Deuteronomy 20

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1 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them; for Jehovah thy God is with thee, that brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

2 And it shall be, when you have come·​·near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

3 and shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you draw·​·near today to battle against your enemies; let not your hearts be·​·soft, fear not, and do not rush, and be· ye not ·terrified from their faces;

4 for Jehovah your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

5 And the officers shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there who has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.

6 And who is the man who has planted a vineyard, and has not begun to use it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man begin to use it.

7 And what man is there which has betrothed a wife, and has not taken her? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

8 And the officers shall speak again to the people, and they shall say, What man is there who is fearful and soft of the heart? Let him go and return to his house, lest the heart of his brothers be melted as his heart.

9 And it shall be, when the officers have completed speaking to the people, that they shall appoint commanders of the armies to be in the head of the people.

10 When thou comest·​·near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it.

11 And it shall be, if it answer thee of peace, and open to thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be for thee for tribute, and they shall serve thee.

12 And if it will not make·​·peace with thee, but will make war with thee, then thou shalt besiege her;

13 and when Jehovah thy God has delivered it into thy hands, thou shalt smite every male of it with the mouth of the sword;

14 only the women, and the infants, and the beasts, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil of it, shalt thou plunder for thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which Jehovah thy God has given thee.

15 Thus shalt thou do to all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.

16 Only from the cities of these peoples, which Jehovah thy God gives thee for an inheritance, thou shalt not let· any thing ·live that has breath;

17 for dooming thou shalt·​·doom them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as Jehovah thy God has commanded thee;

18 so·​·that they teach you not to do according·​·to all their abominations, which they have done to their gods, that you should sin against Jehovah your God.

19 When thou shalt besiege a city many days, to fight against her to occupy her, thou shalt not destroy her trees by wielding an axe against them. For thou mayest eat from them, and thou shalt not cut· them ·off. For is the tree of the field man, to come before thee in the siege?*

20 Only the tree which thou knowest that it is not a tree for food, it thou shalt destroy and cut·​·off; and thou shalt build a battlement against the city that makes war with thee, until her going·​·down.

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Thanks to the Kempton Project for the permission to use this New Church translation of the Word.


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