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[a]you shall not bow down before them or serve them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous[b] God, bringing punishment for their parents’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation,

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Footnotes

  1. 5:9–10 Israel is confronted with a choice, to “love” or to “hate” the Lord, and with the consequences of each choice. “Wickedness” works destruction not only on those who do it but also down the generations, in a sort of ripple effect. Yet, if Israel keeps the commandments, they will experience the Lord’s hesed (“love”) down to the thousandth generation. Thus the Lord’s merciful love is disproportionate to the evil results of iniquity (“down to the third and fourth generation”). To the thousandth generation: lit., “to thousands”; cf. 7:9.
  2. 5:9 Jealous: see note on 4:24.

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