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Deuteronomy 28:25-37

Context
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 1  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. 2  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; 3  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 4  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. 5  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 6  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.

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

2 tn Heb “heart” (so KJV, NASB).

3 tn Heb “you will not cause your ways to prosper.”

4 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.

5 tn Heb “and there will be no power in your hand”; NCV “there will be nothing you can do.”

6 tc The LXX reads the plural “kings.”



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