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Punishment for Idolatry. 21 (A)Future generations, your descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigners who will come here from distant lands, when they see the calamities of this land and the ills the Lord has inflicted upon it— 22 all its soil burned out by sulphur and salt, unsown and unfruitful, without a blade of grass, like the catastrophe of Sodom and Gomorrah,(B) Admah and Zeboiim,[a] which the Lord overthrew in his furious wrath— 23 (C)they and all the nations will ask, “Why has the Lord dealt thus with this land? Why this great outburst of wrath?” 24 And they will say, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he had made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt, 25 and they went and served other gods and bowed down to them, gods whom they did not know and whom he had not apportioned to them.(D) 26 (E)So the anger of the Lord flared up against this land and brought on it every curse written in this book. 27 The Lord uprooted them from their soil in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them out into another land, as they are today.” 28 The hidden things[b] belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things are for us and for our children forever, to observe all the words of this law.

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  1. 29:22 Admah and Zeboiim: neighboring cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Jordan Plain and identified in the tradition as destroyed with them. Cf. Hos 11:8; Jer 50:40.
  2. 29:28 The hidden things: probably the events of the future. The revealed things: the covenant and its provisions, including the sanctions of blessing and curse. This aphorism may mean: leave “hidden things” to God; what matters is to keep the law.