Further curses (Deut 28:15-28:46)

“But if you will not obey Yahweh your God by diligently observing all his commandments and decrees which I am commanding you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.

Cursed shall you be in the city. Cursed shall you be in the field.

Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle, and the issue of your flock.

Cursed shall you be when you come in. Cursed shall you be when you go out.

Yahweh will send upon you disaster, panic, and frustration, in everything that you attempt to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.

Yahweh will make the pestilence cling to you until he has consumed you off the land that you are entering to possess.”

Now we have 6 curses to correspond with the 6 blessings above, but there is more to come. The curses concern your work, whether in the town or the fields. Everything will not be fruitful for you. You will not have bread to eat. You will not be blessed when you come or leave your house. You will have disasters, panic and frustration. Pestilence will come to you and consume you and your land.

“Yahweh will afflict you with consumption, fever, and inflammation. He will send fiery heat, drought, blight, and mildew. They shall pursue you until you perish. The sky over your head shall be bronze,. The earth under you shall be iron. Yahweh will change the rain of your land into powder. Only dust shall come down upon you from the sky until you are destroyed.”

The environment will be against. You will experience all kinds of fevers and inflammations. The earth will be hot and dry. The rain will change into a dust storm around you until you are destroyed.

“Yahweh will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You shall go out against them one way, and flee before them seven ways. You shall become an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your corpses shall be food for every bird of the air and animal of the earth. There shall be no one to frighten them away.”

You are going to get wiped out in a lot of battles. You will be the one fleeing in 7 directions. You will be an object of horror among all the nations. The birds and animals will feed on your dead bodies.

“Yahweh will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, with ulcers, scurvy and itch, of which you cannot be healed. Yahweh will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. You shall grope about at noon as the blind people grope in darkness. But you shall be unable to find your way. You shall be continually abused and robbed, without anyone to help.”

Your personal health life will be destroyed with physical and mental illness as people will oppress you. The aliments of Egypt of ulcers, scurvy, and itches will come upon you. You will be crazy, blind, and confused. You will be robbed without anyone to help you.

“You shall become engaged to a woman, but another man shall lie with her. You shall build a house, but not live in it. You shall plant a vineyard, but not enjoy its fruit. Your ox shall be butchered before your eyes, but you shall not eat of it. Your donkey shall be stolen in front of you, and shall not be restored to you. Your sheep shall be given to your enemies, without anyone to help you. Your sons and daughters shall be given to another people, while you look on. You will strain your eyes looking for them all day but be powerless to do anything. A people whom you do not know shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors. You shall be continually abused and crushed, and driven mad by the sight that your eyes shall see. Yahweh will strike you on the knees and on the legs with grievous boils of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.”

Personal disasters will happen in your life. You will not get the woman you want. You will build a house and never live in it. You will plant vineyards but never enjoy their fruit. You will butcher an ox, but never eat it. Your donkey will be stolen and never returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies. Your sons and daughters will go to other people. Other people will eat the fruit of your labors. You will be abused and go crazy. You will have boils all over your body. Is that good enough to make you have second thoughts?

“Yahweh will bring you, and the king whom you set over you, to a nation that neither you nor your ancestors have known. There you shall serve other gods of wood and stone. You shall become an object of horror, a proverb, and a byword, among all the peoples where Yahweh will lead you.”

This is a prediction of the exile, but does it reflect the reality at the time of the writing? You will go to a nation your ancestors never knew.

“You shall carry much seed into the field, but you shall gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but you shall neither drink the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them. You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. You shall have sons and daughters, but they shall not remain yours. They shall go into captivity. The cicada shall take over all your trees and the fruit of your ground.”

This is another illusion to the exile where the locusts, worms, and cicadas will eat your harvest.  You will not enjoy the results of your work in the field or the vineyards.

“Aliens residing among you shall ascend above you higher and higher, while you shall descend lower and lower. They shall lend to you but you shall not lend to them. They shall be the head and you shall be the tail.”

This is the reverse of all that Yahweh was promising. Israel will descend lower and lower while the resident aliens will ascend higher and higher. You will be the borrower and not the lender. You will be the tail and not the head.

“All these curses shall come upon you, pursuing you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey Yahweh your God, by observing the commandments and the decrees that he commanded you. They shall be among you and your descendants as a sign and a portent forever.”

Follow the commandments and everything will be okay. Otherwise watch out for all these curses.

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