The Covenant Blessings
28:1 “If you indeed 1 obey the Lord your God and are careful to observe all his commandments I am giving 2 you today, the Lord your God will elevate you above all the nations of the earth. 28:2 All these blessings will come to you in abundance 3 if you obey the Lord your God: 28:3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the field. 4 28:4 Your children 5 will be blessed, as well as the produce of your soil, the offspring of your livestock, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 28:5 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be blessed. 28:6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 6 28:7 The Lord will cause your enemies who attack 7 you to be struck down before you; they will attack you from one direction 8 but flee from you in seven different directions. 28:8 The Lord will decree blessing for you with respect to your barns and in everything you do – yes, he will bless you in the land he 9 is giving you. 28:9 The Lord will designate you as his holy people just as he promised you, if you keep his commandments 10 and obey him. 11 28:10 Then all the peoples of the earth will see that you belong to the Lord, 12 and they will respect you. 28:11 The Lord will greatly multiply your children, 13 the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil in the land which he 14 promised your ancestors 15 he would give you. 28:12 The Lord will open for you his good treasure house, the heavens, to give you rain for the land in its season and to bless all you do; 16 you will lend to many nations but you will not borrow from any. 28:13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always end up at the top and not at the bottom, if you obey his 17 commandments which I am urging 18 you today to be careful to do. 28:14 But you must not turn away from all the commandments I am giving 19 you today, to either the right or left, nor pursue other gods and worship 20 them.
Curses as Reversal of Blessings
28:15 “But if you ignore 21 the Lord your God and are not careful to keep all his commandments and statutes I am giving you today, then all these curses will come upon you in full force: 22 28:16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the field. 28:17 Your basket and your mixing bowl will be cursed. 28:18 Your children 23 will be cursed, as well as the produce of your soil, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks. 28:19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. 24
Curses by Disease and Drought
28:20 “The Lord will send on you a curse, confusing you and opposing you 25 in everything you undertake 26 until you are destroyed and quickly perish because of the evil of your deeds, in that you have forsaken me. 27 28:21 The Lord will plague you with deadly diseases 28 until he has completely removed you from the land you are about to possess. 28:22 He 29 will afflict you with weakness, 30 fever, inflammation, infection, 31 sword, 32 blight, and mildew; these will attack you until you perish. 28:23 The 33 sky 34 above your heads will be bronze and the earth beneath you iron. 28:24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; it will come down on you from the sky until you are destroyed.
Curses by Defeat and Deportation
28:25 “The Lord will allow you to be struck down before your enemies; you will attack them from one direction but flee from them in seven directions and will become an object of terror 35 to all the kingdoms of the earth. 28:26 Your carcasses will be food for every bird of the sky and wild animal of the earth, and there will be no one to chase them off. 28:27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, eczema, and scabies, all of which cannot be healed. 28:28 The Lord will also subject you to madness, blindness, and confusion of mind. 36 28:29 You will feel your way along at noon like the blind person does in darkness and you will not succeed in anything you do; 37 you will be constantly oppressed and continually robbed, with no one to save you. 28:30 You will be engaged to a woman and another man will rape 38 her. You will build a house but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard but not even begin to use it. 28:31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your very eyes but you will not eat of it. Your donkey will be stolen from you as you watch and will not be returned to you. Your flock of sheep will be given to your enemies and there will be no one to save you. 28:32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people while you look on in vain all day, and you will be powerless to do anything about it. 39 28:33 As for the produce of your land and all your labor, a people you do not know will consume it, and you will be nothing but oppressed and crushed for the rest of your lives. 28:34 You will go insane from seeing all this. 28:35 The Lord will afflict you in your knees and on your legs with painful, incurable boils – from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. 28:36 The Lord will force you and your king 40 whom you will appoint over you to go away to a people whom you and your ancestors have not known, and you will serve other gods of wood and stone there. 28:37 You will become an occasion of horror, a proverb, and an object of ridicule to all the peoples to whom the Lord will drive you.
The Curse of Reversed Status
28:38 “You will take much seed to the field but gather little harvest, because locusts will consume it. 28:39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them, but you will not drink wine or gather in grapes, because worms will eat them. 28:40 You will have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with olive oil, because the olives will drop off the trees while still unripe. 41 28:41 You will bear sons and daughters but not keep them, because they will be taken into captivity. 28:42 Whirring locusts 42 will take over every tree and all the produce of your soil. 28:43 The foreigners 43 who reside among you will become higher and higher over you and you will become lower and lower. 28:44 They will lend to you but you will not lend to them; they will become the head and you will become the tail!
