Date:         Thu, 22 Dec 1994 09:47:54 -0600
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      Deuteronomy 7
     1.    Introduction
     2.    Explanation
     3.    Questions
  1. Introduction
  This is  an issue of a  continuous explanation of the  Bible-book Dvarim,
  that is Deuteronomy. If something is unclear in  the explanation, you can
  ask me. The Bible-text is taken from the King James version.
  Deuteronomy 7.
  Title: Warning against false tolerance
  Short contents:
  Here, Moshe says to the  Israelites how they have to behave themselves to
  the inhabitants  of Kenaan, and  what they  had to  do with their  idols.
  Moshe tells about the  glory of Israel above  all other nations. He  also
  tells what  the cause of  that election is.  He promises blessing  on the
  obedience of  God. He  comforts them  against the  strong inhabitants  of
  Kenaan. He forbids them to keep the gold and silver of the idols.
  2. Explanation
     1 When the LORD  thy God shall  bring thee into the land  whither thou
     goest to possess it, and  hath cast out many nations before thee,  the
     Chitiem, and the  Girgasiem, and the Amorites, and the  Kenaaniem, and
     the Perizie, and the Chiwiem, and the Jevusiem,  seven nations greater
     and mightier than thou;
     2  And when  the LORD  thy God  shall deliver  them before  thee; thou
     shalt  smite  them, and  utterly  destroy  them; thou  shalt  make  no
     covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
  The  LORD forbids the  nation to  make a covenant  with the  heathen. Why
  does  God this to them? He forbids this because a covenant between people
  has mutual  commitments. When an Israelite  would make a covenant  with a
  heathen, than he also should  have to answer to the commitments. When the
  heathen should  make a meal,  than the Israelite should  go there because
  of  politeness. Of  course,  he would  do  it unwillingly,  certainly  at
  first, but he would still go. When  there on that meal would happen  some
  pagan  rituals,  as  idolatry and  so  on, than  the  Israelite  would be
  defiled by that.  This is not  allowed. For God  is the only God,  and He
  does not tolerate other gods  besides Him. Therefore, the LORD warns  the
  Israelites  beforehand that they  not will  do this.  the LORD  knows how
  weak  the  people  are.  They  could  not  resist  against  the  heathen.
  Therefore, it is better to avoid the danger.  This is useful also for us.
  We better can  avoid the dangers than unnecessary seek  them. For also we
  would be weak and fall in the temptations. Also,  God commands the nation
  that they not will show mercy to the heathen. Is  this not somewhat hard,
  to  kill  all  these  heathens  without  need,  also  the  women and  the
  children? No,  this is  not hardhearted. The  heathen had already  sinned
  against  God a  very long  time. The  LORD has  been  longsuffering about
  them.  Now it is  enough, and the  judgement would begin.  So, the nation
  Israel is a medium in the hand of God,  to bring the righteous punishment
  over the heathen.
     3  Neither shalt  thou make  marriages with  them;  thy daughter  thou
     shalt  not give  unto his son,  nor his daughter shalt  thou take unto
     thy son.
  A  marriage between  a heathen  and an  Israelite is  forbidden. Why? The
  answer follows in the next verse.
     4 For they will  turn away thy  son from following me,  that they  may
     serve other  gods: so will the  anger of the  LORD be  kindled against
     you, and destroy thee suddenly.
  In a marriage, there is much indulgence between the married  couple. When
  one  of them  is a  heathen, and  wants to serve  his own  idol, than the
  other is inclined  to tolerate that  more or less.  For a quarrel  in the
  marriage, that is not  nice. But the LORD sees it in another way. To keep
  the external  peace in the  marriage, man should  be disobedient to  God.
  That is not allowed.  The LORD must be served with the  whole heart. Here
  we see that a  marriage between a heathen  and an Israelite therefore  is
  impossible. Either there  will be a  quarrel between  them, or one  would
  deviate from God. The LORD beforehand  knows the outcome, f"or they  will
  turn away thy son from following Me". Then God's  anger would be kindled,
  and  "destroy them  suddenly". Because  the LORD  seeks the  best for the
  Israelites, He warns them for that in advance. As  it was then, it is now
  still the same. A  marriage of a believer  with an unbeliever, that  will
  lead to deviation from God.
