The works of the law (Gal. 3:10)

“For all who rely

On the works of the law

Are under a curse.

It is written.

‘Cursed is everyone

Who does not observe

And obey

All the things

Written in the book of the law.’”

Ὅσοι γὰρ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου εἰσὶν, ὑπὸ κατάραν εἰσίν, γέγραπται γὰρ ὅτι Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει πᾶσιν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτά.

Paul said that all who rely on the works of the law (Ὅσοι γὰρ ἐξ ἔργων νόμου εἰσὶν) are under a curse (ὑπὸ κατάραν εἰσίν).  It is written (γέγραπται γὰρ).  “Cursed is everyone (ὅτι Ἐπικατάρατος πᾶς) who does not observe or obey (ὃς οὐκ ἐμμένει) all the things written (πᾶσιν τοῖς γεγραμμένοις) in the book of the law (ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τοῦ νόμου).” Paul is referencing the Book of Deuteronomy, one of the five books of the Torah, chapter 27, where there was a list of curses.  To be more precise, this was a citation from chapter 27:26, “Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing them.  All the people shall say, ‘Amen!’”  Anyone who did not uphold the words of this law by observing them would be cursed.  This was a simple summary.  Obey Yahweh or be cursed.  Everyone agreed with this by saying “Amen!”, but Paul did not mention the “Amen.”  However, he called it a book (βιβλίῳ).  In chapter 29:21, Deuteronomy said “in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the law.”  Clearly this is a reference to a written book.  In chapter 30:10, there is a similar reference to this written book and the law, “When you obey Yahweh your God by observing his commandments and decrees that are written in this book of the law, you are turning to Yahweh your God with all your heart and with all your soul.”  Thus, it was called the book of the law or more precisely, the law that was beside the ark of the Covenant, as indicated in chapter 31:24-26.  “When Moses had finished writing down in a book the words of this law to the very end, Moses commanded the Levites who carried the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh, ‘Take this book of the law.  Put it beside the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh your God.’”  When Moses finished writing the book of the law, he wanted it placed beside the Ark of the Covenant that contained the 2 tablets with the 10 Commandments.  These Mosaic observances are on a par with the 10 Commandments from Mt. Sinai which are already in Ark of the Covenant.  Once again, it is not clear if this is the whole Torah or just this book of Deuteronomy, but it is clearly more than the 10 CommandmentsPaul used the law as a curse itself.  What is your attitude towards the law?

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