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Deuteronomy 28 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Blessings of Obedience

28 “If you obey the Lord your God and faithfully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, he will make you greater than any other nation on earth. Obey the Lord your God and all these blessings will be yours:

“The Lord will bless your towns and your fields.

“The Lord will bless you with many children, with abundant crops, and with many cattle and sheep.

“The Lord will bless your grain crops and the food you prepare from them.

“The Lord will bless everything you do.

“The Lord will defeat your enemies when they attack you. They will attack from one direction, but they will run from you in all directions.

“The Lord your God will bless your work and fill your barns with grain. He will bless you in the land that he is giving you.

“If you obey the Lord your God and do everything he commands, he will make you his own people, as he has promised. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that the Lord has chosen you to be his own people, and they will be afraid of you. 11 The Lord will give you many children, many cattle, and abundant crops in the land that he promised your ancestors to give you. 12 He will send rain in season from his rich storehouse in the sky and bless all your work, so that you will lend to many nations, but you will not have to borrow from any. 13 The Lord your God will make you the leader among the nations and not a follower; you will always prosper and never fail if you obey faithfully all his commands that I am giving you today. 14 But you must never disobey them in any way, or worship and serve other gods.

The Consequences of Disobedience

15 “But if you disobey the Lord your God and do not faithfully keep all his commands and laws that I am giving you today, all these evil things will happen to you:

16 “The Lord will curse your towns and your fields.

17 “The Lord will curse your grain crops and the food you prepare from them.

18 “The Lord will curse you by giving you only a few children, poor crops, and few cattle and sheep.

19 “The Lord will curse everything you do.

20 “If you do evil and reject the Lord, he will bring on you disaster, confusion, and trouble in everything you do, until you are quickly and completely destroyed. 21 He will send disease after disease on you until there is not one of you left in the land that you are about to occupy. 22 The Lord will strike you with infectious diseases, with swelling and fever; he will send drought and scorching winds to destroy your crops. These disasters will be with you until you die. 23 No rain will fall, and your ground will become as hard as iron. 24 Instead of rain, the Lord will send down duststorms and sandstorms until you are destroyed.

25 “The Lord will give your enemies victory over you. You will attack them from one direction, but you will run from them in all directions, and all the people on earth will be terrified when they see what happens to you. 26 When you die, birds and wild animals will come and eat your bodies, and there will be no one to scare them off. 27 The Lord will send boils on you, as he did on the Egyptians. He will make your bodies break out with sores. You will be covered with scabs, and you will itch, but there will be no cure. 28 The Lord will make you lose your mind; he will strike you with blindness and confusion. 29 You will grope about in broad daylight like someone blind, and you will not be able to find your way. You will not prosper in anything you do. You will be constantly oppressed and robbed, and there will be no one to help you.

30 “You will be engaged to a young woman—but someone else will marry her. You will build a house—but never live in it. You will plant a vineyard—but never eat its grapes. 31 Your cattle will be butchered before your very eyes, but you will not eat any of the meat. Your donkeys will be dragged away while you look on, and they will not be given back to you. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and there will be no one to help you. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given as slaves to foreigners while you look on. Every day you will strain your eyes, looking in vain for your children to return. 33 A foreign nation will take all the crops that you have worked so hard to grow, while you receive nothing but constant oppression and harsh treatment. 34 Your sufferings will make you lose your mind. 35 The Lord will cover your legs with incurable, painful sores; boils will cover you from head to foot.

36 “The Lord will take you and your king away to a foreign land, where neither you nor your ancestors ever lived before; there you will serve gods made of wood and stone. 37 In the countries to which the Lord will scatter you, the people will be shocked at what has happened to you; they will make fun of you and ridicule you.

38 “You will plant plenty of seed, but reap only a small harvest, because the locusts will eat your crops. 39 You will plant vineyards and take care of them, but you will not gather their grapes or drink wine from them, because worms will eat the vines. 40 Olive trees will grow everywhere in your land, but you will not have any olive oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters, but you will lose them, because they will be taken away as prisoners of war. 42 All your trees and crops will be devoured by insects.

43 “Foreigners who live in your land will gain more and more power, while you gradually lose yours. 44 They will have money to lend you, but you will have none to lend them. In the end they will be your rulers.

