כִּי אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם תִּתֹּצוּן וְאֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם תְּשַׁבֵּרוּן וְאֶת אֲשֵׁרָיו תִּכְרֹתוּן
For you shall dismantle their altars, break their monuments, and cut down his asheirah trees.
Huh? Why are two out of three idol-worship items possessed by "them," and the last one possessed by "him"?
I had wanted to suggest that perhaps multiple types of pagans used altars and monuments, but only one used the asheirah, but that doesn't sound quite right.
In any event, my father pointed out that this phrasing is changed in Devarim 12:3. That should disprove my guess that the wording changes based on how many pagan groups utilize that particular practice, as (AFAIK) it's the same asheirah in both places.
וְנִתַּצְתֶּם אֶת מִזְבְּחֹתָם וְשִׁבַּרְתֶּם אֶת מַצֵּבֹתָם וַאֲשֵׁרֵיהֶם תִּשְׂרְפוּן בָּאֵשׁ...
And you shall dismantle their altars, and break their monunemts, and their asheirah trees you shall burn in fire...
Now, obviously, the changes in phrases between the verses in Shemos and Devarim can be another question, but I'm primarily interested in the phrases in the verse in this weeks parshah.
Why change the possessives on the nouns in Shemot 34:13?
(all translations mine)