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CHAPTER 28 May 11 
Blessings for Obedience
If you will listen diligently to the voice of Yahweh your God, to observe all His commandments which I command you this day, Yahweh your God will set you on high above all the nations of the earth. 2All these blessings shall come on you and be with you, if you will listen to the voice of Yahweh your God. 3You shall be blessed in the city and you shall be blessed in the field. 4You shall be blessed in the fruit of your body, the fruit of your ground, the fruit of your animals, the increase of your livestock and the young of your flock. 5Your basket and your kneading trough shall be blessed. 6You shall be blessed when you come in and you shall be blessed when you go out. 7Yahweh will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be struck before you. They will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. 8Yahweh will command the blessing on you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to; He will bless you in the land which Yahweh your God gives you. 9Yahweh will establish you for a holy people to Himself as He has sworn to you, if you will keep the commandments of Yahweh your God and walk in His ways. 10All the peoples of the land will see that you are called by the name of Yahweh and they will be afraid of you. 11Yahweh will make you prosperous in the fruit of your body and in the fruit of your livestock and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which Yahweh swore to your fathers to give you. 12Yahweh will open to you His good treasure in the sky, to give the rain of your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations and you shall not borrow. 13Yahweh will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only be above and you shall not be beneath, if you will listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God which I command you this day, to observe and to do, 14and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right hand or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. 
Curses for Disobedience
15But if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day, all these curses shall come on you and consume you. 16You shall be cursed in the city and you shall be cursed in the field. 17Your basket and your kneading trough shall be cursed. 18The fruit of your body, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your livestock and the young of your flock shall be cursed. 19You shall be cursed when you come in and you shall be cursed when you go out. 20Yahweh will send on you cursing, confusion and rebuke in all that you put your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the evil of your doings by which you have forsaken Him. 21Yahweh will make the pestilence cleave to you until He has consumed you from off the land into which you now go in to possess it. 22Yahweh will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation and with fiery heat; with the sword, with blight and with mildew, and they shall pursue you until you perish. 23Your sky that is over your head shall be brass and the earth that is under you shall be iron. 24Yahweh will make the rain of your land powder and dust; from the sky shall it come down on you until you are destroyed. 25Yahweh will cause you to be struck before your enemies. You shall go out one way against them but shall flee seven ways before them, and you shall be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth. 26Your dead body shall be food to all birds of the sky and to the animals of the earth, and there shall be none to frighten them away. 27Yahweh will strike you with the boil of Egypt and with the tumours, the scurvy and the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 28Yahweh will strike you with madness, blindness and astonishment of heart. 29You shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. You shall be only oppressed and robbed always and there shall be none to save you. 30You will betroth a wife and another man shall lie with her. You will build a house and not dwell therein. You will plant a vineyard and not use its fruit. 31Your ox will be slain before your eyes and you shall not eat of it. Your donkey will be violently taken away from before your face and shall not be restored to you. Your sheep will be given to your enemies and you will have none to save you. 32Your sons and your daughters will be given to another people and your eyes will look and fail with longing for them all day long; and there shall be no power in your hand. 33The fruit of your ground and all your labours shall a nation which you don’t know eat up, and you will be only oppressed and crushed always, 34so that you will be mad because of the sight your eyes shall see. 35Yahweh will strike you in the knees and in the legs with a sore boil of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36Yahweh will bring you and your king whom you will set over you to a nation that you have not known, you nor your fathers, and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone. 37You will become an astonishment, a proverb and a byword among all the peoples where Yahweh shall lead you away. 38You will carry much seed out into the field and gather little in, for the locust shall consume it. 39You will plant vineyards and dress them but you shall neither drink of the wine nor harvest them, for the worm shall eat them. 40You will have olive trees throughout all your borders but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives shall drop off. 41You will father sons and daughters but they shall not be yours, for they will go into captivity. 42All your trees and the fruit of your ground shall the locust possess. 43The foreigner who is in the midst of you shall mount up above you higher and higher and you shall come down lower and lower. 44He will lend to you and you shall not lend to him; he will be the head and you shall be the tail. 45All these curses will come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you didn’t listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you, 46and they shall be to you and your seed a sign and a wonder forever. 47Because you didn’t serve Yahweh your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart because of the abundance of all things, 48therefore you shall serve your enemies whom Yahweh shall send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things and He will put a yoke of iron on your neck until He has destroyed you. 49Yahweh will bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose language you will not understand; 50a nation of fierce face who will not respect the person of the old nor show favour to the young. 51It will eat the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your ground until you are destroyed. It will not leave you grain, new wine or oil, the increase of your livestock or the young of your flock, until it has caused you to perish. 52It will besiege you in all your gates until your high and fortified walls come down in which you trusted, throughout all your land. It will besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land which Yahweh your God has given you. 53You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom Yahweh your God has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you. 54The man who is tender among you and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother and toward the wife of his heart and toward the remnant of his children whom he has remaining, 55so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat, because he has nothing left in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your gates. 56The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye will be evil toward the husband of her heart and toward her son and her daughter, 57and toward her young one who comes out from between her feet and her children whom she shall bear; for she will eat them secretly, for want of all things in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your gates. 