45 “All these disasters will come on you, and they will be with you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and keep all the laws that he gave you. 46 They will be the evidence of God's judgment on you and your descendants forever. 47 The Lord blessed you in every way, but you would not serve him with glad and joyful hearts. 48 So then, you will serve the enemies that the Lord is going to send against you. You will be hungry, thirsty, and naked—in need of everything. The Lord[a] will oppress you harshly until you are destroyed. 49 The Lord will bring against you a nation from the ends of the earth, a nation whose language you do not know. They will swoop down on you like an eagle. 50 They will be ruthless and show no mercy to anyone, young or old. 51 They will eat your livestock and your crops, and you will starve to death. They will not leave you any grain, wine, olive oil, cattle, or sheep; and you will die. 52 They will attack every town in the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and the high, fortified walls in which you trust will fall.

53 “When your enemies are besieging your towns, you will become so desperate for food that you will even eat the children that the Lord your God has given you. 54-55 Even the most refined man of noble birth will become so desperate during the siege that he will eat some of his own children because he has no other food. He will not even give any to his brother or to the wife he loves or to any of his children who are left. 56-57 Even the most refined woman of noble birth, so rich that she has never had to walk anywhere, will behave in the same way. When the enemy besieges her town, she will become so desperate for food that she will secretly eat her newborn child and the afterbirth as well. She will not share them with the husband she loves or with any of her children.

58 “If you do not obey faithfully all of God's teachings that are written in this book and if you do not honor the wonderful and awesome name of the Lord your God, 59 he will send on you and on your descendants incurable diseases and horrible epidemics that can never be stopped. 60 He will bring on you once again all the dreadful diseases you experienced in Egypt, and you will never recover. 61 He will also send all kinds of diseases and epidemics that are not mentioned in this book of God's laws and teachings, and you will be destroyed. 62 Although you become as numerous as the stars in the sky, only a few of you will survive, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as the Lord took delight in making you prosper and in making you increase in number, so he will take delight in destroying you and in bringing ruin on you. You will be uprooted from the land that you are about to occupy.

64 “The Lord will scatter you among all the nations, from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will serve gods made of wood and stone, gods that neither you nor your ancestors have ever worshiped before. 65 You will find no peace anywhere, no place to call your own; the Lord will overwhelm you with anxiety, hopelessness, and despair. 66 Your life will always be in danger. Day and night you will be filled with terror, and you will live in constant fear of death. 67 Your hearts will pound with fear at everything you see. Every morning you will wish for evening; every evening you will wish for morning. 68 The Lord will send you back to Egypt in ships, even though he[b] said that you would never have to go there again. There you will try to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves, but no one will want to buy you.”

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 28:48 The Lord; or Your enemies.
  2. Deuteronomy 28:68 he; or I.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Deuteronomy 28 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Blessings for Obedience

28 If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth; all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:

Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.

Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.

Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways. The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns, and in all that you undertake; he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways. 10 All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you. 11 The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow. 13 The Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the bottom—if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them, 14 and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I am commanding you today, either to the right or to the left, following other gods to serve them.

Warnings against Disobedience

15 But if you will not obey the Lord your God by diligently observing all his commandments and decrees, which I am commanding you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you:

16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.

17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.

19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.

20 The Lord will send upon you disaster, panic, and frustration in everything you attempt to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me. 21 The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until it has consumed you off the land that you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will afflict you with consumption, fever, inflammation, with fiery heat and drought, and with blight and mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you iron. 24 The Lord will change the rain of your land into powder, and only dust shall come down upon you from the sky until you are destroyed.

25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out against them one way and flee before them seven ways. You shall become an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses shall be food for every bird of the air and animal of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away. 27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, with ulcers, scurvy, and itch, of which you cannot be healed. 28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness, and confusion of mind; 29 you shall grope about at noon as blind people grope in darkness, but you shall be unable to find your way; and you shall be continually abused and robbed, without anyone to help. 30 You shall become engaged to a woman, but another man shall lie with her. You shall build a house, but not live in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but not enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox shall be butchered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it. Your donkey shall be stolen in front of you, and shall not be restored to you. Your sheep shall be given to your enemies, without anyone to help you. 32 Your sons and daughters shall be given to another people, while you look on; you will strain your eyes looking for them all day but be powerless to do anything. 33 A people whom you do not know shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors; you shall be continually abused and crushed, 34 and driven mad by the sight that your eyes shall see. 35 The Lord will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36 The Lord will bring you, and the king whom you set over you, to a nation that neither you nor your ancestors have known, where you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone. 37 You shall become an object of horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the Lord will lead you.

