Synopsis:As they are getting ready to cross over the Jordon, Moses commands them to build an altar in Mount Ebal with stones and plaster and write down these rules in the plaster. And to offer burnt offerings there and to eat And upon Mount Gerizim, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin shall stand. Upon Mount Ebal shall stand to curse Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali. Here are the curses
- Curse anyone who makes a graven or molton image.
- Curse anyone who setteth light by his mother or father
- Curse anyone who remove a neighbor’s landmark
- Curse anyone who makes the blind walk out of the way
- Curse anyone that pervert the judgement of a stranger
- Curse anyone that lies with his father’s wife
- Curse anyone who engages in bestiality
- Curse anyone who has sex with his sister
- Curse anyone who has sex with his mother in law
- Curse anyone who smites his neighbor secretly
- Curse anyone who takes a reward to slay an innocent person
- Curse anyone who doesn’t confirm all the words of this law.
In other words:We now have another 12 commandments to follow. The good news is that they are made up of some of the other laws we have already been given.
Favorite bit:That this set of rules doesn’t include all the jealous god stuff
2nd favorite bit:That all the curses end with “all the people shall say, “amen” (Isn’t amen a form of Amun – and therefore continued worship of the Egyptian god? Or perhaps it was meaningless ritual.)
3rd favorite bit:That 4 of the 12 curses involve having sex. This must have been a real problem.
Most interesting bit:That half of the families had to be on Mount Gerizim and the other on Mount Ebal (where the altar was)
Moral lessons learned:
- Don’t engage in incest (Deuteronomy 27:20-23)
- Don’t kill people for money (Deuteronomy 27:25)