Further Warnings
58If you will not observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, YAHWEH YOUR GOD, 59then Yahweh will make your plagues terrible and the plagues of your seed, great plagues and of long continuance, and severe sicknesses and of long continuance. 60He will bring on you again all the diseases of Egypt which you feared, and they shall cling to you. 61Also Yahweh will bring on you every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, until you are destroyed. 62You will be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the sky for multitude, because you didn’t listen to the voice of Yahweh your God. 63As Yahweh rejoiced over you to do you good and to multiply you, so Yahweh will rejoice over you to cause you to perish and to destroy you. You will be plucked from off the land where you go in to possess it. 64Yahweh will scatter you among all peoples, from the one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, and there you shall serve other gods which you have not known - you nor your fathers - gods of wood and stone. 65Among these nations you shall find no ease and there shall be no rest for the sole of your foot. Yahweh will give you there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and pining of soul, 66and your life shall hang in doubt before you; you shall fear night and day and shall have no assurance of your life. 67In the morning you will say, I wish it were evening! and at evening you will say, I wish it were morning! for the fear of your heart which you shall fear and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 68Yahweh will bring you into Egypt again with ships by the way of which I said to you, You shall see it no more again, and there you shall sell yourselves to your enemies for bondservants and for bondmaids, and no man will buy you.


28:10 You are called by the name of Yahweh - Whatever carried the name of a person was seen as his property. If a city was conquered, it bore the name of the conqueror (2 Sam. 12:28); the names of owners were on their property (Ps. 49:12). So to bear God's Name is to recognize His complete ownership and even conquest of us. And yet there's a significant twist to all this in Is. 43:1: "I have called you by your name, because you are mine". It seems like a slip- we expect God to say that He has called us by His Name, because we are His. But no- He wishes us to bear both His Name and our own name, He doesn't wish to subsume us beneath His ownership and manifestation to the point that we are not significant as persons.
28:12 You shall lend to many nations- Money lending worldwide has been a feature of Jewish existence over the centuries, and yet this is here predicted as happening only if they were obedient. They have been disobedient, and yet it’s as if God loves to advertise His grace to the world by still blessing the disobedient. 
28:24 The rain of your land powder and dust- This has not yet been fulfilled; maybe because God in His grace has not punished His people according to all their sins. Or it could be that it has yet to be fulfilled in the final tribulation to come upon Israel. Nuclear fallout would fulfil these words- and likewise those of Is. 29:6, describing the invasion of latter day Babylon / Assyria, which have yet to be accurately fulfilled. 
28:36 There you shall serve other gods- Israel and Judah are strongly rebuked by the prophets for their choice to do this, and are begged to cease doing so. But their freewill choice to sin was in fact a result of being cursed by God; they were led into sin, as it were, by God confirming them in the downward spiral they had chosen to be part of. In this case, if they didn’t want to be cursed, then they simply had to stop living out the curse in their lives. 
28:47 Israel would be rejected and cursed if they didn’t serve God “with gladness”. Service to God must be done with joy; if we lose the rejoicing of our hope, we lose the hope itself (Heb. 3:6). Joy is therefore a vital characteristic of God’s true people. 
28:47,48 Moses offered Israel the choice of bondservice to either Yahweh or their enemies. The whole of Romans 6 plays on this idea. We are slaves to sin, and through entering Christ by baptism, we become slaves of righteousness. Total freedom to do whatwe personally want is not possible. We are slaves, we can't serve two masters. So why not serve Christ rather than the Biblical devil? The Lord Jesus spoke of His servants having a light yoke (Mt. 11:30). The Bible minded among His hearers would have thought back to the threatened punishment of an iron yoke for the disobedient (:48). 'It's a yoke either way', they would have concluded. But the Lord's yoke even in this life is light, and has promise of the life which is to come! The logic of taking it, with the restrictions it inevitably implies (for it is a yoke), is simply overpowering.
28:50-57 Moses not only repeats all the curses of Lev. 26 to them, but he adds even more, under inspiration. Presumably the Angel had explained in one of their conversations how Israel would suffer even greater punishment than that outlined in Lev. 26.  Notice that Lev. 26 and Dt. 28 are not strictly parallel. Moses in his spiritual maturity urged Israel to be the more fully aware of the nature and reality of Divine punishment for human sin; his increased focus upon grace and salvation didn’t mean that he increasingly ignored the harder side of God- but rather the opposite was the case.
28:58 For all Moses’ desire for Israel’s obedience, there are some subtle differences in his attitude to law and obedience between Deuteronomy, and the law earlier given. Thus in Leviticus 26 it was stressed that obedience would bring blessing; whilst here, :58 says that obedience results in fearing the awesome Name of Yahweh and His glory. Fear shouldn’t lead to obedience; but obedience leads a man to know and fear his God and His Name. This is blessing enough. Like Jacob and Job, Moses came to a fine appreciation of Yahweh’s Name at his latter end, perceiving that the wonder of relationship with God far eclipses any material blessing we may receive from Him in this life. To respect or fear the Name doesn't mean to remember that God’s Name is 'Yahweh'. It refers to his character (Ex. 34:4-6). The Lord Jesus fed off the majesty of the Name of Yahweh (Mic. 5:4)- this was how inspirational He found the things of the Name. To fear the Name of Yahweh involved practical obedience to “all the words of this law”. Meditation and sustained reflection upon the characteristics of God as epitomized and memorialized in His Name will of itself lead to a conforming of personality to that same Name. If we declare that Name to others, they too have the chance to be transformed by it- thus Moses comments that “I will proclaim the name of Yahweh; you, ascribe greatness to our God” (32:3).
28:68 God’s promise that Israel would never again see Egypt was therefore conditional, and thus capable of being broken; although those conditions aren’t mentioned when He makes the promise in 17:16; Ex. 14:13.