Deuteronomy 20

 

Deuteronomy 20:1–20

Guidelines for Warfare


These studies are designed for believers in Jesus Christ only. If you have exercised faith in Christ, then you are in the right place. If you have not, then you need to heed the words of our Lord, Who said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son, so that every [one] believing [or, trusting] in Him shall not perish, but shall be have eternal life! For God did not send His Son into the world so that He should judge the world, but so that the world shall be saved through Him. The one believing [or, trusting] in Him is not judged, but the one not believing has already been judged, because he has not believed in the Name of the only-begotten [or, uniquely-born] Son of God.” (John 3:16–18). “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life! No one comes to the Father except through [or, by means of] Me!” (John 14:6).


Every study of the Word of God ought to be preceded by a naming of your sins to God. This restores you to fellowship with God (1John 1:8–10). If there are people around, you would name these sins silently. If there is no one around, then it does not matter if you name them silently or whether you speak aloud.


Sometime ago, I did a verse-by-verse exegesis of the books of the Pentateuch, and, in my opinion, did not really give these books the full treatment that they deserved. Here, I am going back and redoing the book of Deuteronomy. All of the information from that previous study will be included in here and this study will eventually supplant the shorter study of the book of Deuteronomy (HTML) (PDF). From time to time, there will be concepts and exegetical material which will be repeated, because I do not always do a good job in the end editing this material.

 

Links to the completed chapters of Deuteronomy are found here (HTML) (PDF). This chapter is a part of that study.

 

One more thing: it is not necessary that you read the grey Hebrew exegesis tables. They are set apart from the rest of the study so that you can easily skip over them. Footnote However, if you ever doubt a translation of a phrase or a verse, these translation tables will tell you exactly where that translation came from.


This should be the most extensive examination of Deut. 20 available, where you will be able to examine in depth every word of the original text.


Outline of Chapter 20:

 

Introduction

 

         vv.     1–4           Encouragement Before Going to War

         vv.     5–8           Military Exemptions

         v.       9            A Strategy Meeting of Military Authorities

         vv.    10–11         Israel is to First Offer Terms of Peace

         vv.    12–14         The Spoils of War

         vv.    15–18         Procedures for Attacking the Heathen in the Land of Promise

         vv.    19–20         The Preservation of Natural Resources in Wartime

 

Addendum


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         The Prequel of Deuteronomy 20

         Introduction         The Principals of Deuteronomy 20

         Introduction         A Synopsis of Deuteronomy 20

         Introduction         Matthew Henry Summarizes Deuteronomy 20

 

         v.       4              Deuteronomy 20:2–4 (graphic)

         v.       5              Deuteronomy 20:5 (graphic)

         v.       6              Deuteronomy 20:6 (graphic)

         v.      10              God Offers Us Peace, Just as Israel Was to Offer Terms of Peace

         v.      11              Does this appear harsh to you?

         v.      11              Slavery interlude

         v.      16              The Bible and Genocide

         v.      16              Statue of Moloch (graphic)

         v.      17              What is a Righteous War?

         v.      17              Thumbnail Sketches of the Groups Living in the Land of Promise

         v.      19              Deuteronomy 20:19 (graphic)

         v.      19              Why are there non-moral issues found in the Bible?

         v.      20              Good and Bad Fruit Trees in the New Testament

 

         Addendum          What We Learn from Deuteronomy 20

         Addendum          Josephus’ History of this Time Period

         Addendum          A Complete Translation of Deuteronomy 20

         Addendum          Word Cloud from a Reasonably Literal Paraphrase of Deuteronomy 20

         Addendum          Word Cloud from Exegesis of Deuteronomy 20


Chapter Outline

 

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

Forward

Doctrines Covered and Alluded to

Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

Definition of Terms

Introduction

Text

Addendum

www.kukis.org

 

Exegetical Studies in Deuteronomy


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

 

 

 

Military

 

 

 

War


Chapters of the Bible Alluded To

Joshua 9

Judges 1

2Sam. 8

 


Psalms Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

Psalm 30

Psalm 106

 


Other Chapters of the Bible Appropriately Exegeted with this Chapter

 

 

 

 



Many who read and study this chapter are 1st or 2nd generation students of R. B. Thieme, Jr., so that much of this vocabulary is second nature. One of Bob’s contributions to theology is a fresh vocabulary along with a number of concepts which are theologically new or reworked, yet still orthodox. Therefore, if you are unfamiliar with his work, the definitions below will help you to fully understand all that is being said. In addition to this, I will use a number of other more traditional technical theological terms which will be used and therefore defined as well.

Definition of Terms

Angelic Conflict

Before man was created, God had created angels, and some of these angels sinned against God. This conflict, which we cannot see, is a conflict that we are a part of, and our spiritual lives in particular are directly to the Angelic Conflict.

