פָּרָשָׁה כִי תָבוֹא Parashah Ki Tavo "When you go in"
Breakdown Parashah Ki Tavo is the 50th weekly portion, the 7th in the book of Deuteronomy (significant, perhaps?). It covers Deut. 26:1 – 29:8.It contains 2,575 letters (in the standard Masoretic Text), 657 words, and 40 verses, and generally takes up about 87 lines on a Torah scroll. The title of the portion, Ki Tavo, means "when you go in."
Overview Ki Tavo starts off with the laws regarding the firstfruits, or בִּכּוּרִים(bikkurim). This word derives from the word בָּכַר(bakhar), which means "firstborn." Chapter 26, however, actually does not use this word, but gives a more strict and literal definition. Chapter 26 states to bring the "first of fruits" to the Temple (that is, the "place which YHWH your Elohim shall choose.") Chapter 26 concludes with yet another admonition to keep (guard) the commands of YHWH. Chapter 27 states that when they come into the land, they were to set up an altar at Mount Ebal, and from there (the mountain) they shall pronounce the curses for disobedience. From Mount Gerizim they are to pronounce the blessings, as Chapter 28 explains. Chapter 28 also lists all the curses for disobedience. 29:1-8 contains the reiteration and renewal of the covenant made at Horeb (Sinai).
Chapter 26 1 It shall be, when you come in to the land which יהוהyour Elohim gives you for an inheritance, and possess it, and dwell therein, 2 that you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you shall bring in from your land that יהוהyour Elohim gives you; and you shall put it in a basket, and shall go to the place which יהוהyour Elohim shall choose, to cause His Name to dwell there. 3 You shall come to the priest who shall be in those days, and tell him, "I profess today to יהוהyour Elohim, that I am come to the land which יהוהswore to our fathers to give us." 4 The priest shall take the basket out of your hand, and set it down before the altar of יהוהyour Elohim. 5 You shall answer and say before יהוהyour Elohim, "My father was an Aramean ready to perish; and he went down into Mitsrayim, and lived there, few in number; and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 The Mitsrites dealt ill with us, and afflicted us, and laid on us hard bondage: 7 and we cried to יהוה, the Elohim of our fathers, and יהוהheard our voice, and saw our affliction, and our toil, and our oppression; 8 and יהוהbrought us forth out of Mitsrayim with a Mighty Hand, and with an outstretched Arm, and with great terror, and with signs, and with wonders; 9 and He has brought us into this place, and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 Now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground, which You, יהוה, have given me." You shall set it down before יהוהyour Elohim, and bow down before יהוהyour Elohim. 11 You shall rejoice in all the good which יהוהyour Elohim has given to you, and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is in your midst. 12 When you have made an end of tithing all the tithe of your increase in the third year, which is the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within your gates, and be filled. 13 You shall say before יהוהyour Elohim, "I have put away the set-apart things out of my house, and also have given them to the Levite, and to the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all Your command which You have commanded me: I have not transgressed any of Your commands, neither have I forgotten them: 14 I have not eaten of it in my mourning, neither have I put away of it, being unclean, nor given of it for the dead: I have listened to the voice of יהוהmy Elohim; I have done according to all that You have commanded me. 15 Look down from Your set-apart habitation, from the heavens, and bless Your people Yisra'el, and the ground which You have given us, as You swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey." 16 This day יהוהyour Elohim commands you to do these statutes and judgments: you shall therefore guard and do them with all your heart, and with all your being. 17 You have declared יהוהtoday to be your Elohim, and that you would walk in His ways, and guard His statutes, and His commands, and His judgments, and listen to His voice: 18 and יהוהhas declared you today to be a people for His own possession, as He has promised you, and that you should guard all His commands; 19 and to make you high above all nations that He has made, in praise, and in name, and in honor; and that you may be a set-apart people to יהוהyour Elohim, as He has spoken. The firstfruits offerings were to be taken by the individual to the Temple, where they would be handed over to the priests. After taking the offering, the offerer was required to say a certain prayer before YHWH. According to tradition, the farmer would search his fields on the days leading up to the offering of the firstfruits. He would mark out the ripening crops, and when it came time to harvest them he would select the best, place them in a basket, and take to them to Temple. The word used here is actually a phrase consisting of two Hebrew words: רֵאשִׁית֙ פְּרִ֣י. These two words are reishiyt and p'ri, and mean "first, foremost, chief" and "fruit" respectively.
