Deuteronomy 28:13 MEANING

Deuteronomy 28:13
Verse 13. - They should be manifestly superior to other nations, heading them and being above them, their leader and not their subject or follower (cf. Isaiah 9:13). Note the contrast in vers. 43, 44.

28:1-14 This chapter is a very large exposition of two words, the blessing and the curse. They are real things and have real effects. The blessings are here put before the curses. God is slow to anger, but swift to show mercy. It is his delight to bless. It is better that we should be drawn to what is good by a child-like hope of God's favour, than that we be frightened to it by a slavish fear of his wrath. The blessing is promised, upon condition that they diligently hearken to the voice of God. Let them keep up religion, the form and power of it, in their families and nation, then the providence of God would prosper all their outward concerns.And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail,.... Give them dominion over others, and not make them subject to them; the head signifies rulers and governors, and the tail the common people that are subjects; or the one such that are honourable and in high esteem, and the other such that are mean and base; see Isaiah 9:14; the Targum of Jonathan is,"the Word of the Lord shall make thee, &c."

and thou shalt be above only, and thou shall not be beneath; which explains what is meant by head and tail, being uppermost and lowermost, as the head is the upper part, and the tail the lower part of a creature; the one is more honourable, the other vile: the sense is, that they should be superior to other people in honour and dignity, and not below them, or vassals to them:

if that thou hearken to the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day to observe and to do them; which is the condition on which all this happiness depended.

Courtesy of Open Bible