New Defender's Study Bible Notes
27:2 set thee up great stones. This command to build an altar west of Jordan and write on it the words of the law was later carried out by Joshua (Joshua 8:30-32). Following that, they carried out Moses’ commands to shout out the cursings specified here in Deuteronomy 27:11-26 (see Joshua 8:33-35).
27:12 upon mount Gerizim. Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal are close together, approximately in the center of the land of Canaan, with the city of Shechem in the valley between them. Those standing on Mount Gerizim were reciting God’s promised blessings, while the curses were pronounced from Mount Ebal. Only the curses are recorded here, however. An abundance of blessings are promised in Deuteronomy 28:2-13.
27:15 answer and say, Amen. The series of twelve “Amens” answered by the people in response to the warning curses clearly indicate their acceptance of the criteria pronounced. “Amen” means simply “So be it.” Except for its use in Numbers 5:22, these constitute the first uses of “Amen” in the Bible.
27:26 all the words. The law is thus considered, even in all of its words, as a unit, no word of which could be broken without breaking the law as a whole. This both confirms its verbal inspiration and its impossible demands. Note the New Testament confirmations in Galatians 3:10; James 2:10. Thus the law in itself cannot save. God’s forgiving grace, by the redemptive work of Christ, is required for salvation, and is to be received solely by faith.