“That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them:”
King James Version (KJV)
23:7 Come not - That is, avoid all familiar converse and contracts, but especially marriages with them. Name their gods - To wit, unnecessarily and familiarly, lest the mention of them breed discourse about them, and so by degrees bring to the approbation and worship of them. Nor cause - Nor require nor compel the Gentiles to swear by them, as they used to do; especially in leagues and contracts. It is pity, that among Christians, the name of the Heathen God's are so commonly used, especially in poems. Let those names which have been set up in rivalship with God, be forever loathed and lost. Nor bow - Neither give them any inward reverence, or outward adoration. Here is an observable gradation, whereby he shews what notable progress sin usually makes, and what need there is to look to the beginnings of it, forasmuch as a civil and common conversation with their persons was likely to bring them, and indeed did actually bring them, by insensible steps, to the worship of their gods. So it is no wonder, if some things not simply and in themselves evil, be forbidden by God, as here the naming of their gods is, because they are occasions and introductions to evil.