28:45 All these curses will fall on you, pursuing and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping his commandments and statutes that he has given 44 you. 28:46 These curses 45 will be a perpetual sign and wonder with reference to you and your descendants. 46
The Curse of Military Siege
28:47 “Because you have not served the Lord your God joyfully and wholeheartedly with the abundance of everything you have, 28:48 instead in hunger, thirst, nakedness, and poverty 47 you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you. They 48 will place an iron yoke on your neck until they have destroyed you. 28:49 The Lord will raise up a distant nation against you, one from the other side of the earth 49 as the eagle flies, 50 a nation whose language you will not understand, 28:50 a nation of stern appearance that will have no regard for the elderly or pity for the young. 28:51 They 51 will devour the offspring of your livestock and the produce of your soil until you are destroyed. They will not leave you with any grain, new wine, olive oil, calves of your herds, 52 or lambs of your flocks 53 until they have destroyed you. 28:52 They will besiege all of your villages 54 until all of your high and fortified walls collapse – those in which you put your confidence throughout the land. They will besiege all your villages throughout the land the Lord your God has given you. 28:53 You will then eat your own offspring, 55 the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you, because of the severity of the siege 56 by which your enemies will constrict you. 28:54 The man among you who is by nature tender and sensitive will turn against his brother, his beloved wife, and his remaining children. 28:55 He will withhold from all of them his children’s flesh that he is eating (since there is nothing else left), because of the severity of the siege by which your enemy will constrict 57 you in your villages. 28:56 Likewise, the most 58 tender and delicate of your women, who would never think of putting even the sole of her foot on the ground because of her daintiness, 59 will turn against her beloved husband, her sons and daughters, 28:57 and will secretly eat her afterbirth 60 and her newborn children 61 (since she has nothing else), 62 because of the severity of the siege by which your enemy will constrict you in your villages.
The Curse of Covenant Termination
28:58 “If you refuse to obey 63 all the words of this law, the things written in this scroll, and refuse to fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God, 28:59 then the Lord will increase your punishments and those of your descendants – great and long-lasting afflictions and severe, enduring illnesses. 28:60 He will infect you with all the diseases of Egypt 64 that you dreaded, and they will persistently afflict you. 65 28:61 Moreover, the Lord will bring upon you every kind of sickness and plague not mentioned in this scroll of commandments, 66 until you have perished. 28:62 There will be very few of you left, though at one time you were as numerous as the stars in the sky, 67 because you will have disobeyed 68 the Lord your God. 28:63 This is what will happen: Just as the Lord delighted to do good for you and make you numerous, he 69 will take delight in destroying and decimating you. You will be uprooted from the land you are about to possess. 28:64 The Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods that neither you nor your ancestors have known, gods of wood and stone. 28:65 Among those nations you will have no rest nor will there be a place of peaceful rest for the soles of your feet, for there the Lord will give you an anxious heart, failing eyesight, and a spirit of despair. 28:66 Your life will hang in doubt before you; you will be terrified by night and day and will have no certainty of surviving from one day to the next. 70 28:67 In the morning you will say, ‘If only it were evening!’ And in the evening you will say, ‘I wish it were morning!’ because of the things you will fear and the things you will see. 28:68 Then the Lord will make you return to Egypt by ship, over a route I said to you that you would never see again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.”
