְרָה כֻּלָּהּ נְתָנָהּ לִבְנֵי שִׁבְטוֹ (עי' ספרי דברים ל"ד):
10Then, Moses commanded them, saying, "At the end of [every] seven years, at an appointed time, in the Festival of Succoth, [after] the year of release,   יוַיְצַ֥ו משֶׁ֖ה אוֹתָ֣ם לֵאמֹ֑ר מִקֵּ֣ץ | שֶׁ֣בַע שָׁנִ֗ים בְּמֹעֵ֛ד שְׁנַ֥ת הַשְּׁמִטָּ֖ה בְּחַ֥ג הַסֻּכּֽוֹת:
At the end of [every] seven years: [When the verse says “end,” it refers to] the first year of the [recurring, seven-year] Shemittah [cycle, which is, effectively, the “end” of the previous cycle]. This is the eighth year [of the cycle] (Sotah 41a). [Now, only the seventh year of each cycle is actually called the Shemittah year, so] why is [this eighth year] referred to [here in the verse] as “ Shemittah ”? Because the [laws of the] seventh year still apply to it, in that the harvest [of the produce] at the end of the seventh year extends into the year following the seventh. Therefore, all the laws pertaining to the seventh year apply to this produce, even though the eighth year has already begun. — [R.H. 12b]   מִקֵּץ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים: בְּשָׁנָה רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁל שְׁמִטָּה — בַּשְּׁמִינִית, וְלָמָּה קוֹרֵא אוֹתָהּ שנת השמטה? שֶׁעֲדַיִּן שְׁבִיעִית נוֹהֶגֶת בָּהּ, בַּקָּצִיר שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית הַיּוֹצֵא לְמוֹצָאֵי שְׁבִיעִית:
11When all Israel comes to appear before the Lord, your God, in the place He will choose, you shall read this Torah before all Israel, in their ears.   יאבְּב֣וֹא כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לֵֽרָאוֹת֙ אֶת־פְּנֵי֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בַּמָּק֖וֹם אֲשֶׁ֣ר יִבְחָ֑ר תִּקְרָ֞א אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֛את נֶ֥גֶד כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל בְּאָזְנֵיהֶֽם:
you shall read this Torah: The king [of Israel] would read from the beginning of “These are the words…” (Deut. 1:1), as we find in tractate Sotah (41a). [Thus, in contrast to verse 9, the expression, “this Torah” refers to just the book of Deuteronomy. See Rashi on verse 9. When reading the book of Deuteronomy to the people at that appointed time, the king would sit] upon a wooden platform that was erected in the courtyard [of the Temple].   תִּקְרָא אֶת־הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת: הַמֶּלֶךְ הָיָה קוֹרֵא מִתְּחִלַּת "אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים", כִּדְאִיתָא בְמַסֶּכֶת סוֹטָה (דף מ"א) עַל בִּימָה שֶׁל עֵץ שֶׁהָיוּ עוֹשִׂין בָּעֲזָרָה:
12Assemble the people: the men, the women, and the children, and your stranger in your cities, in order that they hear, and in order that they learn and fear the Lord, your God, and they will observe to do all the words of this Torah.   יבהַקְהֵ֣ל אֶת־הָעָ֗ם הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֤ים וְהַנָּשִׁים֙ וְהַטַּ֔ף וְגֵֽרְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּשְׁעָרֶ֑יךָ לְמַ֨עַן יִשְׁמְע֜וּ וּלְמַ֣עַן יִלְמְד֗וּ וְיָֽרְאוּ֙ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֔ם וְשָֽׁמְר֣וּ לַֽעֲשׂ֔וֹת אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּֽאת:
The men: [were to be there, in order] to learn [the words of the Torah being read];   הָֽאֲנָשִׁים: לִלְמֹד:
the women: [were to be present, in order] to listen [to those words];   וְהַנָּשִׁים: לִשְׁמֹעַ:
the children: Why did they come? So that a reward would be given to those who bring them along. — [Chag. 3a]   וְהַטַּף: לָמָּה בָא? לָתֵת שָׂכָר לִמְבִיאֵיהֶם (חגיגה ג'):
