26:1 When 1 you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you occupy it and live in it, 26:2 you must take the first of all the ground’s produce you harvest from the land the Lord your God is giving you, place it in a basket, and go to the place where he 2 chooses to locate his name. 3 26:3 You must go to the priest in office at that time and say to him, “I declare today to the Lord your 4 God that I have come into the land that the Lord 5 promised 6 to our ancestors 7 to give us.” 26:4 The priest will then take the basket from you 8 and set it before the altar of the Lord your God. 26:5 Then you must affirm before the Lord your God, “A wandering 9 Aramean 10 was my ancestor, 11 and he went down to Egypt and lived there as a foreigner with a household few in number, 12 but there he became a great, powerful, and numerous people. 26:6 But the Egyptians mistreated and oppressed us, forcing us to do burdensome labor. 26:7 So we cried out to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, and he 13 heard us and saw our humiliation, toil, and oppression. 26:8 Therefore the Lord brought us out of Egypt with tremendous strength and power, 14 as well as with great awe-inspiring signs and wonders. 26:9 Then he brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 26:10 So now, look! I have brought the first of the ground’s produce that you, Lord, have given me.” Then you must set it down before the Lord your God and worship before him. 15 26:11 You will celebrate all the good things that the Lord your God has given you and your family, 16 along with the Levites and the resident foreigners among you.
26:12 When you finish tithing all 17 your income in the third year (the year of tithing), you must give it to the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows 18 so that they may eat to their satisfaction in your villages. 19 26:13 Then you shall say before the Lord your God, “I have removed the sacred offering 20 from my house and given it to the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows just as you have commanded me. 21 I have not violated or forgotten your commandments. 26:14 I have not eaten anything when I was in mourning, or removed any of it while ceremonially unclean, or offered any of it to the dead; 22 I have obeyed you 23 and have done everything you have commanded me. 26:15 Look down from your holy dwelling place in heaven and bless your people Israel and the land you have given us, just as you promised our ancestors – a land flowing with milk and honey.”
26:16 Today the Lord your God is commanding you to keep these statutes and ordinances, something you must do with all your heart and soul. 24 26:17 Today you have declared the Lord to be your God, and that you will walk in his ways, keep his statutes, commandments, and ordinances, and obey him. 26:18 And today the Lord has declared you to be his special people (as he already promised you) so you may keep all his commandments. 26:19 Then 25 he will elevate you above all the nations he has made and you will receive praise, fame, and honor. 26 You will 27 be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he has said.
27:1 Then Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Pay attention to all the commandments 28 I am giving 29 you today. 27:2 When you cross the Jordan River 30 to the land the Lord your God is giving you, you must erect great stones and cover 31 them with plaster. 27:3 Then you must inscribe on them all the words of this law when you cross over, so that you may enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, 32 said to you. 27:4 So when you cross the Jordan you must erect on Mount Ebal 33 these stones about which I am commanding you today, and you must cover them with plaster. 27:5 Then you must build an altar there to the Lord your God, an altar of stones – do not use an iron tool on them. 27:6 You must build the altar of the Lord your God with whole stones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. 27:7 Also you must offer fellowship offerings and eat them there, rejoicing before the Lord your God. 27:8 You must inscribe on the stones all the words of this law, making them clear.”
