We are at it again to help those in the Black Hebrew Israelite movement to give up Deut. 28 as a proof text of their genetic claim to be the true Jews.
DEUTERONOMY 28:15-68 CURSES
15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
- Cursed shalt thou be in the city (v. 16)
- Cursed shalt thou be in the field (v. 16)
- Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store (v. 17)
- Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body (v. 18)
- [Cursed] the fruit of thy land (v. 18)
- [Cursed] the increase of thy kine (v. 18)
- [Cursed] and the flocks of thy sheep (v. 18)
- Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out (v. 19)
- The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. (v. 20) Obadiah 1:11-13 & Amos 9:7-10
- The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. (v. 21)
- The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish (v. 22)
- And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed (vs. 23-24)
- The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth (v. 25)
- And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away (v. 26)
- The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed (v. 27)
- The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart (v. 28)
- And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee (v. 29)
- Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her (v. 30)
- Thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein (v. 30)
- Thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof (v. 30)
- Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee (v. 31)
- Thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them (v. 31)
- Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand (v. 32)
- The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway (v. 33)
- So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see (v. 34)
- The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head (v. 35)
- The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone (v. 36)
- And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee (v. 37)
- Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it (v. 38)
- Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them (v. 39)
- Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit (v. 40)
- Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity (v. 41)
- All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume (v. 42)
- The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low. He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail (vs. 43-44)
- Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee (v. 45)
- And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever (v. 46) Ezekiel 5:8-17, 11:14-17, Jeremiah 51:5 & Galatians 3:10-13
- Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee (vs. 47-48)
- The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young: And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee (vs. 49-51)
- And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee (v. 52)
- And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee (v. 53)
- So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave: So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates (vs. 54-55) Ezekiel 5:8-17
- The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates (vs. 56-57)
- If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, the Lord the God; Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance (vs. 58-59)
- Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee (v. 60)
- Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed (v. 61)
- And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God (v. 62)
- And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it (v. 63)
- And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone (v. 64)
- And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind (v. 65)
- And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see (vs. 66-67)
- And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you (v. 68)
THE THREE MAIN KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING THE CURSES
1-THE STARTING PLACE OF THE CURSES MUST BE WITH ISRAEL HAVING A KING WHILE LIVING IN ISRAEL
Notice that the starting place for all the curses upon the Israelites is Israel (not another nation). For examples, in verse 20, “until he have consumed thee from off the land,” verse 36, “The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation,” verse 49, “The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth,” verse 52, “he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee” and verses 63-64, “ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people.”
As a result, any captivity or diaspora of the Israelites as a result of the curses must follow this pattern: Israel must be a nation with a king in the land of Israel (i.e., “pluck & scattered”).
Therefore, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in the 1400’s cannot count as a captivity for Israel based on Deut. 28 because Israel was not dwelling in the land of Israel with a king and then carried off to the United States of America.
2-THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NEW COVENANT WITH THE DESTRUCTION OF THE SECOND TEMPLE COMPLETED THESE CURSES UPON THE ISRAELITES
The Hebrew term “for ever” used in verse 46 relates to the other “for ever” commands surrounding the Old Covenant with God dwelling in the Temple (see chart below). Thus, when the Second Temple was destroyed in 70 A.D. and the Israelites were taken captive, brought back through the wilderness, and sent to Egypt on ships without being bought because there were so many; the dispensation of the Old Covenant passed, along with these curses. See the three historical records below for evidence of the Jews going to literal Egypt in literal ships and literally no one buying them.
(i) Munter, Primordia Eccl. Africanae, pp. 85f., 113
“Now that Betar had been captured, everything came under human control, while ‘Palestine’ [Judah] was reduced to a desolate mound. Captives were sold into slavery in numbers too great to count. First they were brought to the grand annual market at the Terebrinth-Eloh tree in Hebron, or in the words of Hydranumous, to the Tent-Ohel of Abraham near Hebron. Each slave sold for the price of a horse. Those captives who were not sold were brought to the marketplace in Azza [Gaza] which, because of the great multitudes of slaves, who were sold there, was called Hadrian’s marketplace. And those who were still not sold there were herded into ships and were taken to Egypt. Many died in transit, whether by starvation or by shipwreck, while many were also killed by cruel masters.”
(ii) Emil Schurer, “A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ”, Edinburgh, 1896, p. 11
“Innumerable was the multitude of those who were sold away as slaves. At the Annual Market of Terebrinth of Hebron they were offered for sale in such numbers that a Jewish slaves was of no more value than a horse. What could not be disposed of there was brought to Gaza and sold or sent to Egypt, on the way to which many died of hunger, or of shipwreck.”
(iii) Josephus, “The Jewish Wars”, Book VI 9:2.
“Because the soldiers were now growing weary of bloodshed, and survivors appeared constantly, Caesar orders to kill only those who offered armed resistance and to take alive all the rest (415). The troops, in addition to those covered by their orders, slaughtered the aged and infirm; people to their prime who might be useful they hearded into the temple area and shut in the court of the women (Iccl. (416). Casear appointed one of his freedmen as their guard, his friend Fronto, to decide the fate appropriate to each (417). All those who had taken part in sedition and brigandage (they informed against [each] other) where executed. He picked out the tallest and handsomest of the lot and reserved them for the Triumph (418). Of the rest, those who were over seventeen he put in chains and sent to hard labor in Egypt while great numbers were presented to Titus to provinces to perish in the theatres by sword or wild beasts; those under seventeen were sold.”
The apostle wrote in Hebrews 8:13 (KJV), “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Notice after Hebrews 8:13, chapters 9-10 explain how Christ established a New Covenant by His blood and completed the need for Temple.
Therefore, the curse of the law for the Jew (as described in Deut. 28) was taken away by Jesus on the cross according to Galatians 3:13-18. However, they cannot receive the promised blessing of Abraham (also described in Deut. 28) until they accept Jesus as their Messiah and Lord. Furthermore, the Gentiles, who were never under the Law and its curses or blessings, now get to be included in the blessings of Abraham when they believe in Jesus.
Galatians 3:13-18 (KJV), “13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.”
3-NO WHERE DOES IT MENTION IN THE CURSES THAT THE ISRAELITES WOULD LOSE THE KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR IDENTITY OR THAT THESE CURSES WOULD SERVE AS A SPIRITUAL DNA TO HELP FIND THE LOST TRIBES
To assert otherwise requires the one making the claim to provide evidence from the text, however, as anyone can read can see, there is none.