The Curse of Ebal
The sons of Israel were instructed by Moses to make a structure of stones. They were to coat the stones with lime and write on them the words of the law that he spoke to them, the law recorded in this book. This structure was to be an altar to the Lord for making sacrifices. The structure was to be built on Mount Ebal. “Gerizim and Ebal are the mountains that flank the town of Shechem in the central hill country, Gerizim (elevation 2,849 feet) to the south, Ebal (3,077 feet) to the north.” (IVP BBC OT) Schechem is often mentioned in Genesis. In this area, the Lord God made a covenant with Abraham. The structure made of whole stones and coated with lime were to be written the words of the law given by Moses, the law recorded in Deuteronomy. The sons of Israel were charged with keeping all of these commandments. One-half of the tribes were to stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people. For the curse, one-half of the tribes were to stand on Mount Ebal. It should be noted that the tribes on Mount Gerizim are the sons of Jacob’s wives, Leah and Rachel, but the sons of their handmaids are the ones on Mount Ebal. The exception is Reuben, Jacob’s first born, who lost his birth right, because he slept with Jacob’s concubine. The other was Leah’s youngest son, Zebulun. It is obvious to see, when reading the historical books, that the tribes on Mount Gerizim were the favored tribes and the tribes on Mount Ebal were the unfavored tribes. The Levites were to speak the curse to the sons of Israel. They were charged with confirming the words of the law by doing them, and all the people shall say, Amen.
For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.”
The apostle Paul quoted Deuteronomy 27:26. He said this to explain that the law is the tutor to lead people to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. (Gal. 3:24) By the law all are under a curse but the promise of eternal life is in Christ Jesus the Lord. Judgment day is coming, no man knows the day or the hour, not even the angels or the Son, only the Father knows. (Mt.24:36) All the nations will be separated from one another. The ones on the right, Jesus will call blessed of my Father, these will go into eternal life. The ones on the left, Jesus will call accursed, these will go away into eternal punishment. (Mt. 25:31-46)