27:9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to all Israel: “Be quiet and pay attention, Israel. Today you have become the people of the Lord your God. 27:10 You must obey him 34 and keep his commandments and statutes that I am giving you today.” 27:11 Moreover, Moses commanded the people that day: 27:12 “The following tribes 35 must stand to bless the people on Mount Gerizim when you cross the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 27:13 And these other tribes must stand for the curse on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
27:14 “The Levites will call out to every Israelite 36 with a loud voice: 27:15 ‘Cursed is the one 37 who makes a carved or metal image – something abhorrent 38 to the Lord, the work of the craftsman 39 – and sets it up in a secret place.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 40 27:16 ‘Cursed 41 is the one who disrespects 42 his father and mother.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:17 ‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s boundary marker.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:18 ‘Cursed is the one who misleads a blind person on the road.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:19 ‘Cursed is the one who perverts justice for the resident foreigner, the orphan, and the widow.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:20 ‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with 43 his father’s former wife, 44 for he dishonors his father.’ 45 Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:21 ‘Cursed is the one who commits bestiality.’ 46 Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:22 ‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with his sister, the daughter of either his father or mother.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:23 ‘Cursed is the one who has sexual relations with his mother-in-law.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:24 ‘Cursed is the one who kills 47 his neighbor in private.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:25 ‘Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:26 ‘Cursed is the one who refuses to keep the words of this law.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’
28:1 “If you indeed 48 obey the Lord your God and are careful to observe all his commandments I am giving 49 you today, the Lord your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth. 28:2 All these blessings will come to you in abundance 50 if you obey the Lord your God: 28:3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. 51 28:4 Your children 52 will be blessed, as well as the produce of your soil, the offspring of your livestock, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 28:5 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be blessed. 28:6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 53 28:7 The Lord will cause your enemies who attack 54 you to be struck down before you; they will attack you from one direction 55 but flee from you in seven different directions. 28:8 The Lord will decree blessing for you with respect to your barns and in everything you do – yes, he will bless you in the land he 56 is giving you. 28:9 The Lord will designate you as his holy people just as he promised you, if you keep his commandments 57 and obey him. 58 28:10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you belong to the Lord, 59 and they will respect you. 28:11 The Lord will greatly multiply your children, 60 the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil in the land which he 61 promised your ancestors 62 he would give you. 28:12 The Lord will open for you his good treasure house, the heavens, to give you rain for the land in its season and to bless all you do; 63 you will lend to many nations but you will not borrow from any. 28:13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always end up at the top and not at the bottom, if you obey his 64 commandments which I am urging 65 you today to be careful to do. 28:14 But you must not turn away from all the commandments I am giving 66 you today, to either the right or left, nor pursue other gods and worship 67 them.
28:15 “But if you ignore 68 the Lord your God and are not careful to keep all his commandments and statutes I am giving you today, then all these curses will come upon you in full force: 69 28:16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the field. 28:17 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be cursed. 28:18 Your children 70 will be cursed, as well as the produce of your soil, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 28:19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. 71
28:20 “The Lord will send on you a curse, confusing you and opposing you 72 in everything you undertake 73 until you are destroyed and quickly perish because of the evil of your deeds, in that you have forsaken me. 74 28:21 The Lord will plague you with deadly diseases 75 until he has completely removed you from the land you are about to possess. 28:22 He 76 will afflict you with weakness, 77 fever, inflammation, infection, 78 sword, 79 blight, and mildew; these will attack you until you perish. 28:23 The 80 sky 81 above your heads will be bronze and the earth beneath you iron. 28:24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; it will come down on you from the sky until you are destroyed.
28:25 “The Lord will allow you to be struck down before your enemies; you will attack them from one direction but flee from them in seven directions and will become an object of terror 82 to all the kingdoms of the earth. 28:26 Your carcasses will be food for every bird of the sky and wild animal of the earth, and there will be no one to chase them off. 28:27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, eczema, and scabies, all of which cannot be healed. 28:28 The Lord will also subject you to madness, blindness, and confusion of mind. 83 28:29 You will feel your way along at noon like the blind person does in darkness and you will not succeed in anything you do; 84 you will be constantly oppressed and continually robbed, with no one to save you. 28:30 You will be engaged to a woman and another man will rape 85 her. You will build a house but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but not even begin to use it. 28:31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your very eyes but you will not eat of it. Your donkey will be stolen from you as you watch and will not be returned to you. Your flock of sheep will be given to your enemies and there will be no one to save you. 28:32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people while you look on in vain all day, and you will be powerless to do anything about it. 86 28:33 As for the produce of your land and all your labor, a people you do not know will consume it, and you will be nothing but oppressed and crushed for the rest of your lives. 28:34 You will go insane from seeing all this. 28:35 The Lord will afflict you in your knees and on your legs with painful, incurable boils – from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. 28:36 The Lord will force you and your king 87 whom you will appoint over you to go away to a people whom you and your ancestors have not known, and you will serve other gods of wood and stone there. 28:37 You will become an occasion of horror, a proverb, and an object of ridicule to all the peoples to whom the Lord will drive you.
