The Literal Commandment
You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place. You shall not act like this toward the LORD your God. (Leviticus 12:2-4)
If we consider this commandment literally then we find that we are commanded not to:
- destroy the places where we serve G-d
- tear down G-d's altar
- obliterate G-d's name
These were the things Israel was commanded to do in regards to the nations they dispossessed when they entered the promised land.