||Do not plant for yourself an Asherah [or any other] tree near the altar that you will make yourselves for God your Lord.
Lo-tita lecha asherah kol-ets etsel mizbach Adonay Eloheycha asher ta'aseh-lach.
||Do not erect a sacred pillar, since this is something that God your Lord hates.
Velo-takim lecha matsevah asher sane Adonay Eloheycha.
See Exodus 34:13. Or, 'grove' (Septuagint; cf. HaKethav VeHaKabbalah). Some say that any tree planted at the entrance to a house of worship is called an Asherah (Lekach Tov; Ramban).
|or any other|
(Mizrachi; cf. Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 6:9).
Some say that it is a monolith used for sacrifices (Rashi; Radak, Sherashim; Ibn Janach; Sefer Mitzvoth Gadol, Negative 44). Others say that it is a structure built as a focus for worship (Yad, Avodath Kokhavim 6:6; Ralbag; Chinukh 493). See Leviticus 26:19.
|that God your Lord hates|
Although it was common in the time of the patriarchs (Genesis 28:18, 31:34, 35:14, Exodus 24:4), by this time, such sacred pillars had become identified with idolatrous practices (Sifri; Rashi). However, some say that the patriarchs did not use the pillars for sacrifices, but merely as a sign (Abarbanel). It is for this reason that it is permitted to erect a monument for the dead (Midrash HaGadol).