The Inscribed Stones and Altar on Mount Ebal
1Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged all the people as follows: Keep the entire commandment that I am commanding you today.2On the day that you cross over the Jordan into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones and cover them with plaster.3You shall write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over, to enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.4So when you have crossed over the Jordan, you shall set up these stones, about which I am commanding you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall cover them with plaster.5And you shall build an altar there to the Lord your God, an altar of stones on which you have not used an iron tool.6You must build the altar of the Lord your God of unhewn stones. Then offer up burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God,7make sacrifices of well-being, and eat them there, rejoicing before the Lord your God.8You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very clearly.9Then Moses and the levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying: Keep silence and hear, O Israel! This very day you have become the people of the Lord your God.10Therefore obey the Lord your God, observing his commandments and his statutes that I am commanding you today.Twelve Curses
11The same day Moses charged the people as follows:12When you have crossed over the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim for the blessing of the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin.13And these shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.14Then the Levites shall declare in a loud voice to all the Israelites:15“Cursed be anyone who makes an idol or casts an image, anything abhorrent to the Lord, the work of an artisan, and sets it up in secret.” All the people shall respond, saying, “Amen!”16“Cursed be anyone who dishonors father or mother.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”17“Cursed be anyone who moves a neighbor's boundary marker.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”18“Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind person on the road.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”19“Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”20“Cursed be anyone who lies with his father's wife, because he has violated his father's rights.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”21“Cursed be anyone who lies with any animal.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”22“Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”23“Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”24“Cursed be anyone who strikes down a neighbor in secret.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”25“Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”26“Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing them.” All the people shall say, “Amen!”Chapter 28Blessings for Obedience
1If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth;2all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:3Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.4Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.5Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.6Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.7The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before you; they shall come out against you one way, and flee before you seven ways.8The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns, and in all that you undertake; he will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.9The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in his ways.10All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.11The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give you.12The Lord will open for you his rich storehouse, the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all your undertakings. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow.13The Lord will make you the head, and not the tail; you shall be only at the top, and not at the bottom—if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today, by diligently observing them,14and if you do not turn aside from any of the words that I am commanding you today, either to the right or to the left, following other gods to serve them.Warnings against Disobedience
15But if you will not obey the Lord 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:16Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the field.17Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.18Cursed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.19Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.20The Lord will send upon you disaster, panic, and frustration in everything you attempt to do, until you are destroyed and perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds, because you have forsaken me.21The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you until it has consumed you off the land that you are entering to possess.22The Lord will afflict you with consumption, fever, inflammation, with fiery heat and drought, and with blight and mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish.23The sky over your head shall be bronze, and the earth under you iron.24The Lord will change the rain of your land into powder, and only dust shall come down upon you from the sky until you are destroyed.25The Lord 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.26Your corpses shall be food for every bird of the air and animal of the earth, and there shall be no one to frighten them away.27The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt, with ulcers, scurvy, and itch, of which you cannot be healed.28The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness, and confusion of mind;29you shall grope about at noon as blind people grope in darkness, but you shall be unable to find your way; and you shall be continually abused and robbed, without anyone to help.30You 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.31Your 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.32Your 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.33A 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,34and driven mad by the sight that your eyes shall see.35The Lord 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.36The Lord will bring you, and the king whom you set over you, to a nation that neither you nor your ancestors have known, where you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone.37You shall become an object of horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the Lord will lead you.38You shall carry much seed into the field but shall gather little in, for the locust shall consume it.39You shall plant vineyards and dress them, but you shall neither drink the wine nor gather the grapes, for the worm shall eat them.40You shall have olive trees throughout all your territory, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off.41You shall have sons and daughters, but they shall not remain yours, for they shall go into captivity.42All your trees and the fruit of your ground the cicada shall take over.43Aliens residing among you shall ascend above you higher and higher, while you shall descend lower and lower.44They shall lend to you but you shall not lend to them; they shall be the head and you shall be the tail.45All these curses shall come upon you, pursuing and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God, by observing the commandments and the decrees that he commanded you.46They shall be among you and your descendants as a sign and a portent forever.47Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and with gladness of heart for the abundance of everything,48therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and lack of everything. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.49The Lord will bring a nation from far away, from the end of the earth, to swoop down on you like an eagle, a nation whose language you do not understand,50a grim-faced nation showing no respect to the old or favor to the young.51It shall consume the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your ground until you are destroyed, leaving you neither grain, wine, and oil, nor the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock, until it has made you perish.52It shall besiege you in all your towns until your high and fortified walls, in which you trusted, come down throughout your land; it shall besiege you in all your towns throughout the land that the Lord your God has given you.53In the desperate straits to which the enemy siege reduces 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.54Even the most refined and gentle of men among you will begrudge food to his own brother, to the wife whom he embraces, and to the last of his remaining children,55giving to none of them any of the flesh of his children whom he is eating, because nothing else remains to him, in the desperate straits to which the enemy siege will reduce you in all your towns.56She who is the most refined and gentle among you, so gentle and refined that she does not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground, will begrudge food to the husband whom she embraces, to her own son, and to her own daughter,57begrudging even the afterbirth that comes out from between her thighs, and the children that she bears, because she is eating them in secret for lack of anything else, in the desperate straits to which the enemy siege will reduce you in your towns.58If you do not diligently observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, fearing this glorious and awesome name, the Lord your God,59then the Lord will overwhelm both you and your offspring with severe and lasting afflictions and grievous and lasting maladies.60He will bring back upon you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were in dread, and they shall cling to you.61Every other malady and affliction, even though not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will inflict on you until you are destroyed.62Although once you were as numerous as the stars in heaven, you shall be left few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God.63And just as the Lord took delight in making you prosperous and numerous, so the Lord will take delight in bringing you to ruin and destruction; you shall be plucked off the land that you are entering to possess.64The Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other; and there you shall serve other gods, of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known.65Among those nations you shall find no ease, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you a trembling heart, failing eyes, and a languishing spirit.66Your life shall hang in doubt before you; night and day you shall be in dread, with no assurance of your life.67In the morning you shall say, “If only it were evening!” and at evening you shall say, “If only it were morning!”—because of the dread that your heart shall feel and the sights that your eyes shall see.68The Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, by a route that I promised you would never see again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.Chapter 291 These are the words of the covenant that the Lord commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in the land of Moab, in addition to the covenant that he had made with them at Horeb.The Covenant Renewed in Moab
2 Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,3the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders.4But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind to understand, or eyes to see, or ears to hear.5I have led you forty years in the wilderness. The clothes on your back have not worn out, and the sandals on your feet have not worn out;6you have not eaten bread, and you have not drunk wine or strong drink—so that you may know that I am the Lord your God.7When you came to this place, King Sihon of Heshbon and King Og of Bashan came out against us for battle, but we defeated them.8We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.9Therefore diligently observe the words of this covenant, in order that you may succeed in everything that you do.10You stand assembled today, all of you, before the Lord your God—the leaders of your tribes, your elders, and your officials, all the men of Israel,11your children, your women, and the aliens who are in your camp, both those who cut your wood and those who draw your water—12to enter into the covenant of the Lord your God, sworn by an oath, which the Lord your God is making with you today;13in order that he may establish you today as his people, and that he may be your God, as he promised you and as he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.14I am making this covenant, sworn by an oath, not only with you who stand here with us today before the Lord our God,15but also with those who are not here with us today.16You know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed.17You have seen their detestable things, the filthy idols of wood and stone, of silver and gold, that were among them.18It may be that there is among you a man or woman, or a family or tribe, whose heart is already turning away from the Lord our God to serve the gods of those nations. It may be that there is among you a root sprouting poisonous and bitter growth.19All who hear the words of this oath and bless themselves, thinking in their hearts, “We are safe even though we go our own stubborn ways” (thus bringing disaster on moist and dry alike) —20the Lord will be unwilling to pardon them, for the Lord's anger and passion will smoke against them. All the curses written in this book will descend on them, and the Lord will blot out their names from under heaven.21The Lord will single them out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this book of the law.22The next generation, your children who rise up after you, as well as the foreigner who comes from a distant country, will see the devastation of that land and the afflictions with which the Lord has afflicted it—23all its soil burned out by sulfur and salt, nothing planted, nothing sprouting, unable to support any vegetation, like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed in his fierce anger—24they and indeed all the nations will wonder, “Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused this great display of anger?”25They will conclude, “It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.26They turned and served other gods, worshiping them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them;27so the anger of the Lord was kindled against that land, bringing on it every curse written in this book.28The Lord uprooted them from their land in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as is now the case.”29The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of this law.