The Altar and Curses on Mount Ebal
Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, "Keep all the commandment which I command you today.
It shall be on the day when you shall pass over the Jordan to the land which the LORD your God gives you, that you shall set yourself up great stones, and coat them with plaster.
You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have passed over; that you may go in to the land which the LORD your God gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as The LORD, the God of your fathers, has promised you.
It shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall coat them with plaster.
There you shall build an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones. You shall not use any iron tool on them.
You shall build the LORD your God's altar of uncut stones. You shall offer burnt offerings on it to the LORD your God.
You shall sacrifice peace offerings, and shall eat there. You shall rejoice before the LORD your God.
You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly."
Moses and the priests the Levites spoke to all Israel, saying, "Be silent, and listen, Israel! Today you have become the people of the LORD your God.
You shall therefore obey the LORD your God's voice, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command you today."
Moses commanded the people the same day, saying,
"These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin.
These shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
With a loud voice, the Levites shall say to all the men of Israel,
'Cursed is the man who makes an engraved or molten image, an abomination to The LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.'All the people shall answer and say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who dishonors his father or his mother.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who removes his neighbor's landmark.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who leads the blind astray on the road.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who withholds justice from the foreigner, fatherless, and widow.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who lies with
his father's wife, because he dishonors his father's bed.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who lies with any kind of animal.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who lies with his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who secretly kills his neighbor.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'
'Cursed is he who doesn't uphold the words of this law by doing them.'All the people shall say, 'Amen.'"
Blessings and Consequences regarding Obedience
It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to the LORD your God's voice, to observe to do all his commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
All these blessings will come upon you, and overtake you, if you listen to the LORD your God's voice.
You shall be blessed in the city, and you shall be blessed in the field.
You shall be blessed in the fruit of your body, the fruit of your ground, the fruit of your animals, the increase of your livestock, and the young of your flock.
Your basket and your kneading trough shall be blessed.
You shall be blessed when you come in, and you shall be blessed when you go out.
The LORD will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be struck before you. They will come out against you one way, and will flee before you seven ways.
The LORD will command the blessing on you in your barns, and in all that you put your hand to. He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God gives you.
The LORD will establish you for a holy people to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and walk in his ways.
All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by The LORD's name, and they will be afraid of you.
The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
The LORD will open to you his good treasure in the sky, to give the rain of your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You will lend to many nations, and you will not borrow.
The LORD will make you the head, and not the tail. You will be above only, and you will not be beneath; if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, to observe and to do,
and shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the LORD your God's voice, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come on you, and overtake you.
You will be cursed in the city, and you will be cursed in the field.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
The fruit of your body, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your livestock, and the young of your flock will be cursed.
You will be cursed when you come in, and you will be cursed when you go out.
The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke, in all that you put your hand to do, until you are destroyed, and until you perish quickly; because of the evil of your doings, by which you have forsaken me.
The LORD will make the pestilence cling to you, until he has consumed you from off the land, where you go in to possess it.
The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with fiery heat, with the sword, with blight, and with mildew. They will pursue you until you perish.
Your sky that is over your head will be brass, and the earth that is under you will be iron.
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.
The LORD will cause you to be struck before your enemies. You will go out one way against them, and will flee seven ways before them. You will be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth.
Your dead body will be food to all birds of the sky, and to the animals of the earth; and there will be no one to frighten them away.
The LORD will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with the tumors, with the scurvy, and with the itch, of which you can not be healed.
The LORD will strike you with madness, with blindness, and with astonishment of heart.
You will grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. You will only be oppressed and robbed always, and there will be no one to save you.
You will betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her. You will build a house, and you won't dwell in it. You will plant a vineyard, and not use its fruit.
Your ox will be slain before your eyes, and you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be violently taken away from before your face, and will not be restored to you. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and you will have no one to save you.
Your sons and your daughters will be given to another people. Your eyes will look, and fail with longing for them all day long. There will be no power in your hand.
A nation which you don't know eat the fruit of your ground and all of your work. You will only be oppressed and crushed always;
so that the sights that you see with your eyes will drive you mad.
The LORD will strike you in the knees and in the legs with a sore boil, of which you can not be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.
The LORD will bring you, and your king whom you will set over yourselves, to a nation that you have not known, you nor your fathers. There you will serve other gods of wood and stone.
You will become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the LORD will lead you away.
You will carry much seed out into the field, and will gather little in; for the locust will consume it.
You will plant vineyards and dress them, but you will neither drink of the wine, nor harvest, because worms will eat them.
You will have olive trees throughout all your borders, but you won't anoint yourself with the oil; for your olives will drop off.
You will father sons and daughters, but they will not be yours; for they will go into captivity.
Locusts will consume all of your trees and the fruit of your ground.
The foreigner who is among you will mount up above you higher and higher, and you will come down lower and lower.
He will lend to you, and you won't lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail.
All these curses will come on you, and will pursue you, and overtake you, until you are destroyed; because you didn't listen to the LORD your God's voice, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded you.
They will be for a sign and for a wonder to you and to your offspring forever.
Because you didn't serve the LORD your God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of all things;
therefore you will serve your enemies whom the LORD sends against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in lack of all things. He will put an iron yoke on your neck, until he has destroyed you.