13And their children, who did not know, will hear and learn to fear the Lord, your God, all the days that you live on the land, to which you are crossing the Jordan, to possess.   יגוּבְנֵיהֶ֞ם אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹא־יָֽדְע֗וּ יִשְׁמְעוּ֙ וְלָ֣מְד֔וּ לְיִרְאָ֖ה אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֑ם כָּל־הַיָּמִ֗ים אֲשֶׁ֨ר אַתֶּ֤ם חַיִּים֙ עַל־הָ֣אֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אַתֶּ֜ם עֹֽבְרִ֧ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֛ן שָׁ֖מָּה לְרִשְׁתָּֽהּ:
14And the Lord said to Moses, "Behold, your days are approaching [for you] to die. Call Joshua and stand in the Tent of Meeting, and I will inspire him. So Moses and Joshua went, and stood in the Tent of Meeting.   ידוַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהֹוָ֜ה אֶל־משֶׁ֗ה הֵ֣ן קָֽרְב֣וּ יָמֶ֘יךָ֘ לָמוּת֒ קְרָ֣א אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וְהִתְיַצְּב֛וּ בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵ֖ד וַֽאֲצַוֶּ֑נּוּ וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ משֶׁה֙ וִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֔עַ וַיִּתְיַצְּב֖וּ בְּאֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד:
and I will inspire him: [Usually, “and I will command him.” Here, however, the meaning is:] “And I will urge him on.”   וַֽאֲצַוֶּנּוּ: וַאֲזָרְזֶנּוּ:
15And the Lord appeared in the Tent, in a pillar of cloud. The pillar of cloud stood at the entrance to the Tent.   טווַיֵּרָ֧א יְהֹוָ֛ה בָּאֹ֖הֶל בְּעַמּ֣וּד עָנָ֑ן וַיַּֽעֲמֹ֛ד עַמּ֥וּד הֶֽעָנָ֖ן עַל־פֶּ֥תַח הָאֹֽהֶל:
16And the Lord said to Moses: Behold, you are [about to] lie with your forefathers, and this nation will rise up and stray after the deities of the nations of the land, into which they are coming. And they will forsake Me and violate My covenant which I made with them.   טזוַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־משֶׁ֔ה הִנְּךָ֥ שֹׁכֵ֖ב עִם־אֲבֹתֶ֑יךָ וְקָם֩ הָעָ֨ם הַזֶּ֜ה וְזָנָ֣ה | אַֽחֲרֵ֣י | אֱלֹהֵ֣י נֵֽכַר־הָאָ֗רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה֤וּא בָא־שָׁ֨מָּה֙ בְּקִרְבּ֔וֹ וַֽעֲזָבַ֕נִי וְהֵפֵר֙ אֶת־בְּרִיתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר כָּרַ֖תִּי אִתּֽוֹ:
the nations of the land: The peoples of the land.   נֵֽכַר־הָאָרֶץ: גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ:
17And My fury will rage against them on that day, and I will abandon them and hide My face from them, and they will be consumed, and many evils and troubles will befall them, and they will say on that day, 'Is it not because our God is no longer in my midst, that these evils have befallen me?'   יזוְחָרָ֣ה אַפִּ֣י ב֣וֹ בַיּֽוֹם־הַ֠ה֠וּא וַֽעֲזַבְתִּ֞ים וְהִסְתַּרְתִּ֨י פָנַ֤י מֵהֶם֙ וְהָיָ֣ה לֶֽאֱכֹ֔ל וּמְצָאֻ֛הוּ רָע֥וֹת רַבּ֖וֹת וְצָר֑וֹת וְאָמַר֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא הֲלֹ֗א עַ֣ל כִּי־אֵ֤ין אֱלֹהַי֙ בְּקִרְבִּ֔י מְצָא֖וּנִי הָֽרָע֥וֹת הָאֵֽלֶּה:
and hide My face: As though I do not see their distress.   וְהִסְתַּרְתִּי פָנַי: כְּמוֹ שֶׁאֵינִי רוֹאֶה בְּצָרָתָם:
18And I will hide My face on that day, because of all the evil they have committed, when they turned to other deities.   יחוְאָֽנֹכִ֗י הַסְתֵּ֨ר אַסְתִּ֤יר פָּנַי֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא עַ֥ל כָּל־הָֽרָעָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר עָשָׂ֑ה כִּ֣י פָנָ֔ה אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֖ים אֲחֵרִֽים:
