Deuteronomy 7

 

כִּי יְבִיאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה בָא־שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ וְנָשַׁל גֹּויִם־רַבִּים מִפָּנֶיךָ הַחִתִּי    7:1

וְהַגִּרְגָּשִׁי וְהָאֱמֹרִי וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי שִׁבְעָה גֹויִם רַבִּים וַעֲצוּמִים מִמֶּךָּ

Deut. 7:1    “When the Lord, your God, will bring you to the land where you are going to possess it, and will cast out many nations from before you, the Hittite and the Girgashite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, seven nations greater and mightier than you,

וּנְתָנָם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְפָנֶיךָ וְהִכִּיתָם הַחֲרֵם תַּחֲרִים אֹתָם לֹא־תִכְרֹת לָהֶם בְּרִית וְלֹא תְחָנֵּם   7:2

Deut. 7:2    and the Lord, your God, will deliver them before you and cause you to smite them that you utterly destroy them, you must not make a covenant with them and you must not show them mercy,

וְלֹא תִתְחַתֵּן בָּם בִּתְּךָ לֹא־תִתֵּן לִבְנֹו וּבִתֹּו לֹא־תִקַּח לִבְנֶךָ   7:3

Deut. 7:3    and you must not become married to them.  You shall not give of your daughter to his son, and you shall not take his daughter for your son.”

This sounds like a strict prohibition against intermarriage.  However, we will learn in Chapter 21 that this is not an appropriate interpretation.                                                                              [Return to Deut. 21:13]

In addition, all the second-person pronouns in this verse and the preceding one are singular, so (again according to me) these commandments are for the people as a whole.

כִּי־יָסִיר אֶת־בִּנְךָ מֵאַחֲרַי וְעָבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים וְחָרָה אַף־יְהוָה בָּכֶם וְהִשְׁמִידְךָ מַהֵר   7:4

Deut. 7:4    “For he will turn your son away from following me, and they will serve other gods, and the ‘anger’ of the Lord will be kindled toward you, and He will quickly make you perish.”

In this verse we have another example of how subtle messages are implied by the Hebrew grammar.  Notice what the verse says:  “… he will turn your son away…, and they will serve …,” transforming the singular object, your son, into a plural subject, they.   In this shift in number I read one of two messages.  Either (1) if one son is turned away, more will follow soon after, or (2) if it happens to one son, it will happen to more than one.  The subtle message in this is that we must not let circumstances arise that will cause even one son to be turned away.  Therefore, the Israelites must not allow any of the enemy nations to remain with them, or if they do, they must not allow mixed marriages with their people.  Does this have implications for modern society?  Certainly we are aware of Jewish assimilation through the ages and intermarriage in our time.  But has it led to our annihilation?  No!  It has prevented us from “growing exceedingly” (see Deut. 6:3), at least until the reestablishment of the Jewish state, and it has not prevented lethal anti-Semitism.

Notice also that there is no mention of daughters being turned away.  If one daughter were turned away, wouldn’t that have the same deleterious effect?  Perhaps Moses (or the scribe) presumed that sons were more easily corruptible than daughters.

כִּי־אִם־כֹּה תַעֲשׂוּ לָהֶם מִזְבְּחֹתֵיהֶם תִּתֹּצוּ וּמַצֵּבֹתָם תְּשַׁבֵּרוּ וַאֲשֵׁירֵהֶם תְּגַדֵּעוּן וּפְסִילֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן   7:5

בָּאֵשׁ

Deut. 7:5    “But if you will do thus to them:  You will break down their altars and crush their pillars and cut down their Asherim and burn their graven images to ashes,

כִּי עַם קָדֹושׁ אַתָּה לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּךָ בָּחַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִהְיֹות לֹו לְעַם סְגֻלָּה מִכֹּל הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר   7:6

עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה

Deut. 7:6    then a holy people you shall be to the Lord, your God.  The Lord, your God, has decided on you to be His, to be a people treasured more than all of the peoples that are on the face of the earth.”

In the preceding verse (Deut. 7:5) all the second-person pronouns are plural, meaning that each of us must destroy the pagan articles of worship and may not keep any of them .  But in this verse the second-person pronouns are singular, meaning that we are a body of holy people.  In other words, if we all reject pagan articles, we will constitute a holy nation.  As I see it, these are two formidable verses.  If one of us children of Israel keeps any pagan article, we will not be a holy nation.  No wonder we have been in trouble all these centuries!

