Exodus - 34:13

13 but you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and you shall cut down their Asherim;

Verse In-Depth

Explanation and meaning of Exodus 34:13.

Differing Translations

Compare verses for better understanding.
But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
But destroy their altars, break their statues, and cut down their groves:
but ye shall demolish their altars, shatter their statues, and hew down their Asherahs.
for their altars ye break down, and their standing pillars ye shiver, and its shrines ye cut down;
But their altars are to be overturned and their pillars broken and their images cut down:
But destroy their altars, break their statues, and cut down their sacred groves.
Aras eorum diruetis, statues eorum confringetis, lucosque eorum succidetis.

*Minor differences ignored. Grouped by changes, with first version listed as example.

Historical Commentaries

Scholarly Analysis and Interpretation.

Cut down their groves - This is the first reference to what is commonly known as grove-worship. The original word for "grove" in this connection אשׁרה 'ăshêrāh is different from that so rendered in Genesis 21:33. Our translators supposed that what the law commands is the destruction of groves dedicated to the worship of false deities Judges 6:25; 2-Kings 18:4; but inasmuch as the worship of asherah is found associated with that of Astarte, or Ashtoreth Judges 2:13; Judges 10:6; 1-Samuel 7:4, it seems probable that while Astarte was the personal name of the goddess, the asherah was a symbol of her, probably in some one of her characters, made in wood in some conventional form.

Ye shall destroy their images - See the subjects of this and all the following verses, to Exodus 34:28, treated at large in the notes on Exodus 23 (note).

But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their (d) groves:
(d) Which pleasant places they chose for their idols.

But ye shall destroy their altars,.... On which they had sacrificed to their idols; since, if they were allowed to continue, they might be temptations to offer sacrifice thereon, contrary to the command of God:
break their images: of gold or silver, wood or stone, which they made for themselves, and worshipped as deities; seeing if these continued, the sight of them might lead to the worship of them, and so bring under the divine displeasure, as a breach of the command of God given them:
and cut down their groves; which were clusters of trees, where they had their temples and their idols, and did service to them, and where, besides idolatry, many impurities were committed. Such places were originally used by good men for devotion, being shady and solitary, but when abused to superstitious and idolatrous uses, were forbidden. It is said (n), the word for "grove" is general, and includes every tree they serve, or plant, for an idol.
(n) R. Song. Urbin. Ohel Moed, fol. 72. 1.

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