Chapter 27

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1 And Moses with the Elders of Israel commaunded the people, saying, Keepe all the Commandements which I command you this day.

2 And it shall be on the day when you shall passe ouer Iordan, vnto the land which the Lord thy God giueth thee, that thou shalt set thee vp great stones, and plaister them with plaister.

3 And thou shalt write vpon them all the words of this Law when thou art passed ouer, that thou mayest goe in vnto the land which the Lord thy God giueth thee, a land that floweth with milke and hony, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee.

4 Therefore it shall be when ye bee gone ouer Iordan, that yee shall set vp these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal, and thou shalt plaister them with plaister.

5 And there shalt thou build an Altar vnto the Lord thy God, an altar of stones: thou shalt not lift vp any yron toole vpon them.

6 Thou shalt build the Altar of the Lord thy God of whole stones: and thou shalt offer burnt offerings theron vnto the Lord thy God.

7 And thou shalt offer peace offerings, and shalt eate there, and reioyce before the Lord thy God.

8 And thou shalt write vpon the stones all the words of this Law very plainely.

9 And Moses, and the Priestes the Leuites, spake vnto all Israel, saying, Take heed, and hearken O Israel, this day thou art become the people of the Lord thy God.

10 Thou shalt therefore obey the voyce of the Lord thy God, and doe his Commandements, and his Statutes which I command thee this day.

11 And Moses charged the people the same day, saying,

12 These shall stand vpon mount Gerizzim to blesse the people, when yee are come ouer Iordan: Simeon, and Leui, and Iudah, and Issachar, and Ioseph, and Beniamin.

13 And these shall stand vpon mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, & Naphtali.

14 And the Leuites shal speake, and say vnto all the men of Israel with a loud voyce:

15 Cursed be the man that maketh any grauen or molten image, an abomination vnto the Lord, the worke of the handes of the craftesman, and putteth it in a secret place: and all the people shall answere and say, Amen.

16 Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother: and all the people shall say, Amen.

17 Cursed be he that remooueth his neighbours land-marke: and all the people shall say, Amen.

18 Cursed be hee that maketh the blinde to wander out of the way: and all the people shall say, Amen.

19 Cursed be hee that peruerteth the iudgement of the stranger, fatherlesse, and widow: and all the people shall say, Amen.

20 Cursed be hee that lieth with his fathers wife, because he vncouereth his fathers skirt: and all the people shall say, Amen.

21 Cursed be hee that lieth with any maner of beast: and all the people shall say, Amen.

22 Cursed be hee that lieth with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother: and all the people shall say, Amen.

23 Cursed be hee that lieth with his mother in law: and all the people shall say, Amen.

24 Cursed be hee that smiteth his neighbour secretly: and all the people shall say, Amen.

25 Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person: and all the people shall say, Amen.

26 Cursed be hee that confirmeth not all the words of this Law to doe them: and al the people shal say, Amen.

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Commentary for Deuteronomy 27

The law to be written on stones in the promised land. (1-10) The curses to be pronounced on mount Ebal. (11-26)1-10 As soon as they were come into Canaan, they must set up a monument, on which they must write the words of this law. They must set up an altar. The word and prayer must go together. Though they might not, of their own heads, set up any altar besides that at the tabernacle; yet, by the appointment of God, they might, upon special occasion. This altar must be made of unhewn stones, such as they found upon the field. Christ, our Altar, is a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, refused by the builders, as having no form or comeliness, but accepted of God the Father, and made the Head of the corner. In the Old Testament the words of the law are written, with the curse annexed; which would overcome us with horror, if we had not, in the New Testament, an altar erected close by, which gives consolation. Blessed be God, the printed copies of the Scriptures among us, do away the necessity of such methods as were presented to Israel. The end of the gospel ministry is, and the end of preachers ought to be, to make the word of God as plain as possible. Yet, unless the Spirit of God prosper such labours with Divine power, we shall not, even by these means, be made wise unto salvation: for this blessing we should therefore daily and earnestly pray.

11-26 The six tribes appointed for blessing, were all children of the free women, for to such the promise belongs, #Ga 4:31|. Levi is here among the rest. Ministers should apply to themselves the blessing and curse they preach to others, and by faith set their own Amen to it. And they must not only allure people to their duty with the promises of a blessing, but awe them with the threatenings of a curse, by declaring that a curse would be upon those who do such things. To each of the curses the people were to say, Amen. It professed their faith, that these, and the like curses, were real declarations of the wrath of God against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, not one jot of which shall fall to the ground. It was acknowledging the equity of these curses. Those who do such things deserve to fall, and lie under the curse. Lest those who were guilty of other sins, not here mentioned, should think themselves safe from the curse, the last reaches all. Not only those who do the evil which the law forbids, but those also who omit the good which the law requires. Without the atoning blood of Christ, sinners can neither have communion with a holy God, nor do any thing acceptable to him; his righteous law condemns every one who, at any time, or in any thing, transgresses it. Under its awful curse we remain as transgressors, until the redemption of Christ is applied to our hearts. Wherever the grace of God brings salvation, it teaches the believer to deny ungodliness and wordly lusts, to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, consenting to, and delighting in the words of God's law, after the inward man. In this holy walk, true peace and solid joy are to be found.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

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