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Deuteronomy 27:12-26

Context
27:12 “The following tribes 1  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.

The Covenant Curses

27:14 “The Levites will call out to every Israelite 2  with a loud voice: 27:15 ‘Cursed is the one 3  who makes a carved or metal image – something abhorrent 4  to the Lord, the work of the craftsman 5  – and sets it up in a secret place.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 6  27:16 ‘Cursed 7  is the one who disrespects 8  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 9  his father’s former wife, 10  for he dishonors his father.’ 11  Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 27:21 ‘Cursed is the one who commits bestiality.’ 12  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 13  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!’

1 tn The word “tribes” has been supplied here and in the following verse in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “Israelite man.”

3 tn Heb “man,” but in a generic sense here.

4 tn The Hebrew term translated here “abhorrent” (תּוֹעֵבָה, toevah) 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.

5 tn Heb “craftsman’s hands.”

6 tn Or “So be it!” The term is an affirmation expressing agreement with the words of the Levites.

7 tn The Levites speak again at this point; throughout this pericope the Levites pronounce the curse and the people respond with “Amen.”

8 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).

9 tn Heb “who lies with” (so NASB, NRSV); also in vv. 22, 23. This is a Hebrew idiom for having sexual relations (cf. NIV “who sleeps with”; NLT “who has sexual intercourse with”).

10 tn See note at Deut 22:30.

11 tn Heb “he uncovers his father’s skirt” (NASB similar). See note at Deut 22:30.

12 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).

13 tn Or “strikes down” (so NRSV).



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