Deuteronomy 7

The Lord's special people

1 The Lord your God will now bring you into the land that will be your home. As you go in, he will chase out seven nations that now live there. Those nations are larger and more powerful than you are. They are the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. 2 The Lord your God will put those people under your power so that you win against them. When that happens, you must destroy them completely as a gift to God. Do not make any agreement with them to keep them safe. Do not be kind to them. 3 You must not marry any of these people. Do not let your daughters marry their sons. Do not take their daughters to marry your sons. 4 If that happens, your children may turn away from the Lord. They will start to worship other gods. Then Lord will be very angry with you. He will immediately destroy you.

5 This is what you must do to the people of those nations: Break their altars and their stone pillars into pieces. Cut down their Asherah poles. Burn their idols with fire. 6 Remember that you are a special people who belong to the Lord your God. He has chosen you for himself out of all the other people who live on the earth. He loves you as his special people.

7:5The altars, pillars and poles were all places where the other nations worshipped their false gods.

7 Why did the Lord choose you as the people who would give him pleasure? It was not because you were the largest nation on the earth. No, you were the smallest of all nations! 8 Instead, it was because of the Lord's love for you. Also, he had made a serious promise to your ancestors and he was faithful to that promise. So he used his great power to bring you out of Egypt, where you were slaves. He rescued you from the power of Pharaoh, Egypt's king.

9 Remember that the Lord your God is the only true God. So love him and obey his commands. Then you can trust him to be faithful to his covenant. He made that covenant with you, his people, and with your descendants for ever. 10 But if his people turn against him, he will punish them as they deserve. He will quickly destroy them.

11 So be careful to obey all the commands, rules and laws that I am teaching you today.

The Lord's blessings

12 Listen to these rules and be careful to obey them. If you do that, the Lord your God will be faithful to the covenant that he has made with you. He promised your ancestors that he would do this. 13 He will love you and he will bless you. He will give you many children so that you become a large nation. He will cause your fields to give you plenty of food: grain, wine and olive oil. He will cause your cows, sheep and goats to have many babies. That is how he will bless you in the land that he promised your ancestors to give you. 14 God will bless you more than any other people on the earth. All your people and all your animals will have children of their own. 15 The Lord will keep you safe from all kinds of illness. He will not give you any of the terrible illnesses that you saw in Egypt. Instead, he will cause those illnesses to hurt the people who hate you.

16 You must remove the people of every nation that the Lord your God will put under your power. Do not be kind to them. Do not worship their gods. If you do that, they will make you turn away from God.

17 Perhaps you will say to each other, ‘The people of these nations are stronger than we are. We cannot chase them away.’ 18 But do not be afraid of them. Remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and all the Egyptian people. 19 You saw how he punished them. You saw how he used his strength and power to do great miracles. The Lord your God did all those things to rescue you from Egypt. He will use the same power against all the people that make you afraid. 20 Also, the Lord your God will send great fear among these people. Even those people who hide from you will soon die. 21 When you fight against them, do not let them frighten you. The Lord your God is there to help you. He is a great and powerful God. 22 He will chase out the people of those nations, one at a time. He will not let you destroy them all immediately. If you did that, wild animals would become so many that they would be a danger to you.

7:20fear or hornets (insects that bite).

23 But the Lord your God will put your enemies under your power. He will cause them to become completely confused, so that you can destroy them. 24 He will put their kings under your power. No one will remember their names any more. No one will be able to stop you. You will destroy them all. 25 You must burn the images of their gods with fire. Do not try to keep the silver or gold from those idols. The Lord your God hates those things. If you take it for yourselves, it will catch you like a trap. 26 Do not bring anything that God hates into your house. If you do that, God will be ready to destroy you as well as the thing itself. God has said that he hates things like that, so you must hate them too.