Deuteronomy 27

Listen to Deuteronomy 27
1 Then Moses and the leaders of Israel gave this charge to the people: “Obey all these commands that I am giving you today.
2 When you cross the Jordan River and enter the land the LORD your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster.
3 Write this whole body of instruction on them when you cross the river 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.
4 When you cross the Jordan, set up these stones at Mount Ebal and coat them with plaster, as I am commanding you today.
5 “Then build an altar there to the LORD your God, using natural, uncut stones. You must not shape the stones with an iron tool.
6 Build the altar of uncut stones, and use it to offer burnt offerings to the LORD your God.
7 Also sacrifice peace offerings on it, and celebrate by feasting there before the LORD your God.
8 You must clearly write all these instructions on the stones coated with plaster.”
9 Then Moses and the Levitical priests addressed all Israel as follows: “O Israel, be quiet and listen! Today you have become the people of the LORD your God.
10 So you must obey the LORD your God by keeping all these commands and decrees that I am giving you today.”
11 That same day Moses also gave this charge to the people:
12 “When you cross the Jordan River, the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin must stand on Mount Gerizim to proclaim a blessing over the people.
13 And the tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali must stand on Mount Ebal to proclaim a curse.
14 “Then the Levites will shout to all the people of Israel:
15 ‘Cursed is anyone who carves or casts an idol and secretly sets it up. These idols, the work of craftsmen, are detestable to the LORD .’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
16 ‘Cursed is anyone who dishonors father or mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
17 ‘Cursed is anyone who steals property from a neighbor by moving a boundary marker.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
18 ‘Cursed is anyone who leads a blind person astray on the road.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
19 ‘Cursed is anyone who denies justice to foreigners, orphans, or widows.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
20 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with one of his father’s wives, for he has violated his father.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
21 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with an animal.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
22 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his sister, whether she is the daughter of his father or his mother.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
23 ‘Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with his mother-in-law.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
24 ‘Cursed is anyone who attacks a neighbor in secret.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
25 ‘Cursed is anyone who accepts payment to kill an innocent person.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’
26 ‘Cursed is anyone who does not affirm and obey the terms of these instructions.’ And all the people will reply, ‘Amen.’

Deuteronomy 27 Commentary

Chapter 27

The law to be written on stones in the promised land. (1-10) The curses to be pronounced on mount Ebal. (11-26)

Verses 1-10 As soon as they were come into Canaan, they must set up a monument, on which they must write the words of this law. They must set up an altar. The word and prayer must go together. Though they might not, of their own heads, set up any altar besides that at the tabernacle; yet, by the appointment of God, they might, upon special occasion. This altar must be made of unhewn stones, such as they found upon the field. Christ, our Altar, is a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, refused by the builders, as having no form or comeliness, but accepted of God the Father, and made the Head of the corner. In the Old Testament the words of the law are written, with the curse annexed; which would overcome us with horror, if we had not, in the New Testament, an altar erected close by, which gives consolation. Blessed be God, the printed copies of the Scriptures among us, do away the necessity of such methods as were presented to Israel. The end of the gospel ministry is, and the end of preachers ought to be, to make the word of God as plain as possible. Yet, unless the Spirit of God prosper such labours with Divine power, we shall not, even by these means, be made wise unto salvation: for this blessing we should therefore daily and earnestly pray.

Verses 11-26 The six tribes appointed for blessing, were all children of the free women, for to such the promise belongs, ( Galatians 4:31 ) . Levi is here among the rest. Ministers should apply to themselves the blessing and curse they preach to others, and by faith set their own Amen to it. And they must not only allure people to their duty with the promises of a blessing, but awe them with the threatenings of a curse, by declaring that a curse would be upon those who do such things. To each of the curses the people were to say, Amen. It professed their faith, that these, and the like curses, were real declarations of the wrath of God against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, not one jot of which shall fall to the ground. It was acknowledging the equity of these curses. Those who do such things deserve to fall, and lie under the curse. Lest those who were guilty of other sins, not here mentioned, should think themselves safe from the curse, the last reaches all. Not only those who do the evil which the law forbids, but those also who omit the good which the law requires. Without the atoning blood of Christ, sinners can neither have communion with a holy God, nor do any thing acceptable to him; his righteous law condemns every one who, at any time, or in any thing, transgresses it. Under its awful curse we remain as transgressors, until the redemption of Christ is applied to our hearts. Wherever the grace of God brings salvation, it teaches the believer to deny ungodliness and wordly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, consenting to, and delighting in the words of God's law, after the inward man. In this holy walk, true peace and solid joy are to be found.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO DEUTERONOMY 27

In this chapter the people of Israel are ordered to write the law on plastered stones, and set them on Mount Ebal, De 27:1-4; where they are bid to erect an altar, and offer sacrifices on it, De 27:5-8; and are charged by Moses and the priests to obey the Lord, and keep his commandments, De 27:9,10; and a direction is given to each tribes which should stand and bless, and which curse, and where, De 27:11-13; and the curses which the Levites should pronounce with a loud voice, and the people should say Amen to, are recited, De 27:14-25; and the whole is concluded with a curse on all who in general do not perform the whole law, De 27:26.

Deuteronomy 27 Commentaries