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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 7

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1 WHEN the LORD your God brings you into the land which you are about to enter to occupy it, when he drives out many nations before you — Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, seven nations more numerous and powerful than you — 2and when the LORD your God delivers them into your power for you to defeat, you must exterminate them. You must not make an alliance with them or spare them. 3You must not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, 4because if you do, they will draw your children away from the LORD a 7:4 from the LORD: prob. rdg; Heb. from me. to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will be roused against you and he will soon destroy you. 5But this is what you must do to them: pull down their altars, break their sacred pillars, hack down their sacred poles b 7:5 sacred poles: Heb. asherim. , and burn their idols, 6for you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you out of all peoples on earth to be his special possession.

7It was not because you were more numerous than any other nation that the LORD cared for you and chose you, for you were the smallest of all nations; 8it was because the LORD loved you and stood by his oath to your forefathers, that he brought you out with his strong hand and redeemed you from the place of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know then that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God; with those who love him and keep his commandments he keeps covenant and faith for a thousand generations, 10but those who defy and reject him he repays with destruction: he will not be slow to requite any who reject him.

11You are to observe these commandments, statutes, and laws which I give you this day, and keep them.

12Because you listen to these laws and are careful to observe them, the LORD your God will observe the sworn covenant he made with your forefathers and will keep faith with you. 13He will love you, bless you, and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your soil, your grain and new wine and oil, the young of your herds and lambing flocks, in the land which he swore to your forefathers he would give you. 14You will be blessed above every other nation; neither among your people nor among your cattle will there be an impotent male or a barren female. 15The LORD will keep you free from all sickness; he will not bring on you any of the foul diseases of Egypt which you have experienced; but he will bring them on all who are hostile to you. 16You are to devour all the nations which the LORD your God is giving over to you. Show none of them mercy, so that you do not serve their gods; that is the snare which awaits you.

17You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations outnumber us; how can we drive them out?’ 18You need have no fear of them; only bear in mind what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and the whole of Egypt, 19the great challenge which you yourselves witnessed, the signs and portents, the strong hand and the outstretched arm by which the LORD your God brought you out. So will he deal with all the nations of whom you are afraid. 20Moreover he will spread panic among them until all who are left and are in hiding will perish before you.

21Feel no dread of them, for the LORD your God is among you, a great and terrible God. 22Little by little he will drive out these nations before you. You cannot exterminate them quickly, for fear the wild beasts become too numerous for you. 23The LORD your God will deliver these nations over to you and throw them into utter confusion until they are wiped out. 24He will put their kings into your hands, and you must wipe out their name from under heaven. No one will be able to withstand you; you will destroy them. 25Their idols you must destroy by fire; you are not to covet the silver and gold on them and take it for yourselves; you might be ensnared by it, and these things are an abomination to the LORD your God. 26You must not introduce any abominable idol into your houses and thus bring yourselves under solemn ban along with it. You shall hold it loathsome and abominable, for it is proscribed under the ban.

Notes:

a 7:4 from the LORD: prob. rdg; Heb. from me.

b 7:5 sacred poles: Heb. asherim.

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