The Lord's Own People
1 “The Lord your God will bring you into the land that you are going to occupy, and he will drive many nations out of it. As you advance, he will drive out seven nations larger and more powerful than you: the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 2When the Lord your God places these people in your power and you defeat them, you must put them all to death. Do not make an alliance with them or show them any mercy. 3Do not marry any of them, and do not let your children marry any of them, 4because then they would lead your children away from the Lord to worship other gods. If that happens, the Lord will be angry with you and destroy you at once. 5 So then, tear down their altars, break their sacred stone pillars in pieces, cut down their symbols of the goddess Asherah, and burn their idols. 6 Do this because you belong to the Lord your God. From all the peoples on earth he chose you to be his own special people.
7“The Lord did not love you and choose you because you outnumbered other peoples; you were the smallest nation on earth. 8But the Lord loved you and wanted to keep the promise that he made to your ancestors. That is why he saved you by his great might and set you free from slavery to the king of Egypt. 9 Remember that the Lord your God is the only God and that he is faithful. He will keep his covenant and show his constant love to a thousand generations of those who love him and obey his commands, 10but he will not hesitate to punish those who hate him. 11Now then, obey what you have been taught; obey all the laws that I have given you today.
The Blessings of Obedience
12 “If you listen to these commands and obey them faithfully, then the Lord your God will continue to keep his covenant with you and will show you his constant love, as he promised your ancestors. 13He will love you and bless you, so that you will increase in number and have many children; he will bless your fields, so that you will have grain, wine, and olive oil; and he will bless you by giving you many cattle and sheep. He will give you all these blessings in the land that he promised your ancestors he would give to you. 14No people in the world will be as richly blessed as you. None of you nor any of your livestock will be sterile. 15The Lord will protect you from all sickness, and he will not bring on you any of the dreadful diseases that you experienced in Egypt, but he will bring them on all your enemies. 16Destroy every nation that the Lord your God places in your power, and do not show them any mercy. Do not worship their gods, for that would be fatal.
17“Do not tell yourselves that these peoples outnumber you and that you cannot drive them out. 18Do not be afraid of them; remember what the Lord your God did to the king of Egypt and to all his people. 19Remember the terrible plagues that you saw with your own eyes, the miracles and wonders, and the great power and strength by which the Lord your God set you free. In the same way that he destroyed the Egyptians, he will destroy all these people that you now fear. 20He will even cause panic among them and will destroy those who escape and go into hiding. 21So do not be afraid of these people. The Lord your God is with you; he is a great God and one to be feared. 22Little by little he will drive out these nations as you advance. You will not be able to destroy them all at once, for, if you did, the number of wild animals would increase and be a threat to you. 23The Lord will put your enemies in your power and make them panic until they are destroyed. 24He will put their kings in your power. You will kill them, and they will be forgotten. No one will be able to stop you; you will destroy everyone. 25Burn their idols. Do not desire the silver or gold that is on them, and do not take it for yourselves. If you do, that will be fatal, because the Lord hates idolatry. 26Do not bring any of these idols into your homes, or the same curse will be on you that is on them. You must hate and despise these idols, because they are under the Lord's curse.