38 You shall carry much seed into the field but shall gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but you shall neither drink the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. 41 You shall have sons and daughters, but they shall not remain yours, for they shall go into captivity. 42 All your trees and the fruit of your ground the cicada shall take over. 43 Aliens residing among you shall ascend above you higher and higher, while you shall descend lower and lower. 44 They shall lend to you but you shall not lend to them; they shall be the head and you shall be the tail.

45 All these curses shall come upon you, pursuing and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God, by observing the commandments and the decrees that he commanded you. 46 They shall be among you and your descendants as a sign and a portent forever.

47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and with gladness of heart for the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and lack of everything. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49 The Lord will bring a nation from far away, from the end of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a grim-faced nation showing no respect to the old or favor to the young. 51 It shall consume the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your ground until you are destroyed, leaving you neither grain, wine, and oil, nor the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock, until it has made you perish. 52 It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout your land; it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout the land that the Lord your God has given you. 53 In the desperate straits to which the enemy siege reduces you, you will eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your own sons and daughters whom the Lord your God has given you. 54 Even the most refined and gentle of men among you will begrudge food to his own brother, to the wife whom he embraces, and to the last of his remaining children, 55 giving to none of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because nothing else remains to him, in the desperate straits to which the enemy siege will reduce you in all your towns. 56 She who is the most refined and gentle among you, so gentle and refined that she does not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground, will begrudge food to the husband whom she embraces, to her own son, and to her own daughter, 57 begrudging even the afterbirth that comes out from between her thighs, and the children that she bears, because she is eating them in secret for lack of anything else, in the desperate straits to which the enemy siege will reduce you in your towns.

58 If you do not diligently observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, fearing this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, 59 then the Lord will overwhelm both you and your offspring with severe and lasting afflictions and grievous and lasting maladies. 60 He will bring back upon you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were in dread, and they shall cling to you. 61 Every other malady and affliction, even though not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will inflict on you until you are destroyed. 62 Although once you were as numerous as the stars in heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 And just as the Lord took delight in making you prosperous and numerous, so the Lord will take delight in bringing you to ruin and destruction; you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to possess. 64 The Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 Among those nations you shall find no ease, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a languishing spirit. 66 Your life shall hang in doubt before you; night and day you shall be in dread, with no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you shall say, “If only it were evening!” and at evening you shall say, “If only it were morning!”—because of the dread that your heart shall feel and the sights that your eyes shall see. 68 The Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, by a route that I promised you would never see again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Deuteronomy 28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

28 “If you listen closely to what Adonai your God says, observing and obeying all his mitzvot which I am giving you today, Adonai your God will raise you high above all the nations on earth; and all the following blessings will be yours in abundance — if you will do what Adonai your God says:

“A blessing on you in the city, and a blessing on you in the countryside.

“A blessing on the fruit of your body, the fruit of your land and the fruit of your livestock — the young of your cattle and flocks.

“A blessing on your grain-basket and kneading-bowl.

“A blessing on you when you go out, and a blessing on you when you come in.

(vi) Adonai will cause your enemies attacking you to be defeated before you; they will advance on you one way and flee before you seven ways.

Adonai will order a blessing to be with you in your barns and in everything you undertake; he will bless you in the land Adonai your God is giving you.

Adonai will establish you as a people separated out for himself, as he has sworn to you — if you will observe the mitzvot of Adonai your God and follow his ways. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that Adonai’s name, his presence, is with you; so that they will be afraid of you.

11 Adonai will give you great abundance of good things — of the fruit of your body, the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your land in the land Adonai swore to your ancestors to give you. 12 Adonai will open for you his good treasure, the sky, to give your land its rain at the right seasons and to bless everything you undertake. You will lend to many nations and not borrow; 13 Adonai will make you the head and not the tail; and you will be only above, never below — if you will listen to, observe and obey the mitzvot of Adonai your God 14 and not turn away from any of the words I am ordering you today, neither to the right nor to the left, to follow after other gods and serve them.

15 “But if you refuse to pay attention to what Adonai your God says, and do not observe and obey all his mitzvot and regulations which I am giving you today, then all the following curses will be yours in abundance:

16 “A curse on you in the city, and a curse on you in the countryside.

17 “A curse on your grain-basket and kneading-bowl.

18 “A curse on the fruit of your body, the fruit of your land and the young of your cattle and flocks.

