Devotional Commentary on Deuteronomy 7


In 7:1 Moses is anticipating and outlining what the Lord is going to do for Israel regarding the squatters from other countries on this territory called Canaan or Palestine. Hittites did not live originally in Palestine. Their territory was higher up above Syria in Turkey. Amorites were in the desert. But in Judges 1:34 they lived in the plains and Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim (1:35). This was in 1406-1368 BCE. Moses wrote his report in 1411-1410 BCE. The word Perizzites may be the Egyptian word pr for palace or house. The Akkadian word zizanu for reptile gives the idea of moving, also from the Akkadian root zazu for move. House of reptiles or house of moving and even the option of house of abundance. If it was a storehouse(s) for the king of Egypt it might be called the house of abundance. People from Egypt working for the Pharaoh in this territory will be called related to those building functions Perizzites, people related to the house of abundance-storehouses. Again they were squatters in a country not of their own. They were tapping the resources for other countries to enjoy. The word 3bw in Middle Egyptian means “ivory” so whether Jebus is related to the Egyptian center for ivory markets in Canaan, called Jebusites, around Jerusalem, is not certain but then again is also a possibility. Judges 3:3 indicates that the Hivvites lived Mount Lebanon from Mount Baalhermon unto the entering of Hamath. One of my theories is that the Perizzites were Egyptian loyalists to the son of the architect of Thutmosis III who died in 1450 BCE as pharaoh of the Exodus, with the name of Pe-ra-aš-še-na. The cuneiform letter from Tell Balaa in line one says: ana Pe-ra-aš-še-na (Albright read Bi-ra- aš-še-na). This individual was under the king of Beth-shean. Probably he served in that area between 1410-1405 BCE. God was going to drive out these squatters in the territory where Abraham used to live and his immediate children. It is legitimate for us to speculate over who they were because no one knows for sure.

It is God who will deliver them (7:2). In Isaiah 31:1 that the problem with faithful people is that they trust in military powers but do not “look unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord.” This is very important in our own age where trust is place upon the might of the military as well. People feel safe when the military is strong. God fights with symmetry but also asymmetry. If they received the order to destroy them they were not to make a covenant with them or be gracious to them.

Intermarriage with these nations were forbidden (7:3).

M. Fishbane, the modernist theologian argues with hermeneutics of suspicion, that Deuteronomy 7:1-2 is different than Deuteronomy 7:3 because, he said, if extermination of these nations takes place in verses 1-2, how can they intermarry in verse 3 (Fishbane 1985, ed. 1989: 201-202). The answer is simple. These nations were squatting in Canaan and by exterminating them, they are only exterminated on Israel soil not outside of it, not in their own countries. They can return later for intermarriage. Fishbane is under serious review methodologically. His epistemology crippled his interpretation and in could just be that his ontology crippled his epistemology to start off with. He may be agnostic? Heaven forbid.

The total removal of the nations was expected by God as a source of problems in future, if not. Israel, as one will learn from the invasion history in Judges also, did not succeed in driving them out completely. They failed to heed to God’s warnings. The squatters were put to labor-forces and that was their problem because laborers have to stay in their free-time or off-time with their families nearby and children of the laborer will play with the children of the owner. They thought they could handle the social situation. They couldn’t and God was right. Faithful people needed to segregate as families to a safe zone and only integrate at times and places when called for but a total integration all the time proved harmful.

The problem with integrating with these foreigners is their culture, their religion that is contra God. “For he will turn away your son from following Me and they will worship the gods of others” (7:4).

The altars are to be demolished and the monuments should be smashed, the asherim trees should be cut down and the graven images should be burnt with fire (7:5). Of course, Deuteronomy 7 was preached and written many years after Exodus 23. There will be differences in the sense that it is a different audience and different zone where it is preached and Moses is older, from 82 in Exodus 23 and 120 in Deuteronomy.

Nothing that Moses said in Deuteronomy 7:6-11 was not said in Exodus or Numbers or Leviticus, for example about holiness, election of God, also the individual retribution by God. It is embedded all over these three earlier books. But what Fishbane et al modernists want to do is to refuse the existence of Moses, create a school of plagiarists who constructed the books and intercepted them with later phrases. Jewish scholarship would not allow this manipulations of the canonical text, not in earlier times and not today. The theory stands under serious review. God said that He did not choose them for their quantity (7:7).

Similar to language that one finds in Isaiah and in John 3:16, the beloved disciple of the Lord, it is said that “the Lord’s love for you” is the main reason why God choose people. So this concept is all through the canon of Scriptures unchanged: Moses, Isaiah and John and Paul. Others too. From 1410 BCE to 97 A.D. the concept of God’s love for humanity before salvation was unchanged. Love preceded redemption. Old and New Testaments. There never was a covenant of works that is followed by a covenant of grace. It is faith that works that saved in the Old Testament and faith that works that saved in the New. No contradiction.

