But ye shall destroy their altars
On which they had sacrificed to their idols; since, if they were allowed to continue, they might be temptations to offer sacrifice thereon, contrary to the command of God:
break their images:
of gold or silver, wood or stone, which they made for themselves, and worshipped as deities; seeing if these continued, the sight of them might lead to the worship of them, and so bring under the divine displeasure, as a breach of the command of God given them:
and cut down their groves;
which were clusters of trees, where they had their temples and their idols, and did service to them, and where, besides idolatry, many impurities were committed. Such places were originally used by good men for devotion, being shady and solitary, but when abused to superstitious and idolatrous uses, were forbidden. It is said F14, the word for "grove" is general, and includes every tree they serve, or plant, for an idol.