Deuteronomy 28:25-57

Enemies and other troubles

25 The Lord will let your enemies knock you down. You will attack them from one direction, but you will run away from them in seven directions. When the people of other nations see what has happened to you, they will see it is a terrible thing. 26 Your dead bodies will be food for all the birds and the wild animals. No one will be there to chase them away. 27 The Lord will cause you to have boils on your bodies. That is what he did to the Egyptians. He will also cause you to have tumours and other bad diseases on your skin. You will not be able to get well again. 28 The Lord will make you crazy and blind. He will confuse your thoughts. 29 Even at midday, you will not see your way. You will be in the dark, like a blind person. You will not be able to go anywhere, whatever you do. Every day, people will be cruel to you. People will rob you. No one will be there to save you.

28:27A tumour is a lump that grows in your body. It makes you very ill.

30 A woman will promise to marry you. But another man will take her and have sex with her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a garden, but you will never eat the fruit that grows in it. 31 Someone will kill your bull while you watch. But you will not eat any of the meat. As you watch, someone will take your donkey from you. He will never give it back to you. Your enemies will take your sheep for themselves. There will be no one there to help you.

32 Foreign people will take your children away to be their slaves. Every day, you will look for them to come back to you. But you will have no power to do anything. 33 Strangers will eat the food that you have worked hard to grow in your fields. People will be cruel to you for the rest of your lives. 34 When you see what is happening to you, you will become crazy. 35 The Lord will cause you to have boils on your knees and on your legs. They will give you much pain and they will never get better. They will soon cover your whole body, from your toes to the top of your head.

36 When you choose a king for yourselves, the Lord will send you and him away to a foreign country. It will be a place that neither you nor your ancestors have ever heard about. There you will serve gods that people have made from stone and wood. 37 The Lord will send you away to live among foreign people. When they see what has happened to you, they will all see that it is terrible. They will tell stories about you and they will laugh at you.

38 You will plant many seeds in your fields, but you will not have much food at harvest time. Instead, locusts will eat your crops. 39 You will plant vineyards to grow grapes. You will take care of the plants. But you will not drink any wine or bring in any grapes. Instead, worms will eat them. 40 Olive trees will grow everywhere in your land, but you will never use any oil from them. The olives will drop off the trees before they are ready to pick.

41 You will give birth to sons and daughters, but you will lose them. Enemies will take them away as prisoners. 42 Crowds of locusts will eat all your trees and the food from your fields.

43 Foreign people who live among you will become stronger and stronger. They will have more and more power over you, as you become weaker. 44 They will lend money to you, but you will not lend money to them. They will become your leaders. You will have to follow behind them.

45 All these curses will happen to you. They will be like an enemy that chases after you, catches you, and destroys you. That will happen to you, if you refuse to obey the Lord your God. If you do not obey his commands and his rules that he has given to you, these troubles will happen to you. 46 They will show that God is very angry with you. You and your descendants will know that for ever.

47 The Lord has given you many good things. But you have not agreed to serve the Lord your God with joy. 48 So you will serve your enemies that the Lord will send to attack you. You will be hungry and thirsty. You will be so poor that you do not even have clothes to wear. Your enemies will make you work so hard that they will destroy you.

49 The Lord will bring a nation from far away in the world to attack you. You will not understand their language. They will come quickly to attack you, like an eagle that comes down from the sky. 50 They will have angry faces. They will not be kind to anyone, even old people and young children. 51 They will eat your young animals and the crops from your fields, until they have destroyed you. They will not leave any food for you. You will have no grain, no wine, no olive oil, no young cows, no lambs. They will take everything from you until they destroy you.

52 They will attack all your towns, everywhere in the land that the Lord your God has given to you. They will knock down the strong walls that you thought would keep you safe. They will make their camps around your towns until they can take the towns for themselves. 53 When that happens, you will have no food, because your enemy's soldiers are all around your town. You will be so hungry that you eat your own children. Those are the sons and daughters that the Lord your God has given to you. 54 Even the best and kindest man among you will turn against his brother. He will turn against the wife that he loves and against his children who are still alive. 55 He will be so hungry that he eats meat from his own child, because there is no other food. He will not share it with any of his own family. He will do that because your enemy is so strong. The soldiers will stop any food from coming into your towns. 56 Even the best and kindest woman among you will turn against the husband that she loves. She will turn against her sons and daughters. She has been rich enough to have everything that she needs. 57 But now she will be so hungry that she will eat her new baby and the afterbirth. She will eat them secretly because there is nothing else for her to eat. She will not share anything with her family because your enemy will be too strong. The soldiers will stop any food from coming into your towns.

28:57The ‘afterbirth’ is the part that comes out of the mother when a baby is born.