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24. The Blessing and the Curse
1. The blessing promised (Deuteronomy 28:1-14 )
2. The curse announced (Deuteronomy 28:15-68 )
This is one of the most solemn chapters in the Pentateuch. Orthodox Hebrews read in their synagogues each year through the entire five books of Moses. When they read this chapter, the Rabbi reads in a subdued voice. And well may they read it softly and ponder over it, for here is prewritten the sad and sorrowful history of that wonderful nation. Here thousands of years ago the Spirit of God through Moses outlined the history of the scattered nation, all their suffering and tribulations, as it has been for well nigh two millenniums and as it is still. Here are arguments for the divine, the supernatural origin of this book which no infidel has ever been able to answer; nor will there ever be found an answer.
It would take a great many pages to follow the different predictions and show their literal fulfilment in the nation, which turned away from Jehovah and disobeyed His Word. What a warning this chapter is to Gentile Christendom! “If God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest He also spare not thee” (Romans 11:21 ).
Apart from such general predictions as found in verses 64-66 and fulfilled, as everybody knows, in the dispersion of Israel, there are others, which are more minute. The Roman power, which was used to break the Jews, is clearly predicted by Moses, and that in a time when no such power existed. Read verses 49-50. “The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth, a nation, whose language thou shalt not understand.” The eagle was the standard of the Roman armies; the Jews understood many oriental languages, but were ignorant of Latin. “Which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favor to the young.” Rome killed the old people and the children. “And he shall beseige thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land” (verse 52). Fulfilled in the siege and overthrow of Jerusalem by the Roman legions. “The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, shall eat their children, for want of all things in the siege and straitness wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates” (54-57). Fulfilled in the dreadful sieges of Jerusalem, perhaps the most terrible events in the history of blood and tears of this poor earth. Every verse beginning with the fifteenth to the end of this chapter has found its oft repeated fulfilment. It does not surprise us that the enemy hates this book, which bears such a testimony, and would have it classed with legends.
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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 28". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27