||Be very careful with regard to what I am instructing you today. I will drive the Amorites, Canaanites, Hivites, Perizzites, Hittites and Yebusites out before you.
Shemor-lecha et asher anochi metsavecha hayom hineni goresh mipaneycha et-ha'Emori vehaKna'ani vehaChiti vehaPrizi vehaChivi vehaYevusi.
||Be most careful not to make a treaty with the people who live in the land where you are coming, since they can be a fatal trap to you.
Hishamer lecha pen-tichrot berit leyoshev ha'arets asher ata ba aleyha pen-yihyeh lemokesh bekirbecha.
||You must shatter their altars, break down their sacred pillars, and cut down their Asherah trees.
Ki et-mizbechotam titotsun ve'et-matsevotam teshaberun ve'et-asherav tichrotun.
|Be most careful...|
See Exodus 23:32,33. This is virtually a repetition of that chapter, see note on Exodus 34:27.
These were sacred trees or poles (Rashi). See Deuteronomy 16:21. Asherah was a popular fertility goddess in the near east, worshipped by Sidon (1 Kings 11:5,33), Tyre (Josephus, Contra Apion 1:18), and the Philistines (1 Samuel 31:10). She is often identified with Astarte and Aphrodite (Septuagint; Herodianus 5:6:10). While stone pillars were erected in honor of Baal, wooden poles or pillars were erected in honor of Asherah.