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CHAPTER 27 May 10 
The Altar on Mount Ebal
Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day. 2On the day when you pass over the Jordan to the land which Yahweh your God gives you, you must set up great stones and plaster them with plaster 3and write on them all the words of this law, when you have passed over, that you may go in to the land which Yahweh your God gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as Yahweh, the God of your fathers has promised you. 4When you have passed over the Jordan, I command you this day that you shall set up these stones, in Mount Ebal, and you shall plaster them with plaster. 5There you shall build an altar to Yahweh your God, an altar of stones. You shall lift up no iron on them. 6You shall build the altar of Yahweh your God of uncut stones and you shall offer burnt offerings thereon to Yahweh your God. 7You shall sacrifice peace offerings and shall eat there and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God. 8You must write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly. 9Moses and the priests and Levites spoke to all Israel, saying, Keep silence and listen, Israel: this day you have become the people of Yahweh your God. 10You must therefore obey the voice of Yahweh your God and do His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day.
Curses from Mount Ebal
11Moses commanded the people the same day saying, 12These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people when you have passed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. 13These shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali. 14The Levites shall answer and tell all the men of Israel with a loud voice, 15‘Cursed is the man who makes an engraved or molten image, an abomination to Yahweh, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and secretly sets it up’. All the people shall answer and say ‘Amen’. 16‘Cursed is he who dishonours his father or his mother’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 17‘Cursed is he who removes his neighbour’s landmark’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 18‘Cursed is he who makes the blind wander out of the way’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 19‘Cursed is he who deprives the foreigner, fatherless and widow of justice’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 20‘Cursed is he who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s skirt’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 21‘Cursed is he who lies with any kind of animal’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 22‘Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 23‘Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 24‘Cursed is he who strikes his neighbour in secret’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 25‘Cursed is he who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’. 26‘Cursed is he who doesn’t confirm the words of this law to do them’. All the people shall say ‘Amen’.


27:4 The word "commandments" occurs 43 times in Deuteronomy, and only 19 times in the other three records of the Law; "remember" occurs 16 times compared to 8 times in the other three. And yet Moses commanded Israel specifically to engrave the law on tables of plaster, not stone, knowing that they would soon be washed away; thus he wished to teach Israel [or try to] the temporary nature of the Law (Dt. 27:4-8). Like Paul in his time of dying, Moses saw the importance of obedience, the harder side of God; yet he also saw in real depth the surpassing love of God, and the grace that was to come, beyond Law. See on 7:7.
27:5,6 God wants us to serve Him in simplicity without trying to make our altars externally beautiful as if to impress a human eye.
27:6,7 Eating upon a heap of unhewn stones was understood as a sign of having made a covenant on mutually agreed terms and being at peace with each other (Gen. 31:46,47). Our eating before God at the breaking of bread meeting is something similar. 
27:15 Secretly sets it up- The list of sins which follow in :15-25 are all matters of the heart or things which are not seen by others. The people were confirming their acceptance of the fact that God sees and knows all things, and there really would be a judgment for them.