Leviticus 26:14-46

If blessings are promised for keeping God’s commands, curses are threatened for abandoning them. The curses are laid out in a series, each progressively harsher. Repeatedly, God says if the Children of Israel do not mend their ways after one set of curses, a harsher punishment will follow.


The curses include: illness and plague, famine, subjugation at the hands of enemies, unfounded fear, bereavement, wild animals, war, rejection of sacrificial offerings and exile. God notes that exile will allow the land to regain all its lost Sabbatical years, those the people ignored leading up to the exile. Not all is lost, however, as God reassures His people that he will not abandon them completely in the lands of their enemies, nor will He ever replace them. Eventually, when the land has had its rest, He will return His people to their land. As the Israel Bible points out, we are witnessing such a return in our times.


One of the curses states, “And I will bring the land into desolation; and your enemies that dwell therein shall be astonished at it.” (26:32) Although this is a devastating punishment, it is also a blessing in disguise. As the Israel Bible indicates, the land will not support Israel’s enemies, no matter who tries to conquer it. In the 1860’s, upon visiting the land of Israel, Mark Twain wrote, “A desolation is here that not even imagination can grace with the pomp of life and action…Palestine is desolate and unlovely.” It was only when the Jews returned to the land that they began to make the desert bloom again.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think the section of curses is so much more detailed and elaborate than the blessings?

Comments ( 15 )

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  • Teresa Kidwell

    God was warning the Israelites not to live their lives in disobedience to Him and His commandments, or to have idols, for their well-being, safety and protection, so they would be blessed and prosper. He gave more details as a warning, so that they could live in peace, safety and security. God wanted the Israelites to love and serve Him, the Lord their God. He made a covenant with Abraham and the Israelites. He was their God and they were His people.

  • Charles Daliere

    It must have been so inspiring to hear the blessings recited from one direction and then the curses recited from the other. Can't help thinking that most would be strongly motivated to do that which would bring the blessings.

  • Reyna

    Curses give more details because when certain group of people are blinded with sins and they have difficulty to see the danger are waiting for them. The curses give a lot of information to make someone who is so concentrated and doesn't care of the future consequences. One of the reason, the blessings are easy to understand than to understand the curses or laws of obedience. That's what happens to a child when their parents tell them about not touching an oven and the child will do it anyway.

  • Herman Arentsen

    The section curses is more elaborate because sin is often "sweet" and invites our 'flesh' for more sin in order to satisfy our own desires. BUT blessings are following quite naturally a life coming forth from a life dedicated to HaShem. As there are many pitfalls for the sinner so the sinner had to be reminded extensively of the consequences of sinful behaviour. He/she had to be reminded that in behaving such he is actually leaving the care of G-d.

    • Angelita Sandoval


  • Sheila

    God is a God of covenant — and very definite in speaking out the results of disobedience — v18&24i will punish you seven times more for your sins, v21 sevens rimes more plagues, v28 chastise you seven times for your sins, v34 —- land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate—seven is a sacred number for God’s people and speaks of fullness, perfection, rest and completion ao in this way Yahweh really stressed the consequences of sin when they broke covenant with Him. This resulted in the seventy Sabbatical Years of exile 2Cron36:21 — as long as she (land) lay desolate she kept Sabbath to fulfill seventy years. However God has not forgotten His people V40-42 if they confess their iniquity —-their unfaithfulness. — uncircumcised hearts humbled — I will remember My covenant with Jacobb—with Isaac– with Jacob—-I will remember the land— So the desolate land is now connected to its rightful owners again .

  • Orli

    I agree with both Diana and Malinda. Hashem gave us details so that we would understand that we bring trouble on ourselves and that He is just and right in correcting us as a Father would his child that he dearly loves. The details help us to see exactly what we need to change in our life and relationships.

  • Melinda

    Thanks Diana, you have stated it beautifully. I fully agree with your statements. I have experienced the discipline of His love and grace in my life. As I have His blessings. Since curses are detailed we are aware when they happen who there from.

  • Diana Brown

    I think the details of the curses are there so you will know when the curses come upon you for failing to observe God’s Commands, decrees and ordinances, the Lord sees you. His eye is upon the deeds generated by your heart. There is no mistaking Who is sending the calamity. The good news is, the curses are sent to turn you back to the Lord and after repentance, you are restored. Thankfully, His Love for us remains constant and eternal.
    Whether good or bad comes to you, it is from the Lord for your good and His Glory. Discipline is part of God’s Love. He made a choice to love us from the our beginning – even before we were formed in our mother’s womb. Anything God given must be God guided. His Ways are higher that our ways. Sometimes we get real with God when calamity strikes. Easier to see our need for Him when all our illusions of ease, peace and safety are stripped away.

  • Ken

    The desolation described in your link is another validation of the divine inspiration of the Hebrew Scriptures. As these desolations came to pass, so too has a return to God’s favor. God keeps not only the promises and blessings of the Torah Covenant, but He remembers His First Covenant made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (verse 45 בְּרִית רִאשֹׁנִים).
    Since 1878-1882 (Petah Tikva, Rishon LeZion) the nations are witnessing a rebirth of God’s People, His Land, the Holy Language and a Nation among nations. Though the road forward remains unclear, the destination is sure!

  • Ken

    In addition to verse 32.
    Verse 33 “I will scatter you among the nations “goyim”. I am not a Hebrew expert, but the root word for אֱזָרֶה “I will scatter” is very similar to the root word in Genesis 12:7 לְזַרְעֲךָ “your seed”.
    What do you do with seed – it is to be scattered. When good seed is scattered on good ground it produces. When scattered on bad ground (the nations) – the seed does not produce well and good seed may lie dormant for centuries. God has scattered the seed of Israel (the good as well as the bad) among the nations.
    In the last days, the remnant seed is brought back to the good ground and the good begins to produce good things according to God’s purposes.

  • Theresa

    Verse 26:16, is the “I will” permissive? Sometimes we walk away from God, and then satan causes destructive forces in our life. The farther away we walk from God, and His ways, the more we leave His protection for us. The curse is the result, and it is progressive.
    Verses 26: 27 and 28 say,” But (you) walk contrary (or away from) unto Me. Then I will walk contrary to you.”
    “Yet even now, declares the LORD, Return to Me with all your heart, And with fasting, weeping and mourning; And rend your heart and not your garments. Now return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and compassionate, Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil.” Joel 2:12,13

  • Ken

    Follow good and the blessings will flow as a natural consequence. The blessings are not elaborated for lack of space because the blessings are innumerable (as are the stars of heaven). Because the blessings of life are not enumerated, we can enjoy new blessings each day. Blessings are a sheer joy that can not be measured.
    In contrast, curses are painful. For those who are slow to learn, the curses are increasingly painful and will eventually lead to death.
    In God’s kingdom (in the perfect world), people will learn the Torah and live. Micah 4; Jeremiah 31

  • Alexander

    The more I read the deeper I am submerged in the knowledge of what I am learning is the true word of Hashem and it makes me feel so privelaged to engage in my learning, I only wish that I had done so a lot earlier, Shalom, so with that in mind I feel that the blessings and curses are of equal importance and should be held up with equal measure when it comes to realising their consequences.

  • Magda

    The blessings are given in general terms, but the curses are given in such great detail to serve as a warning of the serious consequences for B’nei Israel if they turn their back on HaShem and not listen’ and ‘not perform all of these commandments’ and ‘consider My decrees loathsome’ and ‘annul My covenant’. The curses would be the result of casualness towards HaShem and disdain for His decrees, so they are listed in such detail so as to awe the Israelites/ us into reverence and obedience to His will and Ways for us.

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