Deuteronomy 27:15 MEANING

Deuteronomy 27:15
Verses 15-26. - The curses to be pronounced were twelve in number, probably to correspond with the number of the tribes. The blessings are not here recorded; but when the injunction here given was fulfilled by Joshua, the blessing as well as the curse was pronounced (Joshua 8:34). And probably, as the Jews report, each, the blessing and the curse, was pronounced alternately (Talmud Bab., 'Sotah,' p. 7; Targum Hieros., in loc.; Surcnhus., 'Mishna,' 3:262). It has sometimes been doubted whether any human voice could be audible over so wide a stretch as that between these two mountains; but this need be no longer matter of doubt, for the experiment has been repeatedly tried in recent times with success (Tristram, 'Land of Israel,' p. 150; Bonar, p. 371; Stanley, 'Syr. and Pal.,' p. 13). In the clear atmosphere of the East sounds travel far. It is to be borne in mind also that it was not a single voice that had to make itself heard across the valley on this occasion, but a chorus of voices pro-seeding from a body of priests stationed apparently in the midst between the two companies (cf. Joshua 8:33), and chanting in unison the words of each blessing or curse. Verses 15-26. - Each of the first eleven curses is directed against some particular sin already denounced in the Law. The twelfth curse is directed generally against all breaches of the Law, against those who fail or refuse to set up the whole Law and follow it as the rule of life and conduct. This shows that the sins specially denounced are selected by way of specimen, and also, perhaps, because they are such as could for the most part be easily concealed from judicial inspection. Verse 15. - (Cf. Exodus 20:4; Leviticus 26:1.) Verse 16. - (Cf. Exodus 21:17.) Verse 17. - (Cf. Deuteronomy 19:14.) Verse 18. - (Cf. Leviticus 19:14.) Verse 19. - (Cf. Deuteronomy 24:17.) Verse 20. - (Cf. Leviticus 18:8; Deuteronomy 22:30.) Verse 21. - (Cf. Leviticus 18:23; Leviticus 20:15.) Verses 22, 23. - (Cf. Leviticus 18:9, 17.) Verse 24. - (Cf. Exodus 20:13; Numbers 35:16, etc.) Verse 25. - (Cf. Exodus 23:7, 8.) Verse 26. - (Cf. Deuteronomy 28:15; Jeremiah 11:3, 4.)

27:11-26 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.Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image,.... The blessings and the form of them are not recorded, because they were not to be had from the law, and through obedience to it; and therefore there is a profound silence about them, to put men upon seeking for them elsewhere, and which are only to be had in Christ, especially spiritual ones; but we may suppose they were delivered in the same form, and respecting the same things as the curses, only just the reverse of them; as, "blessed is the man that maketh not any graven image", &c. The order of both is given in the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem; See Gill on Deuteronomy 11:29. This curse respects the breach of the first table of the law, and everything included in it relating to the nature and being of God, the worship of him, and the honour of his name; to do anything contrary to which, particularly to make an image, whether graven or molten, to worship, is

an abomination to the Lord; and therefore subjects a man to the curse of his law, it being

the work of the hands of the craftsman; and therefore it must be a most stupid thing to ascribe deity to it, and worship it as such:

and putteth it in a secret place; though it is not set in a place of public worship, or the house, so as to be seen by everyone; but in some retired place, in a secret chamber, and there worshipped, or kept to look at with pleasure; which would be a temptation, and lead on to idolatry, and therefore is forbidden, and to be guarded against: now one that committed idolatry, or anything like it, in the most secret manner, was liable to this curse; for the omniscient God, the legislator, knows what is done in the most private manner, and will resent and revenge every affront and injury to his honour and glory. And Aben Ezra observes, that all that follow respect things done in a secret way, and which were not cognizable by the civil magistrate, and therefore to deter persons from them these curses were pronounced:

and all the people shall answer and say Amen; even those on the one mountain as on the other, thereby approving of, and assenting to, the justice of the sentence pronounced.

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