Deuteronomy 28

1 "And it will happen [that] if you indeed listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, {to diligently observe} all his commandments that I [am] commanding you {today}, then Yahweh your God will set you above all the nations of the earth.
2 And all of these blessings shall come upon you, and {they shall have an effect on you} if you listen to the voice of Yahweh your God:
3 "You will be blessed in the city, and you will be blessed in the field.
4 "Blessed will be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your livestock, {the calf of your cattle and the lambs of your flock}.
5 "Blessed will be your basket and your kneading trough.
6 "Blessed will you be {when you come in and blessed will you be when you go out}.
7 "Yahweh will cause your enemies {who rise up against you to be defeated before you}; on one road they shall come out [against] you, but on seven roads they shall flee {before you}.
8 Yahweh will command {concerning you} the blessing [to be] in your barns and {in all your endeavors}; and he will bless you in the land that Yahweh your God [is] giving to you.
9 Yahweh will establish you for {himself} as a holy people as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of Yahweh your God and you walk in his ways.
10 And all of the peoples of the earth shall see that {by the name of Yahweh you are called}, and {they shall fear you}.
11 And {Yahweh will make you successful and prosperous}, in the fruit of your womb and on the land that Yahweh swore to your ancestors to give to you.
12 Yahweh shall open for you his {rich} storehouse, [even] the heavens, to give the rain for your land in its time and to bless all of the work of your hand, and you will lend to many nations; you will not borrow [from them].
13 And Yahweh shall make you as head and not the tail, and you shall be only at the top [of the nations], and you shall not be at the bottom, if you listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God that I [am] commanding you {today} {and diligently observe them}.
14 And you [shall] not turn aside from {any of} the words that I [am] commanding you {today} [to the] right or left by going after other gods to serve them.
15 "{And then} if you do not listen to the voice of Yahweh your God {by diligently observing} all of his commandments and his statutes that I [am] commanding you {today}, then all of these curses shall come upon you, and they shall overtake you:
16 "You [shall] be cursed in the city, and [you shall] be cursed in the field.
17 "Your basket [shall] be cursed and your kneading trough.
18 "The fruit of your womb [shall] be cursed and the fruit of you ground, the calves of your cattle and the lambs of your flock.
19 "You shall be cursed {when you come in}, and you [shall] be cursed {when you go out}.
20 "Yahweh will send upon you the curse, the panic, and the threat {in everything that you undertake}, {until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly} {because of} the evil of your deeds in that you have forsaken me.
21 Yahweh will cause the plague to cling to you {until it consumes you} from the land that you [are] going to, to take possession of it.
22 Yahweh will afflict you with the wasting diseases and with the fever and with the inflammation and with the scorching heat and with the sword and with the blight and with the mildew, and they shall pursue you {until you perish}.
23 And your heavens that [are] over your heads shall be [like] bronze, and the earth that [is] under you [shall be like] iron.
24 Yahweh will change the rain of your land [to] fine dust and [to] sand; from the heaven it shall come down upon you {until you are destroyed}.
25 "Yahweh shall cause you to be defeated {before} your enemies; on one road you shall go {against} them, but you will flee on seven roads {before} them, and you shall become a thing of horror to all of the kingdoms of the earth.
26 And your dead bodies shall be as food for all of the birds of the heaven and to the animals of the earth, and there shall not be {anyone to frighten them away}.
27 "Yahweh shall afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scurvy and with {the skin rash that cannot be healed}.
28 Yahweh shall afflict you with madness and with blindness and with confusion of heart.
29 And you shall be groping at noon just as the blind person gropes in the dark, and you shall not succeed [in finding] your way, and you shall only be abused and robbed {all the time}, and there will not be {anyone who will rescue you}.
30 You shall become engaged to a woman, but another man shall sleep with her; you shall build a house, but you shall not live in it; a vineyard you shall plant, but you shall not enjoy it.
31 Your ox [shall] [be] slaughtered before your eyes, and you shall not eat it; your donkey [shall be] stolen [right] {before you}, and it shall not be returned to you; your sheep and your goats [shall] be given to your enemies, and {there shall not be anyone who rescues you}.
32 Your sons and your daughters [shall be] given to other people, and {you will be looking on} {longingly} for them all day, {but you will be powerless to do anything}.
33 A people that you do not know shall consume the harvest of your land and all your labor, and you will be only oppressed and crushed {for the rest of your lives}.
34 You shall become mad {because of what your eyes shall see}.
35 Yahweh shall strike you with grievous boils on the knees and on the upper thighs [from which] {you will not be able to be healed}, from the sole of your foot and up to your crown.
36 Yahweh will bring you and your king whom you set up over you to a nation that you or your ancestors have not known, and there you will serve other gods [of] wood and stone.
