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Deuteronomy 7:17-24

Context
7:17 If you think, “These nations are more numerous than I – how can I dispossess them?” 7:18 you must not fear them. You must carefully recall 1  what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and all Egypt, 7:19 the great judgments 2  you saw, the signs and wonders, the strength and power 3  by which he 4  brought you out – thus the Lord your God will do to all the people you fear. 7:20 Furthermore, the Lord your God will release hornets 5  among them until the very last ones who hide from you 6  perish. 7:21 You must not tremble in their presence, for the Lord your God, who is present among you, is a great and awesome God. 7:22 He, 7  the God who leads you, will expel the nations little by little. You will not be allowed to destroy them all at once lest the wild animals overrun you. 7:23 The Lord your God will give them over to you; he will throw them into a great panic 8  until they are destroyed. 7:24 He will hand over their kings to you and you will erase their very names from memory. 9  Nobody will be able to resist you until you destroy them.

1 tn Heb “recalling, you must recall.” The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute before the finite verb for emphasis. Cf. KJV, ASV “shalt well remember.”

2 tn Heb “testings” (so NAB), a reference to the plagues. See note at 4:34.

3 tn Heb “the strong hand and outstretched arm.” See 4:34.

4 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” The pronoun has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons to avoid redundancy.

5 tn The meaning of the term translated “hornets” (צִרְעָה, tsirah) is debated. Various suggestions are “discouragement” (HALOT 1056-57 s.v.; cf. NEB, TEV, CEV “panic”; NCV “terror”) and “leprosy” (J. H. Tigay, Deuteronomy [JPSTC], 360, n. 33; cf. NRSV “the pestilence”), as well as “hornet” (BDB 864 s.v.; cf. NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT). The latter seems most suitable to the verb שָׁלַח (shalakh, “send”; cf. Exod 23:28; Josh 24:12).

6 tn Heb “the remnant and those who hide themselves.”

7 tn Heb “the Lord your God.” See note on “he” in 7:19.

8 tn Heb “he will confuse them (with) great confusion.” The verb used here means “shake, stir up” (see Ruth 1:19; 1 Sam 4:5; 1 Kgs 1:45; Ps 55:2); the accompanying cognate noun refers to confusion, unrest, havoc, or panic (1 Sam 5:9, 11; 14:20; 2 Chr 15:5; Prov 15:16; Isa 22:5; Ezek 7:7; 22:5; Amos 3:9; Zech 14:13).

9 tn Heb “you will destroy their name from under heaven” (cf. KJV); NRSV “blot out their name from under heaven.”



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