As for the prayer, it is worth noting that the patriarch referenced is not "my father, the Hebrew" or "my father, the Israelite" but rather, "my father, the Aramean." There have been various explanations for this. RaShI (Rabbi Shlomo Itzhak) stated that it referred to Laban, the father-in-law of Jacob. He understood the verse to say, "An Aramean sought to destroy my father" (note the word "ready to perish" comes from the root "to destroy.") RaShBam (Rabbi Shimon Ben Meir) believed it referred to Abraham, who was born and raised in Ur of Chaldea (that is, eastern Aram/Mesopotamia). Ibn Ezra believed it referred to Jacob, who "went down to Egypt and there became a great nation, mighty and populous." It should be noted that whomever it refers to, it can clearly be seen as the lineage of the Patriarchs. Since we know Bethuel was an Aramean (Gen. 25:20), we know the Rebekah and Laban were, as well (ibid.). Since Rachel and Leah were daughters of Laban, then we know that all the matriarchs save for Sarah were Aramean. This would mean that Jacob, son of Rebekah, was also Aramean. If we strictly define the term as referring to someone descended from Aram, then it is most likely that this verse refers to Jacob. However if we extend it to mean someone from the land of Aram, then it could also refer to Abraham.
On the note of the above, the Mishnah originally taught that converts, when bringing their own firstfruits, could not recite the prayer. This was because the land had not been promised to "their fathers" but to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. However, a Baraita (later "emendation" not actually written in the Mishnah) states that converts WERE, in fact, allowed to say the prayer, as Abraham was told he would be the father of many nations. This seems to jive more with Galatians 3, and the promise that belongs to all those whom are Messiah's.
As a final note on the firsfruits, we tie this passage together not only with the tithes, but also with the offering of the wave sheaf in Lev. 23. This sheaf was to be waved "on the morrow after the Sabbath" and, while which "Sabbath" is hotly debated, we know it was offered then nonetheless. In the same manner, Yeshua's offering up of Himself was a firstfruits offering.
1 Cor. 15:20 – 23 - 20 But now Messiah has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep. 21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Messiah all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Messiah the first fruits, then those who are Messiah's, at His coming.
James 1:18 - 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Rev. 14:4 - These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to Elohim and to the Lamb.
Just as Messiah was the first fruits of those raised from the dead (that is, resurrected immortal), so will there be another offering of first fruits as we approach the Millennium.
Chapter 27 1 Mosheh and the elders of Yisra'el commanded the people, saying, "Guard all the commands which I command you today. 2 It shall be on the day when you shall pass over the Yarden to the land which יהוהyour Elohim gives you, that you shall set yourself up great stones, and plaster them with plaster: 3 and you shall write on them all the words of this Torah, when you have passed over; that you may go in to the land which יהוהyour Elohim gives you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as יהוה, the Elohim of your fathers, has promised you. 4 It shall be, when you have passed over the Yarden, that you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, in Mount Eyval, and you shall plaster them with plaster. 5 There you shall build an altar to יהוהyour Elohim, an altar of stones: you shall lift up no iron tool on them. 6 You shall build the altar of יהוהyour Elohim of uncut stones; and you shall offer ascension offerings thereon to יהוהyour Elohim: 7 and you shall slaughter peace offerings, and shall eat there; and you shall rejoice before יהוהyour Elohim. 8 You shall write on the stones all the words of this Torah very plainly." 9 Mosheh and the priests the Levites spoke to all Yisra'el, saying, "Keep silence, and listen, Yisra'el: today you have become the people of יהוהyour Elohim. 10 You shall therefore obey the voice of יהוהyour Elohim, and do His commands and His statutes, which I command you today." 11 Mosheh commanded the people the same day, saying, 12 "These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have passed over the Yarden: Shimon, and Levi, and Yehudah, and Yissakhar, and Yoseph, and Benyamin. 13 These shall stand on Mount Eyval for the curse: Reuven, Gad, and Asher, and Zevulun, Dan, and Naphtali. 14 The Levites shall answer, and tell all the men of Yisra'el with a loud voice, 15 'Cursed is the man who makes an engraved or molten image, an abomination to יהוה, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.' All the people shall answer and say, 'Amein.' 16 'Cursed is he who degrades his father or his mother.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 17 'Cursed is he who removes his neighbor's landmark.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 18 'Cursed is he who makes the blind to wander out of the way.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 19 'Cursed is he who distorts judgment to the sojourner, fatherless, and widow.