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.
After reassuring the Israelites of their enemy’s total defeat (7:17-24), Moses explained to them what they were supposed to do with the enemy’s objects and idols. He said, The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it. Both the idols and the idolaters were devoted to complete destruction. Since the idols represented pagan gods, they were to be burned with fire because they are detestable to the true God. The LORD alone is “God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:39). The LORD Himself said, “I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me” (Isaiah 44:6). Therefore, He deserves all the glory and honor.
Not only were they to burn the graven images with fire, they were not to remove the silver or gold from the idols and keep that for themselves either. The Israelites were precluded from coveting or taking the silver or the gold of the enemies for their own benefit. God did not want them to be snared by it. To covet describes a state of mind wrongfully directed at things that belong to others. It most often pertains to a desire that is stimulated by sight. Moses stated that keeping these idols would be an abomination to the LORD, that is, something morally and religiously detestable or perverse. Covetousness destroys community, and upsets the self-governance that is the core of God’s commands for Israel.
Moses said to Israel, You shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned. The word translated “ban” (cherem, in Hebrew) carries the idea of a thing dedicated to destruction. In this context the word “ban” is used as an act of obedience, which dedicates the adversaries or their objects to God (Numbers 21:2; Deuteronomy 13:14-17; Joshua 6:16-19). The adversaries and their objects were to be destroyed for Israel to remain a holy people to the LORD (Deuteronomy 7:6). The word holy means set apart. By bringing an abomination into their house, Israel would synchronize their behavior with the surrounding corruption, resulting in their own decay.
25 The graven images of their gods you are to burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, or you will be snared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.26 You shall not bring an abomination into your house, and like it come under the ban; you shall utterly detest it and you shall utterly abhor it, for it is something banned.
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