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stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings thereon unto the Lord thy God: the design of the altar was to offer sacrifices on, to renew their covenant, to acknowledge God's dominion,
7 and that they held the land under him: And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eat there, in token ef being recon~
8 tiled to God, and rejoice before the Lord thy God. And thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly. Thus their communion with God, their relation to him, and their obligations to obey him, were all recognized; while on the same altar, or monument of stone, peace offerings were presented, and the law was written. . . ..' ."
. 9 And Moses and the priests the Levites spake unto all Israel, on that day when the altar was built, saying, Take heed, and hearken, O Israel; this day thou art become the people
10 of the Lord thy God. Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.
11 And Moses charged the people the same day, about pro
12 nouncing the blessing and the curse,* saying, These shall stand upon mount Gerizim, to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar,
13 and Joseph, and Benjamin: And these shall stand upon
• mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. The mountains Gerizim and Mbal were so near, that the -voice could be heardfrom one to the other, though there might be a deep valley between; see Judges ix. 6. This is no uncommon thing in a mountainous country.
14 And the Levi test shall speak and say unto all the men of
15 Israel with a loud voice, Cursed [be] the man that maketh [any] graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth [it] in [a] secret [place,] in the most private chamber. And all the people that stood on mount Ebal, shall answer and say, Amen, so let it be; I wish this curse may befall me if I be guilty of this
16 crime. Cursed [be] he that setteth light by his father or his mother, that despiseth them in his heart, or secretly curseth them, for if he did it openly, he was to be stoned to death, Lev.
17 xx. 9. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed [be] he that removeth his neighbour's landmark, with a design to defraud his neighbour, or increase his own possessions. And all
18 the people shall say, Amen. Cursed [be] he that maketh the blind to wander out of the way, who takes advantage of the
* This was mentioned before, ch. xi. 29, 30. but it was only to be done once. All the tribes of Israel were to divide, and half to stand on the ascent and top of one mountain, and half on the other.
f That is, the priests the Levites, for the common Levites stood upon mount Gerizim among the other tribes, v. i. These stood in the valley, and looked to one hill or the other, as they pronounced the curse or the blessing ; for both were pronounced, though only one is mentioned here. The blessing was, Blosscd be ht that dotth not so and so, see. and all the people on Gerizim answered. Amen.
• ignorance of others, and gives them bad advice and wicked coun-.
19 set. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed [be] he that perverteth the judgment of the stranger, fatherless, and widow; this means the poor in general. Agreeable to this division of them, Plato ordered the magistrate to be instead of a friend, a parent, and a husband to the poor. And all the peo
20 pie shall say, Amen. Cursed [be] he that lieth with his father's wife ; because he uncovereth his father's skirt. And
21 all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed [be] he that lieth with any manner of beast. And all the people shall say,
22 Amen. Cursed [be] he that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother. And all the
23 people shall say, Amen. Cursed [be] he that lieth with his
24 mother in law. And all the people shall say, Amen. Cursed [be] he that smiteth his neighbour secretly, that committeth murder secretly, or that slanders him, defames him, takes away his good name: though these may go unpunished by men, the curse of God will follow such. And all the people shall say»
25 Amen. Cursed [be] he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person, that is, all corrupt judges, or false witnesses. And all the people shall say, Amen. Then the chapter and the
26 solemnity conclude with a solemn curse. Cursed [be] he that confirmeth not [all] the words of this law to do them ; obedience con/inns the law, while disobedience subverts it, destroys the end for which it was given, and, as far as lies in the offender's power, disannuls and abolishes it. And all the people shall say. Amen.
1. T ET us learn of how much consequence obedience to the J_J law of God is, from the many methods which are taken to promote it: and never venture to make light of any of his commands, when so much has been done to give the people the highest veneration for them, and the greatest opinion of their excellency, sanctity, and importance.
2. Let us take heed to ourselves, that we may avoid all those sins for which the wrath of God comelh on the children of disobedience. There are no such forms of blessing and cursing under the gospel; yet all this is done, in effect, when we profess the religion of Jesus, in which the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all wirighteousness and ungodliness of men. Especially, when in a solemn manner, by baptism, or the Lord's supper, we enter ourselves into a christian covenant. This solemnity was designed to convince Israel, that Cod's threatenings were not idle terrors, but would be certainly accomplished; and we cannot but acknowledge this, if we believe the gospel. May we then fly
CHAP. XXVIII. 1—44.
In this chapter the blessing and the curse are branched out into a variety of particulars, many of which were considered in the twenty sixth chapter of Leviticus.
1 \ N D it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligentXjl ly unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth. They were already distinguished above other nations, but by this means their praise would be secured
2 and increased. And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God; they shall come unexpectedly, and therefore be
3 most welcome and delightful. Blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the city, and blessed [shalt] thou [be] in the field; the trades
4 man and husbandman should be so. Blessed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep: thy children shall be comforts to thee, thy corn, wine,
5 and oil, thine asses and camels, thy sheep and goals. Blessed [shall be] thy basket and thy store, whatever was in present
6 use, or was laid by in store. Blessed [shalt] thou [be] when thou comest in, and blessed [shalt] thou [be] when thou goest out ; thou shalt be safe in travelling, find all well at home, and
7 have good success in all thy affairs. The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before
* The air Is called Cod's good treasure, because be there gathers clouds and vapours, pesa whence he enriches the earth.
17 [shalt] thou [be] in the field. Cursed [shall be] thy basket
18 and thy store. Cursed [shall be] the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks
19 of thy sheep. Cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou comestin,
20 and cursed [shalt] thou [be] when thou goest out. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do; thou shalt have cross
i providences, sharp. afflictions, and all thy comforps imbittered, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly ; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast for
21 saken me. The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee- from off the land whither
22 thou goest to possess it. The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish; the pestilence, or other bodily diseases, shall sweep. thee
23 away. And thy heaven that [is] over thy head, the cloud thai hangs over thy country, shall be brass, and the earth that [is]
24 under thee [shall be] iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust to destroy thy remaining fruits : from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed; there shall be clouds of dust, almost enough to stifle thee;
25 andfamine shallfollow, till thou art destroyed. The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them, go out in great multitudes, and soon be scattered: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, be tossed up and down like vagabonds. All which was fulfilled at their captivity^
26 JVeh. i. 8. And thy carcass shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray
27 [them] away.* The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed; these were part of the
28 plagues of Egypt, which they well remembered. The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart; thou shalt have horror and distress of mind j such confusion as not to know what to do ; like a blind man, thou shalt take the wrong way, and then be made to know that thou
29 hast taken it. And thou shalt grope at noon day, as the blind gropeth in darkness, mistake in the plainest and most evident matters; and tho.u shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save [thee ;] one oppression shallfollow another, and those that take thee under their protection shall be the first to injure