New International Version

Deuteronomy 28:1-68

Blessings for Obedience

1If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

3You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

4The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

5Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

6You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

7The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

8The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13The 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. 14Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Curses for Disobedience

15However, if you do not obey the Lord your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come on you and overtake you:

16You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country.

17Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.

18The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

19You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.

20The Lord will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him.28:20 Hebrew me 21The Lord will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22The Lord will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

25The Lord will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26Your carcasses will be food for all the birds and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29At midday you will grope about like a blind person in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you.

30You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34The sights you see will drive you mad. 35The Lord will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head.

36The Lord will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37You will become a thing of horror, a byword and an object of ridicule among all the peoples where the Lord will drive you.

38You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land.

43The foreigners who reside among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44They will lend to you, but you will not lend to them. They will be the head, but you will be the tail.

45All these curses will come on you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47Because you did not serve the Lord your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.

49The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or olive oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the Lord your God is giving you.

53Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. 54Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56The most gentle and sensitive woman among you—so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot—will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For in her dire need she intends to eat them secretly because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of your cities.

58If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the Lord your God— 59the Lord will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. 63Just as it pleased the Lord to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.

64Then the Lord will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. 65Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68The Lord will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

New International Reader’s Version

Deuteronomy 28:1-68

Blessings for Obeying the Lord

1Make sure you obey the Lord your God completely. Be careful to obey all his commands. I’m giving them to you today. If you do these things, the Lord will honor you more than all the other nations on earth. 2If you obey the Lord your God, here are the blessings that will come to you and remain with you.

3You will be blessed in the cities. You will be blessed out in the country.

4Your children will be blessed. Your crops will be blessed. The young animals among your livestock will be blessed. That includes your calves and lambs.

5Your baskets and bread pans will be blessed.

6You will be blessed no matter where you go.

7Enemies will rise up against you. But the Lord will help you win the battle over them. They will come at you from one direction. But they’ll run away from you in every direction.

8The Lord your God will bless your barns with plenty of grain and other food. He will bless everything you do. He’ll bless you in the land he’s giving you.

9The Lord your God will make you his holy people. He will set you apart for himself. He promised to do this. He promised to do it if you would keep his commands and live exactly as he wants you to live. 10All the nations on earth will see that you belong to the Lord. And they will be afraid of you. 11The Lord will give you more than you need. You will have many children. Your livestock will have many little ones. Your crops will do very well. All of that will happen in the land he promised to give you. He promised this to your people of long ago.

12The Lord will open up the heavens. That’s where he stores his riches. He will send rain on your land at just the right time. He’ll bless everything you do. You will lend money to many nations. But you won’t have to borrow from any of them. 13The Lord your God will make you leaders, not followers. Pay attention to his commands that I’m giving you today. Be careful to obey them. Then you will always be on top. You will never be on the bottom. 14Don’t turn away from any of the commands I’m giving you today. Don’t turn to the right or the left. Don’t follow other gods. Don’t worship them.

Curses for Not Obeying the Lord

15But suppose you don’t obey the Lord your God. And you aren’t careful to obey all his commands and rules I’m giving you today. Then he will send curses on you. They’ll catch up with you. Here are those curses.

16You will be cursed in the cities. You will be cursed out in the country.

17Your baskets and bread pans will be cursed.

18Your children will be cursed. Your crops will be cursed. Your calves and lambs will be cursed.

19You will be cursed no matter where you go.

20The Lord will send curses on you. You won’t know what’s going on. In everything you do, he will be angry with you. You will be destroyed suddenly and completely. This will happen because you did an evil thing when you deserted the Lord. 21He will send all kinds of sicknesses on you. He’ll send them until he has destroyed you. He’ll remove you from the land you are entering to take as your own. 22The Lord will make you sick and very weak. He will strike you with fever and swelling. He’ll send burning heat. There won’t be any rain. The hot winds will completely dry up your crops. All those things will happen until you die. 23The sky above you will be like bronze. The ground beneath you will be like iron. 24The Lord will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder. It will come down from the skies until you are destroyed.

25The Lord will help your enemies win the battle over you. You will come at them from one direction. But you will run away from them in every direction. All the kingdoms on earth will be completely shocked when they see you. 26Birds and wild animals will eat up your dead bodies. There won’t be anyone left to scare them away. 27The Lord will send boils on you, just like the ones he sent on the Egyptians. You will have growths in your bodies and boils on your skin. You will itch all over. No one will be able to heal you. 28The Lord will make you lose your mind. He will make you blind. You won’t know what’s going on. 29Even at noon you will have to feel your way around like a blind person in the dark. You won’t have success in anything you do. Day after day you will be robbed and treated badly. No one will be able to save you.

