Deuteronomy 7

CHAPTER VII

With the seven nations that God shall cast out, 1,

they shall make no covenant, 2,

nor form any matrimonial alliances, 3;

lest they should be enticed into idolatry, 4.

All monuments of idolatry to be destroyed, 5.

The Israelites are to consider themselves a holy people, 6;

and that the Lord had made them such, not for their merits, but

for his own mercies, 7, 8.

They shall therefore love him, and keep his commandments, 9-11.

The great privileges of the obedient, 12-24.

All idolatry to be avoided, 25, 26.

NOTES ON CHAP. VII

Verse 1. Seven nations greater and mightier than thou] In

several places of the Hebrew text, each of these seven nations is

not enumerated, some one or other being left out, which the

Septuagint in general supply. How these nations were distributed

over the land of Canaan previously to the entering in of the

Israelites, the reader may see in the note on "Jos 3:10".

Verse 2. Thou shalt smite them, &c.] These idolatrous nations

were to be utterly destroyed, and all the others also which were

contiguous to the boundaries of the promised land, provided they

did not renounce their idolatry and receive the true faith: for if

they did not, then no covenant was to be made with them on any

secular or political consideration whatever; no mercy was to be

shown to them, because the cup of their iniquity also was now

full; and they must either embrace, heartily embrace, the true

religion, or be cut off.

Verse 3. Neither shalt thou make marriages, &c.] The heart

being naturally inclined to evil, there is more likelihood that

the idolatrous wife should draw aside the believing husband, than

that the believing husband should be able to bring over his

idolatrous wife to the true faith.

Verse 6. Thou art a holy people] And therefore should have no

connection with the workers of iniquity.

A special people] segullah,-Septuagint, λαον

περιουσιον,-a peculiar people, a private property. The words as

they stand in the Septuagint are quoted by the apostle, 1Pe 2:9.

Verse 8. But because the Lord loved you] It was no good in

them that induced God to choose them at this time to be his

peculiar people: he had his reasons, but these sprang from his

infinite goodness. He intended to make a full discovery of his

goodness to the world, and this must have a commencement in some

particular place, and among some people. He chose that time, and

he chose the Jewish people; but not because of their goodness or

holiness.

Verse 12. The Lord-shall keep unto thee the covenant] So we

find their continuance in the state of favour was to depend on

their faithfulness to the grace of God. If they should rebel,

though God had chosen them through his love, yet he would cast

them off in his justice. The elect, we see, may become

unfaithful, and so become reprobates. So it happened to 24,000 of

them, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness because they had

sinned; yet these were of the elect that came out of Egypt. Let

him that standeth take heed lest he fall.

Verse 22. Put out those nations-by little and little] The

Israelites were not as yet sufficiently numerous to fill the whole

land occupied by the seven nations mentioned De 7:1. And as wild

and ferocious animals might be expected to multiply where either

there are no inhabitants, or the place is but thinly peopled,

therefore God tells them that, though at present, by force of

arms, they might be able to expel them, it would be impolitic so

to do, lest the beasts of the field should multiply upon them.

Verse 25. Thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on

them] Some of the ancient idols were plated over with gold, and

God saw that the value of the metal and the excellence of the

workmanship might be an inducement for the Israelites to preserve

them; and this might lead, remotely at least, to idolatry. As the

idols were accursed, all those who had them, or any thing

appertaining to them, were accursed also, De 7:26.

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