u q 1. Command. r s 2-. Passage of Jordan. t -2,3. Sacred stones. r s 4-. Passage of Jordan. t -4-8. Sacred stones. q 9,10. Command.
1: And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying (This is the beginning of the 5th address, see 1:1), "Keep all the commandments which I command you this day (see 4:26).
2: And it shall be in the day when you all shall pass over Jordan to the land which the Lord your God gives you,
that you shall set you up great stones (i.e. rough and unhewn. Cp. Ex.20:25), and plaster them with plaster (= gypsum, a hard white cement):
3: And you shall write upon them (see Ex. 17:14. Cp. Josh. 8:30-32) all the words of this law (i.e. which follows, namely the blessings and the curses), when you are passed over, that you may go in to the land which the Lord your God gives you, a land that flows with milk and honey; according as the Lord God of your fathers have promised you.
4: Therefore it shall be when you all are gone over Jordan,
that you all shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in mount Ebal (The stones, therefore carried there from Jordan. Ebal = heeps), and you shall plaster them with plaster.
5: And there shall you build an altar to the Lord your God, an altar of stones: you shall not lift up any iron tool upon them (Probably a technical name for a chisel, as we now associate it with a laundry or a prison).
6: You shall build the altar of the Lord your God of whole stones: and you shall offer burnt offerings thereon to the Lord your God:
7: And you shall offer peace offerings, and shall eat there, and rejoice before the Lord your God.
8: And you shall write upon the stones all the words of this law very plainly." (A useful hint for us = plainly and well)
9: And Moses and the priests the Levites spoke to all Israel, saying, "Take heed (= keep silence, or, take note), and listen, O Israel; this day you are become the people of the Lord your God.
10: You shall therefore obey the voice of the Lord your God, and do His commandments and His ordinances, which I command you this day."
d S1 11-13. Arrangement of tribes. S2 14-26. Curses.
S1 u 11,12-. On Gerizim to bless. v -12. Tribes detailed. u 13-. On Ebal to curse. v -13. Tribes detailed.
11: And Moses charged the people the same day, saying,
12: "These shall stand upon mount Gerizim (Heb. = cut up, rocky) to bless the people, when you all are come over Jordan;
Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin:
13: And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse;
Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
14: And the Levites shall speak, and say (Note the Idiom, usually rendered in N.T. "answer, and say". The first verb is to be rendered according to the context. Here = "curse and say") to all the men of Israel with a loud voice,
15: 'Cursed (Fig. Anaphora = like sentence beginnings, the repetition of the same word at the beginning of successive sentences. This word is repeated 12 times. The number 12 represents Governmental completeness) be the man that makes any graven or molten image (= sculpture, cp. 4:23. Lev. 19:4), (which is) an abomination to the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and puts it in a secret place.' And all the people shall answer and say, 'Amen.' (= that's the way it is. Note each verse ending with the same word)
16: ‘Cursed be he that sets light by his father or his mother' (= curses. See Ex.21:17. Lev.19:3). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
17: 'Cursed be he that removes his neighbor's landmark' (cp. 19:14). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
18: 'Cursed be he that makes the blind to wander out of the way' (cp. Lev.19:14). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
19: 'Cursed be he that perverts the judgment of the stranger (= foreigner), fatherless, and widow' (these 3 put for all kinds of afflicted) And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
20: 'Cursed be he that lies with his father's wife (Cp. 22:30. Lev. 18:8; 20:11); because he uncovers his father's skirt.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
21: 'Cursed be he that lies with any manner of beast' (cp. Ex. 22:19. Lev.18:23). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
22: 'Cursed be he that lies with his sister (cp. Lev. 18:9; 20:17), the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
23: 'Cursed be he that lies with his mother in law' (cp. Lev. 18:17; 20:14). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
24: 'Cursed be he that smites his neighbor secretly'(cp. Ex. 21:12). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
25: 'Cursed be he that takes reward (= bribe) to slay an innocent person'(cp. 10:17; 16:19. Ex. 23:7,8. Ps. 15:5). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'
26: 'Cursed be he that confirms not all the words of this law to do them' (cp. 28:1,15. Jer. 11:3-5. Gal. 3:10). And all the people shall say, 'Amen.'