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Deuteronomy 27

Talks for Growing Christians

Instructions for a Covenant Renewal Ceremony

Deuteronomy 27

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Lesson Number 27

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The importance of the Mosaic Covenant was emphasized by covenant renewal.
  2. The importance of the Mosaic Covenant was emphasized by covenant curses.

Practical Application

  1. Praise the Lord that there were two groups of stones on Mount Ebal.

Questions

  1. What is the topic of Deuteronomy 27?
  2. Where was this covenant renewal ceremony supposed to take place?
  3. What is significant about the city of Shechem, situated between these two mountains?
  4. What were the people to set up on Mount Ebal in preparation for the ceremony?
  5. How were the people to carry out the ceremony?
  6. Where do we read of the Children of Israel fulfilling this ceremony?

Answers

  1. Instructions for a covenant renewal ceremony that was to be carried out by the Children of Israel after the Conquest
  2. On Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim in the Promised Land. See Deuteronomy 11:29-32.
  3. Shechem, where Nablus is located today, is where the Lord appeared to Abraham when he came into the Land. Here Abraham built an altar to the Lord (Genesis 12). Shechem is also the area where Jacob’s well was located where our Lord met the Samaritan woman in John 4.
  4. After the initial conquest of the Land, the Children of Israel were t o built an alter to the Lord on Mount Ebal out of uncut stones, unlike the pagan altars of cut stone. Furthermore, large lime-covered stones were to be set up with the law inscribed on them.
  5. After the stones and altar were in place and sacrifices and peace offerings were made, the covenant was then ratified by half of the tribes of Israel going up on the slopes of Mount Gerizim, the Mountain of Blessing, and the other half going up on the slopes of Mount Ebal where the curses of the Law would be reiterated.
  6. Joshua 8:30-35

Discuss/Consider

  1. Imagine yourself as a young child in the nation of Israel. What would it be like to experience the covenant renewal ceremony on Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim? What impression would this make on your mind?
  2. The twelfth curse in Deuteronomy 27:26 serves as a summary. It is quoted by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 3:10 in the context of the impossibility of the Law bringing salvation to anyone because no one can keep the Law. Do you find yourself, as a believer, trying to “keep the Law”? Maybe not the Mosaic Law, but one of your own making? What is the answer to this feeling?

Challenge

  1. Only because the Lord went to the altar of the cross of Calvary and died as a sacrifice for our sins can we be saved from the curse of the Law. Praise the Lord!

Key Verses

  • “These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin; and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.” Deuteronomy 27:12-13
  • “‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law by observing them.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’” Deuteronomy 27:26

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