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Deuteronomy Chapter 7
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Warnings Against Assimilation
7:1 When God your Lord brings you to the land you are entering, so that you can occupy it, He will uproot many nations before you - the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizites, Hivites and Yebusites - seven nations more numerous and powerful than you are.
7:2 When God your Lord places them at your disposal and you defeat them, you must utterly destroy them, not making any treaty with them or giving them any consideration.
7:3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons, and do not take their daughters for your sons.
7:4 [If you do], they will lead your children away from Me, causing them to worship other gods. God will then display His anger against you, and you will quickly be destroyed.
7:5 What you must do to them is tear down their altars, break their sacred pillars, cut down their Asherah trees, and burn their idols in fire.
7:6 You are a nation consecrated to God your Lord. God your Lord chose you to be His special people among all the nations on the face of the earth.
7:7 It was not because you had greater numbers than all the other nations that God embraced you and chose you; you are among the smallest of all the nations.
7:8 It was because of God's love for you, and because He was keeping the oath that He made to your fathers. God therefore brought you out with a mighty hand, liberating you from the slave house, [and] from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
7:9 You must realize that God your Lord is the Supreme Being. He is the faithful God, who keeps in mind [His] covenant and love for a thousand generations when it comes to those who love Him and keep His commandments.
7:10 But He pays back His enemies to their face to destroy them. He does not delay the payment that He gives His enemies to their face.
7:11 So safeguard the mandate, the rules and laws that I am teaching you today, so that you will keep them.

Rewards for Obedience
7:12 If only you listen to these laws, safeguarding and keeping them, then God your Lord will keep the covenant and love with which He made an oath to your fathers.
7:13 He will love you, bless you and make you numerous. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your land, your grain, your wine, your oil, the calves of your herds, and the lambs of your flocks, in the land that He promised your fathers that He would give to you.
7:14 You will be blessed above all nations. Among you and your livestock, there will not be any sterile or barren.
7:15 God will take all sickness from you. He will not allow any of the terrible Egyptian afflictions that you experienced to affect you; instead, He will direct them against all your enemies.
7:16 When you consume all the nations that God your Lord is giving you, do not show them any pity. Do not worship their gods, since this will be a deadly trap for you.

Confidence
7:17 You might say to yourself, 'These nations are more numerous than we are. How will we be able to drive them out?
7:18 Do not be afraid of them. You must remember what God did to Pharaoh and all the rest of Egypt.
7:19 [Recall] the great miracles that you saw with your own eyes - the signs, the wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm with which God your Lord brought you out of Egypt.

God will do the same to all the nations whom you fear.

7:20 God your Lord will also send deadly hornets to attack them, so that the survivors hiding from you will also be destroyed.
7:21 Do not cringe before [these nations]. God your Lord is with you - a great and awesome God.
7:22 God will uproot these nations before you little by little. You will not be allowed to finish them off too quickly, so that the wild animals not overwhelm you.
7:23 God will place [these nations] in your power. He will throw them into utter panic until they are destroyed.
7:24 He will place their kings in your power, and you will obliterate their names from under the heavens. No man will stand up before you until you destroy them.
7:25 You must burn their idolatrous statues in fire. Do not desire the gold and silver on [these statues] and take it for yourselves. Let it not bring you into a deadly trap, since it is something offensive to God your Lord.
7:26 Do not bring any offensive [idol] into your house, since you may become just like it. Shun it totally and consider it absolutely offensive, since it is taboo.



Commentary:

consideration
  (Avodah Zarah 20a; Rashi). Or, 'mercy' (Septuagint).

intermarry
  This prohibition includes all gentiles (Avodah Zarah 36b; Yad, Issurey Biyah 12:1). The above mentioned seven nations, however, are forbidden even if they convert to Judaism (Yevamoth 76a).

Asherah trees
  See Exodus 34:13.

special people
  Am segulah in Hebrew. See Exodus 19:5.

embraced
  (Ramban; Radak. Sherashim). Chashak in Hebrew. Or, 'preferred' (Septuagint).

keeps in mind
  (HaKethav VeHaKabbalah; see Genesis 37:11).

pays back...
  Or, 'grants reward' (Targum; Rashi), that is, God gives them their reward in this world so as to destroy them in the next.

If only
  Ekev in Hebrew; literally, 'because' (Rashi); 'as a reward, if' (Radak, Sherashim; Ibn Janach; Saadia; cf. Ramban); 'as a final result, if,' (Ibn Ezra; Chizzkuni; HaKethav VeHaKabbalah); or, 'it shall come to pass if' (Septuagint).

Some say that this section was said soon after the Exodus (Sifri). See note on Deuteronomy 6:4.

love
  Some say the love the Israelites expressed toward God; cf. Jeremiah 2:2 (Midrash HaGadol).

we
  Literally, 'I.'

mighty hand...
  see Deuteronomy 4:34.

hornets
  See Exodus 23:28.

on these statues
  (Ramban; Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 8:7).





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