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Exodus 23:24

Context

23:24 “You must not bow down to their gods; you must not serve them or do according to their practices. Instead you must completely overthrow them and smash their standing stones 1  to pieces. 2 

Exodus 34:13

Context
34:13 Rather you must destroy their altars, smash their images, and cut down their Asherah poles. 3 

1 tn The Hebrew is מַצֵּבֹתֵיהֶם (matsevotehem, “their standing stones”); these long stones were erected to represent the abode of the numen or deity. They were usually set up near the altar or the high place. To destroy these would be to destroy the centers of Canaanite worship in the land.

2 tn Both verbs are joined with their infinitive absolutes to provide the strongest sense to these instructions. The images of the false gods in Canaan were to be completely and utterly destroyed. This could not be said any more strongly.

3 tn Or “images of Asherah”; ASV, NASB “their Asherim”; NCV “their Asherah idols.”

sn Asherah was a leading deity of the Canaanite pantheon, wife/sister of El and goddess of fertility. She was commonly worshiped at shrines in or near groves of evergreen trees, or, failing that, at places marked by wooden poles. These were to be burned or cut down (Deut 12:3; 16:21; Judg 6:25, 28, 30; 2 Kgs 18:4).



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