19And now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the Children of Israel. Place it into their mouths, in order that this song will be for Me as a witness for the children of Israel.   יטוְעַתָּ֗ה כִּתְב֤וּ לָכֶם֙ אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את וְלַמְּדָ֥הּ אֶת־בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל שִׂימָ֣הּ בְּפִיהֶ֑ם לְמַ֨עַן תִּֽהְיֶה־לִּ֜י הַשִּׁירָ֥ה הַזֹּ֛את לְעֵ֖ד בִּבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
this song: [This refers to the passage beginning with] הַאֲזִינוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם [until] וְכִפֶּר אַדְמָתוֹ עַמּוֹ (Deut. 32:1-43).   אֶת־הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת: "הַאֲזִינוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם" עַד "וְכִפֶּר אַדְמָתוֹ עַמּוֹ":
20When I bring them to the land which I have sworn to their forefathers [to give them], a land flowing with milk and honey, they will eat and be satisfied, and live on the fat [of the land]. Then, they will turn to other deities and serve them, provoking Me and violating My covenant.   כ כִּֽי־אֲבִיאֶ֜נּוּ אֶל־הָֽאֲדָמָ֣ה | אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתִּי לַֽאֲבֹתָ֗יו זָבַ֤ת חָלָב֙ וּדְבַ֔שׁ וְאָכַ֥ל וְשָׂבַ֖ע וְדָשֵׁ֑ן וּפָנָ֞ה אֶל־אֱלֹהִ֤ים אֲחֵרִים֙ וַֽעֲבָד֔וּם וְנִ֣אֲצ֔וּנִי וְהֵפֵ֖ר אֶת־בְּרִיתִֽי:
provoking me: Heb. וְנִאֲצוּנִי, and they will provoke me to anger. Similarly, any mention of the word נִאוּץ [in Scripture] denotes anger.   וְנִאֲצוּנִי: וְהִכְעִיסוּנִי, וְכֵן כָּל נִאוּץ לְשׁוֹן כַּעַס:
21And it will be, when they will encounter many evils and troubles, this song will bear witness against them, for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their offspring. For I know their inclination what they [are planning] to do today, [even] before I bring them in to the land which I have sworn [to give them]."   כאוְהָיָ֠ה כִּֽי־תִמְצֶ֨אןָ אֹת֜וֹ רָע֣וֹת רַבּוֹת֘ וְצָרוֹת֒ וְ֠עָֽנְתָ֠ה הַשִּׁירָ֨ה הַזֹּ֤את לְפָנָיו֙ לְעֵ֔ד כִּ֛י לֹ֥א תִשָּׁכַ֖ח מִפִּ֣י זַרְע֑וֹ כִּ֧י יָדַ֣עְתִּי אֶת־יִצְר֗וֹ אֲשֶׁ֨ר ה֤וּא עֹשֶׂה֙ הַיּ֔וֹם בְּטֶ֣רֶם אֲבִיאֶ֔נּוּ אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבָּֽעְתִּי:
this song will bear witness against them: that in it, I had warned them concerning all the things that are now befalling them. [Consequently, when they read this song, they will not be able to claim, “Had we known all the evils that would befall us, we would never have transgressed God’s word!”]   וְעָֽנְתָה הַשִּׁירָה הַזֹּאת לְפָנָיו לְעֵד: שֶׁהִתְרֵיתִי בוֹ בְתוֹכָהּ עַל כָּל הַמּוֹצְאוֹת אוֹתוֹ:
for it will not be forgotten from the mouth of their offspring: This is a promise to Israel that the Torah will never be entirely forgotten by their offspring. — [Shab. 138b]   כִּֽי־לֹא תִשָּׁכַח מִפִּי זַרְעוֹ: הֲרֵי זוֹ הַבְטָחָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁאֵין תּוֹרָה מִשְׁתַּכַּחַת מִזַּרְעָם לְגַמְרֵי:
22And Moses wrote this song on that day, and taught it to the children of Israel.   כבוַיִּכְתֹּ֥ב משֶׁ֛ה אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא וַיְלַמְּדָ֖הּ אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
23And He commanded Joshua the son of Nun, and said: "Be strong and courageous! For you shall bring the children of Israel to the land that I have sworn to them, and I will be with you."   כגוַיְצַ֞ו אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בִּן־נ֗וּן וַיֹּ֘אמֶר֘ חֲזַ֣ק וֶֽאֱמָץ֒ כִּ֣י אַתָּ֗ה תָּבִיא֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶל־הָאָ֖רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּ֣עְתִּי לָהֶ֑ם וְאָֽנֹכִ֖י אֶֽהְיֶ֥ה עִמָּֽךְ:
