All these blessings will come upon you, and overtake you, if you listen to the voice of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 28:2
The Blessings of Obedience
1 It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all of his commandments which I am giving you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you, if you listen to the voice of the Lord your God.
3 You shall be blessed in the city, and you shall be blessed in the field.
4 You shall be blessed in the fruit of your body, the fruit of your ground, the fruit of your animals, the increase of your livestock, and the young of your flock.
5 Your basket and your kneading trough shall be blessed.
6 You shall be blessed when you come in, and you shall be blessed when you go out.
7 The Lord will cause your enemies who rise up against you to be struck before you. They will come out against you one way, and will flee before you seven ways.
8 The Lord will command the blessing on you in your barns, and in all that you put your hand to. He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
9 The Lord will establish you as a holy people to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you will keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and walk in his ways.
10 All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you.
11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity in the fruit of your body, in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.
12 The Lord will open to you, his abundant treasure, the heavens, to give rain in your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow.
13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail. You will be above only, and you will not be beneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God which I am giving you today, and be careful to do them, 14 and you shall not turn away from any of the words which I am commanding you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
The Curses of Disobedience
15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments and his statutes which I am giving you today, that all these curses will come on you and overtake you. 16 You will be cursed in the city, and you will be cursed in the field.
17 Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed.
18 The fruit of your body, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your livestock, and the young of your flock will be cursed.
19 You will be cursed when you come in, and you will be cursed when you go out.
20 The Lord will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in everything that you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your deeds, by which you have forsaken me.
21 The Lord will make the pestilence cling to you, until he has consumed you from off the land where you are going in to possess.
22 The Lord will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with fiery heat, with the sword, with blight, and with mildew. They will pursue you until you perish.
23 Your sky that is over your head will be bronze, and the earth that is under you will be iron. 24 The Lord will make the rain of your land powder and dust. It will come down on you from the sky, until you are destroyed.
25 The Lord will cause you to be struck before your enemies. You will go out one way against them, and will flee seven ways before them. You will be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your dead bodies will be food to all birds of the sky, and to the animals of the earth; and there will be no one to frighten them away.
27 The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with the tumors, with the scurvy, and with the itch, of which you can not be healed.
28 The Lord will strike you with madness, with blindness, and with confusion of heart and mind.
29 You will grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways. You will only be oppressed and robbed always, and there will be no one to save you.
30 You will betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her. You will build a house, and you will not dwell in it. You will plant a vineyard, and not use its fruit.
31 Your ox will be slain before your eyes, and you will not eat any of it. Your donkey will be violently taken away from before your face, and will not be restored to you. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and you will have no one to save you.
32 Your sons and your daughters will be given to another people. Your eyes will look and fail with longing for them all day long. There will be no power in your hand. 33 A nation which you do not know will eat the fruit of your ground and all of your work. You will only be oppressed and crushed always, 34 so that the sights that you see with your eyes will drive you mad.
35 The Lord will strike you in the knees and in the legs with a sore boil, of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.
36 The Lord will bring you and your king whom you will set over yourselves, to a nation that you have not known, you nor your fathers. There you will serve other gods of wood and stone. 37 You will become an object of horror, a proverb, and a byword among all the peoples where the Lord will lead you away.
38 You will carry much seed out into the field and will gather in little, for the locust will consume it. 39 You will plant vineyards and dress them, but you will neither drink of the wine, nor harvest, because worms will eat them. 40 You will have olive trees throughout all your borders, but you will not anoint yourself with the oil, for your olives will drop off.
41 You will father sons and daughters, but they will not be yours, for they will go into captivity.
42 Locusts will consume all of your trees and the fruit of your ground.
43 The foreigner who is among you will mount up above you higher and higher, and you will come down lower and lower. 44 He will lend to you, and you will not lend to him. He will be the head, and you will be the tail.
45 All these curses will come on you and will pursue you and overtake you, until you are destroyed, because you did not listen to the voice of the Lord, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he has commanded you. 46 They will be a sign and a wonder to you and to your offspring forever.
47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart, because of the abundance of everything, 48 therefore you will serve your enemies whom the Lord sends against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in lack of all things. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
49 The Lord will bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies: a nation whose language you will not understand, 50 a nation of fierce countenance, that does not respect the elderly, nor show favor to the young. 51 They will eat the fruit of your livestock and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed. They also will not leave you grain, new wine, oil, the increase of your livestock, or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish. 52 They will besiege you in all your gates until your high and fortified walls in which you trusted come down throughout all your land. They will besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you.
53 You will eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and in the acute suffering with which your enemies will afflict you. 54 The man who is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye will be evil toward his brother, toward the wife whom he loves, and toward the remnant of his children whom he has remaining, 55 so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he will eat, because he has nothing left to him, in the siege and in the suffering with which your enemy will afflict you in all your gates.