19 “A curse on you when you come in, and a curse on you when you go out.

20 Adonai will send on you curses, disasters and frustration in everything you set out to do, until you are destroyed and quickly perish, because of your evil actions in abandoning me.

21 Adonai will bring on you a plague that will stay with you until he has exterminated you from the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. 22 Adonai will strike you down with wasting diseases, fever, inflammation, fiery heat, drought, blasting winds and mildew; and they will pursue you until you perish.

23 “The sky over your head will be brass and the earth under you iron. 24 Adonai will turn the rain your land needs into powder and dust that will fall on you from the sky until you are destroyed.

25 Adonai your God will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will advance on them one way and flee before them seven. You will become an object of horror to every kingdom on earth. 26 Your carcasses will become food for all the birds in the air and the wild animals, and there will be no one to scare them away.

27 Adonai will strike you down with the boils that broke out on the Egyptians, tumors, skin lesions and itching, all incurable. 28 Adonai will strike you with insanity, blindness and utter confusion. 29 You will grope about at noon like a blind person groping in the dark, unable to find your way.

“You will be continually oppressed and robbed, and there will be no one to save you. 30 You will get engaged to a woman, but another man will marry her. You will build a house but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but not use its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you won’t eat any of its meat. Your donkey will be taken away from you by force as you watch, and you won’t get it back. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and there will be no one to help you. 32 Your sons and daughters will be handed over to another people; you will watch for them longingly all day but not see them; and there will be nothing you can do about it. 33 A nation unknown to you will eat the fruit of your land and labor. Yes, you will be continually oppressed and crushed, 34 till you go crazy from what your eyes have to see. 35 Adonai will strike you down in the knees and legs with painful and incurable boils; they will spread from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36 Adonai will bring you and your king whom you have put over yourselves to a nation you have not known, neither you nor your ancestors; and there you will serve other gods made of wood and stone. 37 You will be so devastated as to become a proverb and a laughingstock among all the peoples to which Adonai will drive you.

38 “You will carry much seed out to the field but gather little in, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and dress them but neither drink the wine nor gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your territory but not anoint yourself with the oil, because your olives will fall off unripe. 41 You will father sons and daughters, but they won’t belong to you, because they will go into captivity. 42 The bugs will inherit all your trees and the produce of your land.

43 “The foreigner living with you will rise higher and higher while you sink lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he will be the head and you the tail.

45 “All these curses will come on you, pursuing you and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you didn’t pay attention to what Adonai your God said, observing his mitzvot and regulations that he gave you. 46 These curses will be on you and your descendants as a sign and a wonder forever. 47 Because you didn’t serve Adonai your God with joy and gladness in your heart when you had such an abundance of everything; 48 Adonai will send your enemy against you; and you will serve him when you are hungry, thirsty, poorly clothed and lacking everything; he will put a yoke of iron on your neck until he destroys you. 49 Yes, Adonai will bring against you a nation from far away that will swoop down on you from the end of the earth like a vulture, a nation whose language you don’t understand, 50 a nation grim in appearance, whose people neither respect the old nor pity the young. 51 They will devour the offspring of your livestock and the produce of your soil, until you have been destroyed. They will leave you without grain, wine, olive oil, or your young cattle and sheep — until they have caused you to perish. 52 They will besiege all your towns until your high, fortified walls, in which you trusted, collapse everywhere in your land, which Adonai your God gave you. 53 Then, because of the severity of the siege and distress that your enemies are inflicting on you, you will eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your own sons and daughters, whom Adonai your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will be without pity for his brother, his beloved wife or his surviving children, 55 to the degree that he will refuse to share with any of them the flesh of his children whom he is eating; because if he did, he would have nothing left for himself — in the severity of the siege and distress your enemies are inflicting on you in all your towns. 56 The most delicate and sensitive woman among you, so sensitive and delicate that she wouldn’t think of touching the sole of her foot to the ground, will so begrudge her own beloved husband, son and daughter 57 that she will secretly eat the afterbirth that comes out of her and even her own children as she bears them — so desperately hungry will she be in the severity of the siege and distress your enemies are inflicting on you in your towns.

