Sometimes I get a kick out of the New Century Version translation, as here:
The Levites will say to all the people of Israel in a loud voice: “Anyone will be cursed who sends a blind person down the wrong road.” Then all the people will say, “Amen!” Deuteronomy 27: 14, 18 (NCV)
Immediately I saw in my mind’s eye someone deliberately directing a blind man to the wrong road, then letting him go. As the blind man wanders around helplessly, bumping into buildings, tripping over animals, the person who played the trick stands back muffling a laugh. Frankly (and this is sick), I found it an amusing scene, sort of Laurel and Hardyish.
But place the scene in REAL life, and it’s hard to imagine such a bully.
Still, I found it odd that this is one of the curses the Levites were to pronounce before all Israel. I mean, there are a lot of ways to bully the disabled, why this one?
In any case, I thought it worth investigating the rest of the curses listed in Deuteronomy 27. Here’s a summary – anyone would be cursed who:
- Worships an idol
- Dishonors his or her parents
- Steals a neighbor’s property (by moving the boundary line)
- Is unfair to those in need (2 mentions – including the curse of misleading the blind)
- Sins sexually (4 mentions – everything from incest to bestiality)
- Murders someone (2 mentions – including murder for pay)
- Disagrees with and disregards these commands
I find it interesting (though I’m not sure what it means) that in addition to the first and last sins directly against God, the most emphasized sins against man were:
- Lack of mercy towards the needy
- Sexual sins
Some have no problem with sexual sins. Others have no concern about those in need. Most agree that murder is wrong.
Seems that God has a problem with all three. So should we.