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Deuteronomy 28 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 28

Blessings for Obedience. Now, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord, your God, carefully observing all his commandments which I give you today, the Lord, your God, will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and overwhelm you when you obey the voice of the Lord, your God:

May you be blessed in the city,
    and blessed in the country!
Blessed be the fruit of your womb,
    the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock,
    the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks!
Blessed be your grain basket and your kneading bowl!
May you be blessed in your coming in,
    and blessed in your going out![a]

Victory and Prosperity. The Lord will beat down before you the enemies that rise up against you; they will come out against you from one direction, and flee before you in seven.[b] The Lord will affirm the blessing upon you, on your barns and on all your undertakings; he will bless you in the land that the Lord, your God, is giving you. The Lord will establish you as a holy people, as he swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord, your God, and walk in his ways. 10 All the peoples of the earth will see that the name of the Lord is proclaimed over you,[c] and they will be afraid of you. 11 The Lord will generously increase the fruit of your womb, the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil, upon the land which the Lord swore to your ancestors he would give you. 12 The Lord will open up for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give your land rain in due season and to bless all the works of your hands. You will lend to many nations but borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head not the tail, the top not the bottom, if you obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I am giving you today, observing them carefully, 14 not turning aside, either to the right or to the left, from any of the words which I am giving you today, following other gods and serving them.

Curses for Disobedience. 15 But if you do not obey the voice of the Lord, your God, carefully observing all his commandments and statutes which I give you today, all these curses shall come upon you and overwhelm you:

16 May you be cursed in the city, and cursed in the country! 17 Cursed be your grain basket and your kneading bowl! 18 Cursed be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock, the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks! 19 May you be cursed in your coming in, and cursed in your going out!

Sickness and Defeat. 20 The Lord will send on you a curse, panic, and frustration in everything you set your hand to, until you are speedily destroyed and perish for the evil you have done in forsaking me. 21 The Lord will make disease cling to you until he has made an end of you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will strike you with consumption, fever, and inflammation, with fiery heat and drought, with blight and mildew, that will pursue you until you perish. 23 The heavens over your heads will be like bronze and the earth under your feet like iron. 24 For rain the Lord will give your land powdery dust, which will come down upon you from the heavens until you are destroyed. 25 The Lord will let you be beaten down before your enemies; though you advance against them from one direction, you will flee before them in seven,[d] so that you will become an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your corpses will become food for all the birds of the air and for the beasts of the field, with no one to frighten them off. 27 The Lord will strike you with Egyptian boils and with tumors, skin diseases and the itch, from none of which you can be cured. 28 And the Lord will strike you with madness, blindness and panic, 29 so that even at midday you will grope in the dark as though blind, unable to find your way.

Despoilment. You will be oppressed and robbed continually, with no one to come to your aid. 30 Though you betroth a wife, another will have her. Though you build a house, you will not live in it. Though you plant a vineyard, you will not pluck its fruits. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat its flesh. Your donkey will be stolen in your presence, but you will never get it back. Your flocks will be given to your enemies, with no one to come to your aid. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another people while you strain your eyes looking for them every day, having no power to do anything. 33 A people you do not know will consume the fruit of your soil and of all your labor, and you will be thoroughly oppressed and continually crushed, 34 until you are driven mad by what your eyes must look upon. 35 The Lord will strike you with malignant boils of which you cannot be cured, on your knees and legs, and from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head.

Exile. 36 The Lord will bring you, and your king whom you have set over you, to a nation which you and your ancestors have not known, and there you will serve other gods, of wood and stone, 37 and you will be a horror, a byword, a taunt among all the peoples to which the Lord will drive you.

Fruitless Labors. 38 Though you take out seed to your field, you will harvest but little, for the locusts will devour it. 39 Though you plant and cultivate vineyards, you will not drink or store up the wine, for the worms will eat them. 40 Though you have olive trees throughout your country, you will have no oil for ointment, for your olives will drop off. 41 Though you beget sons and daughters, they will not remain with you, for they will go into captivity. 42 Buzzing insects will take possession of all your trees and the crops of your soil. 43 The resident aliens among you will rise above you higher and higher, while you sink lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, not you to them. They will become the head, you the tail.

