This is a very strong passage. Its purpose seems to be to unequivocally denounce the worship of other gods, rebellion against God as it is called.
- Anyone who proposed the worship of other gods was to be executed whether the person was a prophet whose prophecies had come true or a relative.
- If the person proposing this rebellion was a prophet, it was being given or allowed by God as a test. It was God’s intention to find out whether they loved him with all their heart as they should.
- The persons’ crime, for which he was to be put to death was preaching rebellion against God, who had saved them from slavery and trying to turn them from God onto a path that leads only to destruction
- It is especially emphasized that if even a loved one (wife, daughter, son, dear friend) suggested worship of other gods, they were to be killed. This brings to mind Jesus’ words: If anyone does not hate his father and mother, etc. and even his own soul, he cannot be my disciple.
- If your loved one invited you to worship other gods, when you turned him in, you had to be the one to throw the first stone. I vaguely remember a passage that says the witnesses to a particular crime had to throw the first stone.
- Verse 11 states one purpose of this legislation to be that all the people would hear and be afraid and avoid such evil things.
- If an entire town (every single soul?) was heard to have worshiped other gods, they had to investigate the charge thoroughly. If this was proven, then the entire town was to be burned with every single thing in it and it was never to be rebuilt (why?)