I showed a brother a verse yesterday that I find fascinating, and he was surprised by it. He’s been a Christian for 40 years, and he didn’t know about it. Why? Because it only reads the way I read it to him in the Septuagint.
Rather than quote the LXX version, I’ll let Clement of Rome quote it for you::
“For thus it is written, ‘When the Most High divided the nations, when He scattered the sons of Adam, He fixed the bounds of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. His people Jacob became the portion of the Lord, and Israel the lot of His inheritance’ [Deut. 32:8-9]. And in another place it says, ‘Behold, the Lord takes for Himself a nation out of the midst of the nations, as a man takes the first-fruits of his threshing-floor; and from that nation shall come forth the Holy of Holies’ [Num. 18:27; 2 Chr. 31:14].” (1 Clement 29)
The second part is a bit of a concoction (i.e., a borderline mistake) by Clement, but the first is a direct quote from Deuteronomy 32. The nations were divided up among ruling angels, but Israel became the Lord’s portion. Clement then compresses two verses together to say that the Messiah will come from the nation that is the Lord’s portion. We all know the Messiah came from Israel, so we don’t need to argue over whether Clement’s compression of the two verses forms a legitimate prophecy.
Clement follows that quote by saying:
“Seeing, therefore, that we are the portion of the Holy One, let us do all those things which pertain to holiness, avoiding all evil-speaking, all abominable and impure embraces, together with all drunkenness, seeking youthful lusts, all abominable lusts, detestable adultery, and execrable pride.” (ibid. 30)
What a thought! God divided up the nations and assigned them to ruling angels, but Jacob he kept for himself. We who follow Jesus, whose circumcision is of the heart and of the Spirit, we are Israel, the lot that fell to our Lord Jesus (Rom. 2:28-29). We are the true circumcision, the ones who worship God in spirit, rejoice in the Lord Jesus the Messiah, and have no confidence in the flesh.