This verse in Torah sounds highly cryptic and it seems that a message is conveyed in it:

And he said: The LORD came from Sinai, and rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, and He came from the myriads holy, at His right hand was a fiery law unto them.
Deuteronomy 33:2

Where are the mountains Seir and Paran, and what is meaning of this verse from the apocryphal or oldest sources?

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    If by "OLDEST," you mean "oldest available," then this question is answerable. If you mean some specific era, then it might not be.
    – Isaac Moses
    Feb 28, 2013 at 10:15
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    @ali, respectfully, "oldest" and "most authoritative" are not necessarily the same thing from the Jewish perspective. Honestly, if you refuse to respect our traditions when you ask your questions about our traditions, This may not be the place for you to ask them.
    – Seth J
    Feb 28, 2013 at 16:17
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    @DoubleAA, I understood it to be implied by the fact that he has consistently stated in virtually all his other posts and comments that he does not put much stock in "later" commentaries, including from the Mishnaic and Talmudic eras. I assume (perhaps incorrectly) that he is once again baiting an answer to criticize for not being "old enough" to have any validity.
    – Seth J
    Feb 28, 2013 at 16:49
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    @double aa, no I didn't. I told him to assume our traditions are legitimate, and to respect the fact that we believe in them, if he's going to ask questions about them, and expect to learn more. if his goal is to undermine them, it's not our job to help him.
    – Seth J
    Feb 28, 2013 at 17:40

1 Answer 1


Rashi is informative. I'll copy paste it here from http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9997

He said: The Lord came from Sinai: Moses initiated his blessing by praising the Omnipresent, and then he addressed the needs of Israel. — [Sifrei 33:2] The praise with which Moses commenced, mentions the merit of Israel. All this was a way of conciliation, as if to say, “These people are worthy that a blessing should rest upon them.”

came from Sinai: He came out toward them when they came to stand at the foot of the mountain, as a bridegroom goes forth to greet his bride, as it is said, “[And Moses brought the people forth] toward God” (Exod. 19:17). We learn from this, that God came out toward them (Mechilta 19:17).

and shone forth from Seir to them: [Why did He come from Seir?] Because God first offered the children of Esau [who dwelled in Seir] that they accept the Torah, but they did not want [to accept it].

He appeared: to them [Israel]

from Mount Paran: [Why did God then come from Paran?] Because He went there and offered the children of Ishmael [who dwelled in Paran] to accept the Torah, but they [also] did not want [to accept it]. — [A.Z. 2b]

and came: to Israel.

with some holy myriads: With God were only some of the myriads of His holy angels, but not all of them, nor [even] most of them. This is unlike the manner of a mortal, who displays all the splendor of his riches and his glory on his wedding day. — [Sifrei 33:2]

a fiery law for them: It was originally written before God in [letters of] black fire upon [a background of] white fire. — [Tanchuma Bereishith 1] He gave it to them on tablets, inscribed, [as it were,] by His right hand [thus it is said here, “from His right hand”]. Another explanation of אֵשׁ דָּת : As the Targum renders it, that He gave it to them from amidst the fire.

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