GOD’S WORD Translation
Blessings from the Lord
28 Carefully obey the Lord your God, and faithfully follow all his commands that I’m giving you today. If you do, the Lord your God will place you high above all the other nations in the world. 2 These are all the blessings that will come to you and stay close to you because you obey the Lord your God:
3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
4 You will be blessed. You will have children. Your land will have crops. Your animals will have offspring. Your cattle will have calves, and your flocks will have lambs and kids.
5 The grain you harvest and the bread you bake will be blessed.
6 You will be blessed when you come and blessed when you go.
7 The Lord will defeat your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction but run away from you in seven directions.
8 The Lord will bless your barns and everything you do. The Lord your God will bless you in the land that he is giving you.
9 You will be the Lord’s holy people, as he promised you with an oath. He will do this if you obey the commands of the Lord your God and follow his directions. 10 Then all the people in the world will see that you are the Lord’s people, and they will be afraid of you. 11 The Lord will give you plenty of blessings: You will have many children. Your animals will have many offspring. Your soil will produce many crops in the land the Lord will give you, as he swore to your ancestors.
12 The Lord will open the heavens, his rich storehouse, for you. He will send rain on your land at the right time and bless everything you do. You will be able to make loans to many nations but won’t need to borrow from any. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. You will always be at the top, never at the bottom, if you faithfully obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. 14 Do everything I’m commanding you today. Never worship other gods or serve them.
Curses from the Lord
15 Obey the Lord your God, and faithfully follow all his commands and laws that I am giving you today. If you don’t, all these curses will come to you and stay close to you:
16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.
17 The grain you harvest and the bread you bake will be cursed.
18 You will be cursed. You will have few children. Your land will have few crops. Your cattle will be cursed with few calves, and your flocks will have few lambs and kids.
19 You will be cursed when you come and cursed when you go.
20 The Lord will send you curses, panic, and frustration in everything you do until you’re destroyed and quickly disappear for the evil you will do by abandoning the Lord. 21 The Lord will send one plague after another on you until he wipes you out of the land you’re about to enter and take possession of. 22 The Lord will strike you with disease, fever, and inflammation; heat waves,[a] drought,[b] scorching winds,[c] and ruined crops. They will pursue you until you die. 23 The sky above will look like bronze, and the ground below will be as hard as iron. 24 The Lord will send dust storms and sandstorms on you from the sky until you’re destroyed.
25 The Lord will let your enemies defeat you. You will attack them from one direction but run away from them in seven directions. You will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms in the world. 26 Your dead bodies will be food for all the birds and wild animals. There will be no one to scare them away. 27 The Lord will strike you with the same boils that plagued the Egyptians. He will strike you with hemorrhoids,[d] sores,[e] and itching[f] that won’t go away. 28 The Lord will strike you with madness, blindness, and panic. 29 You will grope in broad daylight as blind people grope in their blindness. You won’t be successful in anything you do.[g] As long as you live, you will be oppressed and robbed with no one to rescue you.
30 You will be engaged to a woman, but another man will have sex with her. You will build a house, but you won’t live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you won’t enjoy the grapes. 31 Your ox will be butchered as you watch, but you won’t eat any of its meat. You will watch as your donkey is stolen from you, but you’ll never get it back. Your flock will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue it. 32 You will watch with your own eyes as your sons and daughters are given to another nation. You will strain your eyes looking for them all day long, but there will be nothing you can do. 33 People you never knew will eat what your land and your hard work have produced. As long as you live, you will know nothing but oppression and abuse. 34 The things you see will drive you mad. 35 The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with severe boils that can’t be cured. The boils will cover your whole body from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.
36 The Lord will lead you and the king you choose to a nation that you and your ancestors never knew. There you will worship gods made of wood and stone. 37 You will become a thing of horror. All the nations where the Lord will send you will make an example of you and ridicule you.
