New Century Version
Rewards for Obeying God
26 “‘Don’t make idols for yourselves or set up statues or memorials. Don’t put stone statues in your land to bow down to, because I am the Lord your God.
2 “‘Remember my Sabbaths, and respect my Holy Place. I am the Lord.
3 “‘If you remember my laws and commands and obey them, 4 I will give you rains at the right season; the land will produce crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until the grape harvest, and your grape harvest will continue until it is time to plant. Then you will have plenty to eat and live safely in your land. 6 I will give peace to your country; you will lie down in peace, and no one will make you afraid. I will keep harmful animals out of your country, and armies will not pass through it.
7 “‘You will chase your enemies and defeat them, killing them with your sword. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred men; a hundred of you will chase ten thousand men. You will defeat your enemies and kill them with your sword.
9 “‘Then I will show kindness to you and let you have many children; I will keep my agreement with you. 10 You will have enough crops to last for more than a year. When you harvest the new crops, you will have to throw out the old ones to make room for them. 11 Also I will place my Holy Tent among you, and I will not turn away from you. 12 I will walk with you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, where you were slaves. I broke the heavy weights that were on your shoulders and let you walk proudly again.
Punishment for Not Obeying God
14 “‘But if you do not obey me and keep all my commands, 15 and if you turn away from my rules and hate my laws, refusing to obey all my commands, you have broken our agreement. 16 As a result, I will do this to you: I will cause terrible things to happen to you. I will cause you to have disease and fever that will destroy your eyes and slowly kill you. You will not have success when you plant your seed, and your enemy will eat your crops. 17 I will be against you, and your enemies will defeat you. These people who hate you will rule over you, and you will run away even when no one is chasing you.
18 “‘If after all this you still do not obey me, I will punish you seven times more for your sins. 19 I will break your great pride, and I will make the sky like iron and the earth like bronze.[a] 20 You will work hard, but it will not help. Your land will not grow any crops, and your trees will not give their fruit.
21 “‘If you still turn against me and refuse to obey me, I will beat you seven times harder. The more you sin, the more you will be punished. 22 I will send wild animals to attack you, and they will take your children away from you and destroy your cattle. They will make you so few in number the roads will be empty.
23 “‘If you don’t learn your lesson after all these things, and if you still turn against me, 24 I will also turn against you. I will punish you seven more times for your sins. 25 You broke my agreement, and I will punish you. I will bring armies against you, and if you go into your cities for safety, I will cause diseases to spread among you so that your enemy will defeat you. 26 There will be very little bread to eat; ten women will be able to cook all your bread in one oven. They will measure each piece of bread, and you will eat, but you will still be hungry.
27 “‘If you still refuse to listen to me and still turn against me, 28 I will show my great anger; I will punish you seven more times for your sins. 29 You will eat the bodies of your sons and daughters. 30 I will destroy your places where gods are worshiped and cut down your incense altars. I will pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols. I will hate you. 31 I will destroy your cities and make your holy places empty, and I will not smell the pleasing smell of your offerings. 32 I will make the land empty so that your enemies who come to live in it will be shocked at it. 33 I will scatter you among the nations, and I will pull out my sword and destroy you. Your land will become empty, your cities a waste. 34 When you are taken to your enemy’s country, your land will finally get its rest. It will enjoy its time of rest all the time it lies empty. 35 During the time the land is empty, it will have the rest you should have given it while you lived in it.
36 “‘Those of you who are left alive will lose their courage in the land of their enemies. They will be frightened by the sound of a leaf being blown by the wind. They will run as if someone were chasing them with a sword, and they will fall even when no one is chasing them. 37 They will fall over each other, as if someone were chasing them with a sword, even though no one is chasing them. You will not be strong enough to stand up against your enemies. 38 You will die among other nations and disappear in your enemies’ countries. 39 So those who are left alive will rot away in their enemies’ countries because of their sins. They will also rot away because of their ancestors’ sins.
There Is Always Hope
40 “‘But maybe the people will confess their sins and the sins of their ancestors; maybe they will admit they turned against me and sinned against me, 41 which made me turn against them and send them into the land of their enemies. If these disobedient people are sorry for what they did and accept punishment for their sin, 42 I will remember my agreement with Jacob, my agreement with Isaac, and my agreement with Abraham, and I will remember the land. 43 The land will be left empty by its people, and it will enjoy its time of rest as it lies bare without them. Then those who are left alive will accept the punishment for their sins. They will learn that they were punished because they hated my laws and refused to obey my rules. 44 But even though this is true, I will not turn away from them when they are in the land of their enemies. I will not hate them so much that I completely destroy them and break my agreement with them, because I am the Lord their God. 45 For their good I will remember the agreement with their ancestors, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt so I could become their God; the other nations saw these things. I am the Lord.’”
46 These are the laws, rules, and teachings the Lord made between himself and the Israelites through Moses at Mount Sinai.
- 26:19 sky . . . bronze This means the sky will give no rain and the earth will produce no crops.