But thus shall ye deal with them
The inhabitants of the land of Canaan:
ye shall destroy their altars;
on which they sacrificed to their idols:
and break down their images;
of their gods, and the statues and pillars erected to the honour of them:
and cut down their groves;
sacred to idols, which were usually planted on hills, and about Heathen temples, and under which idols were placed to be worshipped. The Targum of Jonathan calls them trees of their adoration, under which they worshipped; though there was a worship paid to them, not indeed directly to them, or for their sakes, but for the sake of the idols they were sacred to, or were placed under them; so Maimonides F5 says, a tree which at first was planted to be worshipped is forbidden of any use (or profit); and this is the (hrva) , or "grove", spoken of in the law, a tree planted and lopped, of which a graven image is made for an idol; and so the tree that has been worshipped, though the body of it is, not forbidden, all the shoots and leaves, and the branches, and the fruits it produces all the time it is worshipped, are forbidden to be used: though the word here used sometimes seems to signify, not a grove of trees, but some image itself, since we read of it in the temple, ( 2 Kings 21:7 ) ( 23:6 ) ,
and burn their graven images with fire;
distinguished from their molten images, which may be meant in a preceding clause, and which are particularly mentioned as to be destroyed as well as these, ( Numbers 33:52 ) .
F5 Hilchot Obede Cochabim, c. 8. sect. 3, 4. Vid. Misn. Avodah Zarah, c. 3. sect. 7.