Introductory Notes: Each day is a chapter so much more manageable than last week. Still, give yourself some time to complete each lesson.
Summary of passage: Moses commands the people to write the law onto stones and set them upon Mount Ebal once they cross into the Promised Land. Build an altar on Mount Ebal and offer sacrifices to God. Moses said the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin will stand on Mount Gerizim and offer blessings to the people. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali will offer curses to the people from Mount Ebal.
The curses are: anyone who carves a graven image or idol, one who dishonors his mother or father, one who moses his neighbor’s boundary stone, one who leads the blind man astray, one who withholds justice, one who commits adultery, one who has sex with animals, one who sleeps with his mother-in-law, sister, or daughter, one who kills, one who accepts a bribe, and one who doe not uphold the law by carrying them out.
3a) Set up some large stones coated with plaster and write on them the law. He also commanded them to set up an altar to offer sacrifices to God.
b) To rejoice in the presence of God, to thank Him for bringing them to the land, and to remember the laws.
4a) Moses then commanded the tribes of Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin will stand on Mount Gerizim and offer blessings to the people. The tribes of Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali will offer curses to the people from Mount Ebal.
b) Personal Question. My answer: No specific times come to mind but just reading the Bible daily imbues life lessons and warnings that I carry around in my heart that I hope arise when needed.
Conclusions: Reading easy, but I wish we’d just get on with it and enter the Promised Land! Again, repetition and warnings to obey God’s commands faithfully. This seems to be the most important thing God wants from the people. Obey Him.
End Notes: Joshua carried out Moses’s instructions for these blessings and curses in Joshua 8:30-35. Mount Ebal had special significance for the Israelites who believed that Abraham first worshipped God near here after receiving the original promise of the land (Genesis 15).
By commanding no iron tools be used, God was ensuring all the glory went to Him and none to the stone-carver.
Deuteronomy is a contract between the king and His subjects.
The command to curse and bless the people was also fulfilled by Joshua in Joshua 8:32-35.
Amen means “so be it.” Hence, when someone was cursed, this was uttered.
Note that the altar is built upon Mount Ebal, which is the mountain from which curses are pronounced. Why not build an altar on Mount Gerizim, the mountain of blessings? Because even in our sin, there is God, waiting for us to repent with a sacrifice and come to Him. Awesome!
Note now we cannot be cursed–Jesus took all of our curses upon himself. God does not punish nor curse us under the New Covenant. What grace!