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 20 'Cursed is he who lies with his father's wife, because he has uncovered his father's skirt.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 21 'Cursed is he who lies with any kind of animal.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 22 'Cursed is he who lies with his sister, the daughter of his father, or the daughter of his mother.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 23 'Cursed is he who lies with his mother-in-law.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 24 'Cursed is he who strikes his neighbor in secret.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 25 'Cursed is he who takes a bribe to kill an innocent person.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.' 26 'Cursed is he who does not confirm the words of this Torah to do them.' All the people shall say, 'Amein.'" Here it is interesting to note that the curses were to be pronounced from Mount Ebal (Eyval), while the blessings were to come from Gerizim. In the Samaritan Pentateuch, the copy of the Torah preserved by the Samaritan Community in their script of Hebrew, even to this day, verse 4 reads a little bit differently. While the Masoretic Text notes that the altar was to be built on Mount Ebal, the Samaritan Torah states that it should actually be Mount Gerizim. This makes sense, as the Samaritans believe Gerizim is the true Temple Mount, and that the true Temple was built there. To this day, they still maintain a community on the mountain. Yeshua, in His conversation in John 4 with the Samaritan woman at the well, already knew that the Samaritans believed Gerizim was the place for worship. Now if you are curious as to whether there is any merit to this or not…Well…let me say this. The LXX, Vulgate, and Peshitta ALL agree with the Masoretic against the Samaritan. Even more so, Targum Onkelos also agrees. This not only stacks the evidence AGAINST the Samaritan reading, but it is clearly an alteration that came about because of Samaritan beliefs and bias.
The fulfillment of this command, to erect an altar and offer ascension (burnt) offerings on it at Mount Ebal, is seen in Joshua 8. Note the similarities in many of the curses, to the commands given in the Ten Words (Commandments). In fact, the first is even the same: Have no other gods before YHWH, and cursed is he who makes an idol (false god). The command to honor father and mother, and the curse for the one who does not. Numerous curses for sexual sins, to go along with not committing adultery. Curse for the one taking a bribe to murder.
Further it is stated that "Today you have become the people of YHWH." While the covenant was officially made at Sinai, it was not complete until this moment. This is further explained in the explanation for 29:1 below.
Chapter 28 1 It shall happen, if you shall listen diligently to the voice of יהוהyour Elohim, to guard to do all His commands which I command you today, that יהוהyour Elohim will set you on high above all the nations of the earth: 2 and all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall listen to the voice of יהוהyour Elohim. 3 You shall be blessed in the city, and you shall be blessed in the field. 4 You shall be blessed in the fruit of your belly, the fruit of your ground, the fruit of your animals, the increase of your livestock, and the young of your flock. 5 Your basket and your kneading trough shall be blessed. 6 You shall be blessed when you come in, and you shall be blessed when you go out. 7 יהוהwill cause your enemies who rise up against you to be struck before you. They will come out against you one way, and will flee before you seven ways. 8 יהוהwill command the blessing on you in your barns, and in all that you put your hand to; and He will bless you in the land which יהוהyour Elohim gives you. 9 יהוהwill establish you for a set-apart people to Himself, as He has sworn to you; if you shall guard the commands of יהוהyour Elohim, and walk in His ways.
10 All the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the Name of יהוה; and they shall be afraid of you. 11 יהוהwill make you plenteous for good, in the fruit of your belly, and in the fruit of your livestock, and in the fruit of your ground, in the land which יהוהswore to your fathers to give you. 12 יהוהwill open to you His good treasure in the heavens, to give the rain of your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand: and you shall lend to many nations, and you shall not borrow. 13 יהוהwill make you the head, and not the tail; and you shall be above only, and you shall not be beneath; if you shall listen to the commands of יהוהyour Elohim, which I command you today, to guard and to do them, 14 and shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other elohim to serve them.
15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of יהוהyour Elohim, to guard to do all His commands and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses shall come on you, and overtake you.
16 You shall be cursed in the city, and you shall be cursed in the field. 17 Your basket and your kneading trough shall be cursed. 18 The fruit of your belly, the fruit of your ground, the increase of your livestock, and the young of your flock shall be cursed. 19 You shall be cursed when you come in, and you shall be cursed when you go out.
