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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy

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CONTEXT

Part 5: Ch.26-30 Preparing to Enter Commitment Issues

Ch. 26 – First-Fruits, Tithes & Covenant

Ch. 27 – Ceremonies of Blessing & Cursing

Ch.28 – The Blessings & Curses

Ch.29 – Renewal of the Covenant

Ch.30 – Choices for Now & the Future

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: Deuteronomy 27: Ceremonies of Blessing & Cursing

 

v.1-8 Instructions to Build the Altar on Mount Ebal

v.9-13 The Tribes to Declare Blessings & Curses

v.14-26 Those who will be Cursed

 

 

v.1-8 Instructions to Build the Altar on Mount Ebal

 

v.1 Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people: “Keep all these commands that I give you today.

v.When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the Lord your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster.

v.3 Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

v.And when you have crossed the Jordan, set up these stones on Mount Ebal, [in the centre of the Land] as I command you today, and coat them with plaster.

v.5 Build there an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones. Do not use any iron tool on them.

v.6 Build the altar of the Lord your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God.

v.7 Sacrifice fellowship offerings there, eating them and rejoicing in the presence of the Lord your God.

v.8 And you shall write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up.”

 

[Notes: As soon as they actually enter the Land, they are to set up large stones which they are to plaster and then write the Law on [a common practice in those times]. They are also to do this and build an altar on Mount Ebal but as this mountain is some way into the Land, it will no doubt take a while to get that far. It suggests this is going to be a place of a significant ritual that is part of them recommitting themselves to the Lord in the Land.]

 

 

v.9-13 The Tribes to Declare Blessings & Curses

 

v.9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests said to all Israel, “Be silent, Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God.

v.10 Obey the Lord your God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today.”

v.11 On the same day Moses commanded the people:

v.12 When you have crossed the Jordan, these tribes shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin.

v.13 And these tribes shall stand on Mount Ebal to pronounce curses: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali.

 

[Notes: As an extension of the above, six of the tribes are to stand on Mount Ebal and declare God's blessings over the Land while the other six stand on Mount Gerizim, a little further south and declares God's curses over the Land. The reasons for the curses follow in this chapter and then the nature of the blessings and the curses in the following chapter.]

 

 

v.14-26 Those who will be Cursed

 

v.14 The Levites shall recite to all the people of Israel in a loud voice:

v.15 “Cursed is anyone who makes an idol —a thing detestable to the Lord , the work of skilled hands—and sets it up in secret.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.16 “Cursed is anyone who dishonors their father or mother.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.17 “Cursed is anyone who moves their neighbor's boundary stone.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.18 “Cursed is anyone who leads the blind astray on the road.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.19 “Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.20 “Cursed is anyone who sleeps with his father's wife, for he dishonors his father's bed.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.21 “Cursed is anyone who has sexual relations with any animal.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.22 “Cursed is anyone who sleeps with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.23 “Cursed is anyone who sleeps with his mother-in-law.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.24 “Cursed is anyone who kills their neighbor secretly.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.25 “Cursed is anyone who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

v.26 “Cursed is anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by carrying them out.”

Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

 

[Notes: Little comment needs to be made. The reasons for curses being imposed by God are a variety of specified sins.]

   

     

CONTINUE TO CHAPTER 28