Deuteronomy 12:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains, on the hills and under every spreading tree, where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods.

New Living Translation
"When you drive out the nations that live there, you must destroy all the places where they worship their gods--high on the mountains, up on the hills, and under every green tree.

English Standard Version
You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree.

New American Standard Bible
"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.

King James Bible
Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Destroy completely all the places where the nations that you are driving out worship their gods--on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every green tree.

International Standard Version
Be sure you destroy there all the places where the nations that you're going to dispossess serve their gods—upon the high mountains and hills and under every leafy tree.

NET Bible
You must by all means destroy all the places where the nations you are about to dispossess worship their gods--on the high mountains and hills and under every leafy tree.

New Heart English Bible
You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree:

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Completely destroy all the worship sites on the high mountains, on the hills, and under every large tree. The people you're forcing out worship their gods in these places.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Ye shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that ye are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every leafy tree.

New American Standard 1977
“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.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, upon which the Gentiles, of whom ye shall inherit, served their gods, upon the high mountains and upon the hills and under every green tree;

King James 2000 Bible
You shall utterly destroy all the places, in which the nations which you shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

American King James Version
You shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree:

American Standard Version
Ye shall surely destroy all the places wherein the nations that ye shall dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Destroy all the places in which the nations, that you shall possess, worshipped their gods upon high mountains, and hills, and under every shady tree:

Darby Bible Translation
Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall dispossess have served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree;

English Revised Version
Ye shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

Webster's Bible Translation
Ye shall utterly destroy all the places in which the nations which ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree:

World English Bible
You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree:

Young's Literal Translation
ye do utterly destroy all the places where the nations which ye are dispossessing served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the heights, and under every green tree;
Study Bible
One Place for Worship
1"These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess as long as you live on the earth. 2"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. 3"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.…
Cross References
1 Kings 3:2
The people were still sacrificing on the high places, because there was no house built for the name of the LORD until those days.

1 Kings 14:23
For they also built for themselves high places and sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and beneath every luxuriant tree.

2 Kings 11:18
All the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and tore it down; his altars and his images they broke in pieces thoroughly, and killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. And the priest appointed officers over the house of the LORD.

2 Kings 16:4
He sacrificed and burned incense on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

2 Kings 17:10
They set for themselves sacred pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree,

2 Kings 17:11
and there they burned incense on all the high places as the nations did which the LORD had carried away to exile before them; and they did evil things provoking the LORD.

Isaiah 36:7
"But if you say to me, 'We trust in the LORD our God,' is it not He whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, 'You shall worship before this altar '?

Jeremiah 2:20
"For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, 'I will not serve!' For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot.

Jeremiah 3:2
"Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see; Where have you not been violated? By the roads you have sat for them Like an Arab in the desert, And you have polluted a land With your harlotry and with your wickedness.

Jeremiah 3:13
'Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,' declares the LORD.
Treasury of Scripture

You shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree:

utterly

Deuteronomy 7:5,25,26 But thus shall you deal with them; you shall destroy their altars, …

Exodus 23:24 You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after …

Exodus 34:12-17 Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants …

Numbers 33:51,52 Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, When you are passed …

Judges 2:2 And you shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; you …

posses. or, inherit

Numbers 22:41 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought …

2 Kings 16:4 And he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the …

2 Kings 17:10,11 And they set them up images and groves in every high hill, and under …

2 Kings 23:13 And the high places that were before Jerusalem, which were on the …

Jeremiah 3:6 The LORD said also to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have you …

Ezekiel 20:28,29 For when I had brought them into the land, for the which I lifted …

Hosea 4:13 They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains, and burn incense on …

(2) Ye shall utterly destroy.--First of all these requirements is the destruction of every vestige of idolatry. In the land of Jehovah there must be no trace of any other god but Him. The non-fulfilment of this command in the early history of Israel has led some to suppose that the command itself belongs to later times. But it must be observed that the destruction of these things is inextricably connected with the conquest of the country in detail. It was part of the work assigned to the several tribes of Israel when the land had been divided by Joshua. His work was to conquer the Canaanitish armies, and give Israel possession of their chief cities. He then assigned the land to the several tribes, to make it their own throughout. Obviously, if every tribe had insisted upon destroying all monuments of idolatry in its own territory, one of two results must have followed: either the remnant of the Canaanitish nations must have been excited to fresh acts of rebellion and hostility, resulting in their extermination, or else they must have yielded themselves entirely to the worship of Jehovah. But Israel disobeyed the order. They did not themselves yield to idolatry in Joshua's time. The disturbance made respecting the altar Ed (see Joshua 22) is quite sufficient of itself to prove the strictness of the law against strange altars. But the Canaanites being left undisturbed after they ceased to resist openly, and their objects of worship being left unmolested, there were constant temptations to idolatry, to which Israel yielded. And thus it was not until the times of Heze-kiah and Josiah that these laws were carried out. But this does not prove the law to have come into existence then, any more than the present condition of the human race proves that man was not made in God's image in Paradise.

Verses 2, 3. - In order to this, Israel was, as soon as the land was possessed, to destroy all the objects and means of idolatrous worship in the land. Upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree (cf. Isaiah 57:7; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 3:6; Jeremiah 17:2; Hosea 4:13; 2 Kings 16:4; 2 Kings 17:10). The heathen had their places of worship on lofty elevations, probably because they imagined they were thus nearer to the object of their worship; and they sought also the shade of woods or thick-foliaged trees (Ezekiel 6:13), under which to perform their rites, as tending to inspire awe, and as in keeping with the mysterious character of their rites. These places of heathen worship in Canaan the Israelites were utterly to destroy, along with the images of their deities and other objects of idolatrous worship. Burn their groves; their asherahs, idol-pillars of wood (cf. Deuteronomy 7:5). Ye shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods,.... The temples erected for the worship of them by the Canaanites, of which there were many, as appears by the various names of places given them from the temples in them, as Bethshemesh, Bethbaalmeon, Bethpeor, and others:

upon the high mountains and upon the hills: which they chose to worship on, being nearer the heavens, and which they thought most acceptable to their gods; and some of them had their names from hence, as Baalpeor, in like manner as Jupiter Olympius was called by the Greeks; see Jeremiah 2:20,

and under every green tree; which being shady and solitary, and pleasant to the sight, they fancied their gods delighted in, and this notion prevailed among other nations; and there is scarcely any deity but what had some tree or another devoted to it; as the oak to Jupiter, the laurel to Apollo, the ivy to Bacchus, the olive to Minerva, the myrtle to Venus, &c. see Jeremiah 2:20. 2. Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which ye shall possess served their gods—This divine command was founded on the tendencies of human nature; for to remove out of sight everything that had been associated with idolatry, that it might never be spoken of and no vestige of it remain, was the only effectual way to keep the Israelites from temptations to it. It is observable that Moses does not make any mention of temples, for such buildings were not in existence at that early period. The "places" chosen as the scene of heathen worship were situated either on the summit of a lofty mountain, or on some artificial mound, or in a grove, planted with particular trees, such as oaks, poplars, and elms (Isa 57:5-7; Ho 4:13). The reason for the selection of such sites was both to secure retirement and to direct the attention upward to heaven; and the "place" was nothing else than a consecrated enclosure, or at most, a canopy or screen from the weather.12:1-4 Moses comes to the statutes he had to give in charge to Israel; and begins with such as relate to the worship of God. The Israelites are charged not to bring the rites and usages of idolaters into the worship of God; not under colour of making it better. We cannot serve God and mammon; nor worship the true God and idols; nor depend upon Christ Jesus and upon superstitious or self-righteous confidences.
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