15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.
17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.
18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.
19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.
20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.
21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.
22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.
23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
24 The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.
26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.
27 The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.
28 The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:
29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.
30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.
31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.
32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long; and there shall be no might in thine hand.
33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:
34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
35 The Lord shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.
36 The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.
37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.
38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.
39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.
40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.
41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.
42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.
43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.
44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.
45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:
46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.
47 Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;
48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.
49 The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;
50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:
51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.
52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.
53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:
54 So that the man that 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 which he shall leave:
55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.
56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon 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 her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.
58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;
59 Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.
60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.
61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the Lord bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.
62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God.
63 And it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.
64 And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.
65 And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:
66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:
67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.
68 And the Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you. – Deut. 28:15-68
This Biblical passage hashes out gruesome detail on what would happen if Israel was disobedient to God’s Torah (Law). This passage is like reading a personal journal of many of the black African people, especially the Igbo. Deuteronomy 28 has been fulfilled more than once. First with the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities and again with the slave trade in Africa that befell the African Hebrews.
Let us first notice that Deuteronomy 28 which lays out the blessings that will accompany Israel for obeying Torah, the Laws of God given to Israel through Moses, as well as the curses which will fall upon them for disobeying Torah; that the blessings and curses are all conditional with that huge-little word “if.”
“And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God… But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee… Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee.” – Deut. 28:2, 15, 45)
Verses 16-20 tell the Israelites that the curse will begin at home in the promised Land with agriculture and domestic failure among their flock and herds which indeed happened prior to them being carted off into Assyrian and Babylonian captivity.
When the Israelites found themselves settling in various parts of Africa, like in the Promised Land, they ended up being heavily influenced by the paganism of those peoples around them who they were not able to drive out. As a result, the Israelites began to practice pagan and idolatrous ways and were thus, ripe to reap the curses the LORD said would overtake them.
These curses came back around again when Black Hebrews found themselves as slaves in the Americas as they had to farm and care for land and animals that were not their own.
In Deuteronomy 28:21-24, 27-29 speaks of the curse of unsanitary conditions when Israel being captive to their respective captors. While being marched off and put in carts or ship cargo holds and being treated as animals, sickness, disease and affliction quickly spread due to poor quality of food and water as well as unsanitary conditions which arise when one does not have the proper place in which to defecate and expel waste.
This happened with those who found themselves in Assyrian captivity, but these Igbo and other Hebraic Africans who found themselves in the dark and dank bellies of the cargo holds of the ships of the slave trade which brought slaves to the Caribbean Islands and the U.S.
Verses 25-26 tell of the defeat of the black Hebrew against the white slave traders and their superior weapons.
Deuteronomy 28:30-37 speaks in uncanny detail of what Black Israelites faced when the white man came in and carted off many as slaves. Wives were snatched away from their husbands, wives and daughters were raped before the eyes of the menfolk. Sons and daughters were taken violently from their parents. Their animals and crops were slain and burned. Even the rulers of these African Hebrews were not exempt. All were taken away and forced to convert to the white man’s religion and serve gods that seemed foreign to them.
Verses 38-40 tell of famine and lack of food due to weather patterns God sent upon His disobedient people as well as when they had their crops burned by the enemy and they were taken prisoner and practically starved to death while chains, cages and cargo holds of the slave traders.
We are told how the Black Hebrews of Africa who were taken off as slaves became breeders for the inhumane black and white slave traders (one must remember that the slave trade began with Africans selling other Africans to the whites). Their children born to them in strange lands of their captivity were taken from them and sold as soon as they were old enough to work. They were treated and sold like cattle.
“Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.” – Deut. 28:41
Verses 43-51 speak of the white man taking over and colonizing parts of Africa and making the Black Israelite their servants while exploiting their land and natural resources.
In verses 52-57 it tells of the horrid holocaust type conditions that would reduce the Black Hebrew slaves to cold hearted souls that would reduce themselves to cannibalizing their own young in order to survive. Essentially these verses speak of a loss of identity and it’s true, the majority of Black People do not realize that they are Jews, Hebrews and Israelites.
Again, the fearsome warning of the conditional covenant of Deuteronomy 28 is repeated in verses 58-68.
It should be fairly and duly noted that though the white man carried off many African Hebrews into slavery, they are not souly to be blame because these slaves were either slaves before, owned by other African tribes which surrounded them, or they were betrayed by them and the white man was led to them. Some African Hebrews were slave owners themselves and due to their mistreatment of their fellow man they incurred the curses of Deuteronomy 28 upon themselves and were treated in kind by the white man.
As we have made abundantly clear that Idolatry and pagan worship was prophesied to plague those scattered due to disobedience to Torah (Deut. 28). But how did this idolatry and paganism infiltrate the Hebrew-Gadite, monotheistic Igbo culture? In two ways:
1. Influence due to living among the indigenous, polytheistic pagan African tribes.
2. Gadites who came to Igboland sometime after the reign and influence of rebellious King Jeroboam (I Kings 11-15, II Kings 17:22-33)
Deuteronomy 28 and the Prophets tell of the punishment and exile and the scattering of those who disobey God and Torah. But there is equally the prophecy of restoration and prosperity by Moses and the Prophets of those who even in exile repents and returns to God and Torah (Amos 9:14-15, Ezk. 34:13, Psalm 2:8).
Nigeria happens to be one of the most oil and mineral rich African countries and the Igbo control much of these resources as well as are successful leaders in the technological, construction, business and financial markets. As a result there are many “blessed” and wealthy Igbos in Nigeria as well as worldwide.