Deuteronomy 20

Laws Concerning Warfare

1 "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see a horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be b afraid of them; for the LORD your God is c with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. 2 "So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. 3 "And he shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; 4 'for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, d to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.' 5 "Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying: 'What man is there who has built a new house and has not e dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. 6 'Also what man is there who has planted a vineyard and has not eaten of it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man eat of it. 7 f 'And what man is there who is betrothed to a woman and has not married her? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man marry her.' 8 "The officers shall speak further to the people, and say, g 'What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, 1 lest the heart of his brethren faint like his heart.' 9 "And so it shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.

10 "When you go near a city to fight against it, h then proclaim an offer of peace to it. 11 "And it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you. 12 "Now if the city will not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 "And when the LORD your God delivers it into your hands, i you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword. 14 "But the women, the little ones, j the livestock, and all that is in the city, all its spoil, you shall plunder for yourself; and k you shall eat the enemies' plunder which the LORD your God gives you. 15 "Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you, which are not of the cities of these nations. 16 "But l of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, 17 "but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the LORD your God has commanded you, 18 "lest m they teach you to do according to all their 2 abominations which they have done for their gods, and you n sin against the LORD your God.

19 "When you besiege a city for a long time, while making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; if you can eat of them, do not cut them down to use in the siege, for the tree of the field is man's food. 20 "Only the trees which you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, to build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it is subdued.

  1. Cross References
    Psalms 20:7
    Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
    Isaiah 31:1
    Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, And rely on horses, Who trust in chariots because they are many, And in horsemen because they are very strong, But who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the LORD!
  2. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 7:18
    You shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt:
  3. Cross References
    Numbers 23:21
    He has not observed iniquity in Jacob, Nor has ...
    Deuteronomy 5:6
    I am the LORD your God who brought you out of t...
    Deuteronomy 31:6
    "Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor...
    Deuteronomy 31:8
    "And the LORD, He is the One who goes before yo...
    2 Chronicles 13:12
    "Now look, God Himself is with us as our head, ...
    2 Chronicles 32:7
    Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid nor ...
    2 Chronicles 8:1
    It came to pass at the end of twenty years, whe...
    Psalms 23:4
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the sh...
    Isaiah 41:10
    Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, f...
  4. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 1:30
    The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes.
    Deuteronomy 3:22
    'You must not fear them, for the LORD your God Himself fights for you.'
    Joshua 23:10
    One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.
  5. Cross References
    Nehemiah 12:27
    Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, both with thanksgivings and singing, with cymbals and stringed instruments and harps.
  6. Cross References
    Deuteronomy 24:5
    When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.
  7. Cross References
    Judges 7:3
    Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, 'Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.' " And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained.
  8. Cross References
    2 Samuel 10:19
    And when all the kings who were servants to Hadadezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with Israel and served them. So the Syrians were afraid to help the people of Ammon anymore.
  9. Cross References
    Numbers 31:7
    And they warred against the Midianites, just as the LORD commanded Moses, and they killed all the males.
  10. Cross References
    Joshua 8:2
    "And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves. Lay an ambush for the city behind it."
  11. Cross References
    1 Samuel 14:30
    "How much better if the people had eaten freely today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For now would there not have been a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?"
  12. Cross References
    Exodus 23:31 - 33
    And I will set your bounds from the Red Sea to the sea, Philistia, and from the desert to the River. For I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you.
    Numbers 21:2
    So Israel made a vow to the LORD, and said, "If You will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.
    Numbers 21:3
    And the LORD listened to the voice of Israel and delivered up the Canaanites, and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. So the name of that place was called Hormah.
    Deuteronomy 7:1 - 5
    When the LORD your God brings you into the land which you go to possess, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than you.
    Joshua 11:14
    And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the children of Israel took as booty for themselves; but they struck every man with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they left none breathing.
  13. Cross References
    Exodus 34:12 - 16
    Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst.
    Deuteronomy 7:4
    For they will turn your sons away from following Me, to serve other gods; so the anger of the LORD will be aroused against you and destroy you suddenly.
    Deuteronomy 12:30
    "take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.'
    Deuteronomy 18:9
    When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.
  14. Cross References
    Exodus 23:33
    "They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against Me. For if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you."
    2 Kings 21:3 - 15
    For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; he raised up altars for Baal, and made a wooden image, as Ahab king of Israel had done; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.
    Psalms 106:34 - 41
    They did not destroy the peoples, Concerning whom the LORD had commanded them.
New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
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