Geneva Bible

Deuteronomy 20

The priest's exhortation to encourage the people to battle.

Deuteronomy 20:1 When thou shalt go forth to warre against thine enemies, and shalt see horses & charets, & people moe then thou, be not afrayde of them: for the Lorde thy God is with thee, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 20:2 And when ye are come nere vnto the battel, then the Priest shal come forth to speake vnto the people, Deuteronomy 20:3 And shal say vnto them, Heare, O Israel: ye are come this day vnto battell against your enemies: let not your heartes faynt, neither feare, nor be amased, nor adread of them. Deuteronomy 20:4 For ye Lord your God goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, & to saue you

The officers' proclamation who are to be dismissed from the war.

Deuteronomy 20:5 And let the officers speake vnto the people, saying, What man is there that hath buylt a new house, and hath not dedicate it? let him go and returne to his house, least he dye in the battel, and an other man dedicate it. Deuteronomy 20:6 And what man is there that hath planted a vineyarde, and hath not eaten of the fruite? let him go & returne againe vnto his house, least he die in the battel, and another eate the fruite. Deuteronomy 20:7 And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and returne againe vnto his house, lest he die in the battell, and another man take her. Deuteronomy 20:8 And let the officers speake further vnto the people, and say, Whosoeuer is afrayde and faynt hearted, let him go & returne vnto his house, least his brethrens heart faynt like his heart. Deuteronomy 20:9 And after that the officers haue made an ende of speaking vnto the people, they shal make captaines of the armie to gouerne the people.

How to use the cities that accept or refuse the proclamation of peace.

Deuteronomy 20:10 When thou commest neere vnto a citie to fight against it, thou shalt offer it peace. Deuteronomy 20:11 And if it answere thee againe peaceably, and open vnto thee, then let all the people that is founde therein, be tributaries vnto thee, and serue thee. Deuteronomy 20:12 But if it will make no peace with thee, but make war against thee, then shalt thou besiege it. Deuteronomy 20:13 And the Lord thy God shall deliuer it into thine handes, and thou shalt smite all the males thereof with the edge of the sworde. Deuteronomy 20:14 Onely the women, & the children, & the cattel, & all that is in the citie, euen all the spoyle thereof shalt thou take vnto thy selfe, and shalt eate the spoyle of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath giuen thee. Deuteronomy 20:15 Thus shalt thou do vnto all ye cities, which are a great way off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations here.

What cities must be devoted.

Deuteronomy 20:16 But of the cities of this people, which the Lorde thy God shall giue thee to inherite, thou shalt saue no person aliue, Deuteronomy 20:17 But shalt vtterly destroy them: to wit, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, & the Perizzites, the Hiuites, and the Iebusites, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee, Deuteronomy 20:18 That they teache you not to doe after all their abominations, which they haue done vnto their gods, & so ye should sinne against the Lorde your God.

Trees of man's meat must not be destroyed in the siege.

Deuteronomy 20:19 When thou hast besieged a citie long time, & made warre against it to take it, destroy not the trees therof, by smiting an axe into them: for thou mayest eate of them: therfore thou shalt not cut them downe to further thee in the siege, (for the tree of the field is mans life) Deuteronomy 20:20 Onely those trees, which thou knowest are not for meate, those shalt thou destroy and cut downe, & make fortes against the citie that maketh warre with thee, vntil thou subdue it.

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