Deuteronomy 27:13
And these shall stand on mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Deuteronomy 27:13. To curse — Of the former tribes, it is said, they stood to bless the people: of these, that they stood to curse. Perhaps the different way of speaking intimates, that Israel in general were a happy people, and should ever be so, if they were obedient. And to that blessing, they on mount Gerizim said, Amen! But the curses come in only as exceptions to the general rule: “Israel is a blessed people: but if there be any even among them that do such and such things, they have no part or lot in this matter, but are under a curse.” This shows how ready God is to bestow the blessing: if any fall under the curse, they bring it on their own heads. Four of these are children of the bond-women, to show that the curse belongs to those of servile and disingenuous spirits. With these are joined Reuben, who by his shameful sin fell from his dignity, and Zebulun, the youngest of Leah’s children, that the numbers might be equal.27:11-26 The six tribes appointed for blessing, were all children of the free women, for to such the promise belongs, Ga 4:31. Levi is here among the rest. Ministers should apply to themselves the blessing and curse they preach to others, and by faith set their own Amen to it. And they must not only allure people to their duty with the promises of a blessing, but awe them with the threatenings of a curse, by declaring that a curse would be upon those who do such things. To each of the curses the people were to say, Amen. It professed their faith, that these, and the like curses, were real declarations of the wrath of God against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, not one jot of which shall fall to the ground. It was acknowledging the equity of these curses. Those who do such things deserve to fall, and lie under the curse. Lest those who were guilty of other sins, not here mentioned, should think themselves safe from the curse, the last reaches all. Not only those who do the evil which the law forbids, but those also who omit the good which the law requires. Without the atoning blood of Christ, sinners can neither have communion with a holy God, nor do any thing acceptable to him; his righteous law condemns every one who, at any time, or in any thing, transgresses it. Under its awful curse we remain as transgressors, until the redemption of Christ is applied to our hearts. Wherever the grace of God brings salvation, it teaches the believer to deny ungodliness and wordly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, consenting to, and delighting in the words of God's law, after the inward man. In this holy walk, true peace and solid joy are to be found.The tribes appointed to stand on Gerizim to bless the people all sprang from the two wives of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. All the four tribes which sprang from the handmaids Zilpah and Bilhah are located on Ebal. But in order, as it would seem, to effect an equal division, two tribes are added to the latter from the descendants of the wives, that of Reuben, probably because he forfeited his primogeniture Genesis 49:4; and of Zebulun, apparently because he was the youngest son of Leah.

The transaction presents itself as a solemn renewal of the covenant made by God with Abraham and Isaac, but more especially with Jacob and his family. Accordingly the genealogical basis of the "twelve patriarchs" (compare Acts 7:12; Revelation 7:4 ff), the sons of Jacob, is here assumed. The tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh are merged in the name of Joseph, their father; and Levi regains on this occasion his place collaterally with the others. "The Levites" of Deuteronomy 27:14 are no doubt "the priests the Levites" (compare Joshua 8:33), in whom the ministerial character attaching to the tribe was more particularly manifested. It is noteworthy that the group of tribes which stood on Gerizim far exceeded the other in numbers and in importance, thus perhaps indicating that even by the Law the blessing should at length prevail.

De 27:11-13. The Tribes Divided on Gerizim and Ebal.

11-13. These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people … these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse—Those long, rocky ridges lay in the province of Samaria, and the peaks referred to were near Shechem (Nablous), rising in steep precipices to the height of about eight hundred feet and separated by a green, well-watered valley of about five hundred yards wide. The people of Israel were here divided into two parts. On mount Gerizim (now Jebel-et-Tur) were stationed the descendants of Rachel and Leah, the two principal wives of Jacob, and to them was assigned the most pleasant and honorable office of pronouncing the benedictions; while on the twin hill of Ebal (now Imad-el-Deen) were placed the posterity of the two secondary wives, Zilpah and Bilhah, with those of Reuben, who had lost the primogeniture, and Zebulun, Leah's youngest son; to them was committed the necessary but painful duty of pronouncing the maledictions (see on [165]Jud 9:7). The ceremony might have taken place on the lower spurs of the mountains, where they approach more closely to each other; and the course observed was as follows: Amid the silent expectations of the solemn assembly, the priests standing round the ark in the valley below, said aloud, looking to Gerizim, "Blessed is the man that maketh not any graven image," when the people ranged on that hill responded in full simultaneous shouts of "Amen"; then turning round to Ebal, they cried, "Cursed is the man that maketh any graven image"; to which those that covered the ridge answered, "Amen." The same course at every pause was followed with all the blessings and curses (see on [166]Jos 8:33, 34). These curses attendant on disobedience to the divine will, which had been revealed as a law from heaven, be it observed, are given in the form of a declaration, not a wish, as the words should be rendered, "Cursed is he," and not, "Cursed be he."

To curse; he saith to bless the people, Deu 27:12, but here only to curse, not expressing whom, either because he was loth to mention the people as objects of the curse; or because he presumed and hoped that though some particular persons might deserve the curse, yet the generality of the people would keep out of the reach of it; or to intimate, that though the blessing was peculiar to the people of Israel, yet the curse was indefinite and common to all nations, as may appear from the particular sins here numbered, which are such as made the Gentiles guilty and abominable to God, as is elsewhere affirmed. See Leviticus 18:28.

Gad and Asher, Dan and Naphtali, are the children of the bond-women, to show that the curse belongs to those of servile and disingenuous spirits and carriages to God. With these are joined

Reuben, who by his shameful sin fell from his dignity, Genesis 49:4, and

Zebulun, as the youngest of Leah’s children, who was necessary to be joined with those, that the numbers might be equal. And these shall stand upon Mount Ebal curse,.... Which was dry and rocky, barren and fruitful, and like the earth, that bears briers and thorns, is rejected and nigh unto cursing, and so a proper place to curse, and a fit emblem of those to be cursed; see Hebrews 6:8,

Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali; four of these appointed for cursing were the children of the handmaids, Gad, Asher, Dan, and Naphtali; and since two were wanting, as Aben Ezra observes, and the sons of Leah were many, the oldest and the youngest were taken; Reuben, who had defiled his father's bed, and exposed himself to the curse of the law, and Zebulun, the last and youngest of Leah's sons; see Galatians 3:10.

And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to {g} curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.

(g) Signifying, that if they would not obey God out of love, they would be made to obey out of fear.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 13. - These shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; literally, These shall stand upon the curse on Mount Ebal; i.e. it shall belong to them to utter the curse. In the further expansion of this command, Moses first of all fixes the place where the stones were to be set up, namely, upon Mount Ebal (see at Deuteronomy 11:29), - not upon Gerizim, according to the reading of the Samaritan Pentateuch; for since the discussion of the question by Verschuir (dissertt. phil. exeg. diss. 3) and Gesenius (de Pent. Samar. p. 61), it may be regarded as an established fact, that this reading is an arbitrary alteration. The following clause, "thou shalt plaister," etc., is a repetition in the earliest form of historical writing among the Hebrews. To this there are appended in Deuteronomy 27:5-7 the new and further instructions, that an altar was to be built upon Ebal, and burnt-offerings and slain-offerings to be sacrificed upon it. The notion that this altar was to be built of the stones with the law written upon them, or even with a portion of them, needs no refutation, as it has not the slightest support in the words of the text. For according to these the altar was to be built of unhewn stones (therefore not of the stones covered with cement), in obedience to the law in Exodus 20:22 (see the exposition of this passage, where the reason for this is discussed). The spot selected for the setting up of the stones with the law written upon it, as well as for the altar and the offering of sacrifice, was Ebal, the mountain upon which the curses were to be proclaimed; not Gerizim, which was appointed for the publication of the blessings, for the very same reason for which only the curses to be proclaimed are given in Deuteronomy 27:14. and not the blessings, - not, as Schultz supposes, because the law in connection with the curse speaks more forcibly to sinful man than in connection with the blessing, or because the curse, which manifests itself on every hand in human life, sounds more credible than the promise; but, as the Berleburger Bible expresses it, "to show how the law and economy of the Old Testament would denounce the curse which rests upon the whole human race because of sin, to awaken a desire for the Messiah, who was to take away the curse and bring the true blessing instead." For however remote the allusion to the Messiah may be here, the truth is unquestionably pointed out in these instructions, that the law primarily and chiefly brings a curse upon man because of the sinfulness of his nature, as Moses himself announces to the people in Deuteronomy 31:16-17. And for this very reason the book of the law was to be laid by the side of the ark of the covenant as a "testimony against Israel" (Deuteronomy 31:26). But the altar was built for the offering of sacrifices, to mould and consecrate the setting up of the law upon the stones into a renewal of the covenant. In the burnt-offerings Israel gave itself up to the Lord with all its life and labour, and in the sacrificial meal it entered into the enjoyment of the blessings of divine grace, to taste of the blessedness of vital communion with its God. By connecting the sacrificial ceremony with the setting up of the law, Israel gave a practical testimony to the fact that its life and blessedness were founded upon its observance of the law. The sacrifices and the sacrificial meal have the same signification here as at the conclusion of the covenant at Sinai (Exodus 24:11). - In Deuteronomy 27:8 the writing of the law upon the stones is commanded once more, and the further injunction is added, "very plainly." - The writing of the law is mentioned last, as being the most important, and not because it was to take place after the sacrificial ceremony. The different instructions are arranged according to their character, and not in chronological order.
Links
Deuteronomy 27:13 Interlinear
Deuteronomy 27:13 Parallel Texts


Deuteronomy 27:13 NIV
Deuteronomy 27:13 NLT
Deuteronomy 27:13 ESV
Deuteronomy 27:13 NASB
Deuteronomy 27:13 KJV

Deuteronomy 27:13 Bible Apps
Deuteronomy 27:13 Parallel
Deuteronomy 27:13 Biblia Paralela
Deuteronomy 27:13 Chinese Bible
Deuteronomy 27:13 French Bible
Deuteronomy 27:13 German Bible

Bible Hub






Deuteronomy 27:12
Top of Page
Top of Page