Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 27:14 - 27:14

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Deuteronomy 27:14 - 27:14


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

“And the Levites shall lift up and speak to all the men of Israel with a high (loud) voice:” i.e., they shall pronounce the different formularies of blessing and cursing, turning towards the tribes to whom these utterances apply; and all the men of Israel shall answer “Amen,” to take to themselves the blessing and the curse, as uttered by them; just as in the case of the priestly blessing in Num 5:22, and in connection with every oath, in which the person swearing took upon himself the oath that was pronounced, by replying “Amen.” “The Levites” are not all the members of the tribe of Levi, but those “in whom the spiritual character of Levi was most decidedly manifested” (Baumgarten), i.e., the levitical priests, as the guardians and teachers of the law, and those who carried the ark of the covenant (Jos 8:33). From the passage in Joshua, where the fulfilment of the Mosaic injunctions is recorded, we learn that the Levitical priests stationed themselves in the centre between the two mountains, with the ark of the covenant, and that the people took up their position, on both sides, opposite to the ark, viz., six tribes on Gerizim, and six on Ebal. The priests, who stood in the midst, by the ark of the covenant, then pronounced the different formularies of blessing and cursing, to which the six tribes answered “Amen.” From the expression “all the men of Israel,” it is perfectly evident that in this particular ceremony the people were not represented by their elders or heads, but were present in the persons of all their adult men who were over twenty years of age; and with this Jos 8:33, when rightly interpreted, fully harmonizes.