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Exodus 34:13-15 New English Translation (NET Bible)

13 Rather you must destroy their altars, smash their images, and cut down their Asherah poles.[a] 14 For you must not worship[b] any other god,[c] for the Lord, whose name[d] is Jealous, is a jealous God. 15 Be careful[e] not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, for when[f] they prostitute themselves[g] to their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone invites you,[h] you will eat from his sacrifice;

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 34:13 tn Or “images of Asherah”; ASV, NASB “their Asherim”; NCV “their Asherah idols.”sn Asherah was a leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles. These were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).
  2. Exodus 34:14 tn Heb “bow down.”
  3. Exodus 34:14 sn In Exod 20:3 it was “gods.”
  4. Exodus 34:14 sn Here, too, the emphasis on God’s being a jealous God is repeated (see Exod 20:5). The use of “name” here is to stress that this is his nature, his character.
  5. Exodus 34:15 tn The sentence begins simply “lest you make a covenant”; it is undoubtedly a continuation of the imperative introduced earlier, and so that is supplied here.
  6. Exodus 34:15 tn The verb is a perfect with a vav consecutive. In the literal form of the sentence, this clause tells what might happen if the people made a covenant with the inhabitants of the land: “Take heed…lest you make a covenant…and then they prostitute themselves…and sacrifice…and invite…and you eat.” The sequence lays out an entire scenario.
  7. Exodus 34:15 tn The verb זָנָה (zanah) means “to play the prostitute; to commit whoredom; to be a harlot” or something similar. It is used here and elsewhere in the Bible for departing from pure religion and engaging in pagan religion. The use of the word in this figurative sense is fitting, because the relationship between God and his people is pictured as a marriage, and to be unfaithful to it was a sin. This is also why God is described as a “jealous” or “impassioned” God. The figure may not be merely a metaphorical use, but perhaps a metonymy, since there actually was sexual immorality at the Canaanite altars and poles.
  8. Exodus 34:15 tn There is no subject for the verb. It could be rendered “and one invites you,” or it could be made a passive.
New English Translation (NET)

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