     5 But  thus shall ye  deal with  them; ye shall  destroy their altars,
     and  break down  their images,  and cut  down their  groves, and  burn
     their graven images with fire.
  Moshe  concisely commands the whole  extermination of the idolatry. Smash
  it to  pieces. Each  thing, which  still  lets thinking  to the  previous
  idolatry, that must now be exterminated. The land must become pure.
     6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God:  the LORD thy God
     hath  chosen  thee to  be a  special  people unto  himself, above  all
     people that are upon the face of the earth.
  The  LORD has  chosen  Israel above  all  other nations.  Therefore,  the
  nation must be holy before the LORD.
     7 The LORD did not  set his love upon you, nor choose you,  because ye
     were more  in number than any  people; for ye  were the fewest of  all
  Here, Moshe says that there was  no cause in the people, why the LORD had
  chosen them. They had  nothing above the other  nations. And the same  is
  it with  all election. It  is always  in grace,  and not  because of  any
  reason in us.
     8 But because  the LORD loved you, and  because he would keep the oath
     which  he had sworn  unto your fathers, hath  the LORD brought you out
     with  a mighty hand,  and redeemed  you out of  the house  of bondmen,
     from the hand of Faro king of Egypt.
  The  LORD  has chosen  the  people because  He  loved them.  That  is the
  reason.  So not because the people loved  God so much. During the journey
  through the  desert, they have  not given  evidence of  any love of  God.
  During  that journey, the  children of  Israel have enraged  God by their
  unfaithfulness. So  there was not any  love of the  nation. Nevertheless,
  the LORD loved the people. Herein, we see the one-sided work of God.
  The love of God to the  nation was not the only reason of their election.
  The other reason is that God is faithful to the  oath. The LORD had sworn
  unto the  fathers  Avraham, Yitschak  and Yaakov  that their  descendants
  would inherit  the  land Kenaan.  Here,  the LORD,  Who keeps  the  oath,
  fulfills His promise. So,  there are two reasons  of the election of  the
  nation. God's love to  the nation, and Gods  faith in the keeping of  His
  promises. From this we see,  that there was no  reason in the nation  for
  the election.  The people have  not paid more  attention to God  than the
  other nations.  Moreover, this nation has sinned  against God as heavy as
  the other  nations. The  story goes  around  among some  people that  God
  offered  the law on  Sinai to  all nations. But  everyone thought  it too
  hard, except  Israel. They accepted the  law. But here, this  anecdote is
  refuted by Moshe.  The reason of  the election was  not, that the  people
  promised at Sinai to  do the commandments. But  the reason was, that  God
  already  long ago had  given the promise  of Kenaan to  Avraham. And that
  God,  Who is faithful  and true, now  fulfills this  promise to Avraham's
     9 Know therefore that the LORD thy God,  he is God, the faithful  God,
     which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him  and keep his
     commandments to a thousand generations;
  Here, the LORD  very friendly invites  the people  to obedience. He  does
  this by promising mildness unto the far offspring. Also  is said that God
  is  the faithful  God.  That is  against  the human  unfaithfulness.  How
  unfaithful the man is, as this  nation appeared, God's faithfulness still
  cannot  be destroyed.  Here,  the loving  of  God is  written before  the
  keeping of His commandments. Therein we see that one  not will keep God's
  commandments by pressure. He will only do it, when he loves God.
     10 And repayeth them that  hate him to their face, to destroy them: he
     will not be  slack to him that  hateth him, he will  repay him  to his
  Moshe is not  a one-sided preacher. One-sided preachers speak  only about
  God's love. When one always  hears about God's love, and not  about God's
  punishments, then he sinks down  in a false rest. "God, Who  is so lovely
  and good,  He  will not  punish  me", which  men  think than.  Until  the
  punishment  comes.   Unfortunately,  that  is  the  result  of  one-sided
  speaking  about God's  love.  But Moshe  is  not so  hardhearted that  he
  withholds  the truth  from the  people. They also  must know  about God's
  punishments. Therefore,  Moshe says that God  will repay them,  that hate
  Him,  in their face. The haters impudently  raise their faces to God, and
  resist Him. But God  gives them a hit in their face to  destroy them. "He
  will not be slack to him that hates Him, he will repay him  to his face."