28:38 “You will take much seed to the field but gather little harvest, because locusts will consume it. 28:39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them, but you will not drink wine or gather in grapes, because worms will eat them. 28:40 You will have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with olive oil, because the olives will drop off the trees while still unripe. 88 28:41 You will bear sons and daughters but not keep them, because they will be taken into captivity. 28:42 Whirring locusts 89 will take over every tree and all the produce of your soil. 28:43 The foreigners 90 who reside among you will become higher and higher over you and you will become lower and lower. 28:44 They will lend to you but you will not lend to them; they will become the head and you will become the tail!
28:45 All these curses will fall on you, pursuing and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping his commandments and statutes that he has given 91 you. 28:46 These curses 92 will be a perpetual sign and wonder with reference to you and your descendants. 93
28:47 “Because you have not served the Lord your God joyfully and wholeheartedly with the abundance of everything you have, 28:48 instead in hunger, thirst, nakedness, and poverty 94 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. They 95 will place an iron yoke on your neck until they have destroyed you. 28:49 The Lord will raise up a distant nation against you, one from the other side of the earth 96 as the eagle flies, 97 a nation whose language you will not understand, 28:50 a nation of stern appearance that will have no regard for the elderly or pity for the young. 28:51 They 98 will devour the offspring of your livestock and the produce of your soil until you are destroyed. They will not leave you with any grain, new wine, olive oil, calves of your herds, 99 or lambs of your flocks 100 until they have destroyed you. 28:52 They will besiege all of your villages 101 until all of your high and fortified walls collapse – those in which you put your confidence throughout the land. They will besiege all your villages throughout the land the Lord your God has given you. 28:53 You will then eat your own offspring, 102 the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you, because of the severity of the siege 103 by which your enemies will constrict you. 28:54 The man among you who is by nature tender and sensitive will turn against his brother, his beloved wife, and his remaining children. 28:55 He will withhold from all of them his children’s flesh that he is eating (since there is nothing else left), because of the severity of the siege by which your enemy will constrict 104 you in your villages. 28:56 Likewise, the most 105 tender and delicate of your women, who would never think of putting even the sole of her foot on the ground because of her daintiness, 106 will turn against her beloved husband, her sons and daughters, 28:57 and will secretly eat her afterbirth 107 and her newborn children 108 (since she has nothing else), 109 because of the severity of the siege by which your enemy will constrict you in your villages.
28:58 “If you refuse to obey 110 all the words of this law, the things written in this scroll, and refuse to fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, 28:59 then the Lord will increase your punishments and those of your descendants – great and long-lasting afflictions and severe, enduring illnesses. 28:60 He will infect you with all the diseases of Egypt 111 that you dreaded, and they will persistently afflict you. 112 28:61 Moreover, the Lord will bring upon you every kind of sickness and plague not mentioned in this scroll of commandments, 113 until you have perished. 28:62 There will be very few of you left, though at one time you were as numerous as the stars in the sky, 114 because you will have disobeyed 115 the Lord your God. 28:63 This is what will happen: Just as the Lord delighted to do good for you and make you numerous, he 116 will take delight in destroying and decimating you. You will be uprooted from the land you are about to possess. 28:64 The Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of wood and stone. 28:65 Among those nations you will have no rest nor will there be a place of peaceful rest for the soles of your feet, for there the Lord will give you an anxious heart, failing eyesight, and a spirit of despair. 28:66 Your life will hang in doubt before you; you will be terrified by night and day and will have no certainty of surviving from one day to the next. 117 28:67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘I wish it were morning!’ because of the things you will fear and the things you will see. 28:68 Then the Lord will make you return to Egypt by ship, over a route I said to you that you would never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
1 tn Heb “and it will come to pass that.”
2 tn Heb “the
3 sn The place where he chooses to locate his name. This is a circumlocution for the central sanctuary, first the tabernacle and later the Jerusalem temple. See Deut 12:1-14 and especially the note on the word “you” in v. 14.
4 tc For the MT reading “your God,” certain LXX
5 tc The Syriac adds “your God” to complete the usual formula.
6 tn Heb “swore on oath.”
8 tn Heb “your hand.”
