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The Assembly at Shechem

27 Then Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Pay attention to all the commandments[a] I am giving[b] you today. When you cross the Jordan River[c] to the land the Lord your God is giving you, you must erect great stones and cover[d] them with plaster. 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,[e] said to you. So when you cross the Jordan you must erect on Mount Ebal[f] these stones about which I am commanding you today, and you must cover them with plaster. Then you must build an altar there to the Lord your God, an altar of stones—do not use an iron tool on them. You must build the altar of the Lord your God with whole stones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. Also you must offer fellowship offerings and eat them there, rejoicing before the Lord your God. You must inscribe on the stones all the words of this law, making them clear.”

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. 10 You must obey him[g] and keep his commandments and statutes that I am giving you today.” 11 Moreover, Moses commanded the people that day: 12 “The following tribes[h] must stand to bless the people on Mount Gerizim when you cross the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin. 13 And these other tribes must stand for the curse on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

The Covenant Curses

14 “The Levites will call out to every Israelite[i] with a loud voice: 15 ‘Cursed is the one[j] who makes a carved or metal image—something abhorrent[k] to the Lord, the work of the craftsman[l]—and sets it up in a secret place.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’[m] 16 ‘Cursed[n] is the one who disrespects[o] his father and mother.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 17 ‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s boundary marker.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 18 ‘Cursed is the one who misleads a blind person on the road.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 19 ‘Cursed is the one who perverts justice for the resident foreigner, the orphan, and the widow.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 20 ‘Cursed is the one who goes to bed with[p] his father’s former wife,[q] for he dishonors his father.’[r] Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 21 ‘Cursed is the one who commits bestiality.’[s] Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 22 ‘Cursed is the one who goes to bed[t] with his sister, the daughter of either his father or mother.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 23 ‘Cursed is the one who goes to bed[u] with his mother-in-law.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 24 ‘Cursed is the one who kills[v] his neighbor in private.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 25 ‘Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’ 26 ‘Cursed is the one who refuses to keep the words of this law.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Amen!’

The Covenant Blessings

28 “If you indeed[w] obey the Lord your God and are careful to observe all his commandments I am giving[x] you today, the Lord your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come to you in abundance[y] if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field.[z] Your children[aa] 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. Your basket and your mixing bowl will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.[ab] The Lord will cause your enemies who attack[ac] you to be struck down before you; they will attack you from one direction[ad] but flee from you in seven different directions. 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[ae] is giving you. The Lord will designate you as his holy people just as he promised you, if you keep his commandments[af] and obey him.[ag] 10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you belong to the Lord,[ah] and they will respect you. 11 The Lord will greatly multiply your children,[ai] the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil in the land that he[aj] promised your ancestors[ak] he would give you. 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;[al] you will lend to many nations but you will not borrow from any. 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[am] commandments that I am urging[an] you today to be careful to do. 14 But you must not turn away from all the commandments I am giving[ao] you today, to either the right or left, nor pursue other gods and worship[ap] them.

Curses as Reversal of Blessings

15 “But if you ignore[aq] 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:[ar] 16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the field. 17 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be cursed. 18 Your children[as] will be cursed, as well as the produce of your soil, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.[at]

Curses by Disease and Drought

20 “The Lord will send on you a curse, confusing you and opposing you[au] in everything you undertake[av] until you are destroyed and quickly perish because of the evil of your deeds, in that you have forsaken me.[aw] 21 The Lord will plague you with deadly diseases[ax] until he has completely removed you from the land you are about to possess. 22 He[ay] will afflict you with weakness,[az] fever, inflammation, infection,[ba] sword,[bb] blight, and mildew; these will attack you until you perish. 23 The[bc] sky[bd] above your heads will be bronze and the earth beneath you iron. 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

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[be] to all the kingdoms of the earth. 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. 27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, eczema, and scabies, all of which cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will also subject you to madness, blindness, and confusion of mind.[bf] 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;[bg] you will be constantly oppressed and continually robbed, with no one to save you. 30 You will be engaged to a woman, and another man will rape[bh] her. You will build a house but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but not even begin to use it. 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. 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.[bi] 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. 34 You will go insane from seeing all this. 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. 36 The Lord will force you and your king[bj] 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. 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.

