Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994. (BG) 47 Because you did not serve(BH) the Lord your God joyfully and gladly(BI) in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst,(BJ) in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the Lord sends against you. Look at Deuteronomy 28:61: “Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed.” That covers everything. 21:23, he confirms the Septuagint as the oldest source of the subjective genitive option. 49 The Lord will bring a nation against you(BM) from far away, from the ends of the earth,(BN) like an eagle(BO) swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand,(BP) 50 a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old(BQ) or pity for the young. “And if a man has committed a crime punishable by death and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. 67 In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”—because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. Jesus’ work on the cross follows a similar concept. After failing to trust Yahweh’s promised victory over the Canaanites, Yahweh doomed Israel to wander 40 years in the wilderness until the entire generation 20 years and older who failed to trust at Kadesh-barnea have died. The Oxford Bible Commentary. The translation ‘impale on a stake’ is based on Assyrian practice. Under the Mosaic covenant, the shedding of innocent blood is one event that “pollutes” or “defiles” the land. 4:44-28:68) which looks forward to how Israel should govern itself under the covenant once it enters the Promised Land. Examples of this kind of hanging unfortunately included members of the covenant community of Israel as well. [23] Instead of leading earthly armies in victorious conquest over the pagan Roman occupiers and driving them from the Promised Land, Jesus leads a greater conquest through his own execution. Guthrie, D. and J. (R) 24 The Lord will turn the rain(S) of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue(AB) you. Tigay, Jeffrey H. Deuteronomy. 53 Because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you. Once again, he shows them a land and promises blessing in it. The Curse of the Law :15 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; This violation of the Fifth Commandment requires execution and, as noted by Richard Nelson, forms a topical connection and lead in to 21:22-23. Leicester, EN: Inter-Varsity Press, 2002. (AZ) 42 Swarms of locusts(BA) will take over all your trees and the crops of your land. It seems that particular name might have risen from a mistranslation in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament), but the title fits because much of Deuteronomy is Moses explaining the Law, also given in other books of the Torah, to a new generation of Israelites. Grand Rapids: Wm. Leicester, EN: Inter-Varsity Press, 1989. DEUTERONOMY 28:20-22, 27-29, 35, 58-61 (HCSB) 1. [8] O’Brien, “The Curse of the Law (Galatians 3.13): Crucifixion, Persecution, and Deuteronomy 21.22-23.” 64. It is only when the bones are buried that Yawheh removes the famine from the land. The issue involves rightful kingship. The goal is that through a careful examination of the curse of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 and its application to Jesus, contemporary Christian believers can better understand how the curse contained in this particular law actually provides the blessing of salvation. Our focus is on the curse of sickness. Joshua sees these foreign kings, representatives of the wicked Canaanites occupying the Promised Land, as cursed by God. The 21st chapter of Deuteronomy lies within the broader section of Moses’ Second Address (Deut. By indicting Jesus through false witnesses, exchanging Jesus for the murderous Barabbas, rejecting Jesus for the pagan Caesar, and handing Jesus over to be executed by the Romans, the Israelite nation would have become cursed for the shedding of innocent blood. Douglas, F.F. THE THEOLOGY OF DEUTERONOMY 27 Paul A. Barker Summary The problems of unity in Deuteronomy 27 are usually treated diachronically resulting in an impoverished theological appreciation of the chapter. Deut. 61 The Lord will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law,(CF) until you are destroyed. NIV Reverse Interlinear Bible: English to Hebrew and English to Greek. There the Lord will give you an anxious mind, eyes(CS) weary with longing, and a despairing heart. But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. The apostle Paul states in Galatians 3:13 that: Since Jesus never broke any of Yaweh’s covenant stipulations, his hanging is not punishment for his own sins. Therefore, the law was never meant as a salvific device. 3 of The Expositor’s Bible Commentary. With its destruction of both nation and temple, it is possible that Israel is thus “vomited” out of the land they have defiled through the murder of the innocent and divine Son of God. 28 The Lord will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. The final option, the subjective genitive, means that God curses the one who is hanged and is the meaning the apostle Paul uses in Galatians 3:13. In order to find out what the curse is, we must go back to Deuteronomy 28. However, Yahweh does not respond to the plea for the land until both the bones of Saul’s hanged sons and the bones of Saul and Jonathan are buried. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976. A. An answer, including verses from Deuteronomy is found in the New Testament. 