20 יהוהwill send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke, in all that you put your hand to do, until you are destroyed, and until you perish quickly; because of the evil of your doings, by which you have forsaken Me. 21 יהוהwill make the pestilence cling to you, until it has consumed you from off the land, where you go in to possess it. 22 יהוהwill strike you with consumption, and with fever, and with inflammation, and with fiery heat, and with the sword, and with blight, and with mildew; and they shall pursue you until you perish. 23 Your heavens that is over your head shall be copper, and the earth that is under you shall be iron. 24 יהוהwill make the rain of your land powder and dust: from the heavens shall it come down on you, until you are destroyed.
25 יהוהwill cause you to be struck before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them, and shall flee seven ways before them: and you shall be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth. 26 Your dead body shall be food to all birds of the heavens, and to the animals of the earth; and there shall be none to frighten them away.
27 יהוהwill strike you with the boil of Mitsrayim, and with the tumors, and with the eczema, and with the itch, of which you can not be healed. 28 יהוהwill strike you with madness, and with blindness, and with astonishment of heart; 29 and you shall grope at noonday, as the blind gropes in darkness, and you shall not prosper in your ways: and you shall be only oppressed and robbed always, and there shall be none to save you.
30 You shall betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: you shall build a house, and you shall not dwell therein: you shall plant a vineyard, and shall not use its fruit. 31 Your ox shall be slain before your eyes, and you shall not eat of it: your donkey shall be violently taken away from before your face, and shall not be restored to you: your sheep shall be given to your enemies, and you shall have none to save you. 32 Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people; and your eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day: and there shall be nothing in the power of your hand. 33 The fruit of your ground, and all your labors, shall a nation which you do not know eat up; and you shall be only oppressed and crushed always; 34 so that you shall be mad for the sight of your eyes which you shall see. 35 יהוהwill strike you in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore boil, of which you cannot be healed, from the sole of your foot to the crown of your head. 36 יהוהwill bring you, and your king whom you shall set over you, to a nation that you have not known, you nor your fathers; and there you shall serve other elohim, wood and stone. 37 You shall become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all the peoples where יהוהshall lead you away.
38 You shall carry much seed out into the field, and shall gather little in; for the locust shall consume it. 39 You shall plant and serve vineyards, but you shall neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worm shall eat them. 40 You shall have olive trees throughout all your borders, but you shall not anoint yourself with the oil; for your olive shall cast its fruit. 41 You shall father sons and daughters, but they shall not be yours; for they shall go into captivity. 42 All your trees and the fruit of your ground shall the locust possess. 43 The sojourner who is in your midst shall mount up above you higher and higher; and you shall come down lower and lower. 44 He shall lend to you, and you shall not lend to him: he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail.
45 All these curses shall come on you, and shall pursue you, and overtake you, until you are destroyed; because you did not listen to the voice of יהוהyour Elohim, to guard His commands and His statutes which He commanded you: 46 and they shall be on you for a sign and for a wonder, and on your seed forever.
47 Because you did not serve יהוהyour Elohim with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, by reason of the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom יהוהshall send against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and He shall put a yoke of iron on your neck, until He has destroyed you.
49 יהוהwill bring a nation against you from far, from the end of the earth, as the eagle flies; a nation whose language you shall not understand; 50 a nation of fierce facial expressions, that shall not respect the person of the old, nor show favor to the young, 51 and shall eat the fruit of your livestock, and the fruit of your ground, until you are destroyed; that also shall not leave you grain, new wine, or oil, the increase of your livestock, or the young of your flock, until they have caused you to perish. 52 They shall besiege you in all your gates, until your high and fortified walls come down, on which you relied, throughout all your land; and they shall besiege you in all your gates throughout all your land, which יהוהyour Elohim has given you. 53 You shall eat the fruit of your own belly, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters, whom יהוהyour Elohim has given you, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemies shall distress you.
54 The man who is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children whom he has remaining; 55 so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat, because he has nothing left him, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in all your gates. 56 The tender and delicate woman among you, who would not adventure to set the sole of her foot on the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, 57 and toward the afterbirth which comes out from between her feet, and toward her children whom she shall bear; for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly, in the siege and in the distress with which your enemy shall distress you in your gates.
58 If you will not guard to do all the words of this Torah that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful Name, יהוהYour Elohim; 59 then יהוהwill make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great and firm plagues, and severe and firm sicknesses. 60 He will bring on you again all the diseases of Mitsrayim, which you were afraid of; and they shall cling to you. 61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this Torah, יהוהwill bring them on you, until you are destroyed. 62 You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of the heavens for multitude; because you did not listen to the voice of יהוהyour Elohim.
