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Posts Tagged ‘Curses’


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From here, “The Story of Israel: A Biblical Theology”, by J. Scott Duvall, p 47 (but ultimately credited to Duane Christensen, Deuteronomy 21:10-34:12, Word Biblical Commentary 6B, page 680).

Here’s a quote from Scott:

… Just as obedience to Yahweh results in specific blessings, so too does disobedience yield specific curses.  There are numerous curses presented throughout the book of Deuteronomy.  Many of these curses fall under the ominous curse of Israel being defeated by her enemies and her subsequent exile into foreign lands.  Just as the blessings served to create a future for Israel, the curses threatened to dismantle all that could have been Israel’s.

In the structure of the book the curses also surround the Deuteronomic law code …

Curses – Deuteronomy 1-11 (4:9-28; 8:11-20; 11:16-17)

Deuteronomic Law Code – Deuteronomy 12-26

Curses – Deuteronomy 27-34 (27:15-26; 28:15-68; 31:16-32:51)

Duane Christensen has suggested that a chiasm appears in Deuteronomy 28, which serves to emphasize the totality of these curses in the demise of the nation of Israel.  The central point in the chiasm reverses the blessings promised earlier in Deuteronomy 28:4, 8, 11:

A  Triad of afflictions: curse, confusion, and cumbrance (Deut 28:20-22)

B  Agricultural Disaster (drought and hardening soil) (Deut 28:23-24)

C  War:  Defeat leading to Israel becoming an object lesson (Deut 28:25-26)

D  Boils of Egypt sent from Yahweh (Deut 28:27)

E  Madness and blindness (Deut 28:28-29a)

F  Oppressed and robbed all the days (Deut 28:29b)

Undoing of the blessings in 28:4, 8, 11 (Deut 28:30-31)

F’  Oppressed and crushed all the days (Deut 28:32-33)

E’  Madness from what one sees (Deut 28:34)

D’  Boils sent from Yahweh (Deut 28:35)

C’  War:  exile leading to Israel becoming an object lesson (Deut 28:36-37)

B’  Agricultural disaster (crop-destroying pests) (Deut 28:38-42)

A’  Economic collapse – impoverishment and debt (Deut 28:43-44)

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I’ve changed his center a little bit.  His F  X  F’ is now an F  G(1,2)  G'(1,2)  F (basically, I’ve created a G'(1,2) out of the first part of his F’).  I’ve also added verses 45-48 to his A’.  Verses 15-19, imo, could have been added to A as well.

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15  “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:  16  “Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.  17  “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.  18  “Cursed shall be the offspring of your body and the produce of your ground, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.  19  “Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out. 

A    [Me: disobedience, destruction:]  20  “The Lord will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken Me21  The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until He has consumed you from the land where you are entering to possess it.  22  The Lord will smite you with consumption and with fever and with inflammation and with fiery heat and with the sword and with blight and with mildew, and they will pursue you until you perish

B    [Me: agricultural disaster – the cause:]  23  The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron.  24  The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed

C    [Me: War – the act itself:]  25  “The Lord shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.  26  Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 

D    27  “The Lord will smite you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors and with the scab and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed

E    28  The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart;  29  and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness,

F    and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed  /  continually, with none to save you. 

G   

1    [Me: family:]  30  You shall betroth a wife, but another man will violate her; you shall build a house, but you will not live in it;

2    [Me: land and possessions:]  you shall plant a vineyard, but you will not use its fruit31  Your ox shall be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will not eat of it; your donkey shall be torn away from you, and will not be restored to you; your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you will have none to save you. 

G’  

1′   [Me: family]  32  Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and yearn for them continually; but there will be nothing you can do. 

2′   [Me: refers to land and possessions:]  33  A people whom you do not know shall eat up the produce of your ground and all your labors,

F’   and you will never be anything but oppressed and crushed  /  continually

E’   34  You shall be driven mad  /  by the sight of what you see

D’   35  The Lord will strike you on the knees and legs with sore boils,  /  from which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 

C’   [Me: war – the aftermath:]  36  The Lord will bring you and your king, whom you set over you, to a nation which neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone.  37  You shall become a horror, a proverb, and a taunt among all the people where the Lord drives you. 

B’   [Me: agricultural disaster – the result:]  38  “You shall bring out much seed to the field but you will gather in little, for the locust will consume it.  39  You shall plant and cultivate vineyards, but you will neither drink of the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm will devour them.  40  You shall have olive trees throughout your territory but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off.  41  You shall have sons and daughters but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity.  42  The cricket shall possess all your trees and the produce of your ground

A’   [Me: disobedience, destruction:]  43  The alien who is among you shall rise above you higher and higher, but you will go down lower and lower.  44  He shall lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you will be the tail.  45  “So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.  46  They shall become a sign and a wonder on you and your descendants forever.  47  “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things;  48  therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.

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