58 “If you will not observe and obey all the words of this Torah that are written in this book, so that you will fear this glorious and awesome name, Adonai your God; 59 then Adonai will strike down you and your descendants with extraordinary plagues and severe sicknesses that go on and on. 60 He will bring back upon you all the diseases the Egyptians had, which you were in dread of; and they will cling to you. 61 Not only that, but Adonai will bring upon you all the sicknesses and plagues that are not written in this book of the Torah — until you are destroyed. 62 You will be left few in number, whereas you were once as numerous as the stars in the sky — because you did not pay attention to the voice of Adonai your God.

63 “Thus it will come about that just as once Adonai took joy in seeking to do you good and increase your numbers, so now Adonai will take joy in causing you to perish and be destroyed, and you will be plucked off the land you are entering in order to take possession of it. 64 Adonai will scatter you among all peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will serve other gods, made of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 Among these nations you will not find repose, and there will be no rest for the sole of your foot; rather Adonai will give you there anguish of heart, dimness of eyes and apathy of spirit. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you; you will be afraid night and day and have no assurance that you will stay alive. 67 In the morning you will say, ‘Oh, how I wish it were evening!’ and in the evening you will say, ‘Oh, how I wish it were morning!’ — because of the fear overwhelming your heart and the sights your eyes will see. 68 Finally, Adonai will bring you back in ships to Egypt, the place of which I said to you, ‘You will never ever see it again’; and there you will try to sell yourselves as slaves to your enemies, but no one will buy you.”

69 (29:1) These are the words of the covenant which Adonai ordered Moshe to make with the people of Isra’el in the land of Mo’av, in addition to the covenant which he made with them in Horev.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Deuteronomy 28 The Message (MSG)

28 1-6 If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world. All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:

God’s blessing inside the city,
God’s blessing in the country;
God’s blessing on your children,
    the crops of your land,
    the young of your livestock,
    the calves of your herds,
    the lambs of your flocks.
God’s blessing on your basket and bread bowl;
God’s blessing in your coming in,
God’s blessing in your going out.

God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They’ll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads.

God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he’ll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you.

God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you.

10 All the peoples on Earth will see you living under the Name of God and hold you in respectful awe.

11-14 God will lavish you with good things: children from your womb, offspring from your animals, and crops from your land, the land that God promised your ancestors that he would give you. God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won’t have to take out a loan. God will make you the head, not the tail; you’ll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you today. Don’t swerve an inch to the right or left from the words that I command you today by going off following and worshiping other gods.

15-19 Here’s what will happen if you don’t obediently listen to the Voice of God, your God, and diligently keep all the commandments and guidelines that I’m commanding you today. All these curses will come down hard on you:

God’s curse in the city,
God’s curse in the country;
God’s curse on your basket and bread bowl;
God’s curse on your children,
    the crops of your land,
    the young of your livestock,
    the calves of your herds,
    the lambs of your flocks.
God’s curse in your coming in,
God’s curse in your going out.

20 God will send The Curse, The Confusion, The Contrariness down on everything you try to do until you’ve been destroyed and there’s nothing left of you—all because of your evil pursuits that led you to abandon me.

21 God will infect you with The Disease, wiping you right off the land that you’re going in to possess.

22 God will set consumption and fever and rash and seizures and dehydration and blight and jaundice on you. They’ll hunt you down until they kill you.

23-24 The sky over your head will become an iron roof, the ground under your feet, a slab of concrete. From out of the skies God will rain ash and dust down on you until you suffocate.

25-26 God will defeat you by enemy attack. You’ll come at your enemies on one road and run away on seven roads. All the kingdoms of Earth will see you as a horror. Carrion birds and animals will boldly feast on your dead body with no one to chase them away.

27-29 God will hit you hard with the boils of Egypt, hemorrhoids, scabs, and an incurable itch. He’ll make you go crazy and blind and senile. You’ll grope around in the middle of the day like a blind person feeling his way through a lifetime of darkness; you’ll never get to where you’re going. Not a day will go by that you’re not abused and robbed. And no one is going to help you.

30-31 You’ll get engaged to a woman and another man will take her for his mistress; you’ll build a house and never live in it; you’ll plant a garden and never eat so much as a carrot; you’ll watch your ox get butchered and not get a single steak from it; your donkey will be stolen from in front of you and you’ll never see it again; your sheep will be sent off to your enemies and no one will lift a hand to help you.

32-34 Your sons and daughters will be shipped off to foreigners; you’ll wear your eyes out looking vainly for them, helpless to do a thing. Your crops and everything you work for will be eaten and used by foreigners; you’ll spend the rest of your lives abused and knocked around. What you see will drive you crazy.

