Blessings & Curses
Deuteronomy 28 provides both blessings, warnings and unfortunately, several astounding prophesies. The more prophesy I find in the Bible the more profoundly astonishing the Bible becomes. The preponderance of prophesy is clear, accurate and abundant, leaving the researcher (myself included) with no recourse but to celebrate the accuracy and truth of Biblical scripture. The dreadful prophesy in Deuteronomy 28 is no exception. It starts with blessings that will be showered on Israel if they obey the laws written within the Penteauch (Torah) (First 5 books of the Bible). “And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:2). Then Moses proclaims the curses that will befall Israel if they fail to obey the Penteauch. “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:” (Deuteronomy 28:15).
One of the more horrific curses is also prophesy. “And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.” (Deuteronomy 28:57). According to the historian Josephus this tragic episode of infant sacrifice and consumption occurred during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. “Seizing her child, an infant at the breast, she cried, ‘My poor baby, why should I keep you alive in this world of war and famine? Even if we live till the Romans come, they will make slaves of us; and anyway, hunger will get us before slavery does; and the rebels are crueler than both. Come, be food for me, and an avenging fury to the rebels, and a tale of cold horror to the world to complete the monstrous agony of the Jews.’ With these words she killed her son, roasted the body, swallowed half of it, and stored the rest in a safe place.’” (Flavius Josephus)
Yet another curse resulting from disobedience states, “And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.” (Deuteronomy 28:64) Each time the people of Israel failed to follow the Law they were scattered. The Assyrians defeated the Northern Kingdom of Israel in 722 BC and took the people as captives and slaves. In 586 BC the Babylonians took the Southern Kingdom of Judah and made them captives and slaves and these people were also sold as slaves to other countries. And the list goes on.
And, yet another astonishing curse and prophesy stated, “And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.” (Deuteronomy 28:68). This occurred after the Roman siege of Jerusalem in 70 AD. Israelites were taken by ship and sold as slaves by the Romans to the people of Egypt, but were hard to sell. According to historians, they were sold very cheaply because of the overabundance of slaves in the slave market.
When you follow God’s precepts you are blessed and when you don’t follow them you are cursed. Please remember, it is not God cursing you, you are cursing yourself through your disobedience and sin. God is love, and provides mercy and grace. Our disobedience to Him is our fault and our downfall, and we need to hold ourselves accountable. The fulfilled prophesy within the Bible attest to these facts.
Serve and obey God and be blessed.