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Deuteronomy 7

Driving Out the Nations

1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations—the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you—
2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally.[a] Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons,
4 for they will turn your children away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you.
5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles[b] and burn their idols in the fire.
6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
7 The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
8 But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your ancestors that he brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery, from the power of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.
10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction; he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.
11 Therefore, take care to follow the commands, decrees and laws I give you today.
12 If you pay attention to these laws and are careful to follow them, then the LORD your God will keep his covenant of love with you, as he swore to your ancestors.
13 He will love you and bless you and increase your numbers. He will bless the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land—your grain, new wine and olive oil—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
14 You will be blessed more than any other people; none of your men or women will be childless, nor will any of your livestock be without young.
15 The LORD will keep you free from every disease. He will not inflict on you the horrible diseases you knew in Egypt, but he will inflict them on all who hate you.
16 You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
17 You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?”
18 But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.
19 You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear.
20 Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished.
21 Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God.
22 The LORD your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or the wild animals will multiply around you.
23 But the LORD your God will deliver them over to you, throwing them into great confusion until they are destroyed.
24 He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them.
25 The images of their gods you are to burn in the fire. Do not covet the silver and gold on them, and do not take it for yourselves, or you will be ensnared by it, for it is detestable to the LORD your God.
26 Do not bring a detestable thing into your house or you, like it, will be set apart for destruction. Regard it as vile and utterly detest it, for it is set apart for destruction.

Deuteronomy 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Intercourse with the Canaanites forbidden. (1-11) Promises if they were obedient. (12-26)

Verses 1-11 Here is a strict caution against all friendship and fellowship with idols and idolaters. Those who are in communion with God, must have no communication with the unfruitful works of darkness. Limiting the orders to destroy, to the nations here mentioned, plainly shows that after ages were not to draw this into a precedent. A proper understanding of the evil of sin, and of the mystery of a crucified Saviour, will enable us to perceive the justice of God in all his punishments, temporal and eternal. We must deal decidedly with our lusts that war against our souls; let us not show them any mercy, but mortify, and crucify, and utterly destroy them. Thousands in the world that now is, have been undone by ungodly marriages; for there is more likelihood that the good will be perverted, than that the bad will be converted. Those who, in choosing yoke-fellows, keep not within the bounds of a profession of religion, cannot promise themselves helps meet for them.

Verses 12-26 We are in danger of having fellowship with the works of darkness if we take pleasure in fellowship with those who do such works. Whatever brings us into a snare, brings us under a curse. Let us be constant to our duty, and we cannot question the constancy of God's mercy. Diseases are God's servants; they go where he sends them, and do what he bids them. It is therefore good for the health of our bodies, thoroughly to mortify the sin of our souls; which is our rule of duty. Yet sin is never totally destroyed in this world; and it actually prevails in us much more than it would do, if we were watchful and diligent. In all this the Lord acts according to the counsel of his own will; but that counsel being hid from us, forms no excuse for our sloth and negligence, of which it is in no degree the cause. We must not think, that because the deliverance of the church, and the destruction of the enemies of the soul, are not done immediately, therefore they will never be done. God will do his own work in his own method and time; and we may be sure that they are always the best. Thus corruption is driven out of the hearts of believers by little and little. The work of sanctification is carried on gradually; but at length there will be a complete victory. Pride, security, and other sins that are common effects of prosperity, are enemies more dangerous than beasts of the field, and more apt to increase upon us.

