Deuteronomy 28 International Standard Version (ISV)
Rewards for Obedience
28 “Indeed, if you diligently obey[a] the Lord your God to carry out all his commands that I’m giving you today, then the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 Moreover, all these blessings will come upon you in abundance,[b] if you obey the Lord your God:
3 “Blessed will you be in the city and blessed will you be in the country.
4 “Blessed will your children[c] be, as well as the produce of your land, the offspring of your beasts and cattle, and the offspring of your flock.
5 “Blessed will be your grain[d] basket and your kneading bowl.
6 “Blessed will you be in your comings and goings.
7 “The Lord will make your enemies, who rise against you and attack from one direction, to flee from you in seven directions.
8 “The Lord will send blessings for you with regard to your barns and everything you undertake. Indeed, he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is about to give you.
10 “Then all the people of the earth will observe that the name of the Lord is proclaimed[g] among you, and they will fear you.
12 “The Lord will open his rich[j] treasury, the heavens, to release rain upon your land in season and bless everything you undertake so that you’ll lend to many nations but won’t borrow.
13 “The Lord your God will make you the head and not the tail—placing you above and not beneath—if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I’m giving you today to keep and observe. 14 Do not deviate from any of his commands that I’m giving you today—neither to the right nor the left—to follow and serve other gods.”
Reversal of Blessings
15 “But if you don’t obey the Lord your God and faithfully carry out all his commands and statutes that I’m giving you today, then all these curses will come upon you and overwhelm you:
16 “Cursed will you be in the city and cursed will you be in the country.
17 “Cursed will be your grain[k] basket and your kneading bowl.
18 “Cursed will your children[l] be, as well as the produce of your land, the offspring of your beasts and cattle, and the offspring of your flock.
19 “Cursed will you be in your comings and goings.”
Diseases and Drought
20 “The Lord will send the curse among you, will confuse you, and will rebuke you in everything you undertake until you are destroyed and perish quickly because of your evil deeds, since you will have forsaken him.[m] 21 The Lord will cause you to be ill with long-lasting diseases until you are wiped out from the land that you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will afflict you with tuberculosis, fever, inflammation, high fever, drought, blight, and mildew. These will attack you until you are completely destroyed. 23 The sky above your head will become bronze while the ground beneath you will become iron. 24 The Lord will change the rain on your land to powder and dust. It will come down from the sky until you are exterminated.”
From Defeat to Exile
25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated[n] by your enemies. You’ll go out against them in one direction, but you’ll flee from them in seven directions. Consequently, you’ll be in a state of great terror throughout all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your dead bodies will be food for the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the earth, with no one to chase them away.
27 “The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, skin disease, and festering rashes, and none of them will be curable. 28 The Lord will afflict you with insanity, blindness, and mental confusion.[o] 29 As a result, you’ll wander aimlessly in broad daylight just as a blind person wanders in darkness. You won’t prosper in life.[p] Instead, you’ll be oppressed and plundered all day long, with no deliverer.
30 “You’ll be engaged to a woman, but another man will rape[q] her. You’ll build a house, but you won’t live in it. You’ll plant a vineyard, but you won’t harvest[r] it. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered in front of you, and you won’t be able to eat it. Your donkey will be stolen from you while you watch and won’t be returned to you. Your flock of sheep will be handed to your enemies, and there will be no deliverer. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people while you watch. You won’t be able to approach them at all,[s] and you’ll be powerless to help.[t]
33 “A people whom you don’t know will devour what your land and labor produces. You’ll be only oppressed and discouraged continuously 34 until you are driven insane from what your eyes will see.
35 “The Lord will afflict you with incurable boils on your knees and legs, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
36 “The Lord will banish you and your king whom you will appoint over you to go to a nation that neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you’ll serve other gods of wood and stone. 37 You’ll become a desolation and a proverb, and you’ll be mocked among the people where the Lord will drive you.”