37 And you will become a horror and a proverb and ridicule among all the peoples where Yahweh drives you there.
38 "You shall carry out much seed to the field, but you shall gather little [produce], for the locust shall devour it.
39 You shall plant vineyards and you shall dress [them], but you shall not drink wine and you shall not gather grapes, for the worm shall eat it.
40 There shall be olive trees for you in all of your territory, but you shall not anoint [yourself], for your olives shall drop off.
41 You shall bear sons and daughters, but they shall not be {yours}, for they shall go into captivity.
42 The cricket shall take possession of all your trees and the fruit of your ground.
43 The alien that [is] in your midst shall ascend over you, higher [and] higher, but you shall go down lower [and] lower.
44 He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be [the] head, but you shall be [the] tail.
45 "And all of these curses shall come over you, and they shall pursue you, and they shall overtake you {until you are destroyed}, because {you did not listen} to the voice of Yahweh your God, {by observing} his commandments and his statutes that he commanded you.
46 And they shall be among you as a sign and as a wonder and among your offspring {forever}.
47 "{Because} [of the fact] that you did not serve Yahweh your God with joy and with gladness of heart for the abundance of everything,
48 then you shall serve your enemies, whom Yahweh will send against you [under conditions of] famine, in thirst, in nakedness, and in [a] lack of everything; and he shall place a yoke of iron on your neck {until he has destroyed you}.
49 Yahweh will raise [up] against you a nation from far [off], from the end of the earth, [attacking] as the eagle swoops [down], {a nation whose language you will not understand},
50 {a grim-faced nation} {who does not show respect} to [the] old and [the] young [and] does not show pity.
51 And it shall consume the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your ground {until you are destroyed}, [and] who will not leave for you [any] grain, wine, and olive oil, {calves of your herds}, and {lambs of} your flock {until it has destroyed you}.
52 And it shall besiege you in all your towns {until your high and fortified walls fall}, which you [are] trusting in {throughout your land}; and it shall besiege you in all of your towns in all of your land that Yahweh your God has given to you.
53 And you shall eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your sons and your daughters, whom Yahweh your God gave to you, {during the siege and during the distress} your enemy inflicts upon you.
54 The most refined and the very sensitive man among you {shall be mean with his brother} and {against his beloved wife} and against the rest of his children that he has left over,
55 {by refraining from giving} to [even] one of them any of the meat of his children that he eats, because [there is] not anything [that is] left over for him {during the siege and distress} that your enemy inflicts upon you.
56 The most refined and the [most] delicate [woman] among you, who shall not venture to put the sole of her foot on the ground from being [so] delicate and from [such] gentleness, {shall be mean to her beloved husband} and against her son and against her daughter,
57 and [even] concerning her afterbirth {that goes out} from between her feet and [also] concerning her children that she bears, because she eats them for lack of anything in secret {during the siege and during the distress} that your enemy inflicts upon her in your {towns}.
58 "If {you do not diligently observe} all the words of this law written in this scroll by revering this glorious and awesome name, Yahweh your God,
59 then Yahweh shall overwhelm [you] with your plagues and the plagues of your offspring, severe plagues and lasting illnesses, grievous and enduring.
60 And he shall bring back upon you all the diseases of Egypt [concerning] which {you were in dread} {because of them}.
61 Also any illness and any plague that [is] not written in the scroll of this law, he shall bring them, Yahweh, upon you until you are destroyed.
62 And you shall remain {only a few people} in place of [the fact] you were [formerly] as the stars of heaven as far as number [is concerned], because you did not listen to the voice of Yahweh your God.
63 {And then} as Yahweh delighted over you {to make you prosperous} to make you numerous, so Yahweh shall delight over you to exterminate you and to destroy you, and [so] you shall be plucked from the land that you [are] going there to take possession of it.
64 And Yahweh shall scatter you among all the nations from [one] end of the earth up to the [other] end of the earth, and there you shall serve other gods that you have not known nor your ancestors, [gods of] wood and stone.
65 And among these nations you shall not find rest, and [there] shall not be a resting place for the sole of your foot, and Yahweh shall give you there an anxious heart and a weakening of eyes and a languishing of [your] inner self.
66 And {your life shall hang in doubt before you}, and you shall be startled night and day, and you shall not be confident of your life.
67 In the morning you shall say, '{If only it was evening}!' and in the evening you shall say '{If only it was morning}!' because of the dread of your heart that you shall feel, and because of the sight of your eyes that you shall see.
68 And Yahweh shall bring you back [to] Egypt in ships by the route that I {promised} to you [that] '{You shall not see it again}!' And you shall sell yourself there to your enemies as slaves and as female slaves, but there will not be a buyer."