29:1 71 These are the words of the covenant that the Lord commanded Moses to make with the people of Israel in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb. 72
The Exodus, Wandering, and Conquest Reviewed
29:2 Moses proclaimed to all Israel as follows: “You have seen all that the Lord did 73 in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, all his servants, and his land. 29:3 Your eyes have seen the great judgments, 74 those signs and mighty wonders. 29:4 But to this very day the Lord has not given you an understanding mind, perceptive eyes, or discerning ears! 75 29:5 I have led you through the desert for forty years. Your clothing has not worn out 76 nor have your sandals 77 deteriorated. 29:6 You have eaten no bread and drunk no wine or beer – all so that you might know that I 78 am the Lord your God! 29:7 When you came to this place King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out to make war and we defeated them. 29:8 Then we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
The Present Covenant Setting
29:9 “Therefore, keep the terms 79 of this covenant and obey them so that you may be successful in everything you do. 29:10 You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God – the heads of your tribes, 80 your elders, your officials, every Israelite man, 29:11 your infants, your wives, and the 81 foreigners living in your encampment, those who chop wood and those who carry water – 29:12 so that you may enter by oath into the covenant the Lord your God is making with you today. 82 29:13 Today he will affirm that you are his people and that he is your God, 83 just as he promised you and as he swore by oath to your ancestors 84 Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 29:14 It is not with you alone that I am making this covenant by oath, 29:15 but with whoever stands with us here today before the Lord our God as well as those not with us here today. 85
The Results of Disobedience
29:16 “(For you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations as we traveled. 29:17 You have seen their detestable things 86 and idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold.) 87 29:18 Beware that the heart of no man, woman, clan, or tribe among you turns away from the Lord our God today to pursue and serve the gods of those nations; beware that there is among you no root producing poisonous and bitter fruit. 88 29:19 When such a person 89 hears the words of this oath he secretly 90 blesses himself 91 and says, “I will have peace though I continue to walk with a stubborn spirit.” 92 This will destroy 93 the watered ground with the parched. 94 29:20 The Lord will be unwilling to forgive him, and his intense anger 95 will rage 96 against that man; all the curses 97 written in this scroll will fall upon him 98 and the Lord will obliterate his name from memory. 99 29:21 The Lord will single him out 100 for judgment 101 from all the tribes of Israel according to all the curses of the covenant written in this scroll of the law. 29:22 The generation to come – your descendants who will rise up after you, as well as the foreigner who will come from distant places – will see 102 the afflictions of that land and the illnesses that the Lord has brought on it. 29:23 The whole land will be covered with brimstone, salt, and burning debris; it will not be planted nor will it sprout or produce grass. It will resemble the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed in his intense anger. 103 29:24 Then all the nations will ask, “Why has the Lord done all this to this land? What is this fierce, heated display of anger 104 all about?” 29:25 Then people will say, “Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. 29:26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods they did not know and that he did not permit them to worship. 105 29:27 That is why the Lord’s anger erupted against this land, bringing on it all the curses 106 written in this scroll. 29:28 So the Lord has uprooted them from their land in anger, wrath, and great rage and has deported them to another land, as is clear today.” 29:29 Secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants 107 forever, so that we might obey all the words of this law.
The Results of Covenant Reaffirmation
30:1 “When you have experienced all these things, both the blessings and the curses 108 I have set before you, you will reflect upon them 109 in all the nations where the Lord your God has banished you. 30:2 Then if you and your descendants 110 turn to the Lord your God and obey him with your whole mind and being 111 just as 112 I am commanding you today, 30:3 the Lord your God will reverse your captivity and have pity on you. He will turn and gather you from all the peoples among whom he 113 has scattered you. 30:4 Even if your exiles are in the most distant land, 114 from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 30:5 Then he 115 will bring you to the land your ancestors 116 possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors. 30:6 The Lord your God will also cleanse 117 your heart and the hearts of your descendants 118 so that you may love him 119 with all your mind and being and so that you may live. 30:7 Then the Lord your God will put all these curses on your enemies, on those who hate you and persecute you. 30:8 You will return and obey the Lord, keeping all his commandments I am giving 120 you today. 30:9 The Lord your God will make the labor of your hands 121 abundantly successful and multiply your children, 122 the offspring of your cattle, and the produce of your soil. For the Lord your God will once more 123 rejoice over you to make you prosperous 124 just as he rejoiced over your ancestors, 30:10 if you obey the Lord your God and keep his commandments and statutes that are written in this scroll of the law. But you must turn to him 125 with your whole mind and being.
Exhortation to Covenant Obedience
30:11 “This commandment I am giving 126 you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it too remote. 30:12 It is not in heaven, as though one must say, “Who will go up to heaven to get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 30:13 And it is not across the sea, as though one must say, “Who will cross over to the other side of the sea and get it for us and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” 30:14 For the thing is very near you – it is in your mouth and in your mind 127 so that you can do it.
30:15 “Look! I have set before you today life and prosperity on the one hand, and death and disaster on the other. 30:16 What 128 I am commanding you today is to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to obey his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances. Then you will live and become numerous and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you are about to possess. 129 30:17 However, if you 130 turn aside and do not obey, but are lured away to worship and serve other gods, 30:18 I declare to you this very day that you will certainly 131 perish! You will not extend your time in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess. 132 30:19 Today I invoke heaven and earth as a witness against you that I have set life and death, blessing and curse, before you. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live! 30:20 I also call on you 133 to love the Lord your God, to obey him and be loyal to him, for he gives you life and enables you to live continually 134 in the land the Lord promised to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Succession of Moses by Joshua
31:1 Then Moses went 135 and spoke these words 136 to all Israel. 31:2 He said to them, “Today I am a hundred and twenty years old. I am no longer able to get about, 137 and the Lord has said to me, ‘You will not cross the Jordan.’ 31:3 As for the Lord your God, he is about to cross over before you; he will destroy these nations before you and dispossess them. As for Joshua, he is about to cross before you just as the Lord has said. 31:4 The Lord will do to them just what he did to Sihon and Og, the Amorite kings, and to their land, which he destroyed. 31:5 The Lord will deliver them over to you and you will do to them according to the whole commandment I have given you. 31:6 Be strong and courageous! Do not fear or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who is going with you. He will not fail you or abandon you!” 31:7 Then Moses called out to Joshua 138 in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you will accompany these people to the land that the Lord promised to give their ancestors, 139 and you will enable them to inherit it. 31:8 The Lord is indeed going before you – he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!”
The Deposit of the Covenant Text
31:9 Then Moses wrote down this law and gave it to the Levitical priests, who carry the ark of the Lord’s covenant, and to all Israel’s elders. 31:10 He 140 commanded them: “At the end of seven years, at the appointed time of the cancellation of debts, 141 at the Feast of Temporary Shelters, 142 31:11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, you must read this law before them 143 within their hearing. 31:12 Gather the people – men, women, and children, as well as the resident foreigners in your villages – so they may hear and thus learn about and fear the Lord your God and carefully obey all the words of this law. 31:13 Then their children, who have not known this law, 144 will also hear about and learn to fear the Lord your God for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”
The Commissioning of Joshua
31:14 Then the Lord said to Moses, “The day of your death is near. Summon Joshua and present yourselves in the tent 145 of meeting 146 so that I can commission him.” 147 So Moses and Joshua presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 31:15 The Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud that 148 stood above the door of the tent. 31:16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “You are about to die, 149 and then these people will begin to prostitute themselves with the foreign gods of the land into which they 150 are going. They 151 will reject 152 me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 153 31:17 At that time 154 my anger will erupt against them 155 and I will abandon them and hide my face from them until they are devoured. Many disasters and distresses will overcome 156 them 157 so that they 158 will say at that time, ‘Have not these disasters 159 overcome us 160 because our 161 God is not among us 162 ?’ 31:18 But I will certainly 163 hide myself at that time because of all the wickedness they 164 will have done by turning to other gods. 31:19 Now write down for yourselves the following song and teach it to the Israelites. Put it into their very mouths so that this song may serve as my witness against the Israelites! 31:20 For after I have brought them 165 to the land I promised to their 166 ancestors – one flowing with milk and honey – and they 167 eat their fill 168 and become fat, then they 169 will turn to other gods and worship them; they will reject me and break my covenant. 31:21 Then when 170 many disasters and distresses overcome them 171 this song will testify against them, 172 for their 173 descendants will not forget it. 174 I know the 175 intentions they have in mind 176 today, even before I bring them 177 to the land I have promised.” 31:22 So on that day Moses wrote down this song and taught it to the Israelites, 31:23 and the Lord 178 commissioned Joshua son of Nun, “Be strong and courageous, for you will take the Israelites to the land I have promised them, and I will be with you.” 179
Anticipation of Disobedience
31:24 When Moses finished writing on a scroll the words of this law in their entirety, 31:25 he 180 commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the Lord’s covenant, 31:26 “Take this scroll of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God. It will remain there as a witness against you, 31:27 for I know about your rebellion and stubbornness. 181 Indeed, even while I have been living among you to this very day, you have rebelled against the Lord; you will be even more rebellious after my death! 182 31:28 Gather to me all your tribal elders and officials so I can speak to them directly about these things and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them. 31:29 For I know that after I die you will totally 183 corrupt yourselves and turn away from the path I have commanded you to walk. Disaster will confront you in the days to come because you will act wickedly 184 before the Lord, inciting him to anger because of your actions.” 185 31:30 Then Moses recited the words of this song from start to finish in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel.