Home
Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups:
'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

Your Bible Version is the KJV
Version Selector Up Arrow
KJV King James Version
NKJV New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NIV New International Version
ESV English Standard Version
HCSB Holman Christian Standard Bible
NASB New American Standard Bible
NET New English Translation
RSV Revised Standard Version
ASV American Standard Version
YLT Young's Literal Translation
DBY Darby Translation
WEB Webster's Bible
HNV Hebrew Names Version
RVR60 Reina-Valera 1960
VUL Latin Vulgate
WLC Westminster Leningrad Codex
LXX Septuagint
Go to Top
Link to This PageCite This Page
Version Selector Up Arrow
Version Selector Up Arrow

Cite this page

MLA format Copy link to clipboard

Note: MLA no longer requires the URL as part of their citation standard. Individual instructors or editors may still require the use of URLs.

APA format Copy link to clipboard
Chicago format Copy link to clipboard
Close
Share this pageFollow the BLB
Version Selector Up Arrow

Share this page using one of these tools:

facebooktwitter

googlepluspinterest

reddittumblrlinkedin


Or email this page to a friend:

Version Selector Up Arrow

Follow the Blue Letter Bible on:

facebooktwitter

pinterestgoogle+


Or subscribe to our Newsletter:

Printable Page
 
 
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior BookPrior ChapterReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext ChapterNext BookRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
Choose a new font size and typeface

Customize your font sizeIncrease your font sizeDecrease your font sizeReturn to default font size

Choose a Bible text color
Read the Bible in blackRead the Bible in dark blueRead the Bible in blue

Customize your text type
Arial font
Trebuchet MS font
Georgia font
Times New Roman font

Customize your Hebrew text type
SBL Hebrew font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Customize your Greek text type
Gentium font
Times New Roman font
Arial font

Close font preferences
The Blue Letter Bible
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow
 [?]

Advanced Options

Search a pre-defined list


OR Select a range of biblical books

From:

To:


OR Custom Selection:

Use semicolons to separate groups: 'Gen;Jdg;Psa-Mal' or 'Rom 3-12;Mat 1:15;Mat 5:12-22'

LexiConc
 [?]
 

Advanced Options

Exact Match
Beginning of the Word
Any Part of the Word
Theological FAQs
 [?]
 
Multi-Verse Retrieval
x
Search KJV
KJVNKJVNLTNIVESVHCSBNASB
Version Selector Up Arrow NETRSVASVYLTDBYWEBHNV
RVR60VULWLCLXXmGNTTR  
Version Selector Down Arrow

Line-By-Line Order:
Line-By-Line Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Line-By-Line Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Line-By-Line Separate Line  Separate Line
Line-By-Line Verse Only  Verse Only
Line-By-Line Reference Only  Reference Only
Reference Delimiters:
No Reference Delimiters  None — Jhn 1:1 KJV
Square Reference Delimiters  Square — [Jhn 1:1 KJV]
Curly Reference Delimiters  Curly — {Jhn 1:1 KJV}
Parenthesis Reference Delimiters  Parens — (Jhn 1:1 KJV)
Paragraph Order:
Paragraph Verse-Reference  Verse-Reference
Paragraph Reference-Verse  Reference-Verse
Paragraph Reference-Only  Reference-Only
Number Delimiters:*
No Verse Numbers  No Number
No Verse Delimeters  No Delimiter — 15
Square Verse Delimiters  Square — [15]
Curly Verse Delimiters  Curly — {15}
Parenthesis Verse Delimiters  Parens — (15)
Other Options:
Abbreviate Books  Abbreviate Books
Quotes Around Verses  Quotes around Verses
Remove Square Brackets  Remove Square Brackets
 
Sort Canonically  Sort Canonically

* 'Number Delimiters' only apply to 'Paragraph Order'

Let's Connect
x

Connect on TwitterConnect on FacebookConnect on InstagramConnect on PinterestConnect on Google Plus

Receive our Blue Letter Bible Newsletter

Daily Devotionals
x

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans
x

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one’s mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Deuteronomy 27

toggle collapse

Stones of Witness

A. A special altar.

1. (Deu 27:1-8) The command to set up a special altar.

