Chapter 7 describes who the people of Israel are and how they should relate to their Suzerain (Ruler) in order to please Him in the land of Canaan.

The chapter begins with Moses’s call to Israel to eliminate the peoples living in Canaan along with their corrupt practices (vv. 1-6). This is followed by a reminder that Israel’s election as His children was based solely on God’s gracious love and faithfulness, but gaining the experiential blessings promised under their covenant with Him required obedience (vv. 7-11). Because of God’s unfailing love and promises, Moses commands the Israelites to obey God’s precepts and to fear Him, instead of fearing the people of Canaan who outnumbered them (vv. 12-19). The chapter concludes with Moses’s reassurance to Israel of the enemy’s total defeat by God, followed by a warning to Israel not to covet or take any objects belonging to the enemies (vv. 20-26).

Deuteronomy 7:1-6

God reemphasizes that Israel is set apart (holy) to their Suzerain (Ruler) God as a special possession. He instructs the Israelites to eliminate the people who live in Canaan as well as their corrupt culture. Then Israel must occupy the Promised Land.

Deuteronomy 7:7-11

God’s election of Israel was a free gift, which was based upon His gracious love for them and His faithfulness to their forefathers. Although this gift of being God’s possession is unconditional and irrevocable, to gain the experiential benefit of God’s blessings requires Israel to uphold their obligations under the covenant, and obey God, their sovereign ruler.

Deuteronomy 7:12-16

Moses tells the Israelites that obedience to God’s precepts leads to blessings. These blessings will be expressed in population growth and prosperity such as abundance of animals and foods, good physical health, and absence of barrenness.

Deuteronomy 7:17-19

Using the exodus experience as the basis of the reassurance, Moses commands Israel not to fear the inhabitants of Canaan, regardless of their numerical superiority.

Deuteronomy 7:20-24

Moses continues to reassure Israel of the enemy’s total defeat by telling them that the LORD will use a powerful tool (hornet) as instrument to search out and destroy those Canaanites who would flee and hide themselves. Therefore, the LORD alone is the one who deserves to be feared.

Deuteronomy 7:25-26

Moses commands the Israelites not to covet or take any objects (idols) that belong to the Canaanites, but to put them under the ban, because such objects are an abomination to the LORD.