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Leviticus 26:14-39

Context
The Consequences of Disobedience

26:14 “‘If, however, 1  you do not obey me and keep 2  all these commandments – 26:15 if you reject my statutes and abhor my regulations so that you do not keep 3  all my commandments and you break my covenant – 26:16 I for my part 4  will do this to you: I will inflict horror on you, consumption and fever, which diminish eyesight and drain away the vitality of life. 5  You will sow your seed in vain because 6  your enemies will eat it. 7  26:17 I will set my face against you. You will be struck down before your enemies, those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee when there is no one pursuing you.

26:18 “‘If, in spite of all these things, 8  you do not obey me, I will discipline you seven times more on account of your sins. 9  26:19 I will break your strong pride and make your sky like iron and your land like bronze. 26:20 Your strength will be used up in vain, your land will not give its yield, and the trees of the land 10  will not produce their fruit.

26:21 “‘If you walk in hostility against me 11  and are not willing to obey me, I will increase your affliction 12  seven times according to your sins. 26:22 I will send the wild animals 13  against you and they will bereave you of your children, 14  annihilate your cattle, and diminish your population 15  so that your roads will become deserted.

26:23 “‘If in spite of these things 16  you do not allow yourselves to be disciplined and you walk in hostility against me, 17  26:24 I myself will also walk in hostility against you and strike you 18  seven times on account of your sins. 26:25 I will bring on you an avenging sword, a covenant vengeance. 19  Although 20  you will gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you and you will be given into enemy hands. 21  26:26 When I break off your supply of bread, 22  ten women will bake your bread in one oven; they will ration your bread by weight, 23  and you will eat and not be satisfied.

26:27 “‘If in spite of this 24  you do not obey me but walk in hostility against me, 25  26:28 I will walk in hostile rage against you 26  and I myself will also discipline you seven times on account of your sins. 26:29 You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters. 27  26:30 I will destroy your high places and cut down your incense altars, 28  and I will stack your dead bodies on top of the lifeless bodies of your idols. 29  I will abhor you. 30  26:31 I will lay your cities waste 31  and make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will refuse to smell your soothing aromas. 26:32 I myself will make the land desolate and your enemies who live in it will be appalled. 26:33 I will scatter you among the nations and unsheathe the sword 32  after you, so your land will become desolate and your cities will become a waste.

26:34 “‘Then the land will make up for 33  its Sabbaths all the days it lies desolate while you are in the land of your enemies; then the land will rest and make up its Sabbaths. 26:35 All the days of the desolation it will have the rest it did not have 34  on your Sabbaths when you lived on it.

26:36 “‘As for 35  the ones who remain among you, I will bring despair into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. The sound of a blowing leaf will pursue them, and they will flee as one who flees the sword and fall down even though there is no pursuer. 26:37 They will stumble over each other as those who flee before a sword, though 36  there is no pursuer, and there will be no one to take a stand 37  for you before your enemies. 26:38 You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will consume you.

Restoration through Confession and Repentance

26:39 “‘As for the ones who remain among you, they will rot away because of 38  their iniquity in the lands of your enemies, and they will also rot away because of their ancestors’ 39  iniquities which are with them.

1 tn Heb “And if.”

2 tn Heb “and do not do.”

3 tn Heb “to not do.”

4 tn Or “I also” (see HALOT 76 s.v. אַף 6.b).

5 tn Heb “soul.” These expressions may refer either to the physical effects of consumption and fever as the rendering in the text suggests (e.g., J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 452, 454, “diminishing eyesight and loss of appetite”), or perhaps the more psychological effects, “which exhausts the eyes” because of anxious hope “and causes depression” (Heb “causes soul [נֶפֶשׁ, nefesh] to pine away”), e.g., B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 185.

6 tn Heb “and.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) can be considered to have causal force here.

7 tn That is, “your enemies will eat” the produce that grows from the sown seed.

8 tn Heb “And if until these.”

9 tn Heb “I will add to discipline you seven [times] on your sins.”

10 tn Heb “the tree of the land will not give its fruit.” The collective singular has been translated as a plural. Tg. Onq., some medieval Hebrew mss, Smr, LXX, and Tg. Ps.-J. have “the field” as in v. 4, rather than “the land.”

11 tn Heb “hostile with me,” but see the added preposition בְּ (bet) on the phrase “in hostility” in v. 24 and 27.

12 tn Heb “your blow, stroke”; cf. TEV “punishment”; NLT “I will inflict you with seven more disasters.”

13 tn Heb “the animal of the field.” This collective singular has been translated as a plural. The expression “animal of the field” refers to a wild (i.e., nondomesticated) animal.

14 tn The words “of your children” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.

15 tn Heb “and diminish you.”

16 tn Heb “And if in these.”

17 tn Heb “with me,” but see the added preposition בְּ (bet) on the phrase “in hostility” in vv. 24 and 27.

18 tn Heb “and I myself will also strike you.”

19 tn Heb “vengeance of covenant”; cf. NAB “the avenger of my covenant.”

20 tn Heb “and.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) has a concessive force in this context.

21 tn Heb “in hand of enemy,” but Tg. Ps.-J. and Tg. Neof. have “in the hands of your enemies” (J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 454).

22 tn Heb “When I break to you staff of bread” (KJV, ASV, and NASB all similar).

23 tn Heb “they will return your bread in weight.”

24 tn Heb “And if in this.”

25 tn Heb “with me.”

26 tn Heb “in rage of hostility with you”; NASB “with wrathful hostility”; NRSV “I will continue hostile to you in fury”; CEV “I’ll get really furious.”

27 tn Heb “and the flesh of your daughters you will eat.” The phrase “you will eat” has not been repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.

28 sn Regarding these cultic installations, see the remarks in B. A. Levine, Leviticus (JPSTC), 188, and R. E. Averbeck, NIDOTTE 2:903. The term rendered “incense altars” might better be rendered “sanctuaries [of foreign deities]” or “stelae.”

29 tn The translation reflects the Hebrew wordplay “your corpses…the corpses of your idols.” Since idols, being lifeless, do not really have “corpses,” the translation uses “dead bodies” for people and “lifeless bodies” for the idols.

30 tn Heb “and my soul will abhor you.”

31 tn Heb “And I will give your cities a waste”; NLT “make your cities desolate.”

32 tn Heb “and I will empty sword” (see HALOT 1228 s.v. ריק 3).

33 tn There are two Hebrew roots רָצָה (ratsah), one meaning “to be pleased with; to take pleasure” (HALOT 1280-81 s.v. רצה; cf. “enjoy” in NASB, NIV, NRSV, and J. E. Hartley, Leviticus [WBC], 452), and the other meaning “to restore” (HALOT 1281-82 s.v. II רצה; cf. NAB “retrieve” and B. A. Levine, Leviticus [JPSTC], 189).

34 tn Heb “it shall rest which it did not rest.”

35 tn Heb “And.”

36 tn Heb “and.” The Hebrew conjunction ו (vav, “and”) is used in a concessive sense here.

37 tn The term rendered “to stand up” is a noun, not an infinitive. It occurs only here and appears to designate someone who would take a powerful stand for them against their enemies.

38 tn Heb “in” (so KJV, ASV; also later in this verse).

39 tn Heb “fathers’” (also in the following verse).



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