9 tn Though the Hebrew term אָבַד (’avad) generally means “to perish” or the like (HALOT 2-3 s.v.; BDB 1-2 s.v.; cf. KJV “a Syrian ready to perish”), a meaning “to go astray” or “to be lost” is also attested. The ambivalence in the Hebrew text is reflected in the versions where LXX Vaticanus reads ἀπέβαλεν (apebalen, “lose”) for a possibly metathesized reading found in Alexandrinus, Ambrosianus, ἀπέλαβεν (apelaben, “receive”); others attest κατέλειπεν (kateleipen, “leave, abandon”). “Wandering” seems to suit best the contrast with the sedentary life Israel would enjoy in Canaan (v. 9) and is the meaning followed by many English versions.
11 tn Heb “father.”
12 tn Heb “sojourned there few in number.” The words “with a household” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarity.
14 tn Heb “by a powerful hand and an extended arm.” These are anthropomorphisms designed to convey God’s tremendously great power in rescuing Israel from their Egyptian bondage. They are preserved literally in many English versions (cf. KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).
16 tn Or “household” (so NASB, NIV, NLT); Heb “house” (so KJV, NRSV).
17 tn Heb includes “the tithes of.” This has not been included in the translation to avoid redundancy.
19 tn Heb “gates.”
20 tn Heb “the sacred thing.” The term הַקֹּדֶשׁ (haqqodesh) likely refers to an offering normally set apart for the
21 tn Heb “according to all your commandment that you commanded me.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
22 sn These practices suggest overtones of pagan ritual, all of which the confessor denies having undertaken. In Canaan they were connected with fertility practices associated with harvest time. See E. H. Merrill, Deuteronomy (NAC), 335-36.
24 tn Or “mind and being”; cf. NCV “with your whole being”; TEV “obey them faithfully with all your heart.”
25 tn Heb “so that.” Verses 18-19 are one sentence in the Hebrew text, but the translation divides it into three sentences for stylistic reasons. The first clause in verse 19 gives a result of the preceding clause. When Israel keeps God’s law, God will bless them with fame and honor (cf. NAB “he will then raise you high in praise and renown and glory”; NLT “And if you do, he will make you greater than any other nation”).
26 tn Heb “for praise and for a name and for glory.”
27 tn Heb “and to be.” A new sentence was started here for stylistic reasons.
30 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
32 tn Heb “fathers.”
33 tc Smr reads “Mount Gerizim” for the MT reading “Mount Ebal” to justify the location of the Samaritan temple there in the postexilic period. This reading is patently self-serving and does not reflect the original. In the NT when the Samaritan woman of Sychar referred to “this mountain” as the place of worship for her community she obviously had Gerizim in mind (cf. John 4:20).
34 tn Heb “listen to the voice of the
35 tn The word “tribes” has been supplied here and in the following verse in the translation for clarity.
36 tn Heb “Israelite man.”
37 tn Heb “man,” but in a generic sense here.
38 tn The Hebrew term translated here “abhorrent” (תּוֹעֵבָה, to’evah) speaks of attitudes and/or behaviors so vile as to be reprehensible to a holy God. See note on the word “abhorrent” in Deut 7:25.
39 tn Heb “craftsman’s hands.”
40 tn Or “So be it!” The term is an affirmation expressing agreement with the words of the Levites.
41 tn The Levites speak again at this point; throughout this pericope the Levites pronounce the curse and the people respond with “Amen.”
42 tn The Hebrew term קָלָה (qalah) means to treat with disdain or lack of due respect (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV “dishonors”; NLT “despises”). It is the opposite of כָּבֵד (kaved, “to be heavy,” that is, to treat with reverence and proper deference). To treat a parent lightly is to dishonor him or her and thus violate the fifth commandment (Deut 5:16; cf. Exod 21:17).
46 tn Heb “lies with any animal” (so NASB, NRSV). “To lie with” is a Hebrew euphemism for having sexual relations with someone (or in this case, some animal).
47 tn Or “strikes down” (so NRSV).
48 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “indeed.”
50 tn Heb “come upon you and overtake you” (so NASB, NRSV); NIV “come upon you and accompany you.”
52 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
53 sn Come in…go out. To “come in” and “go out” is a figure of speech (merism) indicating all of life and its activities.
54 tn Heb “who rise up against” (so NIV).
56 tn Heb “the
57 tn Heb “the commandments of the
58 tn Heb “and walk in his ways” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
60 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “will give you a lot of children.”
63 tn Heb “all the work of your hands.”