25 The Lord will cause you to be defeated(T) before your enemies. What does the curse of this obscure law buried in the book of Deuteronomy have to do with Jesus’ death on the cross? Luther, Martin. How to Have a Right Relationship With God. The most important thing in your life is your relationship with God. Used by permission. Citing Deuteronomy 27:26, Paul reminds his readers that the law specifically states “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Therefore, the curse is for covenant breakers. The curse has struck them because of their transgressions (sins). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002. happiness and contentment) of their promised inheritance. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1996. 20 The Lord will send on you curses, Leicester, EN: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982. [26] Such curse bearing effectively removes the wrath of Yahweh against those Jesus redeems. Other acts that defile the land include the murder of an innocent person [3] and worship of idols. Third ed. Their task, given by the victorious Jesus, is delivering the gospel of salvation through Christ to the corners of the earth. Thus, through faith in Christ, even Gentiles can partake of the promises made to Abraham. Grand Rapids: Wm. [18] As recompense, David allows the Gibeonites to hang seven of Saul’s sons. (L) 22 The Lord will strike you with wasting disease,(M) with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought,(N) with blight(O) and mildew, which will plague(P) you until you perish. 21:18-21, the passage preceding the one we will examine, addresses the issue of an unrepentant, rebellious child who must be put to death by stoning. Looking back at the judged Canaanite kings of the Promised Land in the time of Joshua, one can make connections between that ancient situation and Jesus’ death. God is the “Greatest Good.” There is nothing better for a person than God. A Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians. [10] Although Rabbinical tradition prior to the Septuagint seemed to be in favor of the objective genitive rendering, the Christian interpreter must turn to the New Testament for the interpretive key. The rejected King of Israel demonstrates his ultimate victory by defeating the curse through his own death. So if Christ has redeemed you from this curse, then He has redeemed you from every type of sickness! (AY) 41 You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. [6] Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy, 285. Keeping Gods law can only bring benefits. When they enter the Land the people are to live under the rule of God, obeying him and keeping his decrees and laws (Deuteronomy 4v1-2). Deuteronomy 28:15 If, however, you do not obey the LORD your God by carefully following all His commandments and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: Proverbs 3:33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the righteous. Justice would be served but not redemption. [7]. By understanding the original meaning of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 and observing its outworking in ancient Israel, Christians today can come to a deeper understanding of what Jesus accomplished at the cross and how he turns a curse upon himself into a blessing for others. McConville, J. G. Deuteronomy. Scholars recognize that the original Hebrew phrase “a curse of God” can be translated in both an objective genitive and subjective genitive sense. The Book of the Law, of course, belonged to the Jews. Deuteronomy 27:15 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 . However those who sought to curse Abram would be cursed. They will pursue you and overtake you(BE) until you are destroyed,(BF) because you did not obey the Lord your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 1 (July 1983): 21-45. Word Biblical Commentary. It is the blessing of this victory that Christians enjoy and must proclaim throughout the earth today. Without faith in Christ, the Gentiles stand condemned not under the Mosaic law of Israel, but under the everlasting and universal law of God written on their conscience. 9 of Luther’s Works. 17 “Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. In response, the Lord commands Moses to “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.” [17] Although 24,000 of the offenders die by divine plague, Yahweh singles out the chiefs of the peoples as representative offenders for hanging. (Y) 27 The Lord will afflict you with the boils of Egypt(Z) and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. Gods commandments are analogous to guidelines that wise parents in human families give to their children. In response to the obvious fact that Israel and Judah have fallen under the curse of the Law, in Habakkuk they “righteous” must live by faith. (W) 26 Your carcasses will be food for all the birds(X) and the wild animals, and there will be no one to frighten them away. Moyer, J. C. “Accursed,” Vol. In Galatians 3 the apostle Paul is telling us that everyone who does not keep the Law perfectly is cursed by it (Deuteronomy 27:26; Galatians 3:10). 32 Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation,(AF) and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. Cole, Alan. (CV) There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you. Black’s New Testament Commentary. You shall not defile your land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.”, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree.’”