Deuteronomy 28:20
The LORD shall send on you cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that you set your hand to for to do, until you be destroyed, and until you perish quickly; because of the wickedness of your doings, whereby you have forsaken me.
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(20) Cursing, vexation, and rebuke.Deficiency, and anxiety, and failure in every enterprise, would convey the idea, according to another interpretation. There are two views of the derivation of the first of the three words employed. Probably the Authorised Version is right. The three words have each of them the definite article in the original, just as if they were so many diseases. “The curse, and the terror, and the rebuke” of the Almighty are terrible obstacles to any human undertaking.

In all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do.—Literally, in every putting forth of thine hand which thou makest, i.e., in every undertaking. This is the opposite of Deuteronomy 28:8.

Thou hast forsaken me.—Moses and Jehovah are here identified. This is characteristic. The prophets say, “Thus saith the Lord.” Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, sometimes exhorts Israel in His name without any such introduction. (Comp. the phrase “to forsake Moses” (literally, apostasy from Moses) in Acts 21:21.)

Deuteronomy 28:20. Cursing, vexation, and rebuke — The first of these words seems to import that God would blast all their designs; the second relates to disquiet and perplexity of mind, arising from the disappointment of their hopes, and presages of approaching miseries; the third respects such chastisements from God as would give them a severe check and rebuke for their sins and follies.28:15-44 If we do not keep God's commandments, we not only come short of the blessing promised, but we lay ourselves under the curse, which includes all misery, as the blessing all happiness. Observe the justice of this curse. It is not a curse causeless, or for some light cause. The extent and power of this curse. Wherever the sinner goes, the curse of God follows; wherever he is, it rests upon him. Whatever he has is under a curse. All his enjoyments are made bitter; he cannot take any true comfort in them, for the wrath of God mixes itself with them. Many judgments are here stated, which would be the fruits of the curse, and with which God would punish the people of the Jews, for their apostacy and disobedience. We may observe the fulfilling of these threatenings in their present state. To complete their misery, it is threatened that by these troubles they should be bereaved of all comfort and hope, and left to utter despair. Those who walk by sight, and not by faith, are in danger of losing reason itself, when every thing about them looks frightful.First series of judgments. The curse of God should rest on all they did, and should issue in manifold forms of disease, in famine, and in defeat in war.

Deuteronomy 28:20

Vexation - Rather, confusion: the word in the original is used Deuteronomy 7:23; 1 Samuel 14:20 for the panic and disorder with which the curse of God smites His foes.

15-20. But … if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord—Curses that were to follow them in the event of disobedience are now enumerated, and they are almost exact counterparts of the blessings which were described in the preceding context as the reward of a faithful adherence to the covenant. Vexation, or, disturbance. This seems chiefly to concern the mind, and its torment arising from the disappointment of hopes, the presages of its approaching miseries.

Rebuke, to wit, from God, not so much in words as by his actions, by cross providences, by sharp and sore afflictions, which are oft called rebukes, as 2 Kings 19:3 Psalm 18:15 Psalm 39:11 80:16 Isaiah 51:20 66:15 Ezekiel 5:15 25:17. The Lord shall send upon thee cursing,.... Which is either a general word for all that follows, or rather, since that had been expressed before in various instances, this may denote some particular judgment. Jarchi interprets it of penury, of want of all good things, extreme poverty, so as to be reduced to the utmost necessity, and as to stand in need of the common comforts and supports of life, and even to have their blessings and mercies turned into curses; the consequence of which must needs be

vexation; trouble, distress, and anguish of spirit:

and rebuke; this may well be considered as a rebuke and correction in Providence for sins committed, to awaken to a sense and acknowledgment of them, and to repentance for them:

in all that thou settest thine hand to do; nothing done should prosper, to relieve them under their pressing wants, a curse attending all their efforts, and so sad disappointment follows; and all as a just rebuke for their many sins: and this would be their case more or less:

until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; through famine, and want of the common necessaries of life; as at the sieges of Samaria and Jerusalem, by the kings of Syria, Assyria, and Babylon:

because of the wickedness of thy doings, because thou hast forsaken me; their several immoralities and impieties, and particularly their idolatry, which was a forsaking the worship of the true God, and following idols; an iniquity to be punished by the judge, and of all things the most provoking to the Lord.

The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
Verses 20-26. - First group. The curse should come upon them in various forms of evil, filling them with terror and dismay, and threatening them with utter ruin (cf. Malachi 2:2). Verse 20. - Vexation; rather, consternation; the deadly confusion with which God confounds his enemies. The same word is used in Deuteronomy 7:23; 1 Samuel 14:20. Rebuke; rather, threatening. By such blessings He would "make Israel the head, and not the tail," - a figure taken from life (vid., Isaiah 9:13), the meaning of which is obvious, and is given literally in the next sentence, "thou wilt be above only, and not beneath," i.e., thou wilt rise more and more, and increase in wealth, power, and dignity. With this the discourse returns to its commencement; and the promise of blessing closes with another emphatic repetition of the condition on which the fulfilment depended (Deuteronomy 28:13 and Deuteronomy 28:14. On Deuteronomy 28:14, see Deuteronomy 5:29; Deuteronomy 11:28).
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