Driving out the nations
1When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations – the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you – 2and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.#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. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the Lord’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5This is what you are to do to them: break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles#7:5 That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah; here and elsewhere in Deuteronomy and burn their idols in the fire. 6For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
7The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. 8But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10But
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.
11Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
12If 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. 13He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land – your corn, new wine and oil – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land that he swore to your ancestors to give you. 14You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor any of your livestock without young. 15The Lord will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you. 16You must destroy all the peoples the Lord your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
17You may say to yourselves, ‘These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?’ 18But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. 19You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand 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. 20Moreover, the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished. 21Do not be terrified by them, for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God. 22The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you. 23But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed. 24He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No-one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them. 25The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the Lord your God. 26Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.