God also is faithful (7:9). He keeps His covenant with dignity of loving kindness. Those who also love Him, He keeps the agreement.

In similar vein He punishes those who hate Him. Their destiny is eventually to perish. Not just die as all people are but eventually to be completely extinct. Memory, deeds, existence, ID everything. Forgotten and nobodies. Despite the volumes of agnostic and atheistic books they have written.

What God is constantly expecting His faithful to do is to observe the commandments, statutes and ordinances (7:11). It includes Leviticus 11 with the arrangement as to what one should eat and not. Ham is forbidden even unto our times and well beyond. Unfit pig then is unfit in our day. Not difference. The cross of Christ did not mean to make the pig cleaner.

In 7:12 Moses repeat again that keeping the commandments will have the added blessing that God will keep His covenants.

Love was not only before redemption. It is ongoing. “He will love you and bless you and multiply you” (7:13). Tangible things would be blessed: fruit of your womb, soil, grain, wine, oil and offspring of cattle.

Anyone who is faithful is blessed above all peoples. No nation is excluded. It is about a relationship not about genes or bloodtype or race category (7:14). It sounds like one nation better than others here but in the context of the whole canon that is not the case.

God does not catch a fish and do not scale it too. He will remove “all illness…evil diseases” (7:15).

The extinction rule that the Lord gives in 7:16 are those whom the Lord gave into their hands. It does not mean destroying the Hittite country but those Hittite squatters in their territory.

Should they have the grasshopper complex? We are too small or too little to defeat them? (7:17). The answer is that they should not fear them (7:18). They must remember what the Lord did to Pharaoh Thutmosis III in 1450 BCE that midnight and morning at the Red Sea. He was ten years younger than Moses when he died and the Thutmosis III mummy in the Oriental Institute in Chicago is not his mummy but that of his oldest son who died at midnight. The X-ray evidence indicates that the mummy was about 35 years old. Thutmosis III was never found. This was a big dilemma in Egypt and one can see that in the linen placed on his oldest brother that Amenhotep II cited from the Book of the Dead very much concerned about the worms that now will devour his father. The mummy was safe from that but not his father! The text was translated by a number of scholars. The funeral room was completed in haste. A different team was brought in because something happened to the team who worked before that night and the additional team was send in to substitute them? Substitute? Of course, they were after the Red Sea on the other side. The workmanship was sloppy and drawings just stock men. The painting was quick and droppings were not cleaned. They were superstitious and scared and wanted to get out as soon as possible.

They saw the hand of God with signs and wonders. God brought them out with outstretched arm (7:19). That is what the Lord God will do to all the peoples that the faithful people fear. In 7:20 there is a word that scholars did not know what it means so they suggested that it is perhaps from the Arabic meaning throwing down, so our prestigious Hebrew dictionary by BDB page 863. The answer is no. Moses did not speak 680 A.D. Mohammedan Arabic. He spoke Egyptian and that was Middle Egyptian. There is a better option here. Moses was Hebraizing an Egyptian word sr meaning “foretell”. So the word הַצִּרְעָ֔ה or haire’ah is better served using this word “foretell” or the Hebrew root ire’a. Translate 7:20 as follows: “And also the foretelling, the Lord your God will incite against them, until the survivors and those who hide from you perish”. Moses spent between 1518 to 1490 BCE in the palace of Hatshepsut and was well versed with Middle Egyptian. One cannot use late Byzantine Arabic to discover Moses’ meanings two thousand years before. It is too long a shot.

Through the Holy Spirit, who is also God, the essence of the Trinity is dwelling in the midst of people (7:21). The Holy Spirit is interpreted here because of the rest of the canon that makes that clear.


The gradual theory for the invasion expressed in Deuteronomy 7:22 and also in Exodus 23:29-30, is a gradual process not of centuries like modern scholars argued with the so-called peaceful infiltration theory. It is rather that the process is slow within the confinement of five years between 1410-1405 BCE.

There is no contradiction when the gradualness is in five years but not in one year. God said, that He will not drive the Canaanites out in one year (Exodus 23:29-30) but as Fishbane had problems with this pointing to contradiction, it is not. It is going to take five years and that will be gradually at times and fast at other.

God deliver enemies with inner confusion until they are destroyed. In our day, did the western world become the enemy of God if we see the inner confusion of England, of the USA, of South Africa, of South Korea, and the list just goes on from country to country. The west is imploding itself as of September 2019.

The faithful of the remnant was to burn the images of the gods of the nations and shall not wear their jewelry. “You shall not covet the silver or gold that is upon them and take it for yourself” (7:25). Do not wear them and do not take them.

An abomination should not be brought into the house because it is a curse to the person. They are to “utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it for it is to be destroyed”.


Dear God

Your love shines out of this chapter within our hearts and draws us closer to You. We did not miss it. We cling to Your blessings and do not wish to desire jewelry or bring it into our house. Amen.