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The Chosen People

When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess and has driven out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you, and when the Lord your God delivers them before you and you strike them down, then you must utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them nor show mercy to them. What is more, you shall not intermarry with them. You shall not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons. For they will turn your sons away from following Me to serve other gods. Then the anger of the Lord will be inflamed against you, and He will quickly destroy you. But this is how you shall deal with them: You shall destroy their altars and break down their images and cut down their Asherim[a] and burn their graven images with fire. For you are a holy people to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be His special people, treasured above all peoples who are on the face of the earth.

The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all the peoples. But it is because the Lord loved you and because He kept the oath which He swore to your fathers. The Lord brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and mercy with them who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations, 10 yet He repays those who hate Him to their face, to destroy them. He will not be slack with him who hates Him. He will repay him to his face. 11 Therefore keep the commandments and the statutes and the judgments which I command you today, by doing them.

12 If you listen to these judgments, keep them, and do them, then the Lord your God shall keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. 13 He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain, and your wine, and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples. There will not be male or female barren among you or among your livestock. 15 The Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, but will lay them on all those who hate you. 16 You must consume all the peoples whom the Lord your God will deliver to you. Your eye shall have no pity on them, nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.

17 If you say in your heart, “These nations are greater than I—how can I dispossess them?” 18 you shall not be afraid of them. You must surely remember what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, 19 the great trials which your eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty hand, and the stretched-out arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So the Lord your God will do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid. 20 Moreover the Lord your God will send the hornet among them, until they who are left and hide themselves from you perish. 21 You must not be frightened of them, for the Lord your God is among you, a great and awesome God. 22 The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, little by little. You will not be able to destroy them all at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 23 But the Lord your God will deliver them to you and will throw them into a great confusion until they are destroyed. 24 He will deliver their kings into your hand so that you may erase their names from under heaven. No man will be able to stand before you until you have destroyed them. 25 You must burn the graven images of their gods with fire. You must not desire the silver or gold that is on them nor take any of it, lest you be snared by them, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. 26 You shall not bring an abomination into your house, lest you become cursed like it, but you must absolutely detest and abhor it, for it is a cursed thing.


  1. Deuteronomy 7:5 Or groves, referring to wooden symbols of a female deity.