Deuteronomy 16:21

21 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the LORD your God,

Deuteronomy 16:21 in Other Translations

KJV
21 Thou shalt not plant thee a grove of any trees near unto the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee.
ESV
21 "You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the LORD your God that you shall make.
NLT
21 “You must never set up a wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build for the LORD your God.
MSG
21 Don't plant fertility Asherah trees alongside the Altar of God, your God, that you build.
CSB
21 "Do not set up an Asherah of any kind of wood next to the altar you will build for the Lord your God,

Deuteronomy 16:21 Meaning and Commentary

Deuteronomy 16:21

Thou shall not plant thee a grove of any trees
Of any sort of trees, as oaks or any other; not but that it was lawful to plant trees and groves of them, but not for a religious or idolatrous use: particularly

near unto the altar of the Lord thy God, which thou shalt make thee;
as the Heathens did near their altars, lest it should be thought to be done for a like superstitious and idolatrous use; which evil the Jews sometimes fell into in the times of wicked reigns, and which their good and pious kings removed and destroyed; see ( 2 Kings 18:4 ) ( 21:3 ) ( 2 Kings 23:4 2 Kings 23:7 2 Kings 23:14 2 Kings 23:15 ) and Hecataeus F2, an Heathen historian, relates of the city of Jerusalem, that there were there no image, nor plantation, nor grove, nor any such thing.


FOOTNOTES:

F2 Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 4. p. 408.

Deuteronomy 16:21 In-Context

19 Do not pervert justice or show partiality. Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the innocent.
20 Follow justice and justice alone, so that you may live and possess the land the LORD your God is giving you.
21 Do not set up any wooden Asherah pole beside the altar you build to the LORD your God,
22 and do not erect a sacred stone, for these the LORD your God hates.

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 7:5
  • 2. Exodus 34:13; 1 Kings 14:15; 2 Kings 17:16; 2 Kings 21:3; 2 Chronicles 33:3