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Obedience and disobedience (28:1-68)
Further blessings and curses are now listed. These were connected more with the life of the people as a whole and were directly dependent on the people’s obedience or disobedience. The blessings mainly concerned agricultural prosperity, family happiness, victory over enemies and honour in the eyes of other nations (28:1-10). God’s assurance that he would supply their needs was linked to a warning. They were not to look for family increase or agricultural productivity by worshipping the Canaanite nature gods (11-14).
Corresponding to the blessings for obedience were the curses for disobedience. In general these would take the form of diseases and plagues upon their families, flocks, herds and crops (15-24) and repeated defeat in war (25-35). Finally, the nation that God had chosen to be the leader of all nations would go into humiliating captivity (36-46).
The cruelty of foreign invaders and the horrors of siege warfare are vividly described. People would be so desperate for food that they would eat even their own children (47-57; cf. 2 Kings 6:25-29; Lamentations 2:19-22; Lamentations 4:4-10). Eventually, the nation would be destroyed and the people taken captive into foreign countries. There they would be treated worse than animals and meet horrible deaths. Many would be shipped as slaves to Egypt, where they would so flood the slave market that no one would want to buy them (58-68).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 28". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27