And He commanded Joshua the son of Nun: This refers above (verse 16), where the subject is the Shechinah. [That God is the speaker is evident from the use of the first person]: “to the land that I have sworn to them.”   וַיְצַו אֶת־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן־נוּן: מוּסָב לְמַעְלָה כְּלַפֵּי שְׁכִינָה, כְּמוֹ שֶׁמְּפֹרָשׁ "אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתִּי לָהֶם":
24And it was, when Moses finished writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, until their very completion,   כדוַיְהִ֣י | כְּכַלּ֣וֹת משֶׁ֗ה לִכְתֹּ֛ב אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַתּוֹרָֽה־הַזֹּ֖את עַל־סֵ֑פֶר עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם:
25that Moses commanded the Levites, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying:   כהוַיְצַ֤ו משֶׁה֙ אֶת־הַֽלְוִיִּ֔ם נֹֽשְׂאֵ֛י אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִֽית־יְהֹוָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר:
26"Take this Torah scroll and place it along side the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God, and it will be there as a witness.   כולָקֹ֗חַ אֵ֣ת סֵ֤פֶר הַתּוֹרָה֙ הַזֶּ֔ה וְשַׂמְתֶּ֣ם אֹת֔וֹ מִצַּ֛ד אֲר֥וֹן בְּרִֽית־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֑ם וְהָֽיָה־שָׁ֥ם בְּךָ֖ לְעֵֽד:
Take: [This verb is employing the form known as פָּעוֹל, denoting ongoing fulfillment, a form] similar to זָכוֹר, remember (Exod. 20:8) [see Rashi on that verse]; שָׁמוֹר, observe (Deut. 5:12), and הָלוֹךְ (Gen. 8:5) [lit., going, where it means “constantly diminished” in the expression הָיוּ הָלוֹךְ וְחָסוֹר, and הָלוֹךְ וְנָסוֹעַ (Gen. 12:9), continually traveling].   לָקֹחַ: כְּמוֹ זָכוֹר (שמות כ') שָׁמוֹר (דברים ה'), הָלוֹךְ (ירמיהו ב'):
alongside the ark of covenant of the Lord, your God: The Sages of Israel differ (B.B. 14b). Some say that a board projected outward from the ark, and there it was laid, while others maintain that it was laid alongside the tablets, inside the ark.   מִצַּד אֲרוֹן בְּרִֽית־ה': נֶחְלְקוּ בוֹ חַכְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּבָבָא בָּתְרָא (דף י"ד), יֵשׁ מֵהֶם אוֹמְרִים דַּף הָיָה בוֹלֵט מִן הָאָרוֹן מִבַּחוּץ וְשָׁם הָיָה מֻנָּח, וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים מִצַּד הַלּוּחוֹת הָיָה מֻנָּח בְּתוֹךְ הָאָרוֹן:
27For I know your rebellious spirit and your stubbornness. Even while I am alive with you today you are rebelling against the Lord, and surely after my death!   כזכִּ֣י אָֽנֹכִ֤י יָדַ֨עְתִּי֙ אֶת־מֶרְיְךָ֔ וְאֶת־עָרְפְּךָ֖ הַקָּשֶׁ֑ה הֵ֣ן בְּעוֹדֶ֩נִּי֩ חַ֨י עִמָּכֶ֜ם הַיּ֗וֹם מַמְרִ֤ים הֱיִתֶם֙ עִם־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְאַ֖ף כִּי־אַֽחֲרֵ֥י מוֹתִֽי:
28Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, and I will speak these words into their ears, and I will call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses against them.   כחהַקְהִ֧ילוּ אֵלַ֛י אֶת־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֥י שִׁבְטֵיכֶ֖ם וְשֹֽׁטְרֵיכֶ֑ם וַֽאֲדַבְּרָ֣ה בְאָזְנֵיהֶ֗ם אֵ֚ת הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה וְאָעִ֣ידָה בָּ֔ם אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ:
