Deuteronomy 33:25


King James Version (KJV)

Your shoes shall be iron and brass; and as your days, so shall your strength be.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Your shoes shall be iron and brass; and as your days, so shall your strength be.

American Standard Version (ASV)

Thy bars shall be iron and brass; And as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Your shoes will be iron and brass; and as your days, so may your work be.

Webster's Revision

Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

World English Bible

Your bars shall be iron and brass. As your days, so your strength will be.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Thy bars shall be iron and brass; And as thy days, so shall thy strength be.

Clarke's Deuteronomy 33:25 Bible Commentary

Thy shoes shall be iron and brass - Some suppose this may refer to the iron and copper mines in their territory; but it is more likely that it relates to their warlike disposition, as we know that greaves, boots, shoes, etc., of iron, brass, and tin, were used by ancient warriors. Goliath had greaves of brass on his legs, 1 Samuel 17:6; and the brazen-booted Greeks, χαλκοκνημιδες Αχαιοι, is one of the epithets given by Homer to his heroes; see Iliad. lib. viii., ver. 41.

And as thy days, so shall thy strength be - If we take this clause as it appears here, we have at once an easy sense; and the saying, I have no doubt, has comforted the souls of multitudes. The meaning is obvious: "Whatever thy trials or difficulties may be, I shall always give thee grace to support thee under and bring thee through them." The original is only two words, the latter of which has been translated in a great variety of ways, וכימיך דבאך ucheyameycha dobecha. Of the first term there can be no doubt, it literally means, and as thy days; the second word, דבא dobe, occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Bible: the Septuagint have rendered it by ισχυς, strength, and most of the versions have followed them; but others have rendered it affliction, old age, fame, weakness, etc., etc. It would be almost endless to follow interpreters through their conjectures concerning its meaning. It is allowed among learned men, that where a word occurs not as a verb in the Hebrew Bible, its root may be legitimately sought in the Arabic. He who controverts this position knows little of the ground on which he stands. In this language the root is found; daba signifies he rested, was quiet. This gives a very good sense, and a very appropriate one; for as the borders of this tribe lay on the vicinity of the Phoenicians, it was naturally to be expected that they should be constantly exposed to irruptions, pillage, etc.; but God, to give them confidence in his protection, says, According to thy days - all circumstances and vicissitudes, so shall thy Rest be - while faithful to thy God no evil shall touch thee; thy days shall increase, and thy quiet be lengthened out. This is an unfailing promise of God: "I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed upon me, because he trusteth in me;" therefore "trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength;" Isaiah 26:4. Some derive it from dabi, he abounded in riches; the interpretation then would be, As thy days increase, so shall thy riches. This makes a very good sense also. See Rosenmuller.

Moses, having now finished what God gave him to predict concerning the twelve tribes, and what he was led in the fullness of his heart to pray for in their behalf, addresses all the tribes collectively under the names Jeshurun and Israel; and in an ode of astonishing energy and elegance describes this wondrous people, and their still more wonderful privileges. The reader will observe that, though the latter part of this chapter appears in the form of prose in our Bibles, yet it is written in hemistichs or short metrical lines in the original, which is the form in which all the Hebrew poetry is written; and as in other cases, so in this, it would contribute much to the easy understanding of the author's meaning, were the translation produced in lines corresponding to those of the original.

Barnes's Deuteronomy 33:25 Bible Commentary

The strength and firmness of Asher is as if he were shod with iron and brass (compare Revelation 1:15). The territory of this tribe probably contained iron and copper. Compare the marginal reference.

As thy days, so shall thy strength be - i. e., "thy strength" (some prefer "thy rest") "shall be continued to thee as long as thou shalt live: thou shalt never know feebleness and decay."

Wesley's Deuteronomy 33:25 Bible Commentary

33:25 Iron and brass - The mines of iron and copper, which were in their portion, whence Sidon their neighbor was famous among the Heathens for its plenty of brass, and Sarepta is thought to have its name from the brass and iron which were melted there in great quantity. Thy strength shall be - Thy strength shall not be diminished with age, but thou shalt have the vigor of youth even in thine old age: thy tribe shalt grow stronger and stronger.

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