||When the Most High gave nations their heritage and split up the sons of man, He set up the borders of nations to parallel the number of Israel's descendants.
Behanchel Elyon goyim behafrido beney adam yatsev gvulot amim lemispar beney Yisra'el.
||But His own nation remained God's portion; Jacob was the lot of His heritage.
Ki chelek Adonay amo Ya'akov chevel nachalato.
||He brought them into being in a desert region, in a desolate, howling wasteland. He encompassed them and granted them wisdom, protecting them like the pupil of His eye.
Yimtsa'ehu be'erets midbar uvetohu yelel yeshimon yesovevenhu yevonenehu yitsrenhu ke'ishon eyno.
(Targum). Or, 'Adam' (Septuagint). Referring to the the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11).
Seventy nations (note on Genesis 10:32), paralleling the seventy individuals who went to Egypt with Jacob (Genesis 46:27; Targum Yonathan; Rashi).
(Sifri). Chevel in Hebrew. Or, 'group' (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah; cf. Sifri; Rashi); 'portion' (Chizzkuni); 'line' (Septuagint), or, 'rope' (cf. Rashi).
|brought them into being|
(Malbim). Or, 'found them,' or, 'sustained them' (Targum). Or, 'They found Him' (Ralbag).
(Targum Yonathan; Rashi; Ibn Ezra; Radak, Sherashim). Yelel in Hebrew. Or, 'parched' (Targum; Septuagint).
Yeshimon. See Numbers 21:19.
Or, 'led them around' (Ralbag).