New International Reader's Version

Deuteronomy 27

The Altar on Mount Ebal

1Moses and the elders of Israel gave commands to the people. They said, “Obey all the commands we’re giving you today. You will go across the Jordan River. You will enter the land the Lord your God is giving you. When you do, set up some large stones. Put a coat of plaster on them. Write all the words of this law on them. Do it when you have crossed over into the land the Lord your God is giving you. It’s a land that has plenty of milk and honey. The Lord is the God of your people of long ago. He promised you that you would enter the land. After you have gone across the Jordan, set up those stones on Mount Ebal. Put a coat of plaster on them. We’re commanding you today to do that. Build an altar there to honor the Lord your God. Make it out of stones. Don’t use any iron tool on them. Use stones you find in the fields to build his altar. Then offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God. Sacrifice friendship offerings there. Eat them and be filled with joy in the sight of the Lord your God. You must write all the words of this law on the stones you have set up. Write the words very clearly.”

Curses for Not Obeying the Lord

Then Moses and the priests, who are Levites, spoke to all the Israelites. They said, “Israel, be quiet! Listen! You have now become the people of the Lord your God. 10 Obey him. Obey his commands and rules that we’re giving you today.”

11 Here are the commands Moses gave the people that same day.

12 You will go across the Jordan River. When you do, six tribes will stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people. Those tribes are Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. 13 The other six tribes will stand on Mount Ebal to announce some curses. Those tribes are Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali.

14 The Levites will speak to all the Israelites in a loud voice. The Levites will say,

15 “May anyone who makes a statue of a god and sets it up in secret be under the Lord’s curse. That statue is made by a skilled worker. And the Lord hates it.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

16 “May anyone who brings shame on their father or mother be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

17 “May anyone who moves their neighbor’s boundary stone be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

18 “May anyone who leads blind people down the wrong road be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

19 “May anyone who treats unfairly outsiders, widows, and children whose fathers have died be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

20 “May anyone who sleeps with his stepmother be under the Lord’s curse. That man brings shame on his father by doing that.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

21 “May anyone who has sex with animals be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

22 “May anyone who sleeps with his sister be under the Lord’s curse. It doesn’t matter whether she is his full sister or his half sister.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

23 “May anyone who sleeps with his mother-in-law be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

24 “May anyone who kills their neighbor secretly be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

25 “May anyone who accepts money to kill someone who isn’t guilty of doing anything wrong be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”

26 “May anyone who doesn’t honor the words of this law by obeying them be under the Lord’s curse.”

Then all the people will say, “Amen!”