63 It shall happen that as יהוהrejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you, so יהוהwill rejoice over you to cause you to perish, and to destroy you; and you shall be plucked from off the land where you go in to possess it. 64 יהוהwill scatter you among all peoples, from the one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other elohim, which you have not known, you nor your fathers, even wood and stone. 65 Among these nations you shall find no ease, and there shall be no rest for the sole of your foot: but יהוהwill give you there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and pining of being; 66 and your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you shall fear night and day, and shall not be trustworthy in life. 67 In the morning you shall say, "Oh that it were evening!" and at evening you shall say, "Oh that it were morning!" for the fear of your heart which you shall fear, and for the sight of your eyes which you shall see.
68 יהוהwill bring you into Mitsrayim again with ships, by the way of which I said to you, "You shall see it no more again:" and there you shall sell yourselves to your enemies for bondservants and for bondmaids, and no man shall buy you.
First of all we must notice the wonderful blessings present. In an ancient culture that survived and thrived on agriculture, these blessings meant substantial prosperity. It meant meeting their needs and then some. In verse 1 we read, "to guard to do all His commands…" On this verse, Rabbi Simeon ben Halafta said that one who learns the Torah and does not obey it, is worse than one who never learned it at all. This resembles the statement from Yeshua in Matthew 5, where the "greatest" are those who learn, teach, and obey the Torah. The "least" are those who do NOT learn, teach, and obey the Torah. And those who are not present at all in the Kingdom (the Pharisees mentioned in Mat. 5:20) are those who have LEARNED the Torah, but do not KEEP the Torah. And in regards to the teaching by Rabbi Simeon, we can also note Paul's words in Romans 10:14-15.
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!” – Romans 10:14-15
People who have never even heard of YHWH, and His Son Yeshua, the Hebrew Savior of the World, obviously cannot BELIEVE in Him. Paul continues in Romans 10, however, to talk about how in former times, Israel, the ones who DID have the words and promises of YHWH, rejected them. So their judgment is worse, because they had knowledge, and chose to disobey. Now, however, we are seeing a Great Awakening of sorts; a flood of people coming to the knowledge of the Truth of His Word. Not only in faith in Messiah, but obedience to His Torah. Amein!
Furthermore, it is from these very curses that Messiah redeemed us. As Believers, as Israelites, we and our forefathers are bound by covenantal, contractual agreement. We have all sinned and broken the Torah, Romans 3:23 (sin = breaking the Torah, 1 John 3:4). We all deserve the curses. Even during Daniel's time this was known.
7 "יהוה, righteousness belongs to You, but to us confusion of face, as it is today; to the men of Yehudah, and to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, and to all Yisra'el, who are near, and who are far off, through all the countries where You have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against You. 8יהוה, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9 To יהוהour Elohim belong compassion and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against Him. 10 We have not obeyed the voice of יהוהour Elohim, to walk in His Torot, which He set before us by His servants the prophets.
11 "Yes, all Yisra'el have transgressed Your Torah, turning aside, that they should not obey Your voice. Therefore the curse and the oath written in the Torah of Mosheh the servant of Elohim has been poured out on us; for we have sinned against Him. 12 He has confirmed His words, which He spoke against us, and against our judges who judged us, by bringing on us a great evil; for under the whole heavens, such has not been done as has been done to Yerushalayim. 13 As it is written in the Torah of Mosheh, all this evil has come on us. Yet have we not entreated the favor of יהוהour Elohim, that we should turn from our iniquities, and have discernment in Your truth. 14 Therefore יהוהhas watched over the evil, and brought it on us; for יהוהour Elohim is righteous in all His works which He does, and we have not obeyed His voice. – Dan. 9:7-14
Daniel plainly states that all the curses were poured out because ALL ISRAEL sinned against YHWH. However, it is in this same chapter of Daniel 9, that the promise of the Messiah was given, that He would atone for sin. Now, with this in mind, let's consider Paul's teaching given to the Gauls (Galatians). Remember that he was fighting against a group of people who were teaching that without physical requirements (ie. circumcision), one cannot attain salvation. Paul understood that the physical aspect of obedience was secondary to the spiritual aspect. Circumcision of both heart and flesh are necessary, yet the "heart of the matter" is where it matters most.
