So continuing Moses’ speech on rules, this is just a rehash of the 10 Commandments, for the benefit of the Israelites who weren’t born when Moses first received them. Ho-hum. Let’s liven them up…
V 4 is the famous Shema Yisrael. We’ll be running across this little ditty several more times, including in the gospels of the New Testament, where it’ll be quoted.
Verses 10-11 promote quite the sense of entitlement – do they strike anyone as fair? Is this where we get our morality?
Yahweh sets out to exterminate all the other peoples in the area he has chosen for the Israelites. (spoiler alert: it won’t happen….) In verse 20 he even promises to send hornets to help with the genocide; interesting that ‘hornet’ has been replaced by the less graphic ‘terror’ in some modern translations.
In Deuteronomy 7:5 god Yahweh orders the destruction of ‘Asherah poles’ – wooden symbols/statues of the Canaanite goddess of fertility. The name of the goddess was omitted from the KJV (why?), but appears in the Hebrew-English version and has been reinstated in modern translations.