Assemble to me: On this day they did not blow the trumpets to assemble the congregation [as they usually did (see Num. 10:2-3,7)], because the verse says, “Make for yourself [two trumpets of silver… and they will be for you to call the assembly]” (Num. 10:2). [Now, this was a commandment directed personally to Moses, because “for yourself” and “for you” are both written in the singular form. Hence, Moses made these trumpets and kept them in his possession,] and he did not give Joshua authority over them during Moses’ lifetime. Moreover, these trumpets were hidden away [by God] even during his [Moses’] lifetime, prior to the day of his passing, thus affirming the words of the verse, “and there is no ruling on the day of death” (Ecc. 8:8). - [Tanchuma Beha’alotecha 10]   הַקְהִילוּ אֵלַי: וְלֹא תָקְעוּ אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם בַּחֲצוֹצְרוֹת לְהַקְהִיל אֶת הַקָּהָל, לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר י') "עֲשֵׂה לְךָ", וְלֹא הִשְׁלִיט יְהוֹשֻׁעַ עֲלֵיהֶם, וְאַף בְּחַיָּיו נִגְנְזוּ — בְּיוֹם מוֹתוֹ — לְקַיֵּם מַה שֶּׁנֶּאֱמַר (קהלת ח') "וְאֵין שִׁלְטוֹן בְּיוֹם הַמָּוֶת" (תנחומא ויחי ובהעלותך):
and I will call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses against them: You might object, “But did God not already call them as witnesses earlier [saying,] ‘I call upon the heaven and the earth as witnesses’ (Deut. 30:19)?” [The answer is that] there God was addressing Israel [regarding this matter], but He was not [directly] addressing the heaven and the earth. Now [however] God comes to say, “Listen, O Heavens…” (Deut. 32:1), [addresses the heaven and the earth directly.   וְאָעִידָה בָּם אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ: וְאִם תֹּאמַר הֲרֵי כְּבָר הֵעִיד לְמַעְלָה — "הַעִדֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם וְגוֹ'"? הָתָם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל אָמַר, אֲבָל לַשָּׁמַיִם וְלָאָרֶץ לֹא אָמַר, וְעַכְשָׁו בָּא לוֹמַר "הַאֲזִינוּ הַשָּׁמַיִם וְגוֹ'"(דברים ל"ב):
29For I know that after my death, you will surely become corrupted, and deviate from the way which I had commanded you. Consequently, the evil will befall you at the end of days, because you did evil in the eyes of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands.   כטכִּ֣י יָדַ֗עְתִּי אַֽחֲרֵ֤י מוֹתִי֙ כִּֽי־הַשְׁחֵ֣ת תַּשְׁחִת֔וּן וְסַרְתֶּ֣ם מִן־הַדֶּ֔רֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי אֶתְכֶ֑ם וְקָרָ֨את אֶתְכֶ֤ם הָֽרָעָה֙ בְּאַֽחֲרִ֣ית הַיָּמִ֔ים כִּי־תַֽעֲשׂ֤וּ אֶת־הָרַע֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה לְהַכְעִיס֖וֹ בְּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֥ה יְדֵיכֶֽם:
[For I know that] after my death, you will surely become corrupted: But actually, throughout all the days of Joshua, they [the Jews] did not become corrupt, for the verse states, “And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua” (Jud. 2:7). [What, then, did Moses mean when he said that they would become corrupted after his death? We learn] from here that a person’s disciple is as dear to him as his own self, for as long as Joshua was alive [even after Moses’ passing], for Moses it was as though he himself was alive. [Hence, when Moses said“after my death,” he was in fact alluding to the death of Joshua, thus referring to the period after Joshua’s passing.]   אַֽחֲרֵי מוֹתִי כִּי הַשְׁחֵת תשחיתון: וַהֲרֵי כָּל יְמוֹת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ לֹא הִשְׁחִיתוּ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "וַיַּעַבְדוּ הָעָם אֶת ה' כֹּל יְמֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ" (שופטים ב')? מִכָּאן שֶׁתַּלְמִידוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם חָבִיב עָלָיו כְּגוּפוֹ, כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיְּהוֹשֻׁעַ חַי הָיָה נִרְאֶה לְמֹשֶׁה כְּאִלּוּ הוּא חַי:
30Then, Moses spoke into the ears of the entire assembly of Israel the words of the following song, until their completion.   לוַיְדַבֵּ֣ר משֶׁ֗ה בְּאָזְנֵי֙ כָּל־קְהַ֣ל יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֖י הַשִּׁירָ֣ה הַזֹּ֑את עַ֖ד תֻּמָּֽם: