Chapter 27

1And Moses and the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Observe all of the commandment that I command you this day.   אוַיְצַ֤ו משֶׁה֙ וְזִקְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־הָעָ֖ם לֵאמֹ֑ר שָׁמֹר֙ אֶת־כָּל־הַמִּצְוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֧ר אָֽנֹכִ֛י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֖ם הַיּֽוֹם:
Observe all of the commandment: Heb. שָׁמֹר [The word שָׁמֹר here denotes] continuous action [that is to say:“You must observe this commandment always”]. Gardant in Old French.   שמור את כל המצוה: לשון הווה גרדנ"ט בלע"ז (בעאבאכטענד):
2And it will be, on the day that you cross the Jordan to the land the Lord, your God, is giving you, that you shall set up for yourself huge stones, and plaster them with lime.   בוְהָיָ֗ה בַּיּוֹם֘ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּֽעַבְר֣וּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן֒ אֶל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ נֹתֵ֣ן לָ֑ךְ וַֽהֲקֵמֹתָ֤ לְךָ֙ אֲבָנִ֣ים גְּדֹל֔וֹת וְשַׂדְתָּ֥ אֹתָ֖ם בַּשִּֽׂיד:
you shall set up for yourself: in the Jordan, and after this, you shall take out other [stones] from there, and out of this [second set of stones], build an altar on Mount Ebal. Consequently, we find that there were three places [at which constructions] of stones [were set up]: a) Twelve [stones were put together] in the Jordan, b) the same [number of stones set up] at Gilgal [i.e., the Israelites’ first stop in the land of Israel,] and c) the same [number of stones set up] at Mount Ebal. The above is taught in Tractate Sotah (35b) [where the Talmud, citing Chapter 4 of Joshua, proves the above].   והקמות לך: בירדן ואחר כך תוציא משם אחרות ותבנה מהן מזבח בהר עיבל נמצאת אתה אומר ג' מיני אבנים היו שנים עשר בירדן וכנגדן בגלגל וכנגדן בהר עיבל כדאיתא במסכת סוטה (ל"ה):
3When you cross, you shall write upon them all the words of this Torah, in order that you may come to the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, God of your forefathers, has spoken to you.   גוְכָֽתַבְתָּ֣ עֲלֵיהֶ֗ן אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֛י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בְּעָבְרֶ֑ךָ לְמַ֡עַן אֲשֶׁר֩ תָּבֹ֨א אֶל־הָאָ֜רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֣יךָ | נֹתֵ֣ן לְךָ֗ אֶ֣רֶץ זָבַ֤ת חָלָב֙ וּדְבַ֔שׁ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבֶּ֛ר יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵֽי־אֲבֹתֶ֖יךָ לָֽךְ:
4And it will be, when you cross the Jordan, that you shall set up these stones, [regarding] which I command you this day on Mount Ebal, and you shall plaster them with lime.   דוְהָיָה֘ בְּעָבְרְכֶ֣ם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּן֒ תָּקִ֜ימוּ אֶת־הָֽאֲבָנִ֣ים הָאֵ֗לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָֽנֹכִ֜י מְצַוֶּ֥ה אֶתְכֶ֛ם הַיּ֖וֹם בְּהַ֣ר עֵיבָ֑ל וְשַׂדְתָּ֥ אוֹתָ֖ם בַּשִּֽׂיד:
5And there, you shall build an altar to the Lord, your God, an altar of stones. You shall not wield any iron upon them.   הוּבָנִ֤יתָ שָּׁם֙ מִזְבֵּ֔חַ לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ מִזְבַּ֣ח אֲבָנִ֔ים לֹֽא־תָנִ֥יף עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם בַּרְזֶֽל:
6You shall build the altar of the Lord, your God, out of whole stones. And on it, you shall offer up burnt offerings to the Lord, your God.   ואֲבָנִ֤ים שְׁלֵמוֹת֙ תִּבְנֶ֔ה אֶת־מִזְבַּ֖ח יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ וְהַֽעֲלִ֤יתָ עָלָיו֙ עוֹלֹ֔ת לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
7And you shall slaughter peace offerings, and you shall eat there, and you shall rejoice before the Lord, your God.   זוְזָֽבַחְתָּ֥ שְׁלָמִ֖ים וְאָכַ֣לְתָּ שָּׁ֑ם וְשָׂ֣מַחְתָּ֔ לִפְנֵ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
8You shall write upon the stones all the words of this Torah, very clearly.   חוְכָתַבְתָּ֣ עַל־הָֽאֲבָנִ֗ים אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֛י הַתּוֹרָ֥ה הַזֹּ֖את בַּאֵ֥ר הֵיטֵֽב:
very clearly: in seventy languages. — [Sotah 32a]   באר היטב: בשבעים לשון:
9Moses and the Levitic priests spoke to all Israel, saying, "Pay attention and listen, O Israel! This day, you have become a people to the Lord, your God.   טוַיְדַבֵּ֤ר משֶׁה֙ וְהַכֹּֽהֲנִ֣ים הַֽלְוִיִּ֔ם אֶל־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לֵאמֹ֑ר הַסְכֵּ֤ת | וּשְׁמַע֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַיּ֤וֹם הַזֶּה֙ נִֽהְיֵ֣יתָ לְעָ֔ם לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
Pay attention: [To be understood] as the Targum [Onkelos] renders: [meaning, “Listen!” or “Pay attention!”].   הסכת: כתרגומו:
This day, you have become a people [to the Lord, your God]: Every single day, it should seem to you as though you are today entering into a covenant with Him. — [see Ber. 63b]   היום הזה נהיית לעם: בכל יום יהיו בעיניך כאילו היום באת עמו בברית:
10You shall therefore obey the Lord, your God, and fulfill His commandments and His statutes, which I command you this day.   יוְשָׁ֣מַעְתָּ֔ בְּק֖וֹל יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ וְעָשִׂ֤יתָ אֶת־מִצְו‍ֹתָו֙ וְאֶת־חֻקָּ֔יו אֲשֶׁ֛ר אָֽנֹכִ֥י מְצַוְּךָ֖ הַיּֽוֹם:
11And Moses commanded the people on that day, saying,   יאוַיְצַ֤ו משֶׁה֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא לֵאמֹֽר:
12When you cross the Jordan, the following shall stand upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin.   יבאֵ֠לֶּה יַֽעַמְד֞וּ לְבָרֵ֤ךְ אֶת־הָעָם֙ עַל־הַ֣ר גְּרִזִּ֔ים בְּעָבְרְכֶ֖ם אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן שִׁמְעוֹן֙ וְלֵוִ֣י וִֽיהוּדָ֔ה וְיִשָּׂשכָ֖ר וְיוֹסֵ֥ף וּבִנְיָמִֽן:
to bless the people: As it is found in Tractate Sotah (32a): Six tribes ascended to the top of Mount Gerizim and [the other] six to the top of Mount Ebal; the kohanim , the Levites and the [holy] ark stood below in the middle. The Levites turned their faces towards Mount Gerizim and began with the blessing: “Blessed be the man who does not make a graven or molten image…,” and these [the tribes on Mount Gerizim] and these [the tribes on Mount Ebal] answered “Amen!” Then [the Levites] turned their faces towards Mount Ebal and began with the curse, saying: “Cursed be the man who makes any graven [or molten] image…,” and these [the tribes on Mount Gerizim] and these [the tribes on Mount Ebal] responded “Amen!” The Levites then turned their faces once again towards Mount Gerizim, and said: “Blessed be he who does not degrade his father and mother,” [and the tribes on Mount Gerizim and those on Mount Ebal responded “Amen!” The Levites] would then turn their faces once again towards Mount Ebal, and say: “Cursed be he who degrades his father and mother,” [and the tribes on Mount Gerizim and those on Mount Ebal responded “Amen!”]. Thus [it would continue] in this manner for all of them [the blessings and curses] until [the very last curse, namely (verse 26)]:“Cursed be the one who does not uphold [the words of this Torah].”   לברך את העם: כדאיתא במסכת סוטה (לב א) ששה שבטים עלו לראש הר גריזים, וששה לראש הר עיבל והכהנים והלוים והארון למטה באמצע הפכו לוים פניהם כלפי הר גריזים ופתחו בברכה ברוך האיש אשר לא יעשה פסל ומסכה וגו' ואלו ואלו עונין אמן. חזרו והפכו פניהם כלפי הר עיבל ופתחו בקללה ואומרים, (פסוק טו) ארור האיש אשר יעשה פסל וגו' וכן כולם עד (פסוק כו) ארור אשר לא יקים:
13And the following shall stand upon Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naftali.   יגוְאֵ֛לֶּה יַֽעַמְד֥וּ עַל־הַקְּלָלָ֖ה בְּהַ֣ר עֵיבָ֑ל רְאוּבֵן֙ גָּ֣ד וְאָשֵׁ֔ר וּזְבוּלֻ֖ן דָּ֥ן וְנַפְתָּלִֽי:
14The Levites shall speak up, saying to every individual of Israel, in a loud voice:   ידוְעָנ֣וּ הַֽלְוִיִּ֗ם וְאָֽמְר֛וּ אֶל־כָּל־אִ֥ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל ק֥וֹל רָֽם:
15"Cursed be the man who makes any graven or molten image an abomination to the Lord, the handiwork of a craftsman and sets it up in secret! And all the people shall respond, saying, 'Amen!'   טואָר֣וּר הָאִ֡ישׁ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יַֽעֲשֶׂה֩ פֶ֨סֶל וּמַסֵּכָ֜ה תּֽוֹעֲבַ֣ת יְהֹוָ֗ה מַֽעֲשֵׂ֛ה יְדֵ֥י חָרָ֖שׁ וְשָׂ֣ם בַּסָּ֑תֶר וְעָנ֧וּ כָל־הָעָ֛ם וְאָֽמְר֖וּ אָמֵֽן:
16Cursed be he who degrades his father and mother. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   טזאָר֕וּר מַקְלֶ֥ה אָבִ֖יו וְאִמּ֑וֹ וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
who degrades his father: Heb. מַקְלֶה אָבִיו [The word מַקְלֶה means:] to treat cheaply [i.e., with disrespect]. It is similar to the verse, “וְנִקְלָה אָחִיךָ, your brother will be degraded” (Deut. 25:3).   מקלה אביו: מזלזל לשון ונקלה אחיך (לעיל כ"ה, ג):
17Cursed be he who moves back his neighbor's landmark. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   יזאָר֕וּר מַסִּ֖יג גְּב֣וּל רֵעֵ֑הוּ וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
who moves back his neighbor’s landmark: Heb. מַסִּיג גְּבוּל, moving it back and stealing the land. [The term מַסִּיג] is an expression similar to,“has turned backwards (וְהֻסַּג אָחוֹר) ” (Isa. 59:14).   מסיג גבול: מחזירו לאחוריו וגונב את הקרקע לשון והוסג אחור (ישעיה נט, יד):
18Cursed be he who misguides a blind person on the way. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   יחאָר֕וּר מַשְׁגֶּ֥ה עִוֵּ֖ר בַּדָּ֑רֶךְ וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
who misguides a blind person: One [figuratively] blind regarding some matter [i.e., ignorant or inexperienced], and [knowingly] giving him bad advice.   משגה עור: הסומא בדבר ומשיאו עצה רעה:
19Cursed be he who perverts the judgment of the stranger, the orphan, or the widow. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   יטאָר֗וּר מַטֶּ֛ה מִשְׁפַּ֥ט גֵּֽר־יָת֖וֹם וְאַלְמָנָ֑ה וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
20Cursed be he who lies with his father's wife, thus uncovering the corner of his father's garment. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   כאָר֗וּר שֹׁכֵב֙ עִם־אֵ֣שֶׁת אָבִ֔יו כִּ֥י גִלָּ֖ה כְּנַ֣ף אָבִ֑יו וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
21Cursed be he who lies with any animal. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   כאאָר֕וּר שֹׁכֵ֖ב עִם־כָּל־בְּהֵמָ֑ה וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
22Cursed be he who lies with his sister, his father's daughter or his mother's daughter. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   כבאָר֗וּר שֹׁכֵב֙ עִם־אֲחֹת֔וֹ בַּת־אָבִ֖יו א֣וֹ בַת־אִמּ֑וֹ וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
23Cursed be he who lies with his mother in law. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   כגאָר֕וּר שֹׁכֵ֖ב עִם־חֹֽתַנְתּ֑וֹ וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
24Cursed be he who strikes his fellow in secret. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   כדאָר֕וּר מַכֵּ֥ה רֵעֵ֖הוּ בַּסָּ֑תֶר וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
who strikes his fellow in secret: [Scripture] is speaking of [someone who causes harm to his fellow Jew through] slander (Pirkei d’Rabbi Eliezer 53). I saw in the Yesod of Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan that there are eleven curses here, corresponding to eleven tribes. [Each of eleven tribes was blessed by Moses before he passed away. Here, we learn that every tribe had an allusionary curse attached to it, as if in admonishment: “If you do God’s will, you will be granted the blessing, but if not, then there is a curse attached.”] But in allusion to [the tribe of] Simeon, [Moses] did not write“Cursed be he…,” for [Moses] did not intend to bless [the tribe of] Simeon [individually] prior to his passing, when he blessed the other tribes. Therefore, [Moses] did not wish to curse them [either. Moses did not deem the tribe of Simeon deserving of a direct blessing before he passed away, on account of the shocking incident at Shittim which involved the leader of the tribe of Simeon having illicit relations with a Midianite princess. See Num. 25:1-15].   מכה רעהו בסתר: על לשון הרע הוא אומר. ראיתי ביסודו של רבי משה הדרשן י"א ארורים יש כאן כנגד י"א שבטים וכנגד שמעון לא כתב ארור לפי שלא היה בלבו לברכו לפני מותו כשברך שאר השבטים לכך לא רצה לקללו:
25Cursed be he who takes a bribe to put an innocent person to death. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   כהאָרוּר֙ לֹקֵ֣חַ שֹׁ֔חַד לְהַכּ֥וֹת נֶ֖פֶשׁ דַּ֣ם נָקִ֑י וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
26Cursed be he who does not uphold the words of this Torah, to fulfill them. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'   כואָר֗וּר אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא־יָקִ֛ים אֶת־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַתּוֹרָֽה־הַזֹּ֖את לַֽעֲשׂ֣וֹת אוֹתָ֑ם וְאָמַ֥ר כָּל־הָעָ֖ם אָמֵֽן:
who does not uphold [the words of this Torah]: Here [in this curse,] Moses included the entire Torah, and they accepted it upon themselves with a curse and an oath. — [see Shevuoth 36a]   אשר לא יקים: כאן כלל את כל התורה כולה וקבלוה עליהם באלה ובשבועה: