Deuteronomy 27

The altar on Mount Ebal

1 Moses and the leaders of Israel said to the people, ‘Obey all these commands that I am giving you today. 2 You will soon go across the Jordan river and go into the land that the Lord your God is giving to you. When you are there, you must put up some large stones on Mount Ebal. Cover them with thick white paint. 3 Then write on them all these laws and teaching. You must do that when you go across the river into the land that the Lord your God is giving to you. It is a land where there is plenty of food and drink, enough for everyone. He promised your ancestors that he would give it to you. 4 After you go across the Jordan river, you must put these stones on Mount Ebal. Cover them with white paint. Do as I am telling you today.

5 Then you must build an altar there to worship the Lord your God. Do not use iron tools to cut the stones for the altar. 6 Use whole stones that you find to build it. Then offer burnt offerings to the Lord your God on the altar. 7 You must also offer friendship offerings there. Eat them with joy as you meet with the Lord your God. 8 Write all the words of this law on the stones that you will put there. Be sure to write them very clearly.’

The messages from Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim

9 Then Moses and the Levite priests said to all the Israelites, ‘Be quiet and listen carefully! Today, you have become the people who belong to the Lord your God. 10 Obey him. Obey his commands and his rules that I am giving you today.’

11 On the same day, Moses commanded the people:

12 After you have gone across the Jordan river, these tribes must stand on Mount Gerizim: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin. They will bless the people. 13 These tribes must stand on Mount Ebal: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali. They will speak aloud God's curses.

Curses

14 The Levites will shout this with a loud voice to all the Israelites:

15 ‘God will curse anyone who makes any image of a god and who worships it secretly. The Lord hates all idols that people make with metal or with wood.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

16 ‘God will curse anyone who does not respect his parents.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

17 ‘God will curse anyone who moves the stones at the edge of his neighbour's land.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

27:17They used stones to show where the edge of someone's land started. If you moved one of these stones, it showed that you were trying to take the person's land for yourself.

18 ‘God will curse anyone who leads a blind person along the wrong path.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

19 ‘God will curse anyone who stops foreigners, widows or children who have no parents from receiving justice.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

20 ‘God will curse any man who has sex with his father's wife. That would bring shame on his father.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

21 ‘God will curse any man who has sex with any animal.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

22 ‘God will curse any man who has sex with his sister, whether she is his father's daughter or his mother's daughter.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

23 ‘God will curse any man who has sex with his wife's mother.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

24 ‘God will curse anyone who murders anyone secretly.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

25 ‘God will curse anyone who receives a bribe to kill someone who has done nothing wrong.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’

26 ‘God will curse anyone who refuses to obey all the words of this law.’ Then all the people will say, ‘Yes, we agree!’