56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not venture to set the sole of her foot on the ground for the delicateness and tenderness of it, her eye will be evil toward the husband that she loves, toward her son, toward her daughter, 57 toward her young one who comes out from between her feet, and toward her children whom she bears; for she will eat them secretly for lack of everything in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy will afflict you in your gates.
58 If you will not be careful to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, Yahweh your God, 59 then the Lord will make your plagues and the plagues of your offspring fearful, great plagues, and of long duration, and severe sicknesses. 60 He will bring on you again all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of, and they will cling to you. 61 Also every sickness and every plague which is not written in the book of this law, the Lord will bring them on you until you are destroyed.
62 You will be left few in number, even though you were like the stars of the sky in their multitude, because you did not listen to the voice of the Lord. 63 It will happen that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so the Lord will rejoice over you to cause you to perish and to destroy you. You will be plucked from the land that you are going in to possess.
64 The Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth. There you will serve other gods which you have not known, you nor your fathers, even wood and stone. 65 Among these nations you will find no ease, and there will be no rest for the sole of your foot; but the Lord will give you there a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and pining of soul. 66 Your life will hang in doubt before you. You will be afraid night and day, and will have no assurance of your life. 67 In the morning you will say, “I wish it were evening!” and at evening you will say, “I wish it were morning!” for the fear of your heart in which you dread, and for the sights which your eyes will see.
68 The Lord will bring you back into Egypt with ships, by the way of which I told to you that you would never see again. There you will offer yourselves to your enemies as male and female slaves, and nobody will buy you.
Woes to Pharisees and Experts in Law
37 Now as Jesus spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in and sat at the table. 38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39 The Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the platter, but inside, you are full of extortion and wickedness. 40 You foolish ones, did he who made the outside not make the inside also? 41 But give as gifts to the needy those things which are within, and all things will be clean to you.
42 But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and the love of God. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and the greetings in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them do not know it.”
45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, in saying this you insult us also.”
46 He said, “Woe to you experts in the law also! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves will not even lift one finger to help carry those burdens. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute, 50 that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.’ Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. 52 Woe to you experts in the law! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in, you hindered.”
53 As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry and to draw many things out of him, 54 lying in wait for him and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.
The Leaven of the Pharisees
1 Meanwhile, when a multitude of many thousands had gathered together, so much so that they trampled on each other, he began to tell his disciples first of all, “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light. What you have spoken in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
Fearing God Alone
4 “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will warn you whom you should fear: Fear him who after he has killed, has power to cast into Gehenna. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
6 “Are five sparrows not sold for two assaria coins? Not one of them is forgotten by God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all counted. Therefore do not be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.
Hear My Teaching, My People
A contemplation by Asaph.
1 Hear my teaching, my people.
Turn your ears to the words of my mouth.
2 I will open my mouth with a parable.
I will utter ancient mysteries,
3 which we have heard and known,
and our fathers have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their children,
telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord,
his strength, and his wondrous deeds that he has done.
5 For he established a covenant in Jacob,
and appointed a teaching in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers,
that they should make them known to their children;
6 that the generation to come might know,
the children who should be born;
who should arise and tell their children,
7 that they might set their hope in God,
and not forget God’s deeds,
but keep his commandments,
8 and might not be as their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation that did not make their hearts loyal,
whose spirit was not steadfast with God.
9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows,
turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God’s covenant,
and refused to walk in his law.
11 They forgot what he had done,
his wondrous deeds that he had shown them.
12 He did marvelous things in the sight of their fathers,
in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He split the sea, and caused them to pass through.
He made the waters stand like a wall.
14 In the daytime he also led them with a cloud,
and all night with a light of fire.
15 He split rocks in the wilderness,
and gave them drink abundantly as out of the depths.
16 He brought streams also out of the rock,
and caused waters to run down like rivers.
17 Yet they still went on to sin against him,
to rebel against the Most High in the desert.
18 In their hearts, they willfully tested God
by asking for food according to their desire.
19 Yes, they spoke against God.
They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
20 He struck the rock, so that waters gushed out,
and streams overflowed.
Can he give bread also?
Will he provide meat for his people?”
21 Therefore the Lord heard, and was angry.
A fire was kindled against Jacob,
anger also went up against Israel,
22 because they did not believe in God,
and did not trust in his salvation.
23 Yet he commanded the skies above,
and opened the doors of heaven.
24 He rained down manna on them to eat,
and gave them food from the sky.
25 Man ate the bread of angels.
He sent them food to the full.
26 He caused the east wind to blow in the sky.
By his power he guided the south wind.
27 He also rained meat on them like the dust,
winged birds like the sand of the seas.
28 He let them fall in the midst of their camp,
around their habitations.
29 So they ate, and were well filled.
He gave them their own desire.
30 They did not turn from their cravings.
Their food was yet in their mouths,
31 when the anger of God went up against them,
killed some of their fattest,
and struck down the young men of Israel.
19 Truthful lips will be established forever,
but a lying tongue is only momentary.
20 Deceit is in the heart of those who plot evil,
but joy comes to the promoters of peace.