Deuteronomy 33:12

12 About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.”

Read Deuteronomy 33:12 Using Other Translations

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.
Of Benjamin he said, "The beloved of the LORD dwells in safety. The High God surrounds him all day long, and dwells between his shoulders."
Moses said this about the tribe of Benjamin: “The people of Benjamin are loved by the LORD and live in safety beside him. He surrounds them continuously and preserves them from every harm.”

What does Deuteronomy 33:12 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Deuteronomy 33:12

[And] of Benjamin he said
The tribe of Benjamin, as the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; which is taken notice of next to Levi, because, as the priesthood was in the tribe of Levi, the temple in which the priests officiated was in the tribe of Benjamin, or near it; and is observed next but one to Judah, and before his elder brother Joseph, because his tribe lay between Judah and Joseph, ( Joshua 18:11 ) ; and Levi having no inheritance in the land:

the beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him;
this is commonly understood of the tribe of Benjamin, beloved by the Lord, as the head of the tribe was by his father Jacob; the first king of Israel being of that tribe, and the temple built in it, or on the edge of it, and its land the most fat and fertile of the land of Canaan, as Josephus F13 observes; and may be said to "dwell by him", the Lord, because the tabernacle of the Lord was so near that tribe, and so to dwell "in safety" under his protection, and which was the means of preserving it from apostasy, when ten tribes revolted: though the Messiah may be intended, the Son of God, and man of God's right hand, the antitype of Benjamin, the beloved of the Lord, and dear son of his love; his Benjamin, who is now in human nature exalted at his right hand: and this may denote his inhabitation in the flesh, and dwelling by or near Benjamin, being born at Bethlehem in the tribe of Judah, bordering on Benjamin, and frequently had his abode in Jerusalem, which was in the tribe of Benjamin, ( Joshua 18:28 ) ; and where he was in safety amidst his enemies, they not having power to lay hold on him until his hour was come:

[and the Lord] shall cover him all the day long;
for ever, as Jarchi notes, because that, after Jerusalem was chosen, the divine Majesty dwelt in no other place: this may be understood either of the Messiah covering Benjamin and protecting him, as he is the covert of all his Benjamites and beloved ones, from all their enemies, from all evils and dangers, from all storms and tempests, and everything troublesome and distressing, see ( Isaiah 32:2 ) ; or the Lord's covering his beloved One the Messiah; as he did in his infancy, from the designs of Herod upon his life, and from the attempts of others before his time was come; he hid him in the shadow of his hand, ( Isaiah 49:2 ) ;

and he shall dwell between his shoulders;
either the Lord shall dwell between the shoulders of Benjamin; the temple in which the Lord dwelt was built on Mount Moriah, in the tribe of Benjamin, in the highest part of his land, as Jarchi notes; the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem paraphrase the words,

``in his border the Shechinah (or the glory of the Shechinah of the Lord) shall dwell,''

for if the temple was not within the tribe of Benjamin, yet it was certainly on the borders of it: or Benjamin shall dwell between the shoulders of the Lord, being bore up and supported by him: Christ dwells in the hearts of his people, and over them as an head, and they dwell upon his shoulders, on which the care and government of them lies, ( Isaiah 9:6 ) ; in the Talmud F14 this passage is applied to the days of the Messiah.


F13 Antiqu. l. 5. c. 1. sect. 22.
F14 T. Bab. Zebachim, fol. 118. 2.
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