Deuteronomy 28:13

Hebrew Bible

12 The Lord will open for you his good treasure house, the heavens, to give you rain for the land in its season and to bless all you do; you will lend to many nations but you will not borrow from any. 13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always end up at the top and not at the bottom, if you obey his commandments that I am urging you today to be careful to do. 14 But you must not turn away from all the commandments I am giving you today, to either the right or left, nor pursue other gods and worship them.

1 Enoch 103:11


10 And we have been destroyed and have not found any to help us even with a word: We have been tortured ⌈and destroyed⌉, and not hoped to see life from day to day. 11 We hoped to be the head and have become the tail: We have toiled laboriously and had no satisfaction in our toil; And we have become the food of the sinners and the unrighteous, And they have laid their yoke heavily upon us. 12 They have had dominion over us that hated us †and smote us; And to those that hated us† we have bowed our necks But they pitied us not.

 Notes and References

"... After Enoch has told the sinners what their true lot is (being led to Sheol, to darkness, a snare and a flaming fire; 103:7-8), perhaps the clearest profile of the righteous is given. Enoch tells the sinners to not despair over their lot in life, and does so by quoting a righteous person lamenting his distress. Nickelsburg says that “perhaps no other passage in our literature describes the circumstance that give rise to apocalyptic theology with such poignancy and eloquence.” By drawing on vocabulary and phrases from Deuteronomy 28, the irony of suffering the curses of covenant despite not breaking it are obvious. Perhaps nothing exhibits this irony than the exclamation: “We had hoped to become the head and become the tail” (1 Enoch 103:11; compare Deuteronomy 28:13, 44). The righteous are thus oppressed by the wealthy, and when they try to complain to the rulers of the land, they took the sinners’ side instead (103:14-15). Nickelsburg notes, however, that the righteous are never called “poor” and “lowly” only once. It is the social injustice of the situation that is emphasized, more than the social statuses of the groups involved ..."

Berntsson, Peter The First and the Last: Eschatological Reversal in 1 Enoch and the Gospel of Luke (p. 23) Uppsala University, 2016

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