• Deuteronomy 11:26-29
  • Joshua 8:33-34

The curses of disobedience

Did this really happen? Yes!

  • Folded lead tablet from Mt. Ebal
    • A folded lead sheet
    • Found on Mt. Ebal
    • Debris to late bronze age (1400-1200 BC)
    • Inscribed on the inside
    • Written in paleo Hebrew
    • Oldest Hebrew inscription
    • It is a “curse amulet”
    • Writing on the tablet: “Cursed, cursed, cursed – cursed by the God YHW. You will die cursed. Cursed you will surely die. Cursed by YHW – cursed, cursed, cursed.”
      • Writing is a poetic form called chiastic parallelism, where the sentence structure is palindromic.

Did the curses come true? Yes!

  • II Chronicles 34:24-25
  • Babylonian invasion of 586 BC
  • Large Israelite cities were all destroyed
  • The land was emptied
  • The people carried away to captivity

What do we learn?

  • The curses of Deuteronomy 27
    • Cursed is the man who makes a carved idol
    • Cursed is he who dishonors his father or mother
    • Cursed is he who moves his neighbor’s boundary stone
    • Cursed is he who lets a blind man wander in the road
    • Cursed is he who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow
    • Cursed is he who sleeps with his father’s wife
    • Cursed is he who lies with any animal
    • Cursed is he who strikes down his neighbor in secret
    • Cursed is he who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person
    • Cursed is he who does not put the words of this law into practice
  • That it matters how we honor God
  • That social justice, moral purity, and doing right by others is essential
  • That there are consequences for disobeying God
  • That sin brings a curse
  • It still does
    • The seven woes pronounced by Christ
      • Woe to those who shut the door to the kingdom
      • Woe to hypocrites who make other hypocrites
      • Woe to blind guides who swear dishonestly
      • Woe to nit pickers who ignore justice and mercy
      • Woe to those clean on outside but full of greed
      • Woe to the whitewashed full of wickedness
      • Woe to those who laud martyrs and murder them
  • That is why we need Christ
    • Galatians 3:13


  • Turning our heart from God brings curses in this life and in the life to come.
  • These woes are real and certain.
  • We should hate the disobedience as fervently as we fear these curses.