38 You will plant many crops in your fields, but harvest little because locusts will destroy your crops. 39 You will plant vineyards and take care of them, but you won’t drink any wine or gather any grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees everywhere in your country but no olive oil to rub on your skin, because the olives will fall off the trees. 41 You will have sons and daughters, but you won’t be able to keep them because they will be taken as prisoners of war. 42 Crickets will swarm all over your trees and the crops in your fields.
43 The standard of living for the foreigners who live among you will rise higher and higher, while your standard of living will sink lower and lower. 44 They will be able to make loans to you, but you won’t be able to make loans to them. They will be the head, and you will be the tail.
45 All these curses will come to you. They will pursue you and stay close to you until you’re destroyed, because you didn’t obey the Lord your God or follow his commands and laws, which I’m giving you. 46 These curses will be a sign and an amazing thing to warn you and your descendants forever. 47 You didn’t serve the Lord your God with a joyful and happy heart when you had so much. 48 So you will serve your enemies, whom the Lord will send against you. You will serve them even though you are already hungry, thirsty, naked, and in need of everything. The Lord will put a heavy burden of hard work on you until he destroys you.
49 The Lord will bring against you a nation from far away, from the ends of the earth. The nation will swoop down on you like an eagle. It will be a nation whose language you won’t understand. 50 Its people will be fierce-looking. They will show no respect for the old and no pity for the young. 51 They’ll eat the offspring of your animals and the crops from your fields until you’re destroyed. They’ll leave you no grain, no new wine, no olive oil, no calves from your herds, and no lambs or kids from your flocks. They’ll continue to do this until they’ve completely ruined you. 52 They will blockade all your cities until the high, fortified walls in which you trust come down everywhere in your land. They’ll blockade all the cities everywhere in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
53 Because of the hardships your enemies will make you suffer during the blockade, you will eat the flesh of your own children, the sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you. 54 Even the most tender and sensitive man among you will become stingy toward his brother, the wife he loves, and the children he still has left. 55 He will give none of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all that he has left, because of the hardships your enemies will make you suffer during the blockade of all your cities. 56 The most tender and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and tender that she wouldn’t even step on an ant—will become stingy toward the husband she loves or toward her own son or daughter. 57 She won’t share with them the afterbirth from her body and the children she gives birth to. She will secretly eat them out of dire necessity, because of the hardships your enemies will make you suffer during the blockade of your cities.
58 You might not faithfully obey every word of the teachings that are written in this book. You might not fear this glorious and awe-inspiring name: the Lord your God. 59 If so, the Lord will strike you and your descendants with unimaginable plagues. They will be terrible and continuing plagues and severe and lingering diseases. 60 He will again bring all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also bring you every kind of sickness and plague not written in this Book of Teachings. They will continue until you’re dead. 62 At one time you were as numerous as the stars in the sky. But only a few of you will be left, because you didn’t obey the Lord your God. 63 At one time the Lord was more than glad to make you prosperous and numerous. Now the Lord will be more than glad to destroy you and wipe you out. You will be torn out of the land you’re about to enter and take possession of.
64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all the people of the world, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will serve gods made of wood and stone that neither you nor your ancestors ever knew. 65 Among those nations you will find no peace, no place to call your own. There the Lord will give you an unsettled mind, failing eyesight, and despair. 66 Your life will always be hanging by a thread. You will live in terror day and night. You will never feel sure of your life. 67 In the morning you’ll say, “If only it were evening!” And in the evening you’ll say, “If only it were morning!” You’ll talk this way because of the things that will terrify you and because of the things you’ll see. 68 The Lord will bring you back to Egypt in ships[h] on a journey that I said you would never take again. There you will try to sell yourselves as slaves to your enemies, but no one will buy you.
- Deuteronomy 28:22 Or “uncontrolled fever.”
- Deuteronomy 28:22 Latin; Masoretic Text “warfare.”
- Deuteronomy 28:22 Or “blight.”
- Deuteronomy 28:27 Or “boils.”
- Deuteronomy 28:27 Or “scurvy.”
- Deuteronomy 28:27 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
- Deuteronomy 28:29 Or “darkness, but you won’t be able to find your way.”
- Deuteronomy 28:68 Or “in sorrow.”