The Curse of Reversed Status

38 “You will take much seed to the field but gather little harvest, because locusts will consume it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them, but you will not drink wine or gather in grapes, because worms will eat them. 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.[bk] 41 You will bear sons and daughters but not keep them, because they will be taken into captivity. 42 Whirring locusts[bl] will take over every tree and all the produce of your soil. 43 The resident foreigners[bm] who reside among you will become higher and higher over you, and you will become lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them; they will become the head, and you will become the tail!

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[bn] you. 46 These curses[bo] will be a perpetual sign and wonder with reference to you and your descendants.[bp]

The Curse of Military Siege

47 “Because you have not served the Lord your God joyfully and wholeheartedly with the abundance of everything you have, 48 instead in hunger, thirst, nakedness, and poverty[bq] you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. They[br] will place an iron yoke on your neck until they have destroyed you. 49 The Lord will raise up a distant nation against you, one from the other side of the earth[bs] as the eagle flies,[bt] a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of stern appearance that will have no regard for the elderly or pity for the young. 51 They[bu] 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,[bv] or lambs of your flocks[bw] until they have destroyed you. 52 They will besiege all of your villages[bx] 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. 53 You will then eat your own offspring,[by] the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you, because of the severity of the siege[bz] by which your enemies will constrict you. 54 The man among you who is by nature tender and sensitive will turn against his brother, his beloved wife, and his remaining children. 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[ca] you in your villages. 56 Likewise, the most[cb] 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,[cc] will turn against her beloved husband, her sons and daughters, 57 and will secretly eat her afterbirth[cd] and her newborn children[ce] (since she has nothing else),[cf] because of the severity of the siege by which your enemy will constrict you in your villages.

The Curse of Covenant Termination

58 “If you refuse to obey[cg] 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, 59 then the Lord will increase your punishments and those of your descendants—great and long-lasting afflictions and severe, enduring illnesses. 60 He will infect you with all the diseases of Egypt[ch] that you dreaded, and they will persistently afflict you.[ci] 61 Moreover, the Lord will bring upon you every kind of sickness and plague not mentioned in this scroll of commandments,[cj] until you have perished. 62 There will be very few of you left, though at one time you were as numerous as the stars in the sky,[ck] because you will have disobeyed[cl] the Lord your God. 63 This is what will happen: Just as the Lord delighted to do good for you and make you numerous, so he[cm] will also take delight in destroying and decimating you. You will be uprooted from the land you are about to possess. 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. 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. 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.[cn] 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. 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.”

Narrative Interlude

29 (28:69)[co] These are the words of the covenant that the Lord commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb.[cp]

The Exodus, Wandering, and Conquest Reviewed

Moses proclaimed to all Israel as follows: “You have seen all that the Lord did[cq] in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, all his servants, and his land. Your eyes have seen the great judgments,[cr] those signs and mighty wonders. But to this very day the Lord has not given you an understanding mind, perceptive eyes, or discerning ears![cs] I have led you through the wilderness for forty years. Your clothing has not worn out[ct] nor have your sandals[cu] deteriorated. You have eaten no bread and drunk no wine or beer—all so that you might know that I[cv] am the Lord your God! When you came to this place King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to make war and we defeated them. Then we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

The Present Covenant Setting

“Therefore, keep the terms[cw] of this covenant and obey them so that you may be successful in everything you do. 10 You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God—the heads of your tribes,[cx] your elders, your officials, every Israelite man, 11 your infants, your wives, and the[cy] resident foreigners[cz] living in your encampment, those who chop wood and those who carry water— 12 so that you may enter by oath into the covenant the Lord your God is making with you today.[da] 13 Today he will affirm that you are his people and that he is your God,[db] just as he promised you and as he swore by oath to your ancestors[dc] Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 14 It is not with you alone that I am making this covenant by oath, 15 but with whoever stands with us here today before the Lord our God as well as those not with us here today.[dd]

