Deuteronomy 28:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
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,

Berean Study Bible
The LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward, if you hear and carefully follow the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am giving you today.

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:

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.

Contemporary English Version
Obey the laws and teachings that I'm giving you today, and the LORD your God will make Israel a leader among the nations, and not a follower. Israel will be wealthy and powerful, not poor and weak.

Good News Translation
The LORD your God will make you the leader among the nations and not a follower; you will always prosper and never fail if you obey faithfully all his commands that I am giving you today.

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.

New Heart English Bible
The LORD 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 the LORD your God, which I command you this day, to observe and 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.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the LORD 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 the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them;

New American Standard 1977
“And the LORD shall make you the head and not the tail, and you only shall be above, and you shall not be underneath, if you will listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I charge you today, to observe them carefully,

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,
Study Bible
The Blessings of Obedience
12The LORD will open the heavens, His abundant storehouse, to send rain to your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations, but borrow from none. 13The LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you will only move upward and never downward, if you hear and carefully follow the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am giving you today. 14Do not turn aside to the right or to the left from any of the words I command you today, and do not go after other gods to serve them.…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 15:6
When the LORD your God blesses you as He has promised, you will lend to many nations but borrow from none; you will rule over many nations, but be ruled by none.

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

Deuteronomy 28:1
Now if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God and are careful to follow all His commandments I am giving you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.

Deuteronomy 28:43
The foreigner living among you will rise higher and higher above you, while you sink down lower and lower.

Deuteronomy 28:44
He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail.

Jeremiah 31:7
For this is what the LORD says: "Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations! make your praises heard and say, 'O 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: …







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. 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. 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).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.
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