45 All these curses will come upon you, pursuing you and overwhelming you, until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord, your God, by keeping his commandments and statutes which he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder[e] for you and your descendants for all time. 47 Since you would not serve the Lord, your God, with heartfelt joy for abundance of every kind, 48 in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and utter want, you will serve the enemies whom the Lord will send against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck, until he destroys you.

Invasion and Siege. 49 The Lord will raise up against you a nation from afar, from the end of the earth, that swoops down like an eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand, 50 a nation of fierce appearance, that shows neither respect for the aged nor mercy for the young. 51 They will consume the offspring of your livestock and the produce of your soil, until you are destroyed; they will leave you no grain or wine or oil, no issue of herd, no young of flock, until they have brought about your ruin. 52 They will besiege you in each of your communities, until the great, fortified walls, in which you trust, come tumbling down all over your land. They will besiege you in every community throughout the land which the Lord, your God, has given you, 53 and because of the siege and the distress to which your enemy subjects you, you will eat the fruit of your womb, the flesh of your own sons and daughters whom the Lord, your God, has given you. 54 The most refined and fastidious man among you will begrudge his brother and his beloved wife and his surviving children, 55 any share in the flesh of his children that he himself is using for food because nothing else is left him—such the siege and distress to which your enemy will subject you in all your communities. 56 The most fastidious woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground, so refined and fastidious is she, will begrudge her beloved husband and her son and daughter 57 the afterbirth that issues from her womb and the infants she brings forth because she secretly eats them for want of anything else—such the siege and distress to which your enemy will subject you in your communities.

Plagues. 58 If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which is written in this book, and to fear this glorious and awesome name, the Lord, your God, 59 the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants wondrous calamities, severe and constant calamities, and malignant and constant sicknesses. 60 He will bring back upon you all the diseases of Egypt[f] which you dread, and they will cling to you. 61 Even any sickness or calamity not written in this book of the law, that too the Lord will bring upon you until you are destroyed. 62 You who were numerous as the stars of the heavens will be left few in number, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord, your God.

Exile. 63 Just as the Lord once took delight in making you prosper and grow, so will the Lord now take delight in ruining and destroying you, and you will be plucked out of the land you are now entering to possess. 64 The Lord will scatter you among all the peoples from one end of the earth to the other, and there you will serve other gods, of wood and stone, which you and your ancestors have not known. 65 Among these nations you will find no rest, not even a resting place for the sole of your foot, for there the Lord will give you an anguished heart and wearied eyes[g] and a trembling spirit. 66 Your life will hang in suspense and you will stand in dread both day and night, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “Would that it were evening!” and in the evening you will say, “Would that it were morning!” because of the dread that your heart must feel and the sight that your eyes must see. 68 The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt, by a route which I told you that you would never see again; and there you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.

69 These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant he made with them at Horeb.

Footnotes:

  1. 28:6 In your coming in…in your going out: at the beginning and end of every action, or in all actions in general. The rhetorical figure is called merismus. See also 6:7.
  2. 28:7 From one direction…in seven: in one disciplined body, contrasted with many scattered groups.
  3. 28:10 The name of the Lord is proclaimed over you: an expression signifying ownership and protection. Cf. 2 Sm 12:28; 1 Kgs 8:43; Is 4:1; 63:19; Jer 7:10–11; 14:9; 15:16; 25:29; Am 9:12.
  4. 28:25 From one direction…in seven: see note on v. 7.
  5. 28:46 A sign and a wonder: an ominous example, attracting attention; cf. 29:21–28.
  6. 28:60 He will bring back upon you all the diseases of Egypt: such as the Lord had promised to remove from the people (7:15); cf. v. 27.
  7. 28:65 Wearied eyes: cf. v. 32.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Deuteronomy 28 New International Version (NIV)

Blessings for Obedience

28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Curses for Disobedience

15 However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

16 You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.

17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

19 You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

20 The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.[a] 21 The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23 The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24 The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29 At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31 Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33 A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34 The sights you see will drive you mad. 35 The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

36 The Lord will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.

38 You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39 You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42 Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.

43 The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44 They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.

45 All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51 They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52 They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.

53 Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. 54 Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55 and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56 The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57 the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities.

58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— 59 the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63 Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.

64 Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66 You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68 The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

Footnotes:

  1. Deuteronomy 28:20 Hebrew me
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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