The Results of Disobedience

16 “(For you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations as we traveled. 17 You have seen their detestable things[de] and idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold.)[df] 18 Beware that the heart of no man, woman, clan, or tribe among you turns away from the Lord our God today to pursue and serve the gods of those nations; beware that there is among you no root producing poisonous and bitter fruit.[dg] 19 When such a person[dh] hears the words of this oath he secretly[di] blesses himself[dj] and says, ‘I will have peace though I continue to walk with a stubborn spirit.’[dk] This will destroy[dl] the watered ground with the parched.[dm] 20 The Lord will be unwilling to forgive him, and his intense anger[dn] will rage[do] against that man; all the curses[dp] written in this scroll will fall upon him,[dq] and the Lord will obliterate his name from memory.[dr] 21 The Lord will single him out[ds] for judgment[dt] from all the tribes of Israel according to all the curses of the covenant written in this scroll of the law. 22 The generation to come—your descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigner who will come from distant places—will see[du] the afflictions of that land and the illnesses that the Lord has brought on it. 23 The whole land will be covered with brimstone, salt, and burning debris; it will not be planted nor will it sprout or produce grass. It will resemble the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboyim, which the Lord destroyed in his intense anger.[dv] 24 Then all the nations will ask, ‘Why has the Lord done all this to this land? What is this fierce, heated display of anger[dw] all about?’ 25 Then people will say, ‘Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods they did not know and that he did not permit them to worship.[dx] 27 That is why the Lord’s anger erupted against this land, bringing on it all the curses[dy] written in this scroll. 28 So the Lord has uprooted them from their land in anger, wrath, and great rage and has deported them to another land, as is clear today.’ 29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants[dz] forever, so that we might obey all the words of this law.

The Results of Covenant Reaffirmation

30 “When you have experienced all these things, both the blessings and the curses[ea] I have set before you, you will reflect upon them[eb] in all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you. Then if you and your descendants[ec] turn to the Lord your God and obey him with your whole mind and being[ed] just as[ee] I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will reverse your captivity and have pity on you. He will turn and gather you from all the peoples among whom he[ef] has scattered you. Even if your exiles are in the most distant land,[eg] from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. Then he[eh] will bring you to the land your ancestors[ei] possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors. The Lord your God will also cleanse[ej] your heart, and the hearts of your descendants[ek] so that you may love him[el] with all your mind and being and so that you may live. Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving[em] you today. The Lord your God will make the labor of your hands[en] abundantly successful and multiply your children,[eo] the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil. For the Lord will once more[ep] rejoice over you to make you prosperous[eq] just as he rejoiced over your ancestors, 10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this scroll of the law. But you must turn to him[er] with your whole mind and being.

Exhortation to Covenant Obedience

11 “This commandment I am giving[es] you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it too remote. 12 It is not in heaven, as though one must say, ‘Who will go up to heaven to get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ 13 And it is not across the sea, as though one must say, ‘Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?’ 14 For the thing is very near you—it is in your mouth and in your mind[et] so that you can do it.

15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 16 What[eu] I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are about to possess.[ev] 17 However, if you[ew] turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 18 I declare to you this very day that you[ex] will certainly[ey] perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.[ez] 19 Today I invoke heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! 20 I also call on you[fa] to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually[fb] in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”