Cross References 70

  • 1. S Leviticus 14:34; S Deuteronomy 4:38
  • 2. Deuteronomy 20:16-18; Deuteronomy 31:3; Acts 13:19
  • 3. Genesis 15:20
  • 4. S Genesis 10:16
  • 5. S Deuteronomy 1:7
  • 6. Genesis 13:7
  • 7. S Genesis 10:17
  • 8. Joshua 3:10
  • 9. S Deuteronomy 2:33
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 2:34
  • 11. Numbers 31:17; Deuteronomy 33:27; Joshua 11:11
  • 12. S Exodus 23:32
  • 13. ver 16; Deuteronomy 13:8; Deuteronomy 19:13; Deuteronomy 25:12
  • 14. Exodus 34:15-16; Joshua 22:16; Daniel 9:7; Ezra 9:2
  • 15. Judges 3:6
  • 16. S Deuteronomy 4:26; Deuteronomy 6:15
  • 17. S Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 16:21
  • 18. S Exodus 23:24; Deuteronomy 12:2-3
  • 19. Exodus 19:6; S Leviticus 27:30; Exodus 19:5-6; 1 Peter 2:9
  • 20. Deuteronomy 26:19; Psalms 30:4; Psalms 37:28; Psalms 50:5; Psalms 52:9; Jeremiah 2:3
  • 21. Deuteronomy 14:2; 1 Kings 3:8; Isaiah 41:9; Ezekiel 20:5
  • 22. S Genesis 17:7; S Exodus 8:22; S Exodus 34:9; Isaiah 43:1; Romans 9:4; Titus 2:14
  • 23. S Genesis 22:17
  • 24. Genesis 34:30
  • 25. Deuteronomy 4:37; Deuteronomy 10:22
  • 26. S Deuteronomy 4:37; 1 Kings 10:9; 2 Chronicles 2:11; Psalms 44:3; Deuteronomy 10:15
  • 27. Exodus 32:13; S Numbers 14:8; Romans 11:28
  • 28. S Exodus 3:20
  • 29. S Exodus 6:6
  • 30. S Exodus 13:14
  • 31. S Deuteronomy 4:35
  • 32. Psalms 18:25; Psalms 33:4; Psalms 108:4; Psalms 145:13; Psalms 146:6; Isaiah 49:7; Jeremiah 42:5; Hosea 11:12; S 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Timothy 2:13
  • 33. ver 12; 1 Kings 8:23; 2 Chronicles 6:14; Nehemiah 1:5; Nehemiah 9:32; Daniel 9:4
  • 34. S Exodus 20:6
  • 35. S Deuteronomy 5:10
  • 36. S Leviticus 26:28; S Numbers 10:35; Nahum 1:2
  • 37. Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Psalms 105:8-9; Micah 7:20
  • 38. Psalms 11:5; Psalms 146:8; Proverbs 15:9; Isaiah 51:1; John 14:21
  • 39. S Genesis 17:6; Exodus 1:7; Deuteronomy 1:10; Deuteronomy 13:17; Deuteronomy 30:5; Psalms 107:38
  • 40. S Genesis 49:25
  • 41. S Genesis 27:28
  • 42. S Numbers 18:12
  • 43. Deuteronomy 28:4
  • 44. Exodus 23:26
  • 45. S Exodus 15:26
  • 46. S Exodus 9:9
  • 47. S Exodus 23:25; Deuteronomy 30:8-10
  • 48. ver 24; Joshua 6:2; Joshua 10:26
  • 49. S ver 2; Exodus 23:33
  • 50. Judges 3:6; Ezra 9:1; Psalms 106:36
  • 51. ver 25; S Exodus 10:7; Judges 8:27
  • 52. Numbers 33:53
  • 53. S Numbers 14:9; S Deuteronomy 1:21,29; Deuteronomy 31:6
  • 54. Psalms 105:5; Psalms 119:52
  • 55. Psalms 136:12
  • 56. Deuteronomy 4:34
  • 57. S Exodus 23:28; Joshua 24:12
  • 58. S Genesis 17:7; Joshua 3:10
  • 59. Deuteronomy 10:17; Nehemiah 1:5; Nehemiah 9:32; Psalms 47:2; Psalms 66:3; Psalms 68:35; Isaiah 9:6; Daniel 9:4
  • 60. Exodus 23:28-30
  • 61. Exodus 23:27; Joshua 10:10
  • 62. Joshua 10:24; Psalms 110:5
  • 63. S ver 16
  • 64. S Exodus 23:31; Deuteronomy 11:25; Joshua 1:5; Joshua 10:8; Joshua 23:9
  • 65. Joshua 21:44
  • 66. S Exodus 4:14; S Exodus 32:20; 1 Chronicles 14:12
  • 67. Exodus 20:17; Joshua 7:21
  • 68. S ver 16; Judges 8:27
  • 69. Deuteronomy 17:1
  • 70. Leviticus 27:28-29

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them; also in verse 26.
  • [b]. That is, wooden symbols of the goddess Asherah; here and elsewhere in Deuteronomy

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the Israelites are exhorted to destroy the seven nations of the land of Canaan, when they entered into it, and to make no alliances with them of any kind, nor suffer any remains of idolatry to continue, De 7:1-5 to observe which, and other commands of God, they are urged from the consideration of their being freely chosen of God above all other people, and of their being redeemed out of the house of bondage, and of the Lord's being a covenant keeping God to them, De 7:6-11 and it is promised them, for their further encouragement to keep the commands of God, that they should have an increase of all temporal good things, and no evils and calamities should come upon them, De 6:12-16, and, lest they should be disheartened at the numbers and might of their enemies, they are put in mind of what God had done for them in Egypt, and of what he had promised to do for them now, De 7:17-20 and they are assured that the nations should be cast out before them by little and little, until they were utterly destroyed, De 7:21-24 and the chapter is concluded with an exhortation to destroy their images, and not admit anything of that sort to be brought into their houses, De 7:25,26.

Deuteronomy 7 Commentaries

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