This is a series articulating the covenant curses that fall upon Yahweh’s chosen people, the Israelites, when they rebel and break covenant with Yahweh, via breaking His Laws. As we walk through the curses of Deuteronomy 28 together, I encourage us to ask ourselves: “Which ethnic group of people experience these curses in totality?” Please be honest with Yahweh and yourself. For the first part of this series, please see The Verses Of Curses Part One. Let’s continue to observe the sobering ramifications of breaking Yahweh’s Commands, picking up at verse 21 of Deuteronomy 28.
Yahweh will bring on you a plague that will stay with you until He has exterminated you from the Land you are entering in order to take possession of it. Deuteronomy 28:21
The Hebrew word interpreted as plague is pestilence. A pestilence is a contagious, infectious, epidemic disease that is virulent, affecting the entire community. We see Yahweh sending pestilence in Jeremiah 21:5,6, 2nd Samuel 24:10–15, along with Ezekiel 5:12.
Yahweh will strike you down with wasting diseases, fever, inflammation, fiery heat, drought, blasting winds and mildew; and they will pursue you until you perish. Deuteronomy 28:22
These wasting diseases were present during the Middle Passage, the voyage of a Hebrew slave from West Africa to the Americas/Occident. Living conditions during the Middle Passage were inhumane and truly unsanitary.
“The sky over your head will be brass and the earth under you iron. Yahweh will turn the rain your Land needs into powder and dust that will fall on you from the sky until you are destroyed.” Deuteronomy 28:23,24
This is another agricultural curse. The Israelites of antiquity didn’t have the contemporary amenities that you and I have today. They couldn’t get groceries from Kroger conveniently delivered to their front door, using Instacart. Israelites were farmers, harvesting ripe crops, owning vineyards, growing grains in fields. Please see Deuteronomy 11:13–15, Isaiah 30:23, Ecclesiastes 11:4, Yoel 1:11. The absence of rain would render the soil stony like iron, perhaps making it unsuitable for having fruitful soil. This would be highly problematic, jeopardizing or even stopping their food supply.
“Yahweh your God will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will advance on them one way and flee before them seven. You will become an object of horror to every kingdom on earth. Your carcasses will become food for all the birds in the air, and the wild animals, and there will be no one to scare them away.” Deuteronomy 28:25,26
Hebrews rebelled, yet slave insurrections like The Nat Turner insurrection, The Stono Rebellion of 1739, The St. John Insurrection of 1733, and Jamaica’s Baptist War, didn’t abolish slavery, nor ameliorate the life of Hebrews. Hebrew slave rebels were ultimately lynched or executed.
In every kingdom on earth, America, Europe, Asia, every kingdom, “Blacks” will be targets of xenophobia. Also, which ethnicity of people were lynched, having their dead bodies being eaten at by birds and wild animals? Wasn’t there a song about lynchings called “Strange Fruit”?
Yahweh will strike you down with the boils that broke out on the Egyptians, tumors, skin lesions and itching, all incurable. Deuteronomy 28:27
This speaks to having abnormalities on the skin, perhaps even being immunocompromised. Hebrew slaves in The Middle Passage and within America experienced this. Notice, the aforementioned are incurable.
Yahweh will strike you with madness and blindness and confusion of mind. Deuteronomy 28:28
By dishonoring the Torah Covenant, Yah would strike His covenant people with poor mental health and post traumatic stress disorder. Certainly, four centuries of slavery would affect one’s mental health.
You will grope about at noon like a blind person groping in the dark, unable to find your way. You will be continually oppressed and robbed, and there will be no one to save you. Deuteronomy 28:29
Grope means to search blindly or uncertainly with the hands. A blind person can’t see. If you close your eyes right now, your surroundings become dark, no? This makes it harder to find your way. Naturally and spiritually, doesn’t the Negro man and the Negro woman fit this condition? Who has done more groping, more searching, for an identity, than the Negro?
