Deuteronomy 28:15 [study!]
American Standard Version (ASV 1901) 
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Jehovah thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
“But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
But it shall come to pass if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Jehovah thy God, to take heed to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee and overtake thee.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
But it shall be, if thou do not hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes, which I am commanding thee, today, then shall come in upon thee all these curses, and shall reach thee:
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
'And it hath been, if thou dost not hearken unto the voice of Jehovah thy God to observe to do all His commands, and His statutes, which I am commanding thee to-day, that all these revilings have come upon thee, and overtaken thee:
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
But if thou wilt not hear the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep and to do all his commandments and ceremonies, which I command thee this day, all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) 
But it shal come to passe, if thou wilt not hearken vnto the voyce of the LORD thy God, to obserue to doe all his Commandements and his Statutes, which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come vpon thee, and ouertake thee.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe all his commandments, as many as I charge thee this day, then all these curses shall come on thee, and overtake thee.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008)  
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of Yahweh thy Elohim, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
But it shall come to pass,
A primitive root (compare H1933
); to exist
, that is, be
, come to pass
(always emphatic, and not a mere copula or auxiliary).
A primitive particle; used very widely as demonstrative, lo!
; interrogitive, whether?
; or conditional, if
; also Oh that!
; hence as a negative, not
thou wilt not
; a primitive particle; not
(the simple or abstract negation); by implication no
; often used with other particles.
A primitive root; to hear
intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively to tell
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811
Count - 19885
unto the voice
From an unused root meaning to call
aloud; a voice
; (the) self Existent
or eternal; Jehovah
, Jewish national name of God.
Plural of H0433
in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God
; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates
; and sometimes as a superlative.
A primitive root; properly to hedge
about (as with thorns), that is, guard
; generally to protect
, attend to
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812
Count - 4888
A primitive root; to do
, in the broadest sense and widest application.
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Infinitive (See H8812
Count - 4888
Apparently contracted from H0226
in the demonstrative sense of entity
; properly self
(but generally used to point out more definitely the object of a verb or preposition, even
; properly the whole
; hence all
(in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
; a command
, whether human or divine (collectively the Law
and his statutes
Feminine of H2706
, and meaning substantially the same.
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who
; also (as adverb and conjunction) when
, in order that
A primitive pronoun; I.
A primitive root; (intensively) to constitute
Stem - Piel (See H8840
Mood - Participle (See H8813
Count - 685
thee this day;
From an unused root meaning to be hot
; a day
(as the warm
hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
; properly the whole
; hence all
(in the singular only, but often in a plural sense).
Prolonged from H0411
A primitive root; to go
(in a wide variety of applications).
Stem - Qal (See H8851
Mood - Perfect (See H8816
Count - 12562
Properly the same as H5920
used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above
, or against
(yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
thee, and overtake
A primitive root; to reach
(literally or figuratively).
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818
Mood - Perfect (See H8816
Count - 2675
_ _ But ... if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord Curses that were to follow them in the event of disobedience are now enumerated, and they are almost exact counterparts of the blessings which were described in the preceding context as the reward of a faithful adherence to the covenant.
_ _ Having viewed the bright side of the cloud, which is towards the obedient, we have now presented to us the dark side, which is towards the disobedient. If we do not keep God's commandments, we not only come short of the blessing promised, but we lay ourselves under the curse, which is as comprehensive of all misery as the blessing is of all happiness. Observe,
_ _ I. The equity of this curse. It is not a curse causeless, nor for some light cause; God seeks not occasion against us, nor is he apt to quarrel with us. That which is here mentioned as bringing the curse is, 1. Despising God, refusing to hearken to his voice (Deuteronomy 28:15), which bespeaks the highest contempt imaginable, as if what he said were not worth the heeding, or we were not under any obligation to him. 2. Disobeying him, not doing his commandments, or not observing to do them. None fall under his curse but those that rebel against his command. 3. Deserting him. “It is because of the wickedness of thy doings, not only whereby thou hast slighted me, but whereby thou hast forsaken me,” Deuteronomy 28:20. God never casts us off till we first cast him off. It intimates that their idolatry, by which they forsook the true God for false gods, would be their destroying sin more than any other.
_ _ II. The extent and efficacy of this curse.