  1. Deuteronomy 27:1 tn Heb “the whole commandment.” See note at 5:31.
  2. Deuteronomy 27:1 tn Heb “commanding”; NAB “which I enjoin on you today” (likewise in v. 10).
  3. Deuteronomy 27:2 tn The word “River” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
  4. Deuteronomy 27:2 tn Heb “plaster” (so KJV, ASV; likewise in v. 4). In the translation “cover” has been used for stylistic reasons.
  5. Deuteronomy 27:3 tn Heb “fathers.”
  6. Deuteronomy 27:4 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).
  7. Deuteronomy 27:10 tn Heb “listen to the voice of the Lord your God.” Here “listen” (NAB “hearken”) means “obey” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
  8. Deuteronomy 27:12 tn The word “tribes” has been supplied here and in the following verse in the translation for clarity.
  9. Deuteronomy 27:14 tn Heb “Israelite man.”
  10. Deuteronomy 27:15 tn Heb “man,” but in a generic sense here.
  11. Deuteronomy 27:15 tn The Hebrew term translated here “abhorrent” (תּוֹעֵבָה, toʿevah) 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.
  12. Deuteronomy 27:15 tn Heb “craftsman’s hands.”
  13. Deuteronomy 27:15 tn Or “So be it!” The term is an affirmation expressing agreement with the words of the Levites.
  14. Deuteronomy 27:16 tn The Levites speak again at this point; throughout this pericope the Levites pronounce the curse and the people respond with “Amen.”
  15. Deuteronomy 27:16 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).
  16. Deuteronomy 27:20 tn Heb “lies down with.” The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) “to lie down” can be a euphemism for going to bed for sexual relations (cf. NASB, NRSV “who lies with”; NIV “who sleeps with”; NLT “who has sexual intercourse with”).
  17. Deuteronomy 27:20 tn See note at Deut 22:30.
  18. Deuteronomy 27:20 tn Heb “he uncovers his father’s skirt” (NASB similar). See note at Deut 22:30.
  19. Deuteronomy 27:21 tn Heb “lies down with any animal.” The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) “to lie down” can be a euphemism for going to bed for sexual relations, the perversion in this case being bestiality.
  20. Deuteronomy 27:22 tn Heb “lies down with.” See note at v. 20.
  21. Deuteronomy 27:23 tn Heb “lies down with.” See note at v. 20.
  22. Deuteronomy 27:24 tn Or “strikes down” (so NRSV).
  23. Deuteronomy 28:1 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “indeed.”
  24. Deuteronomy 28:1 tn Heb “commanding”; NAB “which I enjoin on you today” (likewise in v. 15).
  25. Deuteronomy 28:2 tn Heb “come upon you and overtake you” (so NASB, NRSV); NIV “come upon you and accompany you.”
  26. Deuteronomy 28:3 tn Or “in the country” (so NAB, NIV, NLT). This expression also occurs in v. 15.
  27. Deuteronomy 28:4 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
  28. Deuteronomy 28:6 sn Come in…go out. To “come in” and “go out” is a figure of speech (merism) indicating all of life and its activities.
  29. Deuteronomy 28:7 tn Heb “who rise up against” (so NIV).
  30. Deuteronomy 28:7 tn Heb “way” (also later in this verse and in v. 25).
  31. Deuteronomy 28:8 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” Because English would not typically reintroduce the proper name following a relative pronoun (“he will bless…the Lord your God is giving”), the pronoun (“he”) has been employed here in the translation.
  32. Deuteronomy 28:9 tn Heb “the commandments of the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in the previous verse.
  33. Deuteronomy 28:9 tn Heb “and walk in his ways” (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).
  34. Deuteronomy 28:10 tn Heb “the name of the Lord is called over you.” The Hebrew idiom indicates ownership; see 2 Sam 12:28; Isa 4:1, as well as BDB 896 s.v. קָרָא Niph. 2.d.(4).
  35. Deuteronomy 28:11 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “will give you a lot of children.”
  36. Deuteronomy 28:11 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 28:8.
  37. Deuteronomy 28:11 tn Heb “fathers” (also in vv. 36, 64).
  38. Deuteronomy 28:12 tn Heb “all the work of your hands.”
  39. Deuteronomy 28:13 tn Heb “the Lord your God’s.” See note on “he” in 28:8.
  40. Deuteronomy 28:13 tn Heb “commanding” (so NRSV); NASB “which I charge you today.”
  41. Deuteronomy 28:14 tn Heb “from all the words which I am commanding.”
  42. Deuteronomy 28:14 tn Heb “in order to serve.”
  43. Deuteronomy 28:15 tn Heb “do not hear the voice of.”
  44. Deuteronomy 28:15 tn Heb “and overtake you” (so NIV, NRSV); NAB, NLT “and overwhelm you.”
  45. Deuteronomy 28:18 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV, NRSV).
  46. Deuteronomy 28:19 sn See note on the similar expression in v. 6.