38 “You’ll plant many seeds in a field, but your harvest will be small because the locust will consume it. 39 You’ll plant a vineyard, but you won’t drink wine or harvest any grapes because worms will consume it. 40 You’ll have olive trees throughout your territory, but you won’t be able to anoint yourself with oil because the olives will drop off the trees. 41 You’ll bear sons and daughters, but they won’t belong to you because they’ll go into captivity. 42 Whirling locusts will consume every tree and the produce of your land. 43 The foreigner in your midst will be elevated higher and higher over you, while you are brought low little by little. 44 He will lend to you, but you won’t lend to him. He’ll be the head, but you’ll be the tail. 45 All these curses will come upon you and will overwhelm you until you are exterminated, because you didn’t obey[u] the Lord your God to keep his commands and statutes, which he had commanded you. 46 These curses[v] will serve as a sign and wonder for you and your descendants[w] as long as you live.”[x]
Servitude and Bondage
47 “Because you didn’t serve the Lord your God joyfully and wholeheartedly,[y] despite the abundance of everything you have, 48 you’ll serve your enemies whom the Lord your God will send against you. You will serve in famine and in drought,[z] in nakedness, and in lack of everything. They’ll[aa] set a yoke of iron upon your neck until they[ab] have exterminated you.
49 “The Lord will raise a distant nation against you from the other side of the earth. Swooping down like a vulture, 50 it will be a nation whose language you don’t understand, whose[ac] stern appearance[ad] neither shows regard[ae] nor extends grace to anyone whether old or young. 51 Its army[af] will consume the offspring of your animals and the produce of your soil until you are exterminated. They[ag] will leave you without your grain, wine, oil, the increase of your cattle, and the lamb of your flock, until you are completely destroyed. 52 They’ll[ah] besiege all your cities until your high and fortified walls in which you have trusted collapse throughout the land. Indeed, they will besiege all your cities, which the Lord your God gave you.”
53 “You’ll eat your own children[ai]—the flesh of your sons and daughters, whom the Lord your God gave you—on account of the siege and the distress with which your enemy will oppress you. 54 Even the compassionate man among you—the very sensitive one—will look with evil in his eyes toward his brother, his beloved wife, and his surviving sons, whom he spared. 55 He will withhold from each of them the flesh of his sons that he is eating—since there will be nothing left—on account of the siege and distress with which your enemy will oppress you in all your cities. 56 The most tender and sensitive lady among you, who doesn’t venture to touch the soles of her feet to the ground on account of her daintiness, will look with hostility in her eyes against her beloved husband, her sons, and her daughters. 57 She will eat her afterbirth[aj] and her newborn children[ak] secretly—since there will be nothing left—on account of the siege and distress with which your enemy will oppress you in your cities.”
Reduction in Population
58 “If you aren’t careful to observe all the words of this Law that have been written in this book, instructing you[al] to fear this glorious and awesome name of the Lord your God, 59 then he[am] will inflict extraordinary plagues on you and your children, great and lasting plagues, and severe and lasting illnesses. 60 He will inflict[an] on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they won’t be curable.[ao] 61 Moreover, the Lord will inflict you with illnesses and plagues that were not written in this Book of the Law, until you are exterminated. 62 Because you will not have obeyed[ap] the Lord your God, very few of you will be left—instead of you being as numerous as the stars in the heavens. 63 Just as the Lord delighted to prosper and increase you, so now the Lord will delight to destroy, exterminate, and banish you from the land that you are about to enter to possess.”
Scattering among the Nations
64 “He’ll[aq] scatter you among the nations[ar] from one end of the earth to the other,[as] and there you’ll serve other gods made of wood and stones, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 Among those nations you’ll have no rest. There’ll be no resting place for the soles of your feet. Instead, the Lord will give you an anxious heart, failing eyesight, and a despairing spirit. 66 You’ll cling to life, being fearful by both night and day, with no assurance of survival. 67 In the morning you’ll say, ‘I wish it were evening.’ Yet in the evening you’ll say, “I wish it were morning,” on account of what you’ll dread[at] and what you’ll see.[au] 68 Finally, the Lord will bring you back to Egypt by ship, a place that I said you’ll never see again. There you’ll try to sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
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