Deuteronomy 28:13
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

New Living Translation
If you listen to these commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.

English Standard Version
And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you shall only go up and not down, if you obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, being careful to do them,

New American Standard Bible
"The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully,

King James Bible
And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward if you listen to the LORD your God's commands I am giving you today and are careful to follow them.

International Standard Version
"The LORD your God will make you the head and not the tail—placing you above and not beneath—if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I'm giving you today to keep and observe.

NET Bible
The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always end up at the top and not at the bottom, if you obey his commandments which I am urging you today to be careful to do.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. You will always be at the top, never at the bottom, if you faithfully obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail, and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath, when thou shalt hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to keep them and to fulfill them.

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if that you hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them:

American King James Version
And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if that you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them:

American Standard Version
And Jehovah will make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou shalt hearken unto the commandments of Jehovah thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them ,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord shall make thee the head and not the tail: and thou shalt be always above, and not beneath: yet so if thou wilt hear the commandments of the Lord thy God which I command thee this day, and keep and do them,

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah will make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou hearken unto the commandments of Jehovah thy God, which I command thee this day, to keep and to do them,

English Revised Version
And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou shalt hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them;

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if thou shalt hearken to the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:

World English Bible
Yahweh will make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if you shall listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do [them],

Young's Literal Translation
'And Jehovah hath given thee for head, and not for tail; and thou hast been only above, and art not beneath, for thou dost hearken unto the commands of Jehovah thy God, which I am commanding thee to-day, to keep and to do,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

28:1-14 This chapter is a very large exposition of two words, the blessing and the curse. They are real things and have real effects. The blessings are here put before the curses. God is slow to anger, but swift to show mercy. It is his delight to bless. It is better that we should be drawn to what is good by a child-like hope of God's favour, than that we be frightened to it by a slavish fear of his wrath. The blessing is promised, upon condition that they diligently hearken to the voice of God. Let them keep up religion, the form and power of it, in their families and nation, then the providence of God would prosper all their outward concerns.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 13. - They should be manifestly superior to other nations, heading them and being above them, their leader and not their subject or follower (cf. Isaiah 9:13). Note the contrast in vers. 43, 44.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail,.... Give them dominion over others, and not make them subject to them; the head signifies rulers and governors, and the tail the common people that are subjects; or the one such that are honourable and in high esteem, and the other such that are mean and base; see Isaiah 9:14; the Targum of Jonathan is,"the Word of the Lord shall make thee, &c."

and thou shalt be above only, and thou shall not be beneath; which explains what is meant by head and tail, being uppermost and lowermost, as the head is the upper part, and the tail the lower part of a creature; the one is more honourable, the other vile: the sense is, that they should be superior to other people in honour and dignity, and not below them, or vassals to them:

if that thou hearken to the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day to observe and to do them; which is the condition on which all this happiness depended.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

13, 14. the head, and not the tail—an Oriental form of expression, indicating the possession of independent power and great dignity and acknowledged excellence (Isa 9:14; 19:15).

Deuteronomy 28:13 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Blessings of Obedience
12"The LORD will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13"The LORD will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully, 14and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
Cross References
Deuteronomy 15:6
For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

Deuteronomy 26:19
He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.

Deuteronomy 28:1
If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.

Deuteronomy 28:43
The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower.

Deuteronomy 28:44
They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.

Jeremiah 31:7
This is what the LORD says: "Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, 'LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.'
Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD shall make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if that you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and to do them:

the head

Numbers 24:18,19 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for …

Isaiah 9:14,15 Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch …

if that thou

Deuteronomy 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the …

Deuteronomy 4:6-9 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding …

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: …

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