13 Messiah redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, "Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree," 14 that the blessing of Avraham might come on the nations through Messiah ישוע; that we might receive the promise of the Ruaḥ through faith. – Galatians 3:13-14
Messiah Yeshua has indeed redeemed us (bought us back, paid the price) from the CURSE of the Torah. Note that the Torah itself is holy, just, true, firm, established (see Romans 7 & Psalm 119). However, these curses are the punishment that we ourselves have merited for our disobedience, for our iniquities. Isaiah 53 says the Suffering Servant would "justify many" by His knowledge, as He would "bear their iniquities."
We could spend more time on the individual curses and plagues and sicknesses, but perhaps that will be topic for next year's portion. But one final thought on it.
In the Torah, there are two entire sections of rebuke, reproof (called תּוֹכָחָה, tokha'chah). It means not simply "rebuke/reprove" but to rebuke/reprove to bring about correction. The first major rebuke in Torah is at the end of Leviticus (26:14-46), and the second (which is much longer) is here towards the end of Deuteronomy. It is interesting to note that the first rebuke, in Leviticus, is written in the plural form. (That is, to "you all" rather than "just you"). This rebuke, therefore, is written to Israel as a nation. The one here in Deuteronomy, however, is written in the singular form. This is written to the individual. The list of rebukes (curses) from Leviticus totals 49, while the list from Deuteronomy contains exactly twice that: 98. According to Rabbinic teaching on the matter, with which I agree, this corresponds to two different events. The first, from Leviticus, refers to the Babylonian captivity, and destruction of the first Temple. This list contains far fewer curses, and ends on a positive note: "I will not reject them, nor abandon them…when they are in the land of their enemies."
The list from Deuteronomy, however, is said to correspond to the destruction of the Second Temple, and the exile in the time of Rome. Clearly, the fewer reproofs from Leviticus imply not only a lighter burden, but also a promise to return. The Babylonian exile was not as harsh the latter, and only lasted 70 years. The Roman exile, however, was and continues to be very harsh, and has lasted nearly 2000 years.
Also, in connection with the singular vs. plural statements, it implies that the curses of Lev. apply to the nation, and the sins thereof, while the curses of Deut. are set out for the sins of the individual.
Chapter 29:1-9 1 These are the words of the covenant which יהוהcommanded Mosheh to cut with the children of Yisra'el in the land of Moav, besides the covenant which He cut with them in Ḥorev.
2 Mosheh called to all Yisra'el, and said to them, "You have seen all that יהוהdid before your eyes in the land of Mitsrayim to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land; 3 the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders: 4 but יהוהhas not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, to this day.
5 "I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes have not grown old on you, and your shoes have not grown old on your feet. 6 You have not eaten bread, neither have you drunk wine or strong drink; that you may know that I am יהוהyour Elohim. 7 When you came to this place, Sichon the king of Ḥeshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, came out against us to battle, and we struck them: 8 and we took their land, and gave it for an inheritance to the Reuvenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of the Menashites. 9 Guard therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.
As mentioned earlier, the covenant was originally made (lit. 'cut') at Sinai, and there it was sealed. That is where the sacrifice took place, and the blood was sprinkled.
3 Then Mosheh came and recounted to the people all the words of יהוהand all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice and said, "All the words which יהוהhas spoken we will do!" 4 Mosheh wrote down all the words of יהוה. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Yisra'el. 5 He sent young men of the children of Yisra'el, and they slaughtered ascension offerings and slaughtered young bulls as peace offerings to יהוה. 6Mosheh took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that יהוהhas spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!" 8 So Mosheh took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant, which יהוהhas cut with you in accordance with all these words." – Ex. 24:3-8
Note that in Deut. 29, it says these are the words of the COVENANT which YHWH commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel. Here there is no sacrifice, no blood sealing, etc. There are some out there in today's Messianic/Hebrew Roots sphere that have begun teaching that Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy are not part of the "covenant" but part of the "law" which was a curse. As we have already addressed above, the "curses" are the penalties for BREAKING the Law, which IS the covenant.
Thus Israel, despite having accepted the terms of the covenant, were not ready to become the Nation until the first generation had died. They had to die in the wilderness before the next generation could enter the Land. So this generation is then called the Nation of Israel, and the covenant was finalized THEN, just prior to entering the Land.
 59 Firm – This is rendered literally. It could be read as "of long continuance."  13 See D'varim 21:23.