In Ki Tavo Moses reaches the end of the detailed provisions of the covenant, with commands about bringing first fruits to the central Sanctuary, as well as allocating the various tithes. He closes this section with a reminder of what the covenant is: a mutual pledge between the people and God. The people are to give God their total loyalty. God, in turn, will hold the people in special regard.

The text then turns to the next feature of ancient covenants: the blessings and curses that will attend faithfulness on the one hand, disloyalty on the other. Given that Israel’s entire existence as a nation is predicated on the covenant, it means that their fate will be an ongoing commentary on their relationship with God and the ideals, both sacred and social, to which the people have dedicated themselves as “a holy people to the Lord your God” (Deut. 7:6). The parsha ends with Moses summoning the people, at the end of their forty-year journey and in sight of the Promised Land, to renew the covenant their parents made with God at Mount Sinai.

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