Now Moses, with the elders of Israel, commanded the people, saying: "Keep all the commandments which I command you today. And it shall be, on the day when you cross over the Jordan to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, that you shall set up for yourselves large stones, and whitewash them with lime. You shall write on them all the words of this law, when you have crossed over, that you may enter the land which the LORD your God is giving you, 'a land flowing with milk and honey,' just as the LORD God of your fathers promised you. Therefore it shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that on Mount Ebal you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, and you shall whitewash them with lime. And there you shall build an altar to the LORD your God, an altar of stones; you shall not use an iron tool on them. You shall build with whole stones the altar of the LORD your God, and offer burnt offerings on it to the LORD your God. You shall offer peace offerings, and shall eat there, and rejoice before the LORD your God. And you shall write very plainly on the stones all the words of this law."

a. Keep all the commandments which I command you today: Moses finished his preaching to the people of Israel, so there was nothing more to say, other than the simple encouragement to do what God commanded. It isn't enough for Israel to be hearers of the word; they must also be doers of the word.

b. There you shall build an altar: When Israel came into the Promised Land, they were to build a special altar. It was to be made of natural stone, with no iron tool used to carve the stones. With these whole stones making up the altar, they were also to write very plainly on the stones all the words of this law.

i. This was a special altar. It was clearly to be used for sacrifice (You shall offer peace offerings), but it was also to be a memorial of the law of Moses, and his great sermon to Israel in the book of Deuteronomy.

ii. This command was obeyed by Joshua in Joshua 8:30-32; there, at Mount Ebal, in the Promised Land, Joshua in the presence of the children of Israel … wrote on the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written.

iii. Probably, what was written was the summation of the law contained in the Ten Commandments.

c. An altar of stones; you shall not use an iron tool on them: This was commanded because God did not want the glory of the stone carver to be the center of attention at His altar. God, at His altar, will share glory with no man - the beauty and attractiveness would be found only in the provision of God, not in any fleshly display.

d. You shall whitewash them with lime: So the words could be easily seen, they were to whitewash them with lime. Anything we can do to make God's word more accessible to others is a good thing, as long as the integrity of God's word is preserved.

i. Any time God's word is presented, it must be presented very plainly. Every preacher and teacher must endeavor to make the Word of God plain.

2. (Deu 27:9-10) This day you have become the people of the LORD your God.

Then Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, "Take heed and listen, O Israel: This day you have become the people of the LORD your God. Therefore you shall obey the voice of the LORD your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today."

a. Then Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel: Much of the book of Deuteronomy is written after the same pattern as ancient agreements between kings and their subjects. Here, the idea is clear: God is the king, and the people of Israel are His subjects. He has told them what He expects of them, and what they may expect from Him.

b. This day you have become the people of the LORD your God: Now that the agreement was settled and this could be said to Israel. The contract was signed and Israel willingly submitted itself to the LORD God, recognizing Him as their king.

c. You shall obey the voice of the LORD your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes: If the LORD is our king, then it is fitting that we obey Him this way. Moses, and all the leadership of Israel simply declared a fact that was obvious to everyone.

B. The command to announce the curses from Mount Ebal.

1. (Deu 27:11-13) The division of the tribes between the two mountains.

And Moses commanded the people on the same day, saying, "These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin; and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali."

a. These shall stand on Mount Gerizim … and these shall stand on Mount Ebal: When Israel came into the Promised Land, they were to separate the tribes according to these two groups. One group would gather on Mount Gerizim, and they would bless the people. The other group would stand on Mount Ebal and they would curse those who disobeyed the law of God.

b. To bless the people … to curse: This dramatic scene was fulfilled in Joshua 8:32-35. In Joshua's day, it happened after a bitter defeat, then a dramatic repentance and recovery at Ai (Joshua chapters 7 and 8). After the victory at Ai, Joshua wanted to do everything he could to walk in obedience, so he led the nation in obedience to this command in Deuteronomy 27.

i. In this, Joshua was showing himself to be a man of the Book, and Israel a people of the Book; they would order their lives after God's Word. This was done even at some cost or inconvenience; the distance from Ai to Ebal and Gerizim was not small distance to move all the tribes of Israel (from 20 to 25 miles).

ii. The rest of the chapter declares the curses; but where is the declaration of blessing? "The absence of a list of blessings may simply mean that they were omitted, since they would have corresponded with the curses except that they negatived everyone in turn. Those who were blessed did not offend in the areas in which those who were cursed did." (Thompson)

c. These shall stand on Mount Gerizim … and these shall stand on Mount Ebal: God commanded this "open-air-audience-participation-sermon" to happen at Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal for several important reasons.

i. This would be a beautiful place to do this. The whole nation could hear this reading of the Law, because the area has a natural amphitheater effect because of the contour of the hills.

ii. Because Gerizim and Ebal were in the geographic middle of the Promised Land, Israel had to control the middle of Canaan and the highlands to have the luxury of such an assembly at these mountains.

iii. Finally, the mountains themselves were pictures of blessing and cursing: "On all hands it is allowed that Gerizim abounds with springs, gardens, and orchards, and that it is covered with a beautiful verdure, while Ebal is as naked and barren as a rock." (Clarke)

2. (Deu 27:14-26) The declaration of the curses.

