In the blessings and curses in Ki Tavo, who pronounced the curses: the Levi'im, Yeshoshua, or both?

  • Didn't Moshe say the Tochacha?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 1:22
  • Based on your tagging this with parshat-reeh as well, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you mean the curses on Har Eival, not the Tochacha? Likewise here and here?
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 3:55
  • @DonielF I thought this incident was also called the tochacha? (Or does the tochacha refer only to what was said after?)
    – SAH
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 7:11
  • @SAH The term Tochacha refers specifically to Vayikra 26:3-46 and Devarim 28:1-69. Hence DoubleAA’s comment that only Moshe spoke the Tochacha, as he was the speaker in the latter of the two (it was Hashem in the former).
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 15:15
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    @SAH That they should do it is in 11:26-32. What they should say is in 27:11-26. When they actually say it is about a month later, in Yehoshua 8:33-35.
    – DonielF
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 18:51

1 Answer 1


As explained in Rashi, Rav Hirsch, and the Art Scroll Chumash, the words of the blessings and the curses were spoken by the Kohanim and Leviim in the middle.

The command on what to do and what to say was given in the Torah. When it was actually carried out, in Yehoshua 8:33](https://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15792#showrashi=true&v=33) the navi emphasizes that they carried it out exactly as commanded.

33 And all Israel, and their elders and officers and their judges, stood on this side of the Ark and on that side, before the priests the Levites, the bearers of the Ark of the covenant of the Lord, the stranger as well as the native born, half of them over against Mount Gerizim and half of them over against Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded, to bless the people of Israel first.

After this was done, Yehoshua read the Torah to the Bnai Yisrael so that they would hear everything that they had been commanded.

34 And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the Torah.

35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua did not read before all the congregation of Israel, with the women, and the little ones, and the strangers that walked among them.

Part of what he read included the commandment about the blessing and the curse which had just been fulfilled. Since the actual words that had been said were in the Torah, they were included in the reading.

  • Could you explain when in the chronology they say the blessings and curses? Is it after Moshe's death?
    – SAH
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 18:50
  • 1
    @SAH according to Yehoshua, they said the blessings and curses at Har Grizim and Har Eival which are inside Eretz Yisrael. Thus it was after they crossed the Yarden and Yehoshua arranged it as the leader. That is why it says that Yehoshua arranged for everything to be done as Moshe had commanded just before he died. Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 23:28
  • Oh, I didn't realize this whole place was in Israel. Thanks.
    – SAH
    Commented Aug 10, 2018 at 8:07

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