"When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are about to enter and occupy, he will clear away many nations ahead of you: the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. These seven nations are all more powerful than you.
When the LORD your God hands these nations over to you and you conquer them, you must completely destroy a them. Make no treaties with them and show them no mercy.
Do not intermarry with them, and don't let your daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters.
They will lead your young people away from me to worship other gods. Then the anger of the LORD will burn against you, and he will destroy you.
Instead, you must break down their pagan altars and shatter their sacred pillars. Cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols.
For you are a holy people, who belong to the LORD your God. Of all the people on earth, the LORD your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.
"The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations!
It was simply because the LORD loves you, and because he was keeping the oath he had sworn to your ancestors. That is why the LORD rescued you with such amazing power from your slavery under Pharaoh in Egypt.
Understand, therefore, that the LORD your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and constantly loves those who love him and obey his commands.
But he does not hesitate to punish and destroy those who hate him.
Therefore, obey all these commands, laws, and regulations I am giving you today.
"If you listen to these regulations and obey them faithfully, the LORD your God will keep his covenant of unfailing love with you, as he solemnly promised your ancestors.
He will love you and bless you and make you into a great nation. He will give you many children and give fertility to your land and your animals. When you arrive in the land he swore to give your ancestors, you will have large crops of grain, grapes, and olives, and great herds of cattle, sheep, and goats.
You will be blessed above all the nations of the earth. None of your men or women will be childless, and all your livestock will bear young.
And the LORD will protect you from all sickness. He will not let you suffer from the terrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will bring them all on your enemies!
"You must destroy all the nations the LORD your God hands over to you. Show them no mercy and do not worship their gods. If you do, they will trap you.
Perhaps you will think to yourselves, 'How can we ever conquer these nations that are so much more powerful than we are?'
But don't be afraid of them! Just remember what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all the land of Egypt.
Remember the great terrors the LORD your God sent against them. You saw it all with your own eyes! And remember the miraculous signs and wonders, and the amazing power he used when he brought you out of Egypt. The LORD your God will use this same power against the people you fear.
And then the LORD your God will send hornets b to drive out the few survivors still hiding from you!
"No, do not be afraid of those nations, for the LORD your God is among you, and he is a great and awesome God.
The LORD your God will drive those nations out ahead of you little by little. You will not clear them away all at once, for if you did, the wild animals would multiply too quickly for you.
But the LORD your God will hand them over to you. He will throw them into complete confusion until they are destroyed.
He will put their kings in your power, and you will erase their names from the face of the earth. No one will be able to stand against you, and you will destroy them all.
"You must burn their idols in fire, and do not desire the silver or gold with which they are made. Do not take it or it will become a snare to you, for it is detestable to the LORD your God.
Do not bring any detestable objects into your home, for then you will be set apart for destruction just like them. You must utterly detest such things, for they are set apart for destruction.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)