  The prophet also says this.  "God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the
  LORD  revengeth, and  is furious;  the LORD  will take  vengeance  on his
  adversaries, and  he reserveth  wrath for  his enemies,"  Nachum /  Nahum
     11 Thou shalt  therefore keep the commandments, and the  statutes, and
     the judgments, which I command thee this day, to do them.
  When it  is so that God does well  to them who love  Him, and repays them
  that hate Him, keep then His commandments.
     12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken  to these judgments,
     and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep  unto thee the
     covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers:
  Although the  nation has showed in  the past that they  not obey God, yet
  God treats merciful with  them. By promising mildness,  God spurs on  the
  people to  obedience. Although they  not were obedient  in the past,  yet
  they have to be it in the future.
     13  And he will love thee, and bless thee,  and multiply thee: he will
     also bless  the fruit  of thy  womb, and  the fruit of  thy land,  thy
     corn, and thy wine, and thine  oil, the increase of thy  kine, and the
     flocks of thy  sheep, in the land which  he sware unto thy fathers  to
     give thee.
  A great and rich blessing is promised on obedience.
     14 Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not  be male or
     female barren among you, or among your cattle.
  When  they should  be obedient,  the LORD promised  that no  man or woman
  would be barren. Because we  see some marriages childless, that is a sign
  that  we not have  obeyed God. With  this is not  said that the childless
  married-couple is more disobedient than the others. For when we will  see
  it in  that way, then  each marriage should  be barren. It  is otherwise.
  The LORD wants to  remember us in diverse  ways that we are  disobedient.
  God had said  that infertility would follow on disobedience.  Now, He has
  to  fulfil His  words. Therefore, he  puts some marriages  as an example.
  However,  the LORD does not want to let totally disappear the human race.
  Therefore, He  blesses many with children.  Let we, concerning  this, pay
  attention to Channa. The LORD had shut  up her womb," Shmueel / Samuel  A
  1:5.  The  LORD had  not  given children  to  her. Was  now  all hope  on
  offspring lost  for her? No,  Channa knew that  she could go to  God with
  all her needs. She prayed to God  for a child. "And she vowed a  vow, and
  said, O LORD  of hosts,  if thou wilt  indeed look  on the affliction  of
  thine handmaid,  and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt
  give unto thine handmaid  a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD
  all the days of  his life, and there shall no razor come  upon his head,"
  Shmueel / Samuel A 1:11. And, as we know, the LORD has  heard her prayer.
  What did  she after  that? Did  she forget  the LORD?  No, that not.  She
  thanked  God and gave Shmueel /  Samuel her child to  the LORD. "For this
  child I prayed; and the  LORD hath given me my petition which I  asked of
  him. Therefore also  I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he
  shall be lent to the LORD. And  he worshipped the LORD there," Shmueel  /
  Samuel A 1:27,28.  This history of Channa  teaches us that  we may go  to
  the LORD with  all our  needs. It  also teaches  us that we  not must  be
  ungratefully with  the received  benefits, but that  we must totally  put
  these benefits in the service of God.
     15 And the  LORD will take away from  thee all sickness,  and will put
     none  of the  evil diseases of  Egypt, which thou  knowest, upon thee;
     but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.
     16 And thou shalt consume all the people  which the LORD thy God shall
     deliver thee; thine  eye shall have no  pity upon them: neither  shalt
     thou serve their gods; for that will be a snare unto thee.
  When the Israelites  will come in the  land, than will happen one  of two
  things.  Either the  nation will  tempt  them to  idolatry, and  then the
  people will be decayed by  God's punishment. Or they have  to exterminate
  the  nations, and  will  be saved  theirself.  God's people  cannot  live
  together with the heathen. When they come  together, then one must evade.