And the Levites shall speak with a loud voice and say to all the men of Israel: "Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret." And all the people shall answer and say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor's landmark." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who lies with his father's wife, because he has uncovered his father's bed." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who lies with any kind of animal." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who lies with his mother-in-law." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who attacks his neighbor secretly." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person." And all the people shall say, "Amen!" "Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law." And all the people shall say, "Amen!"

a. The Levites shall speak with a loud voice: This would make a remarkable impression. The Levites declared curses upon those who break the covenant, and people answered Amen! to every declaration.

i. It is good to remind ourselves that the word Amen! means something. It means "so be it." Every Amen! was a conscious agreement with the declaration of a curse.

b. Cursed is the one who: he Levites declare, and the people agree to, curses upon those who break God's law.

i. Curses upon idolaters (the one who makes any carved or molded image).

ii. Curses upon those who dishonor their parents (the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt).

iii. Curses upon those who steal (the one who moves his neighbor's landmark).

iv. Curses upon those who are simply cruel (the one who makes the blind to wander off the road).

v. Curses upon the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.

vi. Curses upon those who disobey God's sexual standards (regarding incest and bestiality).

vii. Curses upon the violent (the one who attacks his neighbor secretly).

viii. Curses upon those who cheat the courts (the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person).

c. Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law: Finally - if one believes they have escaped these curses - there was a curse pronounced upon the one who does not conform to all the words of this law. Even if somehow we have escaped all the previous curses, none can conform to all the words of this law.

i. When all are found guilty before the law, and it is clear that they cannot conform to all the words of this law, there is still hope. A clue to this hope is found in the beginning of the chapter, where God declared that an altar be built - not upon Mount Gerizim, the mountain of blessing, but upon Mount Ebal, the mountain of cursing. We need the covering and atoning sacrifice exactly at the point where our sin and failures are revealed and God's curse is pronounced on our sin.

ii. It is important to recognize that we, in Jesus Christ, do not have an Old Covenant relationship with God. We expect to be blessed, not because of our obedience, but because of our position in Jesus. The curse we deserved was laid upon Him (Galatians 3:10-14). Though there may be an inherent curse of consequences in our disobedience, or even the correcting hand of God, under the New Covenant, He does not punish us or curse us - because all that we deserved, past, present, and future, was poured out upon Jesus.

© 2006 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Search

Bible Search

Multiverse Retrieval

LexiConc Search

FAQ Search

Browse Dictionary Topics

Bible Reference

Encyclopedias / Dictionaries

Introductions to the Bible

Topical Indexes

Charts and Outlines

Timelines

Maps / Images

Bible Commentaries

Text Commentaries

Audio & Video Commentaries

Theological Resources

Articles / Books

Women's Resources

Don Stewart

BLB Theological

Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions

Multimedia

Video

Music

Products

Digital Books

Mobile Apps for iPhone / iPad

Mobile blb.org

BLB Offline CDs

Free Web Tools

Devotionals

Email Devotional Sign-Up

BLB Daily Promises

Day by Day by Grace

Morning and Evening

Daily Bible Reading Plan

Help

Video Tutorials

Support

Theological Questions

Website Support

iApp Support

General Questions

Ministries

Sowing Circle

Co-Laboring Ministries

About

About the BLB

Statement of Faith

History

Newsletter

Partnerships

Ministry FAQs

Donate

Donation Information

Contact the BLB

Hotjar - Unlimited insights from your web and mobile sites


BLB Institute

BLB Blog

Email Newsletters

Facebook

Twitter


Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization

©2017 Blue Letter Bible

Loading...

Interlinear
Bibles
Cross-Refs
Commentaries
Dictionaries
Miscellaneous
Verse Tools Arrow
Login

Email / username or password was incorrect!

Check your email for password retrieval

Enter Your
Email or Username

Password

 [?]

 

Did you forget your password?


Register a new BLB account

Why won't my login from the old site work?

Complete the form below to register  [?]

Error: That Email is already registered

Error: Please provide a valid Email

Error: Passwords should have at least 6 characters

Error: Passwords do not match

Error: Please provide a valid first name

Error: That username is already taken

Error: Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores

Enter Your EmailUsername

First Name

PasswordRe-enter

[ Cancel ]

 

Passwords should have at least 6 characters.
Usernames should only contain letters, numbers, dots, dashes, or underscores.

Thank you for registering. A verification email has been sent to the address you provided.

Error: That Email / Username is not registered

Enter Your Email or Username

 

Return to Login

Close Login