לֹא מֵרֻבְּכֶם מִכָּל־הָעַמִּים חָשַׁק יְהוָה בָּכֶם וַיִּבְחַר בָּכֶם כִּי־אַתֶּם הַמְעַט מִכָּל־הָעַמִּים   7:7

Deut. 7:7    “Not because your abundance is greater than all the peoples did the Lord delight in you and choose you -- for you are fewer than all the peoples –

(Fewer than all the peoples?  In my opinion, that’s why He chose us)

כִּי מֵאַהֲבַת יְהוָה אֶתְכֶם וּמִשָּׁמְרֹו אֶת־הַשְּׁבֻעָה אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֵיכֶם הֹוצִיא יְהוָה אֶתְכֶם בְּיָד   7:8

חֲזָקָה וַיִּפְדְּךָ מִבֵּית עֲבָדִים מִיַּד פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ־מִצְרָיִם

Deut. 7:8    but because of the Lord loving you and because of His keeping the oath that He swore to your fathers, did the Lord bring you forth with a mighty hand, and redeem you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharoah, king of Egypt.”

וְיָדַעְתָּ כִּי־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא הָאֱלֹהִים הָאֵל הַנֶּאֱמָן שֹׁמֵר הַבְּרִית וְהַחֶסֶד לְאֹהֲבָיו וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי מִצְוֹתֹו   7:9

לְאֶלֶף דֹּור

Deut. 7:9    “So know that the Lord, your God, it is He Who is God, the faithful God, keeping the covenant, and being merciful to those who love Him and to the keepers of His commandment to the thousandth generation,

וּמְשַׁלֵּם לְשֹׂנְאָיו אֶל־פָּנָיו לְהַאֲבִידֹו לֹא יְאַחֵר לְשֹׂנְאֹו אֶל־פָּנָיו יְשַׁלֶּם־לֹו   7:10

Deut. 7:10  and Who shall put an end to those who hate Him to His ‘face,’ destroying him; He will not wait for one who hates Him to His ‘face;’ He will put an end to him.”

וְשָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת־הַמִּצְוָה וְאֶת־הַחֻקִּים וְאֶת־הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיֹּום לַעֲשֹׂותָם   7:11

Deut. 7:11  “You shall therefore heed the commandment and the statutes and the ordinances that I am commanding you today, to observe them.”

וְהָיָה עֵקֶב תִּשְׁמְעוּן אֵת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים הָאֵלֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם וַעֲשִׂיתֶם אֹתָם וְשָׁמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְךָ אֶת־   7:12

הַבְּרִית וְאֶת־הַחֶסֶד אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ

Deut. 7:12  “And it shall be because you will heed these ordinances and keep and do them, that the Lord, your God, will preserve the covenant for you and the mercy that He swore to your fathers,

וַאֲהֵבְךָ וּבֵרַךְךָ וְהִרְבֶּךָ וּבֵרַךְ פְּרִי־בִטְנְךָ וּפְרִי־אַדְמָתֶךָ דְּגָנְךָ וְתִירֹשְׁךָ וְיִצְהָרֶךָ שְׁגַר־אֲלָפֶיךָ וְעַשְׁתְּרֹת   7:13

צֹאנֶךָ עַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר־נִשְׁבַּע לַאֲבֹתֶיךָ לָתֶת לָךְ

Deut. 7:13  and He will love you and bless you and will make you multiply, and the fruit of your womb will be blessed and the fruit of your land, your corn and your wine and your oil, the young of your oxen and the increase of your sheep, on the land that He swore to your fathers to give to you.”

בָּרוּךְ תִּהְיֶה מִכָּל־הָעַמִּים לֹא־יִהְיֶה בְךָ עָקָר וַעֲקָרָה וּבִבְהֶמְתֶּךָ   7:14

Deut. 7:14  “You shall be blessed more than all the peoples; there shall not be a barren male or barren female among you or among your cattle.”

וְהֵסִיר יְהוָה מִמְּךָ כָּל־חֹלִי וְכָל־מַדְוֵי מִצְרַיִם הָרָעִים אֲשֶׁר יָדַעְתָּ לֹא יְשִׂיםָם בָּךְ וּנְתָנָם בְּכָל־שֹׂנְאֶיךָ   7:15

Deut. 7:15  “And the Lord will cause all sickness to depart from you, and all the evil diseases of Egypt that you knew, He will not ordain them among you, but He will extend them to all hating you.”

וְאָכַלְתָּ אֶת־כָּל־הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לָךְ לֹא־תָחֹס עֵינְךָ עֲלֵיהֶם וְלֹא תַעֲבֹד אֶת־   7:16

אֱלֹהֵיהֶם כִּי־מֹוקֵשׁ הוּא לָךְ

Deut. 7:16  “And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will be delivering to you; your eyes must not have pity on them and you must not serve their gods, for it would be a snare for you.”