  47. Deuteronomy 28:20 tn Heb “the curse, the confusion, and the rebuke” (NASB and NIV similar); NRSV “disaster, panic, and frustration.”
  48. Deuteronomy 28:20 tn Heb “in all the stretching out of your hand.”
  49. Deuteronomy 28:20 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 Heb “the evil of your doings wherein you have forsaken me”; CEV “all because you rejected the Lord.”
  50. Deuteronomy 28:21 tn Heb “will cause pestilence to cling to you.”
  51. Deuteronomy 28:22 tn Heb “The Lord.” See note on “he” in 28:8.
  52. Deuteronomy 28:22 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”).
  53. Deuteronomy 28:22 tn Heb “hot fever”; NIV “scorching heat.”
  54. Deuteronomy 28:22 tn Or “drought” (so NIV, NRSV, NLT).
  55. Deuteronomy 28:23 tc The MT reads “Your.” The LXX reads “Heaven will be to you.”
  56. Deuteronomy 28:23 tn Or “heavens” (also in the following verse). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
  57. Deuteronomy 28:25 tc The meaningless MT reading זַעֲוָה (zaʿavah) is clearly a transposition of the more commonly attested Hebrew noun זְוָעָה (zevaʿah, “terror”).
  58. Deuteronomy 28:28 tn Heb “heart” (so KJV, NASB).
  59. Deuteronomy 28:29 tn Heb “you will not cause your ways to prosper.”
  60. Deuteronomy 28:30 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.
  61. Deuteronomy 28:32 tn Heb “and there will be no power in your hand”; NCV “there will be nothing you can do.”
  62. Deuteronomy 28:36 tc The LXX reads the plural “kings.”
  63. Deuteronomy 28:40 tn Heb “your olives will drop off” (נָשַׁל, nashal), referring to the olives dropping off before they ripen. Elsewhere זַיִת (zayit, “olive”) can refer to an olive, the tree branch, the tree, or the grove. Agriculturally it might make the most sense to mean the olive flower (cf. Job 15:33). Whether the flowers drop off without being fertilized, or the olives drop off while unripe, the harvest is lost.
  64. Deuteronomy 28:42 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).
  65. Deuteronomy 28:43 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.
  66. Deuteronomy 28:45 tn Heb “commanded”; NAB, NIV, TEV “he gave you.”
  67. Deuteronomy 28:46 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the curses mentioned previously) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  68. Deuteronomy 28:46 tn Heb “seed” (so KJV, ASV).
  69. Deuteronomy 28:48 tn Heb “lack of everything.”
  70. Deuteronomy 28:48 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 Lord (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NCV, NRSV, TEV).
  71. Deuteronomy 28:49 tn Heb “from the end of the earth.”
  72. Deuteronomy 28:49 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.
  73. Deuteronomy 28:51 tn Heb “it” (so NRSV), a collective singular referring to the invading nation (several times in this verse and v. 52).
  74. Deuteronomy 28:51 tn Heb “increase of herds.”
  75. Deuteronomy 28:51 tn Heb “growth of flocks.”
  76. Deuteronomy 28:52 tn Heb “gates,” also in vv. 55, 57.
  77. Deuteronomy 28:53 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NRSV); NASB “the offspring of your own body.”
  78. Deuteronomy 28:53 tn Heb “siege and stress.”
  79. Deuteronomy 28:55 tn Heb “besiege,” redundant with the noun “siege.”
  80. Deuteronomy 28:56 tc The LXX adds σφόδρα (sphodra, “very”) to bring the description into line with v. 54.
  81. Deuteronomy 28:56 tn Heb “delicateness and tenderness.”
  82. Deuteronomy 28:57 tn Heb includes “that which comes out from between her feet.”
  83. Deuteronomy 28:57 tn Heb “her sons that she will bear.”
  84. Deuteronomy 28:57 tn Heb includes “in her need for everything.”
  85. Deuteronomy 28:58 tn Heb “If you are not careful to do.”
  86. Deuteronomy 28:60 sn These are the plagues the Lord inflicted on the Egyptians prior to the exodus which, though they did not fall upon the Israelites, must have caused great terror (cf. Exod 15:26).
  87. Deuteronomy 28:60 tn Heb “will cling to you” (so NIV); NLT “will claim you.”
  88. Deuteronomy 28:61 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.”
  89. Deuteronomy 28:62 tn Or “heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
  90. Deuteronomy 28:62 tn Heb “have not listened to the voice of.”
  91. Deuteronomy 28:63 tn Heb “the Lord.” See note on “he” in 28:8.
  92. Deuteronomy 28:66 tn Heb “you will not be confident in your life.” The phrase “from one day to the next” is implied by the following verse.
  93. Deuteronomy 29:1 sn Beginning with 29:1, the verse numbers through 29:29 in the English Bible differ from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 29:1 ET = 28:69 HT, 29:2 ET = 29:1 HT, 29:3 ET = 29:2 HT, etc., through 29:29 ET = 29:28 HT. With 30:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.
