Narrative Interlude1 [Heb. 28:69] ▼ 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. ▼
▼ Horeb is another name for Mount Sinai (which some English versions substitute here for clarity, cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).
The Exodus, Wandering, and Conquest Reviewed2 Moses proclaimed to all Israel as follows: “You have seen all that the Lord did ▼
▼ The Hebrew text includes “to your eyes,” but this is redundant in English style (cf. the preceding “you have seen”) and is omitted in the translation.in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, all his servants, and his land. 3 Your eyes have seen the great judgments, ▼ those signs and mighty wonders. 4 But to this very day the Lord has not given you an understanding mind, perceptive eyes, or discerning ears! ▼
▼ Heb “a heart to know, eyes to see and ears to hear” (NASB similar); NAB, NRSV “a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear.”5 I have led you through the desert for forty years. Your clothing has not worn out ▼
▼ The Hebrew text includes “on you.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.nor have your sandals ▼
▼ The Hebrew text includes “from on your feet.”deteriorated. 6 You have eaten no bread and drunk no wine or beer – all so that you might know that I ▼
▼ The LXX reads “that he is the Lord your God.”am the Lord your God! 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. 8 Then we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to Reuben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh.
The Present Covenant Setting9 “Therefore, keep the terms ▼
▼ Heb “words.”of this covenant and obey them so that you may be successful in everything you do. 10 You are standing today, all of you, before the Lord your God – the heads of your tribes, ▼
▼ Heb “your heads, your tribes.” The Syriac presupposes either “heads of your tribes” or “your heads, your judges,” etc. (reading שֹׁפְטֵכֶם [shofetekhem] for שִׁבְטֵיכֶם [shivtekhem]). Its comparative difficulty favors the originality of the MT reading. Cf. KJV “your captains of your tribes”; NRSV “the leaders of your tribes”; NLT “your tribal leaders.”your elders, your officials, every Israelite man, 11 your infants, your wives, and the ▼
▼ Heb “your.”foreigners living in your encampment, those who chop wood and those who carry water – 12 so that you may enter by oath into the covenant the Lord your God is making with you today. ▼
▼ Heb “for you to pass on into the covenant of the Lord your God and into his oath, which the Lord your God is cutting with you today.”13 Today he will affirm that you are his people and that he is your God, ▼ just as he promised you and as he swore by oath to your ancestors ▼ Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 14 It is not with you alone that I am making this covenant by oath, 15 but with whoever stands with us here today before the Lord our God as well as those not with us here today. ▼
▼ This is interpreted by some English versions as a reference to generations not yet born (cf. TEV, CEV, NLT).
The Results of Disobedience16 “(For you know how we lived in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations as we traveled. 17 You have seen their detestable things ▼
▼ The Hebrew term שִׁקּוּץ (shiquts) refers to anything out of keeping with the nature and character of Yahweh and therefore to be avoided by his people Israel. It is commonly used with or as a synonym for תּוֹעֵבָה (to’evah, “detestable, abhorrent”; 2 Kgs 23:13; Jer 16:18; Ezek 5:11; 7:20; 11:18, 21; see note on the term “abhorrent” in Deut 7:25). See M. Grisanti, NIDOTTE 4:243–46.and idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold.) ▼ 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. ▼
▼ Heb “yielding fruit poisonous and wormwood.” The Hebrew noun לַעֲנָה (la’anah) literally means “wormwood” (so KJV, ASV, NAB, NASB), but is used figuratively for anything extremely bitter, thus here “fruit poisonous and bitter.”19 When such a person ▼ hears the words of this oath he secretly ▼
▼ Heb “in his heart.”blesses himself ▼
▼ Or “invokes a blessing on himself.” A formalized word of blessing is in view, the content of which appears later in the verse.and says, “I will have peace though I continue to walk with a stubborn spirit.” ▼
▼ Heb “heart.”This will destroy ▼
▼ Heb “thus destroying.” For stylistic reasons the translation begins a new sentence here.the watered ground with the parched. ▼
▼ Heb “the watered with the parched.” The word “ground” is implied. The exact meaning of the phrase is uncertain although it appears to be figurative. This appears to be a proverbial observation employing a figure of speech (a merism) suggesting totality. That is, the Israelite who violates the letter and even spirit of the covenant will harm not only himself but everything he touches – “the watered and the parched.” Cf. CEV “you will cause the rest of Israel to be punished along with you.”20 The Lord will be unwilling to forgive him, and his intense anger ▼
▼ Heb “the wrath of the Lord and his zeal.” The expression is a hendiadys, a figure in which the second noun becomes adjectival to the first.will rage ▼
▼ Heb “smoke,” or “smolder.”against that man; all the curses ▼
▼ Heb “the entire oath.”written in this scroll will fall upon him ▼
▼ Or “will lie in wait against him.”and the Lord will obliterate his name from memory. ▼
▼ Heb “blot out his name from under the sky.”21 The Lord will single him out ▼
▼ Heb “set him apart.”for judgment ▼
▼ Heb “for evil”; NAB “for doom”; NASB “for adversity”; NIV “for disaster”; NRSV “for calamity.”from all the tribes of Israel according to all the curses of the covenant written in this scroll of the law. 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 ▼
▼ Heb “will say and see.” One expects a quotation to appear, but it seems to be omitted. To avoid confusion in the translation, the verb “will say” is omitted.the afflictions of that land and the illnesses that the Lord has brought on it. 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. ▼
▼ Heb “the anger and the wrath.” This construction is a hendiadys intended to intensify the emotion.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 ▼
▼ Heb “this great burning of anger”; KJV “the heat of this great anger.”all about?” 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. 26 They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods they did not know and that he did not permit them to worship. ▼
▼ Heb “did not assign to them”; NASB, NRSV “had not allotted to them.”27 That is why the Lord’s anger erupted against this land, bringing on it all the curses ▼
▼ Heb “the entire curse.”written in this scroll. 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 Secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us and our descendants ▼
▼ Heb “sons” (so NASB); KJV, ASV, NIV, NRSV “children.”forever, so that we might obey all the words of this law.
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