כִּי תֹאמַר בִּלְבָבְךָ רַבִּים הַגֹּויִם הָאֵלֶּה מִמֶּנִּי אֵיכָה אוּכַל לְהֹורִישָׁם   7:17

Deut. 7:17  “When you would say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I.  How will I be able to dispossess them,’

לֹא תִירָא מֵהֶם זָכֹר תִּזְכֹּר אֵת אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְפַרְעֹה וּלְכָל־מִצְרָיִם   7:18

Deut. 7:18  you must not be afraid because of them.  You must remember well what the Lord, your God, did to Pharoah and to all of Egypt,

הַמַּסֹּת הַגְּדֹלֹת אֲשֶׁר־רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ וְהָאֹתֹת וְהַמֹּפְתִים וְהַיָּד הַחֲזָקָה וְהַזְּרֹעַ הַנְּטוּיָה אֲשֶׁר הֹוצִאֲךָ   7:19

יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ כֵּן־יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְכָל־הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר־אַתָּה יָרֵא מִפְּנֵיהֶם

Deut. 7:19  the great trials that your eyes saw, and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord, your God, brought you forth; thus shall the Lord, your God, do to all the peoples before whom you fear.”

וְגַם אֶת־הַצִּרְעָה יְשַׁלַּח יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בָּם עַד־אֲבֹד הַנִּשְׁאָרִים וְהַנִּסְתָּרִים מִפָּנֶיךָ   7:20

Deut. 7:20  “And the Lord, your God, shall also send the hornet among them until those remaining have perished together with those hiding from before you.”

לֹא תַעֲרֹץ מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּקִרְבֶּךָ אֵל גָּדֹול וְנֹורָא   7:21

Deut. 7:21  “You must not be terrified by their appearance, for the Lord, your God, is in your midst, a great and fearful God.”

וְנָשַׁל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־הַגֹּויִם הָאֵל מִפָּנֶיךָ מְעַט מְעָט לֹא תוּכַל כַּלֹּתָם מַהֵר פֶּן־תִּרְבֶּה עָלֶיךָ חַיַּת   7:22

הַשָּׂדֶה

Deut. 7:22  “And the Lord, your God, shall eject those nations from before you little by little.  You may not consume all of them at once lest the beast of the field would increase over you.”

I presume this means that if the fighting men were all gone for a long time, the wild beasts would increase dangerously, affecting their welfare harmfully during their absence and after they returned.

וּנְתָנָם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְפָנֶיךָ וְהָםָם מְהוּמָה גְדֹלָה עַד הִשָּׁמְדָם   7:23

Deut. 7:23  “But the Lord, your God, will deliver them before you and cause them a great vexation until their destruction.”

וְנָתַן מַלְכֵיהֶם בְּיָדֶךָ וְהַאֲבַדְתָּ אֶת־שְׁםָם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם לֹא־יִתְיַצֵּב אִישׁ בְּפָנֶיךָ עַד הִשְׁמִדְךָ אֹתָם   7:24

Deut. 7:24  “And He will deliver their kings into your hand and you will cause their name to perish from under the heavens.  No man will stand in front of you while you destroy them.”

פְּסִילֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ לֹא־תַחְמֹד כֶּסֶף וְזָהָב עֲלֵיהֶם וְלָקַחְתָּ לָךְ פֶּן תִּוָּקֵשׁ בֹּו כִּי תֹועֲבַת   7:25

יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא

Deut. 7:25  “You must burn the graven images of their gods to ashes.  You must not covet the silver or the gold on them, or take for yourself, lest you would be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination of the Lord, your God.”

וְלֹא־תָבִיא תֹועֵבָה אֶל־בֵּיתֶךָ וְהָיִיתָ חֵרֶם כָּמֹהוּ שַׁקֵּץ תְּשַׁקְּצֶנּוּ וְתַעֵב תְּתַעֲבֶנּוּ כִּי־חֵרֶם הוּא   7:26

Deut. 7:26  “And you must not bring an abomination in to your house and become accursed like it is.  You must utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is a cursed thing.”

Torah Commandments in this Chapter

402. You shall not make a covenant with any of the people whom you will

        drive out of the promised land.    V. 7:2

403. You shall not show mercy to any of the people whom you will drive out.    V. 7:2

404. You shall not marry any of the people whom you will drive out of

         the promised land.    V. 7:3

405. You shall not take for yourself any objects of pagan worship.    V. 7:25

406. You shall not bring any objects of pagan worship into your house.    V. 7:26

 

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