65 tn Heb “commanding” (so NRSV); NASB “which I charge you today.”
66 tn Heb “from all the words which I am commanding.”
67 tn Heb “in order to serve.”
68 tn Heb “do not hear the voice of.”
69 tn Heb “and overtake you” (so NIV, NRSV); NAB, NLT “and overwhelm you.”
70 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
72 tn Heb “the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke” (NASB and NIV similar); NRSV “disaster, panic, and frustration.”
73 tn Heb “in all the stretching out of your hand.”
74 tc For the MT first person common singular suffix (“me”), the LXX reads either “Lord” (Lucian) or third person masculine singular suffix (“him”; various codices). The MT’s more difficult reading probably represents the original text.
tn Heb “the evil of your doings wherein you have forsaken me”; CEV “all because you rejected the Lord.”
75 tn Heb “will cause pestilence to cling to you.”
77 tn Or perhaps “consumption” (so KJV, NASB, NRSV). The term is from a verbal root that indicates a weakening of one’s physical strength (cf. NAB “wasting”; NIV, NLT “wasting disease”).
78 tn Heb “hot fever”; NIV “scorching heat.”
79 tn Or “drought” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT).
80 tc The MT reads “Your.” The LXX reads “Heaven will be to you.”
81 tn Or “heavens” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
82 tc The meaningless MT reading זַעֲוָה (za’avah) is clearly a transposition of the more commonly attested Hebrew noun זְוָעָה (zÿva’ah, “terror”).
83 tn Heb “heart” (so KJV, NASB).
84 tn Heb “you will not cause your ways to prosper.”
85 tc For MT reading שָׁגַל (shagal, “ravish; violate”), the Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate presume the less violent שָׁכַב (shakhav, “lie with”). The unexpected counterpart to betrothal here favors the originality of the MT.
86 tn Heb “and there will be no power in your hand”; NCV “there will be nothing you can do.”
87 tc The LXX reads the plural “kings.”
88 tn Heb “your olives will drop off” (נָשַׁל, nashal), referring to the olives dropping off before they ripen.
89 tn The Hebrew term denotes some sort of buzzing or whirring insect; some have understood this to be a type of locust (KJV, NIV, CEV), but other insects have also been suggested: “buzzing insects” (NAB); “the cricket” (NASB); “the cicada” (NRSV).
90 tn Heb “the foreigner.” This is a collective singular and has therefore been translated as plural; this includes the pronouns in the following verse, which are also singular in the Hebrew text.
91 tn Heb “commanded”; NAB, NIV, TEV “he gave you.”
92 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the curses mentioned previously) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
93 tn Heb “seed” (so KJV, ASV).
94 tn Heb “lack of everything.”
95 tn Heb “he” (also later in this verse). The pronoun is a collective singular referring to the enemies (cf. CEV, NLT). Many translations understand the singular pronoun to refer to the
96 tn Heb “from the end of the earth.”
97 tn Some translations understand this to mean “like an eagle swoops down” (e.g., NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT), comparing the swift attack of an eagle to the attack of the Israelites’ enemies.
99 tn Heb “increase of herds.”
100 tn Heb “growth of flocks.”
102 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NRSV); NASB “the offspring of your own body.”
103 tn Heb “siege and stress.”
104 tn Heb “besiege,” redundant with the noun “siege.”
106 tn Heb “delicateness and tenderness.”
107 tn Heb includes “that which comes out from between her feet.”
108 tn Heb “her sons that she will bear.”
109 tn Heb includes “in her need for everything.”
110 tn Heb “If you are not careful to do.”
112 tn Heb “will cling to you” (so NIV); NLT “will claim you.”
113 tn The Hebrew term תּוֹרָה (torah) can refer either (1) to the whole Pentateuch or, more likely, (2) to the book of Deuteronomy or even (3) only to this curse section of the covenant text. “Scroll” better reflects the actual document, since “book” conveys the notion of a bound book with pages to the modern English reader. Cf. KJV, NASB, NRSV “the book of this law”; NIV, NLT “this Book of the Law”; TEV “this book of God’s laws and teachings.”
114 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
115 tn Heb “have not listened to the voice of.”
117 tn Heb “you will not be confident in your life.” The phrase “from one day to the next” is implied by the following verse.