. But he does not refer to the law itself as a curse. JPS Torah Commentary. Such is the curse of the law. 30 You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and rape her. The Law can point out where we fail and fall short of God’s will, but it cannot pronounce us righteous; that was not its purpose. 21:23): A Study in Early Jewish Exegesis,” 24. Why? (Galatians 3:10-14).” Journal of Biblical Literature 117, no. A. Motyer, eds. Operating under divine mandate, the Canaanite kings must be destroyed if Joshua is to faithfully carry out his mission of judgment and conquest. Apollos Old Testament Commentary 5. (CP) There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your ancestors have known. (AM) There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. Instead, the law revealed the sinfulness of humanity and the need for a redeemer from the curses brought through the law. The law reads. Packer, 256. Since the false prophet Balaam could not succeed in directly pronouncing a curse upon Israel at Balak’s request, he forms a plan to entice Israel to break covenant with Yahweh and thereby bring a curse upon them through their own actions. This is the land promised to Abraham and his descendents and is the land where Yahweh’s presence will dwell. (E), 18 The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Christians today are often confused by how old covenant law relates to life in the new covenant under Christ. When evening comes, the bodies are taken down and thrown back into the cave. This conquest will achieve not only the redemption of the elect among Israel, but also far beyond the borders of the Promised Land to the chosen Gentiles living throughout the world. Citing Deuteronomy 27:26, Paul reminds his readers that the law specifically states “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Therefore, the curse is for covenant breakers. Knowing the cause and the solution removes the hopelessness factor, which has caused many to go mad with despair. Additionally, they also partake in the missionary mandate of the New Israel. This rendering is consistent with the stipulations found in Deuteronomy 27:16-26 which pronounce a curse upon various forms of covenant breaking including sexual immorality, murder, and dishonoring one’s parents. Included in the promises to Abraham is the guarantee that Yahweh Himself will curse any who dishonor Abraham and his descendants. If Israel paid this price herself, no redemption would be possible as they would merely experience the judgment of their own wrongdoing. The Curse of the Law (Galatians 3.13): Crucifixion, Persecution, and Deuteronomy 21.22-23 Kelli S. O’Brien Journal for the Study of the New Testament 2006 29 : 1 , 55-76 Copyright © 2019 by Zondervan. First, it is important to notice who Paul says the curse is for. In fact, Yahweh states clearly that it is these sexual practices by which the Canaanites have already polluted the land. As mentioned earlier, the preferred method of execution in ancient Israel was stoning; thus the act of hanging was not the means of execution. As noted earlier in the incident of Baal worship at Peor, Yahweh ordered the chiefs of the people hung to turn away His anger at their covenant-breaking sins of idolatry and immorality. (AK), 36 The Lord will drive you and the king(AL) you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your ancestors. And the condition of your relationship with God determines your eternal destiny. This idea of hanging after execution is foreign to modern readers. Yet the nation of Israel in Jesus’ day, in contrast to the nation under Joshua, failed to recognize the true authority over them and their land. This article will analyze the law of Deuteronomy 21:22-23 and connect how the elements of execution, cursing, and land defilement relate to the death of Jesus Christ. Yahweh replies that the famine is a response to the innocent blood Saul shed of the Gibeonites who were protected from harm by Israel under an oath sworn hundreds of years prior by Joshua. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992. New York: United Bible Societies, 2000. Instead he hangs as a representative in the place of sinful, covenant-breaking Israel. [10] Bernstein, כי קללת אלחים תלױ” (Deut. All rights reserved worldwide. On the contrary, the apostle declares that “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse” [27] and “that no one is justified before God by the law, for ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” [28]. Others consider the law completely inapplicable and effectively deny its use for 21st century life. Crannell, P. W. “Defile; Defilement,” Vol. The relationship between Deuteronomy 21:22-23, its outworking within ancient Israel, and the death of Jesus is one of comparison and contrast. (CG) 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky(CH) will be left but few(CI) in number, because you did not obey the Lord your God. In Deuteronomy chapters 12 through 26, Moses revealed to the Israelites a set of laws known to scholars today as the Deuteronomic code. St. Louis: Concordia House Publishing, 1960. [21] Galatians 3:16, Paul argues that the language of the Abrahamic covenant points to a singular offspring which is Christ, who by nature of inheritance of the Abrahamic promises, is the rightful heir of the Promised Land. THE CURSE OF THE LAW – DEUTERONOMY 28 This chapter speaks of the blessings of obedience and the curses for disobedience. 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