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Israel Is Commanded to Destroy the Canaanites and Their Idols

Yahweh your Elohim will bring you to the land you’re about to enter and take possession of. He will force many nations out of your way: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites—seven nations larger and more powerful than you. When Yahweh your Elohim gives them to you and you defeat them, destroy every one of them because they have been claimed by the Lord. Don’t make any treaties with them or show them any mercy. Never marry any of them. Never let your daughters marry their sons or your sons marry their daughters. These people will turn your children away from me to worship other gods. Then Yahweh will get very angry with you and will quickly destroy you.

But this is what you must do to these people: Tear down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their poles dedicated to the goddess Asherah, and burn their idols. You are a holy people, who belong to Yahweh your Elohim. Yahweh your Elohim chose you to be his own special possession out of all the nations on earth.

Yahweh set his heart on you and chose you, even though you didn’t outnumber all the other people. You were the smallest of all nations. You were chosen because Yahweh loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors. So Yahweh used his mighty hand to bring you out. He freed you from slavery under Pharaoh (the king of Egypt). Keep in mind that Yahweh your Elohim is the only Elohim. He is a faithful El, who keeps his promise[a] and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands. 10 But he sends destruction to pay back everyone who hates him. He never takes long to pay back anyone who hates him.

11 So obey the commands, laws, and rules I’m giving you today.

12 If you listen to these rules and faithfully obey them, Yahweh your Elohim will keep his promise to you and be merciful to you, as he swore to your ancestors. 13 He will love you, bless you, and increase the number of your descendants. He will bless you with children. He will bless your land with produce: grain, new wine, and olive oil. He will bless your herds with calves, and your flocks with lambs and kids. This will all happen in the land Yahweh will give you, as he swore to your ancestors. 14 You will be blessed more than any other people. Your men and women will be able to have children, and your animals will be able to have offspring. 15 Yahweh will keep you from having any kind of illness. He will not strike you with any of the terrible diseases you experienced in Egypt. Instead, he will strike all those who hate you. 16 You must destroy all the people Yahweh your Elohim hands over to you. Have no pity on them, and never worship their gods, because they will be a trap for you.

17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations outnumber us. How can we force them out?” 18 Don’t be afraid of them. Remember what Yahweh your Elohim did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt. 19 You saw with your own eyes the terrible plagues, the miraculous signs, and the amazing things Yahweh your Elohim did. He used his mighty hand and powerful arm to bring you out. Yahweh your Elohim will do the same thing to all the people you’re afraid of. 20 Yahweh your Elohim will spread panic among them until they all die. There will be no one left—not even those who were hiding from you. 21 Don’t be afraid of them, because Yahweh your Elohim is with you. He is a great and awe-inspiring El. 22 Little by little Yahweh your Elohim will force these nations out of your way. You won’t be able to wipe them out quickly. Otherwise, you would be overrun with wild animals. 23 Yahweh your Elohim will hand these people over to you and will throw them into a great panic until they’re destroyed. 24 He will hand their kings over to you, and no one on earth will even remember their names. No one will be able to stop you. You will destroy them all. 25 Burn their idols. Don’t ever long for the silver and gold on these idols or take any of it for yourselves. It might be a trap for you. Besides, these idols are disgusting to Yahweh your Elohim. 26 Never bring a disgusting idol into your house. If you do, you and the idol will be destroyed. Consider it detestable and disgusting. It must be destroyed.”

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 7:9 Or “covenant.”

Driving Out the Nations

When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess(A) and drives out before you many nations(B)—the Hittites,(C) Girgashites,(D) Amorites,(E) Canaanites, Perizzites,(F) Hivites(G) and Jebusites,(H) seven nations larger and stronger than you— and when the Lord your God has delivered(I) them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy(J) them totally.[a](K) Make no treaty(L) with them, and show them no mercy.(M) Do not intermarry with them.(N) Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods,(O) and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy(P) you. This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles[b](Q) and burn their idols in the fire.(R) For you are a people holy(S) to the Lord your God.(T) The Lord your God has chosen(U) you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.(V)

The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous(W) than other peoples, for you were the fewest(X) of all peoples.(Y) But it was because the Lord loved(Z) you and kept the oath he swore(AA) to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand(AB) and redeemed(AC) you from the land of slavery,(AD) from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God is God;(AE) he is the faithful God,(AF) keeping his covenant of love(AG) to a thousand generations(AH) of those who love him and keep his commandments.(AI) 10 But

those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
    he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.(AJ)

11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.

12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the Lord your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.(AK) 13 He will love you and bless you(AL) and increase your numbers.(AM) He will bless the fruit of your womb,(AN) the crops of your land—your grain, new wine(AO) and olive oil(AP)—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.(AQ) 14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young.(AR) 15 The Lord will keep you free from every disease.(AS) He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt,(AT) but he will inflict them on all who hate you.(AU) 16 You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you.(AV) Do not look on them with pity(AW) and do not serve their gods,(AX) for that will be a snare(AY) to you.

17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?(AZ) 18 But do not be afraid(BA) of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.(BB) 19 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand(BC) and outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out. The Lord your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear.(BD) 20 Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet(BE) among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21 Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you,(BF) is a great and awesome God.(BG) 22 The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little.(BH) You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.(BI) 24 He will give their kings(BJ) into your hand,(BK) and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you;(BL) you will destroy them.(BM) 25 The images of their gods you are to burn(BN) in the fire. Do not covet(BO) the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared(BP) by it, for it is detestable(BQ) to the Lord your God. 26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction.(BR) Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 7:2 The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26.
  2. Deuteronomy 7:5 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah; here and elsewhere in Deuteronomy

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