Friday, April 24, 2015

Holy blessings and cursings

Pardon my language, but some words make me see differently. Deuteronomy 28 is not about God cursing the people, it's about the people denying God as revealed to them in the words of Moses.

Just one word makes me see that differently, the turnaround is in verse 15. All these blessings are promised to the people if 'you hear to hear' - i.e., repetition for effect, 'you hear with diligence, (in) the voice of Yahweh your God'. Hearing 'in' or 'with' a voice? The phrase makes me stop and think that there is some 'identity' between the people and their God. What you believe (hear and do) makes you what you are.

הברכות blessings
2ברך
ברוך blessed
3ברך
וברוך and blessed
3ברך
ברוך blessed will be
4ברך
ברוך blessed will be
5ברך
ברוך blessed
6ברך
וברוך and blessed
6ברך
הברכה the blessing
8ברך
וברכך and will bless you
8ברך
ולברך and to bless
12ברך
ארור cursed
16ארר
וארור and cursed
16ארר
ארור cursed
17ארר
ארור cursed
18ארר
ארור cursed
19ארר
וארור and cursed
19ארר
המארה the cursing
20ארר

Then in verse 15, tradition says, ... all these curses ... will come your way. No he (Moses) doesn't say that. He says - all these denials - will come your way. Sure it is followed by a list of curses corresponding to some of the blessings of the first 14 verses but the summary word is not a curse but a denial. And the repeated hear is not repeated. This is diligent precision. The meaning is clear without the precision, right? The meaning is not clear, it is muddied.

וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־שָׁמ֤וֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע֙ בְּקוֹל֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֤ר לַעֲשׂוֹת֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֺתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם
וּנְתָ֨נְךָ֜ יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ עֶלְי֔וֹן עַ֖ל כָּל־גּוֹיֵ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ
1And it will happen that if to hear you will hear in the voice of Yahweh your God to keep and to do all the commandments that I am commanding you today,
then Yahweh your God will give you the highest status over all the nations of the earth.
37
18
61
31
וּבָ֧אוּ עָלֶ֛יךָ כָּל־הַבְּרָכ֥וֹת הָאֵ֖לֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגֻ֑ךָ
כִּ֣י תִשְׁמַ֔ע בְּק֖וֹל יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ
2And all these blessings will come to you and will overtake you,
for you will hear in the voice of Yahweh your God.
18
11
26
19
בָּר֥וּךְ אַתָּ֖ה בָּעִ֑יר
וּבָר֥וּךְ אַתָּ֖ה בַּשָּׂדֶֽה
3Blessed you will be in the city,
and blessed you will be in the field.
6
8
11
12
בָּר֧וּךְ פְּרִֽי־בִטְנְךָ֛ וּפְרִ֥י אַדְמָתְךָ֖ וּפְרִ֣י בְהֶמְתֶּ֑ךָ
שְׁגַ֥ר אֲלָפֶ֖יךָ וְעַשְׁתְּר֥וֹת צֹאנֶֽךָ
4Blessed will be the fruit of your belly and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle,
the issue of your drove and the breeding of your flock.
18
13
29
19
בָּר֥וּךְ טַנְאֲךָ֖ וּמִשְׁאַרְתֶּֽךָ5Blessed will be your basket and your warehouse.1015
בָּר֥וּךְ אַתָּ֖ה בְּבֹאֶ֑ךָ
וּבָר֥וּךְ אַתָּ֖ה בְּצֵאתֶֽךָ
6Blessed you will be when you come in
and blessed you will be when you go forth.
8
9
11
13
יִתֵּ֨ן יְהוָ֤ה אֶת־אֹיְבֶ֙יךָ֙ הַקָּמִ֣ים עָלֶ֔יךָ נִגָּפִ֖ים לְפָנֶ֑יךָ
בְּדֶ֤רֶךְ אֶחָד֙ יֵצְא֣וּ אֵלֶ֔יךָ וּבְשִׁבְעָ֥ה דְרָכִ֖ים יָנ֥וּסוּ לְפָנֶֽיךָ
7Yahweh will give your enemies arising against you to be plagued before you.
In one way they will emerge against you and in seven ways they will withdraw before you.
21
23
33
36
יְצַ֨ו יְהוָ֤ה אִתְּךָ֙ אֶת־הַבְּרָכָ֔ה בַּאֲסָמֶ֕יךָ וּבְכֹ֖ל מִשְׁלַ֣ח יָדֶ֑ךָ
וּבֵ֣רַכְךָ֔ בָּאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָֽךְ
8Yahweh will command with you the blessing on your barns and to all that you put your hand to,
and will bless you in the land that Yahweh your God is giving to you.
22
18
34
26
יְקִֽימְךָ֨ יְהוָ֥ה לוֹ֙ לְעַ֣ם קָד֔וֹשׁ כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר נִֽשְׁבַּֽע־לָ֑ךְ
כִּ֣י תִשְׁמֹ֗ר אֶת־מִצְוֺת֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וְהָלַכְתָּ֖ בִּדְרָכָֽיו
9Yahweh will raise you up, a people holy for himself, as he has sworn to you,
for you will be keeping the commandments of Yahweh your God and walking in his ways.
16
19
28
32
וְרָאוּ֙ כָּל־עַמֵּ֣י הָאָ֔רֶץ כִּ֛י שֵׁ֥ם יְהוָ֖ה נִקְרָ֣א עָלֶ֑יךָ
וְיָֽרְא֖וּ מִמֶּֽךָּ
10And all the peoples of the earth will see for the name of Yahweh is called upon you,
and they will fear, from you.
18
6
29
8
וְהוֹתִֽרְךָ֤ יְהוָה֙ לְטוֹבָ֔ה בִּפְרִ֧י בִטְנְךָ֛ וּבִפְרִ֥י בְהַמְתְּךָ֖ וּבִפְרִ֣י אַדְמָתֶ֑ךָ
עַ֚ל הָאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהוָ֛ה לַאֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ לָ֥תֶת לָֽךְ
11And Yahweh will give a surplus of good in the fruit of your belly and in the fruit of your cattle and in the fruit of your ground over the ground that Yahweh swore to your ancestors to give to you.28
19
43
29
יִפְתַּ֣ח יְהוָ֣ה ׀ לְ֠ךָ אֶת־אוֹצָר֨וֹ הַטּ֜וֹב אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם לָתֵ֤ת מְטַֽר־אַרְצְךָ֙ בְּעִתּ֔וֹ וּלְבָרֵ֕ךְ אֵ֖ת כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יָדֶ֑ךָ
וְהִלְוִ֙יתָ֙ גּוֹיִ֣ם רַבִּ֔ים וְאַתָּ֖ה לֹ֥א תִלְוֶֽה
12Yahweh will open for you his good treasury, the heavens to give rain for your land in its time and to bless all the deeds of your hand.
And you will lend to many nations and you yourself will not borrow.
37
14
58
24
וּנְתָֽנְךָ֨ יְהוָ֤ה לְרֹאשׁ֙ וְלֹ֣א לְזָנָ֔ב וְהָיִ֙יתָ֙ רַ֣ק לְמַ֔עְלָה וְלֹ֥א תִהְיֶ֖ה לְמָ֑טָּה
כִּֽי־תִשְׁמַ֞ע אֶל־מִצְוֺ֣ת ׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֧י מְצַוְּךָ֛ הַיּ֖וֹם לִשְׁמֹ֥ר וְלַעֲשֽׂוֹת
13Then Yahweh will give you preeminence and not subservience and you will certainly be in the ascendant and you will not be inferior
for you will have heard the commandments of Yahweh your God that I am commanding you today to keep and to do.
27
28
43
46
וְלֹ֣א תָס֗וּר מִכָּל־הַדְּבָרִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֜י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֛ם הַיּ֖וֹם יָמִ֣ין וּשְׂמֹ֑אול
לָלֶ֗כֶת אַחֲרֵ֛י אֱלֹהִ֥ים אֲחֵרִ֖ים לְעָבְדָֽם ס
14And you will not turn aside from all the things that I myself have commanded you today to the right hand or to the left
to walk after other gods to serve them. S
26
16
45
24
וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־לֹ֤א תִשְׁמַע֙ בְּקוֹל֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לִשְׁמֹ֤ר לַעֲשׂוֹת֙ אֶת־כָּל־מִצְוֺתָ֣יו וְחֻקֹּתָ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּ֑וֹם
וּבָ֧אוּ עָלֶ֛יךָ כָּל־הַקְּלָל֥וֹת הָאֵ֖לֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגֽוּךָ
15But it will happen, if you will not hear in the voice of Yahweh your God, to keep and to do all his commandments and his statutes that I am commanding you today
that all these denials will come to you and will overtake you.
39
18
65
27
אָר֥וּר אַתָּ֖ה בָּעִ֑יר
וְאָר֥וּר אַתָּ֖ה בַּשָּׂדֶֽה
16Cursed you will be in the city,
and cursed you will be in the field.
6
8
11
12
אָר֥וּר טַנְאֲךָ֖ וּמִשְׁאַרְתֶּֽךָ17Cursed your basket and your warehouse.1015
אָר֥וּר פְּרִֽי־בִטְנְךָ֖ וּפְרִ֣י אַדְמָתֶ֑ךָ
שְׁגַ֥ר אֲלָפֶ֖יךָ וְעַשְׁתְּר֥וֹת צֹאנֶֽךָ
18Cursed the fruit of your belly and the fruit of your ground,
the issue of your drove and the breeding of your flock.
13
13
20
19
אָר֥וּר אַתָּ֖ה בְּבֹאֶ֑ךָ
וְאָר֥וּר אַתָּ֖ה בְּצֵאתֶֽךָ
19Cursed you will be when you come in
and cursed you will be when you go forth.
8
9
11
13
יְשַׁלַּ֣ח יְהוָ֣ה ׀ בְּ֠ךָ אֶת־הַמְּאֵרָ֤ה אֶת־הַמְּהוּמָה֙ וְאֶת־הַמִּגְעֶ֔רֶת בְּכָל־מִשְׁלַ֥ח יָדְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּעֲשֶׂ֑ה
עַ֣ד הִשָּֽׁמֶדְךָ֤ וְעַד־אֲבָדְךָ֙ מַהֵ֔ר מִפְּנֵ֛י רֹ֥עַ מַֽעֲלָלֶ֖יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר עֲזַבְתָּֽנִי
20Yahweh will send into you the cursing, the discomfiture, and the rebuke in all that you put your hand to do
until you are exterminated and until you perish swiftly in the face of the evil of your wantonness in that you have forsaken me.
32
27
51
38
I'll post the rest of the chapter later. Otherwise too much at once with these long harangues. Yet they are not harangues, they are the insistence of love, if you can believe it. The bride in the bridal chamber does not need to forsake the groom.

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