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Verse 19

Ye cannot serve the Lord : for he is a holy God - If we are to take this literally, we cannot blame the Israelites for their defection from the worship of the true God; for if it was impossible for them to serve God, they could not but come short of his kingdom: but surely this was not the case. Instead of תוכלו לא lo thuchelu , ye Cannot serve, etc., some eminent critics read תכלו לא lo thechallu , ye shall not Cease to serve, etc. This is a very ingenious emendation, but there is not one MS. in all the collections of Kennicott and De Rossi to support it. However, it appears very possible that the first ו vau in תוכלו did not make a part of the word originally. If the common reading be preferred, the meaning of the place must be, "Ye cannot serve the Lord, for he is holy and jealous, unless ye put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the flood. For he is a jealous God, and will not give to nor divide his glory with any other. He is a holy God, and will not have his people defiled with the impure worship of the Gentiles."

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