Do not make a covenant with idolaters

The Literal Commandment

When the LORD your God brings you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and clears away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them. (Deuteronomy 7:25-26)

 

The literal commandment is that we should make no covenant with the idolaters.

This commandment also appears to set forth some specific details:

  • Time: "when the LORD your G-d brings you into the land"... "and you defeat them"
  • Place: "the land where you are entering to possess it"
  • People: the seven nations- "the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites", etc

 

 

Messiah Says

Messiah implicitly affirmed this commandment when He spoke about the Law:

"Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)

 

Pictures of Messiah

The apostle Paul commands the believers in the city of Corinth:

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? (2 Corinthians 6:14-16)

 

If we know, love, and worship the G-d of Israel, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the G-d who is Truth then how can we have any relationship with that which is utterly false and the idolaters who would embrace that falsehood?

By making a covenant and entering into relationship with idolaters and their falsehood, we invite their idolatry into our lives (whether to a small or great degree) and prevent ourselves from following fully in the footsteps of the Messiah who declared Himself to be "the way, and the truth, and the life". (John 14:6)

These commandments prohibiting idolatry picture Messiah by pointing to idols and telling us He is not like them.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not making a covenant with idolaters.

 

Traditional Observance

This commandment is traditionally observed in a very literal manner: by not making covenant with any idolaters regardless of time or place. The most common example of this is a prohibition against Jews marrying non-Jews (who Jews regard as idolaters whether they are involved with actual idols or not).

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today and should not make a covenant with idolaters.

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 56
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 4- Idolatry and Gentile Customs
  • Reference Deuteronomy 7:2
  • Scripture Book Deuteronomy
  • Chapter 7
  • Verse 2
  • English and when the LORD your God delivers them before you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.
  • Hebrew ב וּנְתָנָם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לְפָנֶיךָ--וְהִכִּיתָם: הַחֲרֵם תַּחֲרִים אֹתָם, לֹא-תִכְרֹת לָהֶם בְּרִית וְלֹא תְחָנֵּם.
  • Greek 2 καὶ παραδώσει αὐτοὺς κύριος ὁ θεός σου εἰς τὰς χεῖράς σου καὶ πατάξεις αὐτούς, ἀφανισμῷ ἀφανιεῖς αὐτούς, οὐ διαθήσῃ πρὸς αὐτοὺς διαθήκην οὐδὲ μὴ ἐλεήσητε αὐτούς.
  • Parashah 45- Va'etchanan
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 93
  • Sef. Hach. Reference Exodus 23:32
  • Sef. Hach. Command To make no treaty with the seven nations to be extirpated, or with any idol-worshipper
  • Category Idolatry
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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