  The  LORD warns  them not  to  feel sorry  for those  heathen. They  have
  already sinned many centuries  against God. Now, it  is the time for  the
  revenge. When God gets His  revenge, will they sabotage it then? It would
  be a snare unto them.
     17  If thou shalt say in  thine heart, These  nations are more than I;
     how can I dispossess them?
  The  nation Israel will be very frightened at the sight of these nations.
  For these nations were  much more and  stronger. Not strange that  Israel
  will fear then.
     18 Thou  shalt not be afraid of them: but shalt well remember what the
     LORD thy God did unto Faro, and unto all Egypt;
  Although  the nation  fears, the  LORD  will encourage  them. They  shall
  remember the great  miracles in Egypt.  Also then, they were  much weaker
  then the Egyptians. But also then, God has defeated them by His power.
     19 The great temptations which thine  eyes saw, and the signs, and the
     wonders, and the mighty  hand, and the stretched out arm,  whereby the
     LORD thy  God brought thee out: so shall the LORD  thy God do unto all
     the people of whom thou art afraid.
  As God has done  then, He will  also do now.  Hereof, we learn  something
  for ourselves. When God commands  us to do something, then it  can happen
  that great obstacles  come in the way for us. These obstacles can be much
  greater and mightier then we are. But the  LORD urges us to break through
  all the  obstacles,  and not  to stand  still despondently.  We must  not
  break  through in own power, because we have  that not. But when the LORD
  commands  us something, then He will take care that all obstacles will be
  knocked  down. See  this in  Gidon. "And  the LORD  looked upon  him, and
  said: Go in this thy might, and  thou shalt save Israel from the  hand of
  the Midjaniem: have  not I sent thee? And  he said unto him, Oh  my Lord,
  wherewith shall I save Israel? Behold, my family is  poor in Menashe, and
  I am the least in  my father's house. And the LORD  said unto him, Surely
  I will be  with thee, and  thou shalt  smite the Midjaniem  as one  man,"
  Shoftiem /  Judges 6:14-16.  God commanded Gidon  to beat the  Midjaniem.
  Gidon  did not dare, because he was  very weak and little in himself. The
  LORD encouraged him by saying that God would be with him.
     20  Moreover the LORD  thy God will send  the hornet among them, until
     they that are left, and hide themselves from thee, be destroyed.
  The LORD  will also  fight against  the heathen  by  hornets. The  people
  fight  by  the sword,  but the  LORD will  fight  in another  way. Later,
  Jehoshua / Joshua  tells that the  LORD indeed has  done it. "And I  sent
  the  hornet before you,  which drave them  out from before  you, even the
  two kings of  the Amorites; but  not with thy sword,  nor with thy  bow,"
  Jhoshua 24:12. Herein, we see  that all creatures are in God's hand. They
  do all what He wants. Eliahu got his food from the ravens.  "And it shall
  be, that thou shalt  drink of the brook; and I  have commanded the ravens
  to feed thee there,"  Mlachiem A /  1 Kings 17:4.  The serpents do  God's
  will.  "And though  they hide  themselves in  the top  of Carmel,  I will
  search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight  in
  the bottom of  the sea, thence will  I command the serpent, and  he shall
  bite them," Amos 9:3. When there is a plague  of vermin in our time, then
  it is sure that they are sent by God.
     21 Thou  shalt not  be affrighted  at them:  for the LORD  thy God  is
     among you, a mighty God and terrible.
     22 And  the LORD thy  God will  put out those  nations before thee  by
     little and  little: thou  mayest not consume  them at  once, lest  the
     beasts of the field increase upon thee.
  The LORD will  not put them out  at once, but bit by  bit. Here, God says
  it already beforehand.  So, the nation  Israel knows that the  fight will
  last a long  time. But now,  they know the  reason of it. When  the fight
  lasts  longer  then they  had  thought, then  they  will  no more  become
  discouraged. They know the reason  now. When the heathen would be put out
  at once,  than would  the wild  beasts come  to live in  the land.  Then,
  Israel would have the fight against the wild beasts.
     23  But  the LORD  thy God  shall deliver  them unto  thee,  and shall
     destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed.