Who has saved the Negro from being habitually oppressed and robbed? Who has saved us from this curse? Nat Turner? Harriet Tubman? Sojourner Truth? Frederick Douglass? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? Malcolm X? The Black Panthers? Paul Robeson? Reverend Al Sharpton? President Barack Obama?
“You will get engaged to a woman, but another man will marry her. You will build a house, but not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but not use it’s fruit. Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you won’t eat any of it’s meat. Your donkey will be taken away from you by force as you watch, and you won’t get it back. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and there will be no one to help you.” Deuteronomy 28:30,31
During slavery in America and the Western Hemisphere in general, didn’t the white slave owner take the wife of the Negro, and have relations with her? Didn’t Negro slaves build houses, while slave owners dwelt in them? Did the Negro slaves benefit from their agricultural slave labor in the fields? Verse 31 describes how the possessions of the Negro will be forcibly taken away.
“Your sons and daughters will be handed over to another people; you will watch for them longingly all day but not see them; and there will be nothing you can do about it.” Deuteronomy 28:32
During slavery in America, Hebrew families were torn asunder. Husbands from their wives. Children were sold from one plantation owner to another, and there was nothing the Hebrew slave could do.
A nation unknown to you will eat the fruit of your land and labor. Yes, you will be continually oppressed and crushed, till you go crazy from what your eyes have to see.” Deuteronomy 28:33,34
A foreign nation of people will enjoy the sweet fruit of your hard and laborious efforts, while you continue to palate sour oppression. Can you imagine this being the new normal? Day after day? Certainly, the optics of these covenant curses, would make one go crazy.
“Yahweh will strike you down in the knees and legs with painful and incurable boils; they will spread from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head.” Deuteronomy 28:35
Please see Isaiah 6:1. Notice Who will strike us Israelites, for walking in rebellion against our God and His Torah Covenant.
“Yahweh will bring you and your king whom you have put over yourselves to a nation you have not known, neither you nor your ancestors; and there you will serve other gods made of wood and stone.” Deuteronomy 28:36
Yah’s Chosen people, Israelites, have abandoned Yahweh, The God of Israel. Israelites have flouted the Regal Torah of Yah. Israelites have abandoned the Torah Covenant, in order to serve “gods” of wood (Wooden cross of Christianity) and stone (The Kaabah black stone of Islam). Are there not a lot of Black Christians and Black Muslims in the world today?
“You will become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all the peoples where Yahweh shall lead you away.” Deuteronomy 28:37
People are astonished by the behavior of the Negro. “If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book.” Have you ever heard that proverb? If you meet a man from China, he will say he is Chinese. If you meet a man from Nigeria, he will identify as Nigerian. If you meet a man from, wait, where are African Americans from? Why is it that in one generation, we were called Colored, then Negro, then Afro-American, then African American, then Blacks? In times of antebellum slavery, our people were called porch monkeys, coons, sambo, Uncle Tom, Mammy, darkie, pickaninny, nigger. This is not who Yah created us to be. These are bywords, epithets, often scornful.
“You will carry much seed out to the field but gather little in because locusts will devour it. You will plant vineyards and dress them but neither drink the wine nor gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. You will have olive trees throughout your territory but not anoint yourself with the oil, because your olives will fall off unripe. You will father sons and daughters, but they won’t belong to you, because they will go into captivity. The bugs will inherit all your trees and the produce of your land.” Deuteronomy 28:38–42
The fruit of your body, the fruit of your land, the seed, vineyards, olive trees will be relinquished. Which people group in his had their sons and daughters go into captivity?
“The foreigner living with you will rise higher and higher while you sink lower and lower. He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him; he will be the head and you the tail.” Deuteronomy 28:43,44
This is a socioeconomic curse. The non-Israelites will rise up the socioeconomic ladder, while lawless Israelites sink lower and lower into destitution. When you drive around an urban/black neighborhood, do you see any black owners? Do Negroes own gas stations? Do Blacks own the restaurants? Do they own the banks/lending institutions? Wait, don’t we have rich and famous black athletes/actors? Yes. May I ask, who owns the NFL? Who owns the NBA? Who owns Hollywood movie studios like Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Walt Disney Pictures?