  94. Deuteronomy 29:1 sn Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai (which some English versions substitute here for clarity, cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
  95. Deuteronomy 29:2 tn The Hebrew text includes “to your eyes,” but this is redundant in English style (cf. the preceding “you have seen”) and is omitted in the translation.
  96. Deuteronomy 29:3 tn Heb “testings.” This is a reference to the plagues; see note at 4:34.
  97. Deuteronomy 29:4 tn Heb “a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear” (NASB similar); NAB, NRSV “a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear.”
  98. Deuteronomy 29:5 tn The Hebrew text includes “on you.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  99. Deuteronomy 29:5 tn The Hebrew text includes “from on your feet.”
  100. Deuteronomy 29:6 tc The LXX reads “that he is the Lord your God.”
  101. Deuteronomy 29:9 tn Heb “words.”
  102. Deuteronomy 29:10 tc Heb “your heads, your tribes.” The Syriac presupposes either “heads of your tribes” or “your heads, your judges,” etc. (reading שֹׁפְטֵכֶם [shofetekhem] for שִׁבְטֵיכֶם [shivtekhem]). Its comparative difficulty favors the originality of the MT reading. Cf. KJV “your captains of your tribes”; NRSV “the leaders of your tribes”; NLT “your tribal leaders.”
  103. Deuteronomy 29:11 tn Heb “your.”
  104. Deuteronomy 29:11 sn The ger (גֵּר) “foreign resident” here enters into the covenant with the community if Israel. Elsewhere in Mosaic Law the ger make sacrifices to the Lord (Lev 17:8; 22:18; Num 15:14) and participate in Israel’s religious festivals: Passover Exod 12:48; Day of Atonement Lev 16:29; Feast of Weeks Deut 16:10-14; Feast of Tabernacles/Temporary Shelters Deut 31:12. Several passages emphasize equal standing under Mosaic Law (Exod 12:49; Lev 24:22; Num 9:14; 15:15, 16, 26, 29; 19:10; 35:15; Deut 1:16 or similar obligations Exod 20:10; 23:12; Lev 16:29; 17:10, 12, 13; 18:26; 24:16; Num 15:14. In many respects these ger (גֵּר) appear to be naturalized citizens who could not own land (land was allotted by tribe).
  105. Deuteronomy 29:12 tn Heb “for you to pass on into the covenant of the Lord your God and into his oath, which the Lord your God is cutting with you today.”
  106. Deuteronomy 29:13 tn Heb “in order to establish you today to him for a people and he will be to you for God.” Verses 10-13 are one long sentence in Hebrew. The translation divides this into two sentences for stylistic reasons.
  107. Deuteronomy 29:13 tn Heb “fathers” (also in v. 25).
  108. Deuteronomy 29:15 tn This is interpreted by some English versions as a reference to generations not yet born (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
  109. Deuteronomy 29:17 tn The Hebrew term שִׁקּוּץ (shiqquts) refers to anything out of keeping with the nature and character of Yahweh and therefore to be avoided by his people Israel. It is commonly used with or as a synonym for תּוֹעֵבָה (toʿevah, “detestable, abhorrent”; 2 Kgs 23:13; Jer 16:18; Ezek 5:11; 7:20; 11:18, 21; see note on the term “abhorrent” in Deut 7:25). See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:243-46.
  110. Deuteronomy 29:17 tn The Hebrew text includes “which were with them.” Verses 16-17 constitute a parenthetical comment.
  111. Deuteronomy 29:18 tn Heb “yielding fruit poisonous and wormwood.” The Hebrew noun לַעֲנָה (laʿanah) literally means “wormwood” (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB), but is used figuratively for anything extremely bitter, thus here “fruit poisonous and bitter.”
  112. Deuteronomy 29:19 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the subject of the warning in v. 18) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  113. Deuteronomy 29:19 tn Heb “in his heart.”
  114. Deuteronomy 29:19 tn Or “invokes a blessing on himself.” A formalized word of blessing is in view, the content of which appears later in the verse.
  115. Deuteronomy 29:19 tn Heb “heart.”
  116. Deuteronomy 29:19 tn Heb “thus destroying.” For stylistic reasons the translation begins a new sentence here.
  117. Deuteronomy 29:19 tn Heb “the watered with the parched.” The word “ground” is implied. The exact meaning of the phrase is uncertain although it appears to be figurative. This appears to be a proverbial observation employing a figure of speech (a merism) suggesting totality. That is, the Israelite who violates the letter and even spirit of the covenant will harm not only himself but everything he touches—“the watered and the parched.” Cf. CEV “you will cause the rest of Israel to be punished along with you.”
  118. Deuteronomy 29:20 tn Heb “the wrath of the Lord and his zeal.” The expression is a hendiadys, a figure in which the second noun becomes adjectival to the first.
  119. Deuteronomy 29:20 tn Heb “smoke,” or “smolder.”
  120. Deuteronomy 29:20 tn Heb “the entire oath.”
  121. Deuteronomy 29:20 tn Or “will lie in wait against him.”
  122. Deuteronomy 29:20 tn Heb “blot out his name from under the sky.”
  123. Deuteronomy 29:21 tn Heb “set him apart.”
  124. Deuteronomy 29:21 tn Heb “for evil”; NAB “for doom”; NASB “for adversity”; NIV “for disaster”; NRSV “for calamity.”
  125. Deuteronomy 29:22 tn Heb “will say and see.” One expects a quotation to appear, but it seems to be omitted. To avoid confusion in the translation, the verb “will say” is omitted.
  126. Deuteronomy 29:23 tn Heb “the anger and the wrath.” This construction is a hendiadys intended to intensify the emotion.
  127. Deuteronomy 29:24 tn Heb “this great burning of anger”; KJV “the heat of this great anger.”
  128. Deuteronomy 29:26 tn Heb “did not assign to them”; NASB, NRSV “had not allotted to them.”
  129. Deuteronomy 29:27 tn Heb “the entire curse.”
  130. Deuteronomy 29:29 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); KJV, ASV, NIV, NRSV “children.”
  131. Deuteronomy 30:1 tn Heb “the blessing and the curse.”
  132. Deuteronomy 30:1 tn Heb “and you bring (them) back to your heart.”
  133. Deuteronomy 30:2 tn Heb “sons” (so NASB); KJV, ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV, NLT “children.”
  134. Deuteronomy 30:2 tn Or “heart and soul” (also in vv. 6, 10).
  135. Deuteronomy 30:2 tn Heb “according to all.”
  136. Deuteronomy 30:3 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.
  137. Deuteronomy 30:4 tn Heb “are at the farthest edge of the heavens.” The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven(s)” or “sky” depending on the context.
  138. Deuteronomy 30:5 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.
  139. Deuteronomy 30:5 tn Heb “fathers” (also later in this verse and in vv. 9, 20).
  140. Deuteronomy 30:6 tn Heb “circumcise” (so KJV, NAB, NIV, NRSV); TEV “will give you and your descendents obedient hearts.” See note on the word “cleanse” in Deut 10:16.
  141. Deuteronomy 30:6 tn Heb “seed” (so KJV, ASV).
  142. Deuteronomy 30:6 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.
  143. Deuteronomy 30:8 tn Heb “commanding”; NAB “which I now enjoin on you.”
  144. Deuteronomy 30:9 tc The MT reads “hand” (singular). Most versions read the plural.
  145. Deuteronomy 30:9 tn Heb “the fruit of your womb” (so NAB, NIV); NRSV “of your body.”
  146. Deuteronomy 30:9 tn Heb “return and.” The Hebrew verb is used idiomatically here to indicate the repetition of the following action.
  147. Deuteronomy 30:9 tn The Hebrew text includes “for good.”
  148. Deuteronomy 30:10 tn Heb “to the Lord your God.” See note on the second occurrence of the word “he” in v. 3.
  149. Deuteronomy 30:11 tn Heb “commanding”; NAB “which I enjoin on you.”
  150. Deuteronomy 30:14 tn Heb “heart.”
  151. Deuteronomy 30:16 tc A number of LXX mss insert before this verse, “if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God,” thus translating אֲשֶׁר (ʾasher) as “which” and the rest as “I am commanding you today, to love,” etc., “then you will live,” etc.
  152. Deuteronomy 30:16 tn Heb “which you are going there to possess it.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  153. Deuteronomy 30:17 tn Heb “your heart,” as a metonymy for the person.
  154. Deuteronomy 30:18 sn To this point in the chapter, Moses has addressed the people with the singular pronoun “you,” but here he switches to the plural. Rhetorically, the singular pronoun has emphasized the responsibilities and consequences for the nation as a whole. It is a group responsibility that requires a group effort. At v. 18 he shifts to using the plural form. This individualizes the threatened punishment in v. 18 and highlights individual responsibility in the first half of v. 19 (calling heaven and earth as witness “against you”) before returning to the collective responsibility that “you” (singular) choose life.
  155. Deuteronomy 30:18 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation indicates with “certainly.”
  156. Deuteronomy 30:18 tn Heb “to go there to possess it.”
  157. Deuteronomy 30:20 tn The words “I also call on you” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text vv. 19-20 are one long sentence, which the translation divides into two.
  158. Deuteronomy 30:20 tn Heb “he is your life and the length of your days to live.”

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