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Deuteronomy 28:15-26

Context
Curses as Reversal of Blessings

28:15 “But if you ignore 1  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: 2  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 3  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. 4 

Curses by Disease and Drought

28:20 “The Lord will send on you a curse, confusing you and opposing you 5  in everything you undertake 6  until you are destroyed and quickly perish because of the evil of your deeds, in that you have forsaken me. 7  28:21 The Lord will plague you with deadly diseases 8  until he has completely removed you from the land you are about to possess. 28:22 He 9  will afflict you with weakness, 10  fever, inflammation, infection, 11  sword, 12  blight, and mildew; these will attack you until you perish. 28:23 The 13  sky 14  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.

Curses by Defeat and Deportation

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 15  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.

1 tn Heb “do not hear the voice of.”

2 tn Heb “and overtake you” (so NIV, NRSV); NAB, NLT “and overwhelm you.”

3 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).

4 sn See note on the similar expression in v. 6.

5 tn Heb “the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke” (NASB and NIV similar); NRSV “disaster, panic, and frustration.”

6 tn Heb “in all the stretching out of your hand.”

7 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.”

8 tn Heb “will cause pestilence to cling to you.”

9 tn Heb “The Lord.” See note on “he” in 28:8.

10 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”).

11 tn Heb “hot fever”; NIV “scorching heat.”

12 tn Or “drought” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT).

13 tc The MT reads “Your.” The LXX reads “Heaven will be to you.”

14 tn Or “heavens” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.

15 tc The meaningless MT reading זַעֲוָה (zaavah) is clearly a transposition of the more commonly attested Hebrew noun זְוָעָה (zÿvaah, “terror”).



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