30You and a woman will promise to marry each other. But another man will take her and rape her. You will build a house. But you won’t live in it. You will plant a vineyard. But you won’t eat a single grape from it. 31Your ox will be killed right in front of your eyes. But you won’t eat any of it. Your donkey will be taken away from you by force. And you will never get it back. Your sheep will be given to your enemies. No one will be able to save them. 32Your children will be given to another nation. Day after day you will watch for them to come back. But you will only wear out your eyes. You won’t be able to help your children. 33A nation you don’t know anything about will eat what you work to produce on your land. You will only be treated badly as long as you live. 34The things you see will make you lose your mind. 35The Lord will send painful boils on your knees and legs. No one will be able to heal them. They will cover you from head to toe.

36The Lord will drive you out of the land. And he will drive out the king you place over yourselves. All of you will go to another nation. You and your people of long ago didn’t know anything about them. There you will worship other gods. They will be made out of wood and stone. 37You will look very bad to all the nations where the Lord sends you. They will be completely shocked when they see you. They will mock you and make fun of you.

38You will plant many seeds in your field. But you will gather very little food. Locusts will eat it up. 39You will plant vineyards and take care of them. But you won’t drink the wine. You won’t gather the grapes. Worms will eat them up. 40You will have olive trees through your whole country. But you won’t use the oil. The olives will drop off the trees. 41You will have children. But you won’t be able to keep them. They’ll be taken away as prisoners. 42Large numbers of locusts will eat up the leaves on all your trees. They will also eat up the crops on your land.

43Outsiders who live among you will become your leaders. They will rise higher and higher. But you will sink lower and lower. 44They will lend money to you. But you won’t be able to lend money to them. They will be the leaders. But you will be the followers.

45The Lord your God will send all these curses on you. They will follow you everywhere. They’ll catch up with you. You will be under the Lord’s curse until you are destroyed. That’s because you didn’t obey him. You didn’t keep the commands and rules he gave you. 46These curses will remain as signs and awful judgments against you and your children after you forever. 47You didn’t serve the Lord your God with joy and gladness when times were good. 48So he will send enemies against you. You will have to serve them. You will be hungry and thirsty. You will be naked and poor. The Lord will put the iron chains of slavery around your necks until he has destroyed you.

49The Lord will bring a nation against you from far away. It will come from the ends of the earth. It will dive down on you like an eagle. You won’t understand that nation’s language. 50Its people will look mean. They won’t have any respect for old people. They won’t show any kindness to young people. 51They will eat up the young animals among your livestock. They’ll eat up the crops on your land. They’ll destroy you. They won’t leave you any grain, olive oil or fresh wine. They won’t leave you any calves or lambs. They’ll destroy you. 52They’ll surround all the cities throughout your whole land. They’ll attack those cities until the high, strong walls you trust in fall down. That’s what will happen to the cities in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

53Your enemies will surround you and attack you. They will make you suffer greatly. So you will eat your own children. You will eat the dead bodies of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. 54There may be a gentle and caring man among you. But he will treat his own brother badly. He’ll be just as mean to the wife he loves and to any of his children who are still alive. 55He won’t give to a single one of them any part of the dead bodies of his children that he’s eating. It will be all he has left to eat. That’s how much your enemies will make you suffer when they surround all your cities and attack them. 56There may be a gentle and caring woman among you. She wouldn’t even touch the ground with her feet without first putting her sandals on. But she will not share anything with the husband she loves. She won’t share with her own children either. 57She will eat what comes out of her body after she has a baby. Then she’ll even eat her baby. She won’t share it with anyone in her family. In her great hunger she’ll plan to eat it in secret. There won’t be anything else for her to eat because the city she lives in will be surrounded. That’s an example of how much your enemies will make you suffer when they are attacking your cities.

58Be careful to follow all the words of this law. They are written in this scroll. Have respect for the glorious and wonderful name of the Lord your God. If you don’t, 59he will send terrible plagues on you and your children after you. He’ll send horrible and lasting troubles. He’ll make you very sick for a long time. 60He’ll bring on you all the sicknesses you were afraid of getting when you were in Egypt. You won’t be able to get rid of them. 61The Lord will also bring on you all other kinds of sickness and trouble. I haven’t even written those down in this Book of the Law. You will be destroyed. 62At one time you were as many as the stars in the sky. But there will only be a few of you left. That’s because you didn’t obey the Lord your God. 63It pleased the Lord to give you success and to cause there to be many of you. But it will please him just as much to wipe you out and destroy you. You will be removed from the land you are entering to take as your own.

64Then the Lord will scatter you among all the nations. He’ll spread you around from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship statues of gods made out of wood and stone. You and your people of long ago hadn’t known anything about those gods. 65Among those nations you won’t find any peace. There won’t be any place where you can make your home and rest your feet. The Lord will give you minds filled with worry. He’ll give you eyes worn out from looking for help. You won’t have any hope in your hearts. 66Your lives will always be in danger. You will be filled with fear night and day. You will never be sure you are safe. 67In the morning you will say, “We wish it were evening!” In the evening you will say, “We wish it were morning!” Your hearts will be filled with fear. The things you see will terrify you. 68The Lord will send you back to Egypt in ships. He’ll send you on a journey I said you should never have to make again. You will offer to sell yourselves to your enemies as slaves in Egypt. But no one will buy you.