Is the Jesus who says to “love your enemies” (Matt 5:44) really the same God who will “take delight in bringing ruin” upon his people (Deut 28:63)? How can Christ be seen in all Scripture when the covenant curses are included? This paper argues that the covenant curses are often misunderstood, and are actually at the center of God’s heart of love, even pointing forward to the Messiah. Many scholars have analyzed and documented different structures within the covenant curses.1 One of the most comprehensive analyses finds numerous smaller chiastic structures within Deut 28, both in the blessings and the curses, and the center of the overall chisam in the curses as the direct reversal of the blessings (Deut 28:30-31).2 Others note how the covenant curses are closely connected with other ancient Near Eastern curse lists, although also quite different, indicating either a common source or borrowing with significant adaptation.3 Many of the curses in Deut 28 are identical or closely connected with Leviticus 26, either adding to or adapting.4 The original biblical foundation for these blessings and curses reaches back to Gen 12, in God’s initial call to Abram; and some see an intertextual and literary pattern with the curses in Gen 3:11-14 as well.5 Much time could be spent delineating and dealing with these issues, but instead this paper seeks to bring together multiple pieces of evidence that showcase Christ in the covenant curses.



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