The LORD will bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose language you will not understand;
a nation of fierce facial expressions, that doesn't respect the elderly, nor show favor to the young,
and they will eat the fruit of your livestock, and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed. They also won't leave you grain, new wine, or oil, the increase of your livestock, or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish.
They will besiege you in all your gates, until your high and fortified walls come down, in which you trusted, throughout all your land. They will besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land, which the LORD your God has given you.
You will eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom the LORD your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies will distress you.
The man who is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye will be evil toward his brother, toward the wife whom he loves, and toward the remnant of his children whom he has remaining;
so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left to him, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy will distress you in all your gates.
The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye will be evil toward the husband that she loves, toward her son, toward her daughter,
toward her young one who comes out from between her feet, and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of all things, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy will distress you in your gates.
If you will not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, YAHWEH YOUR GOD;
then the LORD will make your plagues fearful, and the plagues of your offspring, even great plagues, and of long duration, and severe sicknesses, and of long duration.
He will bring on you again all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they will cling to you.
Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, the LORD will bring them on you, until you are destroyed.
You will be left few in number, even though you were as the stars of the sky for multitude; because you didn't listen to the LORD your God's voice.
It will happen that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so the LORD will rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you. You will be plucked from off of the land where you go in to possess it.
The LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth. There you will serve other gods, which you have not known, you nor your fathers, even wood and stone.
Among these nations you will find no ease, and there will be no rest for the sole of your foot; but the LORD will give you there a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and pining of soul.
Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will be afraid night and day, and will have no assurance of your life.
In the morning you will say, "I wish it were evening!" and at evening you will say, "I wish it were morning!" for the fear of your heart which you will fear, and for the sights which your eyes will see.
The LORD will bring you into Egypt again with ships, by the way of which I told to you that you would never see it again. There you will sell yourselves to your enemies for male and female slaves, and nobody will buy you.
The Covenant Renewed in Moab
These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant which he made with them in Horeb.
Moses called to all Israel, and said to them:Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land;
the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders.
But the LORD has not given you a heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear, to this day.
I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not grown old on you, and your shoes have not grown old on your feet.
You have not eaten bread, neither have you drunk wine or strong drink; that you may know that I am the LORD your God.
When you came to this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us to battle, and we struck them.
We took their land, and gave it for an inheritance to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of the Manassites.
Therefore keep the words of this covenant and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
All of you stand today in the presence of the LORD your God; your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel,
your little ones, your wives, and the foreigners who are in the middle of your camps, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water;
that you may enter into the covenant of the LORD your God, and into his oath, which the LORD your God makes with you today;
that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he spoke to you, and as he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
Neither do I make this covenant and this oath with you only,
but with those who stand here with us today before the LORD our God, and also with those who are not here with us today
(for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the middle of the nations through which you passed;
and you have seen their abominations, and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them);
lest there should be among you man, woman, family, or tribe whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go to serve the gods of those nations; lest there should be among you a root that produces bitter poison;
and it happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he bless himself in his heart, saying, "I shall have peace, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart, to destroy the moist with the dry."
The LORD will not pardon him, but then The LORD's anger and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and all the curse that is written in this book will fall on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under the sky.
The LORD will set him apart for evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law.
The generation to come, your children who will rise up after you, and the foreigner who will come from a far land, will say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses with which the LORD has made it sick;
and that all of its land is sulfur, salt, and burning, that it is not sown, doesn't produce, nor does any grass grow in it, like the overthrow of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath;
even all the nations will say, "Why has the LORD done thus to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?"
Then men will say, "Because they abandoned the covenant of The LORD, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt,
and went and served other gods, and worshiped them, gods that they didn't know, and that he had not given to them.
Therefore The LORD's anger burned against this land, to bring on it all the curses that are written in this book.
The LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and thrust them into another land, as it is today."
The secret things belong to the LORD our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Restoration Promised; Life Offered
It shall happen, when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you shall call them to mind among all the nations, where the LORD your God has driven you,
and return to the LORD your God, and obey his voice according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart, and with all your soul;
that then the LORD your God will release you from captivity, have compassion on you, and will return and gather you from all the peoples where the LORD your God has scattered you.
If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you, and from there he will bring you back.
The LORD your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you will possess it. He will do you good, and increase your numbers more than your fathers.
The LORD your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your offspring, to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.
The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies, and on those who hate you, who persecuted you.
You shall return and obey The LORD's voice, and do all his commandments which I command you today.
The LORD your God will make you plenteous in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, for good; for the LORD will again rejoice over you for good, as he rejoiced over your fathers;
if you will obey the LORD your God's voice, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law; if you turn to the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul.
For this commandment which I command you today is not too hard for you or too distant.
It is not in heaven, that you should say, "Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, and proclaim it to us, that we may do it?"
Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, "Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, and proclaim it to us, that we may do it?"
But the word is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
Behold, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and evil.
For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, his statutes, and his ordinances, that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you go in to possess it.
But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
I denounce to you today, that you will surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you pass over the Jordan to go in to possess it.
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life, that you may live, you and your descendants;
to love the LORD your God, to obey his voice, and to cling to him; for he is your life, and the length of your days; that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.