Thanks for pointing me to the NET Bible.
I have reproduced that material, as well as pointing to a Paper referred to in the NET Footnote.
NET Bible: Deuteronomy 32:8, 9
When the Most High [footnote 12, below] gave the nations their inheritance,
when he divided up humankind [footnote 13],
he set the boundaries of the peoples,
according to the number of the heavenly assembly [footnote 14].
For the Lord’s allotment is his people,
Jacob is his special possession [footnote 15].
12. The Hebrew term עֶלְיוֹן (ʿelyon) is an abbreviated form of the divine name El Elyon, frequently translated “God Most High” (so here NCV, CEV) or
something similar. This full name (or epithet) occurs only in Gen 14, though the two
elements are parallel in Pss
73:11; 107:11; etc. Here it is clear that Elyon has to do with the nations
in general whereas in v. 9, by contrast, Yahweh relates specifically to Israel.
See T. Fretheim, NIDOTTE 1:400-401. The title depicts God as the sovereign ruler of
the world, who is enthroned high above his dominion.
13. Heb “the sons of man” (so NASB); or “the sons of Adam” (so KJV).
14. Heb “the sons of
Israel.” The idea, perhaps, is that Israel was central to Yahweh’s purposes and
all other nations were arranged and distributed according to how they related
to Israel. … For the MT יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּנֵי (bne yisraʾel, “sons of Israel”) a Qumran fragment has “sons of God,”
while the LXX reads ἀγγέλων θεοῦ (angelōn theou, “angels of God”), presupposing בְּנֵי אֵל (bne ʾel) or בְּנֵי אֵלִים (bene ʾelim). “Sons of God” is
undoubtedly the original reading; the MT and LXX have each interpreted it
differently. MT assumes that the expression “sons of God” refers to Israel (cf.
Hos. 1:10), while LXX has assumed that the phrase refers to the angelic
heavenly assembly (Pss 29:1; 89:6; cf.
as well Ps 82). The phrase is also attested in Ugaritic, where it refers to the
high god El’s divine assembly. According to the latter view, which is reflected
in the translation, the Lord delegated jurisdiction over the nations to his
angelic host (cf. Dan 10:13-21), while
reserving for himself Israel, over whom he rules directly. For a defense of the
view taken here, see M. S. Heiser, “Deuteronomy 32:8 and the Sons of God,” BSac 158 (2001): 52-74.
The article by Heiser is available for download at
It certainly looks most interesting.