Images for Deuteronomy 28

Deuteronomy 28 Commentary

Chapter 28

The blessings for obedience. (1-14) The curses for disobedience. (15-44) Their ruin, if disobedient. (45-68)

Verses 1-14 This chapter is a very large exposition of two words, the blessing and the curse. They are real things and have real effects. The blessings are here put before the curses. God is slow to anger, but swift to show mercy. It is his delight to bless. It is better that we should be drawn to what is good by a child-like hope of God's favour, than that we be frightened to it by a slavish fear of his wrath. The blessing is promised, upon condition that they diligently hearken to the voice of God. Let them keep up religion, the form and power of it, in their families and nation, then the providence of God would prosper all their outward concerns.

Verses 15-44 If we do not keep God's commandments, we not only come short of the blessing promised, but we lay ourselves under the curse, which includes all misery, as the blessing all happiness. Observe the justice of this curse. It is not a curse causeless, or for some light cause. The extent and power of this curse. Wherever the sinner goes, the curse of God follows; wherever he is, it rests upon him. Whatever he has is under a curse. All his enjoyments are made bitter; he cannot take any true comfort in them, for the wrath of God mixes itself with them. Many judgments are here stated, which would be the fruits of the curse, and with which God would punish the people of the Jews, for their apostacy and disobedience. We may observe the fulfilling of these threatenings in their present state. To complete their misery, it is threatened that by these troubles they should be bereaved of all comfort and hope, and left to utter despair. Those who walk by sight, and not by faith, are in danger of losing reason itself, when every thing about them looks frightful.

Verses 45-68 If God inflicts vengeance, what miseries his curse can bring upon mankind, even in this present world! Yet these are but the beginning of sorrows to those under the curse of God. What then will be the misery of that world where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched! Observe what is here said of the wrath of God, which should come and remain upon the Israelites for their sins. It is amazing to think that a people so long the favourites of Heaven, should be so cast off; and yet that a people so scattered in all nations should be kept distinct, and not mixed with others. If they would not serve God with cheerfulness, they should be compelled to serve their enemies. We may justly expect from God, that if we do not fear his fearful name, we shall feel his fearful plagues; for one way or other God will be feared. The destruction threatened is described. They have, indeed, been plucked from off the land, ver. ( 63 ) . Not only by the Babylonish captivity, and when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans; but afterwards, when they were forbidden to set foot in Jerusalem. They should have no rest; no rest of body, ver. 65, but be continually on the remove, either in hope of gain, or fear of persecution. No rest of the mind, which is much worse. They have been banished from city to city, from country to country; recalled, and banished again. These events, compared with the favour shown to Israel in ancient times, and with the prophecies about them, should not only excite astonishment, but turn unto us for a testimony, assuring us of the truth of Scripture. And when the other prophecies of their conversion to Christ shall come to pass, the whole will be a sign and a wonder to all the nations of the earth, and the forerunner of a general spread of true christianity. The fulfilling of these prophecies upon the Jewish nation, delivered more than three thousand years ago, shows that Moses spake by the Spirit of God; who not only foresees the ruin of sinners, but warns of it, that they may prevent it by a true and timely repentance, or else be left without excuse. And let us be thankful that Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse for us, and bearing in his own person all that punishment which our sins merit, and which we must otherwise have endured for ever. To this Refuge and salvation let sinners flee; therein let believers rejoice, and serve their reconciled God with gladness of heart, for the abundance of his spiritual blessings.

