The Meaning of Deuteronomy 33:5 Explained

Deuteronomy 33:5

KJV: And he was king in Jeshurun, when the heads of the people and the tribes of Israel were gathered together.

YLT: And he is in Jeshurun king, In the heads of the people gathering together, The tribes of Israel!

Darby: And he was king in Jeshurun, When the heads of the people And the tribes of Israel were gathered together.

ASV: And he was king in Jeshurun, When the heads of the people were gathered, All the tribes of Israel together.

What does Deuteronomy 33:5 Mean?

Context Summary

Deuteronomy 33:1-17 - The Blessing Of The Chosen People
The glorious nature of God is the opening theme here. The reference is to the giving of the Law when, amid fire and the mediation of angels, God descended on Sinai, Psalms 18:7-9; Habakkuk 3:3-4. Oh, that we, too, may sit as pupils in God's school and receive His words, Deuteronomy 33:3.
Though Reuben could not excel, he was not forgotten. Simeon is omitted because of Numbers 25:14. Judah was to receive prosperity in prayer, in work and in war. Some render the benediction thus: "Bring him in safety from his wars!" But our warfare is different, Ephesians 6:12.
Levi receives special blessing. Note r.v. margin: "Thy Thummim and thy Urim are with him whom thou lovest." This is the white diamond-stone flashing with God's "Yes" or dimming with His "No," Revelation 2:17. Exodus 32:26 was never forgotten. See Matthew 25:37. But God forgets our sins, Hebrews 8:12. Benjamin's portion may be yours. The precious things of Joseph's heritage pale to insignificance when contrasted with the riches of God's grace, Ephesians 1:18. [source]

Chapter Summary: Deuteronomy 33

1  The majesty of God
6  The blessings of the twelve tribes
26  The excellence of Israel

What do the individual words in Deuteronomy 33:5 mean?

And He was in Jeshurun King when were gathered the leaders of the people together all the tribes of Israel
וַיְהִ֥י בִישֻׁר֖וּן מֶ֑לֶךְ בְּהִתְאַסֵּף֙ רָ֣אשֵׁי עָ֔ם יַ֖חַד שִׁבְטֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל

וַיְהִ֥י  And  He  was 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: אֶהְיֶה 
Sense: to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out.
בִישֻׁר֖וּן  in  Jeshurun 
Parse: Preposition-b, Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: יְשֻׁרוּן  
Sense: a symbolic name for Israel describing her ideal character.
מֶ֑לֶךְ  King 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מֶלֶךְ 
Sense: king.
בְּהִתְאַסֵּף֙  when  were  gathered 
Parse: Preposition-b, Verb, Hitpael, Infinitive construct
Root: אָסַף 
Sense: to gather, receive, remove, gather in.
רָ֣אשֵׁי  the  leaders 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: רֹאשׁ 
Sense: head, top, summit, upper part, chief, total, sum, height, front, beginning.
עָ֔ם  of  the  people 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: עַם 
Sense: nation, people.
יַ֖חַד  together 
Parse: Adverb
Root: יַחַד 
Sense: union, unitedness adv.
שִׁבְטֵ֥י  all  the  tribes 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct
Root: שֵׁבֶט  
Sense: rod, staff, branch, offshoot, club, sceptre, tribe.
יִשְׂרָאֵֽל  of  Israel 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יִשְׂרָאֵל  
Sense: the second name for Jacob given to him by God after his wrestling with the angel at Peniel.