  Look,  hoe God  acts here.  In  verse 21,  God  says: "You  shall not  be
  affrighted at  them." Israel had  not to be frightened,  but the heathens
  had to do so. That  is the difference between them. The LORD is  a great,
  strong and terrible Hero.  They, who are in  the charge of that  powerful
  God,  they  will  be safe.  But  God's enemies,  they  must  be intensely
  frightened. It  is still the  same in the  present time. Who  resists God
  will surely be exterminated. But who is adopted  by God in grace, he will
  receive the good.
     24 And he shall  deliver their kings into thine  hand, and thou  shalt
     destroy their name from under  heaven: there shall  no man be able  to
     stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them.
     25  The graven  images of  their gods  shall ye  burn with  fire: thou
     shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them,  nor take it unto
     thee,  lest thou  be snared therein:  for it is an  abomination to the
     LORD thy God.
     26 Neither  shalt thou  bring an  abomination into  thine house,  lest
     thou be a cursed thing like it:  but thou shalt utterly detest it, and
     thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.
  Look,  what a great aversion God  has to the idolatry.  Even the gold and
  the silver, of which  the images were made, had to be  destroyed. So much
  God hates the idolatry.  He gives this commandment  to the profit of  the
  people.  They would  be snared  by the  gold and  silver. Therefore,  God
  warns  them here.  This is not  so strange.  In the past,  Moshe had also
  done with  the golden calf  at Chorev. "And  he took the calf  which they
  had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and  strawed
  it upon  the water, and made  the children of Israel  drink of it," Shmot
  32:20. We should probably  say: "That is a pity of the gold.  Let us melt
  it down, than we can still use it before a good purpose.  For example, to
  support  the  poor  and  the  hungry  by  that."  But   the  LORD  thinks
  differently about that.  So great is  His aversion to the  idolatry. And,
  as is said, it would become a snare for  us. When we had much money, then
  we would in no way give it to the poor and the hungry. But we  would keep
  is for ourselves.  Because of the riches,  we would be snared. So,  it is
  the best  for the human  to be not  rich and not  poor. The same  as Agur
  says this:  "Give  me  neither poverty  nor  riches;  feed me  with  food
  convenient for me.  Lest I be  full, and deny  thee, and say, Who  is the
  LORD? or  lest I  be poor,  and steal,  and take  the name of  my God  in
  vain," Mishlee / Proverbs 30:8,9.
  3. Questions
  If  you  want  to gain  more  benefit  from  the explanation,  you  could
  consider to answer the questions and do the  tasks. You can send these to
  the  editor. He  will  look  at  it, and  return  them  to you  with  his
  1  Israel was not allowed  to make a  covenant with the heathen,  neither
     to go in marriage with them. Why not?
  2  Israel had  to clean the whole  land of the  heathen rests.  What does
     this teach us for our own houses?
  3  Which  two  reasons gives  the LORD  for  the election  of the  nation
  4  a. What does God to them, that hate Him?
     b. Do you hate God or do you love Him?
  5  In the  desert, the nation has been stiff-necked  against the LORD. In
     reality,  they  have  therefore  deserved  the  death.  Why  does  God
     nevertheless bring them in the promised land?
  6  Read verse 12-15. What does God promise to them, that love Him?
  7  Previously, Channa was without children.
     a. What did she do then?
     b. When she got Shmueel / Samuel, what did she do with him then? Why?
  8  Has Israel chased off the heathen out the land in own power?
  9  Read Mishlee / Proverbs 30:8,9.
     a. What is the danger of riches?
     b. What is the danger of poverty?
  1  In verse three  is forbidden that Israel would make marriages with the
     heathen. Look  up in  Shoftiem / Judges  3, Mlachiem A  / 1  Kings 11,
     Ezra 9 if the nation has always obeyed this.
  2  In verse  eight is written the  reason, why God  had saved  the nation
     Israel out  of Egypt,  and had  brought them  in Kenaan. Seek  similar
     reasons in 1 Shmueel / Samuel 12 and Thilliem / Psalm 44.
    Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
       No copyrights on this publication  -  Translated by a Dutchman
           Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands