Deuteronomy 28:1
And it shall come to pass, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the LORD your God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command you this day, that the LORD your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth:
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Deuteronomy 28:1-14. BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE.

(1) Will set thee on high.—Literally, will make thee Most High, using a name of God, as in Deuteronomy 26:19. Compare what is said of Jerusalem. “She (Jerusalem) shall be called Jehovah-Tzidkenu” (Jeremiah 33:16), and “the name of the city from that day shall be Jehovah-Shammah” (Ezekiel 48:35), and “I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God” (Revelation 3:12), and “His Name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).

Deuteronomy 28:1. If thou hearken diligently — The foregoing blessings and curses being appointed to be pronounced in so solemn a manner, Moses takes occasion from thence to enlarge upon both of them, to show the Israelites what they and their posterity had to expect at the hands of God, according as they complied or not with the terms of the covenant which they were now under.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.A comparison of this chapter with Exodus 23:20-23 and Leviticus 26 will show how Moses here resumes and amplifies the promises and threats already set forth in the earlier records of the Law. The language rises in this chapter to the sublimest strains, especially in the latter part of it; and the prophecies respecting the dispersion and degradation of the Jewish nation in its later days are among the most remarkable in scripture. They are plain, precise, and circumstantial; and the fulfillment of them has been literal, complete, and undeniable.

The Blessing. The six repetitions of the word "blessed" introduce the particular forms which the blessing would take in the various relations of life.


De 28:1-68. The Blessings for Obedience.

1. if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God—In this chapter the blessings and curses are enumerated at length, and in various minute details, so that on the first entrance of the Israelites into the land of promise, their whole destiny was laid before them, as it was to result from their obedience or the contrary.The blessings of obedience, Deu 28:1-14. Curses for disobedience, Deu 28:15-68.

i.e. Advance and honour thee with divers privileges and blessings, as it here follows.

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God,.... In his law, and by his prophets:

to observe and to do all his commandments, which I command thee this day; for without observing them to do them, hearing them would be to little purpose, and they were all of them to be observed and done, the lesser and weightier matters of the law as they were commanded by Moses in the name of the Lord, and as they would be taught, explained, and enforced by the prophets:

that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: as they were in the times of David and Solomon; See Gill on Deuteronomy 26:19.

And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently 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 {a} set thee on high above all nations of the earth:

(a) He will make you the most excellent of all people.

1. For the connection see on Deuteronomy 27:9 f. Parallels in Deuteronomy 11:13, Deuteronomy 15:5.

set thee on high] See on Deuteronomy 26:19.

1–14. The Blessings

Parallels in Deuteronomy 7:12-24, Deuteronomy 11:13-15; Deuteronomy 11:22-25. On the assurance of material blessings as the consequence of obedience to the commandments of God see the word of Jesus, Matthew 6:33.Verse 1. - The blessing. The condition sine qua non of all enjoyment of the Divine bounty was obedience on the part of the people to the word and Law of Jehovah their God. This rendered, the blessing would come on them rich and full, and abide with them (cf. vers. 2, 9, 13, 14). In Deuteronomy 27:15-26 there follow twelve curses, answering to the number of the tribes of Israel. The first is directed against those who make graven or molten images of Jehovah, and set them up in secret, that is to say, against secret breaches of the second commandment (Exodus 20:4); the second against contempt of, or want of reverence towards, parents (Exodus 21:17); the third against those who remove boundaries (Deuteronomy 19:14); the fourth against the man who leads the blind astray (Leviticus 19:14); the fifth against those who pervert the right of orphans and widows (Deuteronomy 24:17); the sixth against incest with a mother (Deuteronomy 23:1; Deuteronomy 18:8); the seventh against unnatural vices (Leviticus 18:23); the eighth and ninth against incest with a sister or a mother-in-law (Leviticus 18:9 and Leviticus 18:17); the tenth against secret murder (Exodus 20:13; Numbers 35:16.); the eleventh against judicial murder ("he that taketh reward to slay a soul, namely, innocent blood:" Exodus 23:7-8); the twelfth against the man who does not set up the words of this law to do them, who does not make the laws the model and standard of his life and conduct. From this last curse, which applied to every breach of the law, it evidently follows, that the different sins and transgressions already mentioned were only selected by way of example, and for the most part were such as could easily be concealed from the judicial authorities. At the same time, "the office of the law is shown in this last utterance, the summing up of all the rest, to have been pre-eminently to proclaim condemnation. Every conscious act of transgression subjects the sinner to the curse of God, from which none but He who has become a curse for us can possibly deliver us" (Galatians 3:10, Galatians 3:13. O. v. Gerlach). - On the reason why the blessings are not given, see the remarks on Deuteronomy 27:4. As the curses against particular transgressions of the law simply mention some peculiarly grievous sins by way of example, it would be easy to single out corresponding blessings from the general contents of the law: e.g., "Blessed be he who faithfully follows the Lord his God, or loves Him with the heart, who honours his father and his mother," etc.; and lastly, all the blessings of the law could be summed up in the words, "Blessed be he who setteth up the words of this law, to do them."
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