Footnotes 114

  • [a]. Literally "to observe to do"
  • [b]. Literally "the day"
  • [c]. Literally "they shall overtake you"
  • [d]. Literally "[what] is dropped of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks"
  • [e]. Literally "in/at your coming and you will be blessed in/at your going out"
  • [f]. Literally "the ones rising against you being defeated to the face of you"
  • [g]. Or "way"
  • [h]. Or "ways"
  • [i]. Literally "to the face of you"
  • [j]. Literally "with you"
  • [k]. Literally "in all of the sending [forth] of your hand"
  • [l]. Literally "to/for him"
  • [m]. Literally "that the name of Yahweh is called/assigned upon you"
  • [n]. Literally "they shall be afraid/fearful from you"
  • [o]. Literally "Yahweh will cause for you goodness"
  • [p]. Or "fathers"
  • [q]. Literally "good"
  • [r]. Hebrew "of"
  • [s]. Literally "place/set you up"
  • [t]. Literally "the day"
  • [u]. Literally "to observe them and to do them"
  • [v]. Literally "all of"
  • [w]. Literally "the day"
  • [x]. Literally "and it will happen"
  • [y]. Literally "to observe and to do"
  • [z]. Literally "the day"
  • [aa]. All of these curses have a future orientation that points to Israel in the land of Canaan
  • [ab]. Literally "at/in your coming"
  • [ac]. Literally "at/in your going out"
  • [ad]. Others translate as a wish: "may Yahweh send upon you ..."
  • [ae]. These words are translated variously, e.g., "starvation," "thirst," "rebuke/dysentery" (NEB) or "curses," "confusion," "frustration" (NLT)
  • [af]. Or "confusion"
  • [ag]. Or "rebuke"
  • [ah]. Literally "in all the sending out of your hand that you do"
  • [ai]. Literally "until your to be destroyed and until your to perish quickly"
  • [aj]. Literally "from the face of the evil of your deeds"
  • [ak]. Literally "which"
  • [al]. Literally "it to consume to"
  • [am]. Hebrew "to there"
  • [an]. Others translate "drought" (NLT, NEB)
  • [ao]. Literally "until your/you to perish"
  • [ap]. Literally "until your being destroyed"
  • [aq]. Literally "to the face of"
  • [ar]. Literally "to/toward"
  • [as]. Hebrew "him"
  • [at]. Literally "to the face of"
  • [au]. Hebrew "him"
  • [av]. Literally "one causing fright [to them]"
  • [aw]. Literally "the skin rash that not it is able it to be healed"
  • [ax]. Literally "all the days"
  • [ay]. Literally "one who delivers/rescues [you]"
  • [az]. Or "ravish/violate"
  • [ba]. Literally "to the face of you"
  • [bb]. Literally "there shall not be for you one who rescues"
  • [bc]. Literally "your eyes [will] see/look"
  • [bd]. Literally "wearing out"
  • [be]. Hebrew "to"
  • [bf]. Literally "but there will not be for power of your hand"
  • [bg]. Literally "all of the days"
  • [bh]. Literally "from/by the sight of your eyes"
  • [bi]. Literally "which not you are able to heal"
  • [bj]. Or "fathers"
  • [bk]. Or "cultivate"
  • [bl]. That is, the produce
  • [bm]. Hebrew "olive"
  • [bn]. Literally "for you"
  • [bo]. Literally "until you to be destroyed"
  • [bp]. Literally "not you listened"
  • [bq]. Literally "to observe"
  • [br]. Literally "until eternity," but not in a timeless, philosophic sense
  • [bs]. Literally "Under"
  • [bt]. Literally "give"
  • [bu]. Literally "until his destroying of you"
  • [bv]. Literally "a nation who not you will understand its language"
  • [bw]. Literally "a nation fierce/determined of face"
  • [bx]. Literally "who not lifts up face[s]"
  • [by]. That is, the invading nation
  • [bz]. Literally "until your destroying"
  • [ca]. Literally "what is dropped of your herds"
  • [cb]. Literally "the offspring of small animals"
  • [cc]. Literally "until his to destroy you"
  • [cd]. Literally "until the coming down of your walls, high and fortified"
  • [ce]. Hebrew "in them," which is redundant
  • [cf]. Literally "in all of your land"
  • [cg]. Literally "in siege and in distress"
  • [ch]. Or "kindly disposed"
  • [ci]. Literally "shall be bad/evil his eye against his brother"
  • [cj]. Literally "against the wife of his lap"
  • [ck]. Or "remainder"
  • [cl]. Literally "from giving"
  • [cm]. Literally "in the siege and distress"
  • [cn]. Or "would"
  • [co]. Literally "shall be bad her eye against the husband of her lap"
  • [cp]. Literally "the going out"
  • [cq]. Literally "in the siege and in the distress"
  • [cr]. Literally "gates"
  • [cs]. Literally "you observe to do"
  • [ct]. Literally "you dreaded"
  • [cu]. Literally "from their presence"
  • [cv]. Or "each illness and each plague"
  • [cw]. Literally "with people of few"
  • [cx]. Literally "And it will happen"
  • [cy]. Literally "to do good with you"
  • [cz]. Or "to cause you to perish"
  • [da]. Hebrew "and"
  • [db]. Or "your fathers"
  • [dc]. Or "a failure of eyes"
  • [dd]. Or "soul"
  • [de]. Literally "they shall be your life hanging for you in front"
  • [df]. Or "in fear"
  • [dg]. Literally "Who shall give evening?"
  • [dh]. Literally "Who shall give morning?"
  • [di]. Literally "spoke"
  • [dj]. Literally "you shall not do again further to see it/her"

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Moses enlarges on the blessings and the curses which belong, the one to the doers, the other to the transgressors of the law; the blessings, De 28:1-14; the curses, some of which concern individual persons, others the whole nation and body of people, and that both under the former and present dispensations, and which had their fulfilment in their former captivities, and more especially in their present dispersion, De 28:15-68.

Deuteronomy 28 Commentaries

Scripture quotations marked (LEB) are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.