_ _ 1. In general, it is declared, “All these curses shall come upon thee from above, and shall overtake thee; though thou endeavour to escape them, it is to no purpose to attempt it, they shall follow thee whithersoever thou goest, and seize thee, overtake thee, and overcome thee,” Deuteronomy 28:15. It is said of the sinner, when God's wrath is in pursuit of him, that he would fain flee out of his hand (Job 27:22), but he cannot; if he flee from the iron weapon, yet the bow of steel shall reach him and strike him through. There is no running from God but by running to him, no fleeing from his justice but by fleeing to his mercy. See Psalms 21:7, Psalms 21:8. (1.) Wherever the sinner goes, the curse of God follows him; wherever he is, it rests upon him. He is cursed in the city and in the field, Deuteronomy 28:16. The strength of the city cannot shelter him from it, the pleasant air of the country is no fence against these pestilential steams. He is cursed (Deuteronomy 28:19) when he comes in, for the curse is upon the house of the wicked (Proverbs 3:33), and he is cursed when he goes out, for he cannot leave that curse behind him, nor get rid of it, which has entered into his bowels like water and like oil into his bones. (2.). Whatever he has is under a curse: Cursed is the ground for his sake, and all that is on it, or comes out of it, and so he is cursed from the ground, as Cain, Genesis 4:11. The basket and store are cursed, Deuteronomy 28:17, Deuteronomy 28:18. All his enjoyments being forfeited by him are in a manner forbidden to him, as cursed things, which he has no title to. To those whose mind and conscience are defiled every thing else is so, Titus 1:15. They are all embittered to him; he cannot take any true comfort in them, for the wrath of God mixes itself with them, and he is so far from having any security of the continuance of them that, if his eyes be open, he may see them all condemned and ready to be confiscated, and with them all his joys and all his hopes gone for ever. (3.) Whatever he does is under a curse too. It is a curse in all that he sets his hand to (Deuteronomy 28:20), a constant disappointment, which those are subject to that set their hearts upon the world, and expect their happiness in it, and which cannot but be a constant vexation. This curse is just the reverse of the blessing in the former part of the chapter. Thus whatever bliss there is in heaven there is not only the want of it, but the contrary to it, in hell. Isaiah 65:13, My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry.
_ _ 2. Many particular judgments are here enumerated, which would be the fruits of the curse, and with which God would punish the people of the Jews for their apostasy and disobedience. These judgments threatened are of divers kinds, for God has many arrows in his quiver, four sore judgments (Ezekiel 14:21), and many more. They are represented as very terrible, and the descriptions of them are exceedingly lively and affecting, that men, knowing these terrors of the Lord, might, if possible, be persuaded. The threatenings of the same judgment are several times repeated, that they might make the more deep and lasting impressions, and to intimate that, if men persisted in their disobedience, the judgment which they thought was over, and of which they said, “Surely the bitterness of it is past,” would return with double force; for when God judges he will overcome. (1.) Bodily diseases are here threatened, that they should be epidemical in their land. These God sometimes makes use of for the chastisement and improvement of his own people. Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick. But here they are threatened to be brought upon his enemies as tokens of his wrath, and designed for their ruin. So that according to the temper of our spirits, under sickness, accordingly it is to us a blessing or a curse. But, whatever sickness may be to particular persons, it is certain that epidemical diseases raging among a people are national judgments, and are so to be accounted. He here threatens, [1.] Painful diseases (Deuteronomy 28:35), a sore botch, beginning in the legs and knees, but spreading, like Job's boils, from heat to foot. [2.] Shameful diseases (v. 27), the botch of Egypt (such boils and blains as the Egyptians had been plagued with, when God brought Israel from among them), and the emerods and scab, vile diseases, the just punishment of those who by sin had made themselves vile. [3.] Mortal diseases, the pestilence (v. 21), the consumption (put for all chronical diseases), and the fever (for all acute diseases), v. 22. See Leviticus 26:16. And all incurable, Deuteronomy 28:27. (2.) Famine, and scarcity of provisions; and this, [1.] For want of rain (Deuteronomy 28:23, Deuteronomy 28:24): Thy heaven over thy head, that part that is over thy land, shall be as dry as brass, while the heavens over other countries shall distil their dews; and, when the heaven is as brass, the earth of course will be as iron, so hard and unfruitful. Instead of rain, the dust shall be blown out of the highways into the field, and spoil the little that there is of the fruits of the earth. [2.] By destroying insects. The locust should destroy the corn, so that they should not have so much as their seed again, Deuteronomy 28:38, Deuteronomy 28:42. And the fruit of the vine, which should make glad their hearts, should all be worm-eaten, Deuteronomy 28:39. and the olive, some way or other, should be made to cast its fruit, Deuteronomy 28:40. The heathen use many superstitious customs in honour of their idol-gods for preserving the fruits of the earth; but Moses tells Israel that the only way they had to preserve them was to keep God's commandments; for he is a God that will not be sported with, like their idols, but will be served in spirit and truth. This threatening we find fulfilled in Israel, 1 Kings 17:1; Jeremiah 14:1, etc.; Joel 1:4. (3.) That they should be smitten before their enemies in war, who, it is likely, would be the more cruel to them, when they had them at their mercy, for the severity they had used against the nations of Canaan, which their neighbours in after-ages would be apt to remember against them, Deuteronomy 28:25. It would make their flight the more shameful, and the more grievous, that they might have triumphed over their enemies if they had but been faithful to their God. The carcases of those that were slain in war, or died in captivity among strangers, should be meat for the fowls (Deuteronomy 28:26); and an Israelite, having forfeited the favour of his God, should have so little humanity shown him as that no man should drive them away, so odious would God's curse make him to all mankind. (4.) That they should be infatuated in all their counsels, so as not to discern their own interest, nor bring any thing to pass for the public good: The Lord shall smite thee with madness and blindness, Deuteronomy 28:28, Deuteronomy 28:29. Note, God's judgments can reach the minds of men to fill them with darkness and horror, as well as their bodies and estates; and those are the sorest of all judgments which make men a terror to themselves, and their own destroyers. That which they contrived to secure themselves by should still turn to their prejudice. Thus we often find that the allies they confided in distressed them and strengthened them not, 2 Chronicles 28:20. Those that will not walk in God's counsels are justly left to be ruined by their own; and those that are wilfully blind to their duty deserve to be made blind to their interest, and, seeing they loved darkness rather than light, let them grope at noon-day as in the dark. (5.) That they should be plundered of all their enjoyments, stripped of all by the proud and imperious conqueror, such as Benhadad was to Ahab, 1 Kings 20:5, 1 Kings 20:6. Not only their houses and vineyards should be taken from them, but their wives and children, Deuteronomy 28:30, Deuteronomy 28:32. Their dearest comforts, which they took most pleasure in, and promised themselves most from, should be the entertainment and triumph of their enemies. As they had dwelt in houses which they built not, and eaten of vineyards which they planted not (Deuteronomy 6:10, Deuteronomy 6:11), so others should do by them. Their oxen, asses, and sheep, like Job's, should be taken away before their eyes, and they should not be able to recover them, v. 31. And all the fruit of their land and labours should be devoured and eaten up by the enemy; so that they and theirs would want necessaries, while their enemies were revelling with that which they had laboured for. (6.) That they should be carried captives into a far country; nay, into all the kingdoms of the earth, v. 25. Their sons and daughters, whom they promised themselves comfort in, should go into captivity (v. 41), and they themselves at length, and their king in whom they promised themselves safety and settlement, v. 36. This was fully accomplished when the ten tribes first were carried captive into Assyria (2 Kings 17:6), and not long after the two tribes into Babylon, and two of their kings, 2 Kings 24:14, 2 Kings 24:15; 2 Kings 25:7, 2 Kings 25:21. That which is mentioned as an aggravation of their captivity is that they should go into an unknown country, the language and customs of which would be very uncouth, and their treatment among them barbarous, and there they should serve other gods, that is, be compelled to do so by their enemies, as they were in Babylon, Daniel 3:6. Note, God often makes men's sin their punishment, and chooses their delusions. You shall serve other gods, that is, “You shall serve those that do serve them;” a nation is often in scripture called by the name of its gods, as Jeremiah 48:7. They had made idolaters their associates, and now god made idolaters their oppressors. (7.) That those who remained should be insulted and tyrannized over by strangers, Deuteronomy 28:43, Deuteronomy 28:44. So the ten tribes were by the colonies which the king of Assyria sent to take possession of their land, 2 Kings 17:24. Or this may be meant of the gradual encroachments which the strangers within their gates should make upon them, so as insensibly to worm them out of their estates. We read of the fulfilling of this, Hosea 7:9, Strangers have devoured his strength. Foreigners ate the bread out of the mouths of trueborn Israelites, by which they were justly chastised for introducing strange gods. (8.) That their reputation among their neighbours should be quite sunk, and those that had been a name, and a praise, should be an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word, Deuteronomy 28:37. Some have observed the fulfilling of this threatening in their present state; for, when we would express the most perfidious and barbarous treatment, we say, None but a Jew would have done so. Thus is sin a reproach to any people. (9.) To complete their misery, it is threatened that they should be put quite out of the possession of their minds by all these troubles (Deuteronomy 28:34): Thou shalt be mad for the sight of thy eyes, that is, quite bereaved of all comfort and hope, and abandoned to utter despair. Those that walk by sight, and not by faith, are in danger of losing reason itself, when every thing about them looks frightful; and their condition is woeful indeed that are mad for the sight of their eyes.
Overtake thee So that thou shalt not be able to escape them, as thou shalt vainly hope and endeavour to do. There is no running from God, but by running to him; no flying from his justice, but by flying to his mercy.
- if thou wilt:
Leviticus 26:14-46 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; ... These [are] the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses.
Lamentations 2:17 The LORD hath done [that] which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused [thine] enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.
Daniel 9:11-13 Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him. ... As [it is] written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay [it] to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay [it] to heart.
Romans 2:8-9 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, ... Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
- all these curses:
- The same variety of expression is used in these terrible curses, as in the preceding blessings, to intimate every kind of prosperity or adversity, personal, relative, and public. Consulting the marginal references will generally lead to the best exposition of the terms employed; and will frequently point out the fulfilment of the promises and threatenings.
Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
Deuteronomy 27:15-26 Cursed [be] the man that maketh [any] graven or molten image, an abomination unto the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and putteth [it] in [a] secret [place]. And all the people shall answer and say, Amen. ... Cursed [be] he that confirmeth not [all] the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.
Deuteronomy 29:20 The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven.
Isaiah 3:11 Woe unto the wicked! [it shall be] ill [with him]: for the reward of his hands shall be given him.
Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
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