christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

deuteronomy 26:1-29:9, ki tavo, “when you enter”

Read Deuteronomy 26:1-29:9 at Bible Gateway.

The paragraph divisions for ki tavo are posted here. This year I believe I found the chiastic structure formed by ki tavo:

1a) Deu 26:1-19 s+s+p, Do not withhold what is justly due: obedience to the commandments of the covenant;
1b) Deu 27:1-10 s+s, Write the words of this Torah at the entrance to the Land;
1c) Deu 27:11-26 sx12+p, Curses for disobedience;
central axis) Deu 28:1-14 p, Blessings which follow obedience;
2c) Deu 28:15-68 s, Curses which follow disobedience;
2b) Deu 29:1 p, These are the words of the covenant;
2a) Deu 29:2-9 p, Keep the words of this covenant that you may prosper in all that you do.

I had been puzzling over Deu 26:1-19:

Deu 26:1-11 {s} Do not withhold the firstfruits that are justly due
Deu 26:12-15 {s} Do not withhold the tithe of the 3rd year that is justly due
Deu 26:16-19 {p} Conclusion: walk in them + YHVH is your God; you are His people

Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

Deuteronomy 29:9

That there is not a strong paragraph division until the end of Deu 26:19, reveals that God considers Deu 26:1-19 to all be facets of the same theme. What is that theme? That has been my puzzle.

I realized that the admonition to walk in all of YHVH’s commandments, is what is justly due. Because we are in covenant with YHVH – whereby He is our God and we are His people – that makes our obedience to His commandments His just due. Only those who are strangers to His covenant of promise have no obligation to obey Him.

The B pair reveals that the words of this Torah ARE the words of the covenant of promise. If we take YHVH for our God and want Him to take us for His special treasured people (that is the covenant), then walking in the words of this Torah is part and parcel of that covenant.

Please notice that the blessings and curses all pertain to this life and not the next. The conclusion to the parashah sums it up:

Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. Deu 29:9

God has given us wisdom that produces blessing and prosperity in this life, on this side of heaven, in the form of these commandments. We are to walk in them, not because God loves to burden His people with commandments, but because these are the actions of wisdom that produce the fruit of blessing and prosperity in the natural life.


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