There are a few curses under the Law of Moses. For example,

Deuteronomy 27:15-22
15 “‘Cursed be the man who makes a carved or cast metal image, an abomination to the Lord, a thing made by the hands of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’ And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen.’
16 “‘Cursed be anyone who dishonors his father or his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
17 “‘Cursed be anyone who moves his neighbor’s landmark.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
18 “‘Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind man on the road.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
19 “‘Cursed be anyone who perverts the justice due to the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
20 “‘Cursed be anyone who lies with his father’s wife, because he has uncovered his father’s nakedness.’  And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
21 “‘Cursed be anyone who lies with any kind of animal.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’
22 “‘Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother.’ And all the people shall say, ‘Amen.’

The “curses” were not magical spells that gave bad luck (as the word is sometimes used today). They were statements of things that God condemned, and those who did them (and did not repent) would be cursed by being shut out of God’s kingdom.

Of course, these were all part of the ancient Israelite law which is no longer directly applicable to Christians. (See Does the law of Moses apply to Christians today?)  However, all of these sins are also condemned in the New Testament. (See if you can find the relevant references.)

Another curse is given in Malachi 3 concerning tithing:

Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. 10 Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Malachi 3:8-10)

This curse involved God sending famine and disease on their crops. Again, tithing is part of the law of Moses and is not required of Christians today (see Where does the Bible say we are supposed to tithe?).

Of course, God still punishes people (e.g., 1 Cor 11:29-30) and that may be called a “curse”; and the curse of being shut out of God’s kingdom is still real and in force (e.g., 1 Cor 6:9-10).

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3 Responses to Are Old Testament curses still in force?

  1. dennis bartlett says:

    I disagree. Or rather let’s say the crux is in the word ‘require’. You say tithing is no longer required “today”. On a superficial level, if Law per se is not required, ie not to be enforced, then yes, only the 4 ‘rules’ of AD50 apply. However, in the context of ‘sowing / reaping’ (as in God will bring on all mankind as their actions deserve-good for the good, woe to the bad) there is an inner motivation to tithe. So, no longer is it ‘Law’ externally enforced, rather it is Law written on our hearts and from our hearts, expressing love is easiest seen in expressing obedience by choice to those things not enforced.

    • Jonathan Morgan says:

      To a certain extent I agree with you: the Law was not removed so that we could do anything we wanted to, and we will be judged by God – partially based on our actions.

      However, if you look at the linked answer at, you will see that Rob is not trying to say “Let’s do away with tithing and keep all our money / possessions / time for ourselves, because there’s no law to say otherwise”. The principle spoken of in the New Testament is not “let’s make sure we tithe. We won’t give anything under 10%, but nor will we give anything over 10%”. The principle spoken of is generosity, based on the needs we see around us.

      Another interesting way I have heard it spoken about is:
      The issue with tithing is that it says “I must give 10% of my income to God, and after that the rest is all mine”. In fact, we are told that all the things we have are God’s and come from him. Raising a family properly is part of God’s will for the use of the resources he has given us. So is helping those in need.

      • dennis bartlett says:

        Well put.

        If one were take it to its most basic we could probably sum our responsibilities into Luke 6: if any lack, fill their need, if anyone takes from you don’t ask it back (that should do wonders for the insurance industry – not!).

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