35 God will hit you with painful boils on your knees and legs and no healing or relief from head to foot.

36-37 God will lead you and the king you set over you to a country neither you nor your ancestors have heard of; there you’ll worship other gods, no-gods of wood and stone. Among all the peoples where God will take you, you’ll be treated as a lesson or a proverb—a horror!

38-42 You’ll plant sacks and sacks of seed in the field but get almost nothing—the grasshoppers will devour it. You’ll plant and hoe and prune vineyards but won’t drink or put up any wine—the worms will devour them. You’ll have groves of olive trees everywhere, but you’ll have no oil to rub on your face or hands—the olives will have fallen off. You’ll have sons and daughters but they won’t be yours for long—they’ll go off to captivity. Locusts will take over all your trees and crops.

43-44 The foreigner who lives among you will climb the ladder, higher and higher, while you go deeper and deeper into the hole. He’ll lend to you; you won’t lend to him. He’ll be the head; you’ll be the tail.

45-46 All these curses are going to come on you. They’re going to hunt you down and get you until there’s nothing left of you because you didn’t obediently listen to the Voice of God, your God, and diligently keep his commandments and guidelines that I commanded you. The curses will serve as signposts, warnings to your children ever after.

47-48 Because you didn’t serve God, your God, out of the joy and goodness of your heart in the great abundance, you’ll have to serve your enemies whom God will send against you. Life will be famine and drought, rags and wretchedness; then he’ll put an iron yoke on your neck until he’s destroyed you.

48-52 Yes, God will raise up a faraway nation against you, swooping down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you can’t understand, a mean-faced people, cruel to grandmothers and babies alike. They’ll ravage the young of your animals and the crops from your fields until you’re destroyed. They’ll leave nothing behind: no grain, no wine, no oil, no calves, no lambs—and finally, no you. They’ll lay siege to you while you’re huddled behind your town gates. They’ll knock those high, proud walls flat, those walls behind which you felt so safe. They’ll lay siege to your fortified cities all over the country, this country that God, your God, has given you.

53-55 And you’ll end up cannibalizing your own sons and daughters that God, your God, has given you. When the suffering from the siege gets extreme, you’re going to eat your own babies. The most gentle and caring man among you will turn hard, his eye evil, against his own brother, his cherished wife, and even the rest of his children who are still alive, refusing to share with them a scrap of meat from the cannibal child-stew he is eating. He’s lost everything, even his humanity, in the suffering of the siege that your enemy mounts against your fortified towns.

56-57 And the most gentle and caring woman among you, a woman who wouldn’t step on a wildflower, will turn hard, her eye evil, against her cherished husband, against her son, against her daughter, against even the afterbirth of her newborn infants; she plans to eat them in secret—she does eat them!—because she has lost everything, even her humanity, in the suffering of the siege that your enemy mounts against your fortified towns.

58-61 If you don’t diligently keep all the words of this Revelation written in this book, living in holy awe before This Name glorious and terrible, God, your God, then God will pound you with catastrophes, you and your children, huge interminable catastrophes, hideous interminable illnesses. He’ll bring back and stick you with every old Egyptian malady that once terrorized you. And yes, every disease and catastrophe imaginable—things not even written in the Book of this Revelation—God will bring on you until you’re destroyed.

62 Because you didn’t listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, you’ll be left with a few pitiful stragglers in place of the dazzling stars-in-the-heavens multitude you had become.

63-66 And this is how things will end up: Just as God once enjoyed you, took pleasure in making life good for you, giving you many children, so God will enjoy getting rid of you, clearing you off the Earth. He’ll weed you out of the very soil that you are entering in to possess. He’ll scatter you to the four winds, from one end of the Earth to the other. You’ll worship all kinds of other gods, gods neither you nor your parents ever heard of, wood and stone no-gods. But you won’t find a home there, you’ll not be able to settle down. God will give you a restless heart, longing eyes, a homesick soul. You will live in constant jeopardy, terrified of every shadow, never knowing what you’ll meet around the next corner.

67 In the morning you’ll say, “I wish it were evening.” In the evening you’ll say, “I wish it were morning.” Afraid, terrorized at what’s coming next, afraid of the unknown, because of the sights you’ve witnessed.

68 God will ship you back to Egypt by a road I promised you’d never see again. There you’ll offer yourselves for sale, both men and women, as slaves to your enemies. And not a buyer to be found.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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