Client Nation

Client-Nation, is a national entity in which a certain number of spiritually mature Christians (the salt of the earth) have formed a pivot sufficient to sustain the nation and through which God specifically protects this nation so that believers can fulfill the divine mandates of evangelism, communication and custodianship of Bible doctrine, providing a haven for Jews, and sending missionaries abroad. The United States is a client-nation to God. A client nation must have freedom: Freedom to seek God, freedom to use one’s own volition and self-determination to succeed or fail, freedom from anarchy and tyranny, freedom for evangelism, freedom for believers to hear Bible teaching without government interference and, therefore, to grow spiritually, and freedom to send missionaries to other nations.

Divine Good

The good that the believer creates when he is filled with God the Holy Spirit. This is not a reference to holy roller emotionalism.

Cycles of Discipline (Stage of National Discipline)

A national entity which is a client nation to God is under both God’s protection and His discipline (much like the individual believer). As a nation moves further and further from God, God may impose disciplinary measures on that nation, which include economic disaster, illness, civil unrest, military defeat, and even invasion which may include a slavery or dispersion of the people. These cycles are found in Lev. 26. Although these warnings are designed for Israel, all client nations to God may face similar downward historical trends.

Fifth Cycle of Discipline (the 5th Stage of National Discipline)

The fifth cycle of discipline involves complete loss of personal and national sovereignty, the destruction of the family and the nation. Offerings to God are unacceptable. Nations which have undergone this destruction have experienced slavery, cannibalism, and the assimilation of its surviving citizens into other cultures.

Personal Sense of Destiny

A person so in tune with the will of God (by means of knowledge of doctrine), that they understand their reason for being alive and they execute the plan of God almost as if God were whispering into their ear what to do (God does not whisper into anyone’s ears today).

Rebound (Restoration to fellowship with God)

In the New Testament, this is naming your sins to God, so that you are both restored to temporal fellowship with God and are then filled with the Spirit of God. In the Old Testament, naming your sins to God would result in a restoration of fellowship and, in some cases, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit once again (the Holy Spirit was not given to all Old Testament believers).

Some of these definitions are taken from

http://gracebiblechurchwichita.org/?page_id=1556

http://www.bibledoctrinechurch.org/?subpages/GLOSSARY.shtml

http://rickhughesministries.org/content/Biblical-Terms.pdf

http://www.gbible.org/index.php?proc=d4d

http://www.wordoftruthministries.org/termsanddefs.htm

http://www.realtime.net/~wdoud/topics.html

http://www.theopedia.com/


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An Introduction to Deuteronomy 20


I ntroduction: Deut. 20 is one of the more cohesive chapters of Deuteronomy. It deals with all of the many aspects of war: fear, conscription, when a person is exempt from military service, and specific instructions given to Israel concerning specific groups of people. It is possible that there is a portion of Deut. 21 which belongs in this chapter.


Most people who have studied the words of our founders believe that the framers of our constitution were very knowledgeable of the Scriptures. Since roughly 97% of the people who came to America would be classified today as Protestants, this would make sense. Therefore, they put together a document which has stood a great test of time, and a government which has functioned under the concept of checks and balances, with the intention that one branch of the government not become too powerful. However, since those days, the average politician today has no concept of God’s Word and no framework for a true absolute standard of what is right and wrong. Therefore, much of the legislation which is passed, although intended as well-meaning at times, ends up being self-serving and it creates many more problems than it ever solves.


Conscription (the draft) is a problem that we have dealt with for decades—who should serve in the armed forces and for how long. Deuteronomy is a very practical book and will give us insight into the correct way to run an army.

 

In my personal study of God’s Word, one of the highlights is reading what J. Vernon McGee has to say on a given chapter or verse. He had the ability to communicate like few others: We see little mottos which read, “Make love, not war.” That may sound good, but like so many little mottos, it is absolutely meaningless. Because we are living in a sinful world where the heart of man is desperately wicked, there are times to make war. There are times when we need to protect ourselves. There are wars in which God is on one side. Frankly, the important question any nation should consider—and certainly a so-called civilized and Christian nation—is whether this is a war that God is in. If He isn’t in it, then we shouldn’t be in it either. Footnote


Like all the Old Testament chapters of the Bible I have studied, there is a great deal from this chapter which can be applied to the life of the believer today.


It is important to understand what has gone before.

The Prequel of Deuteronomy 20

Moses led two groups of Jews out of Egypt—adult slaves and their children (age 20 and below). Although these people, after being led out of Egypt and seeing many signs and miracles, they still rejected God’s provision and God’s direction. God told them to go into the land from the south and take it, and they refused, being afraid of the giants in the land.


As a result of their negative volition toward God’s orders, God took them further away from the Land of Promise, and they cooled their heels in the desert area between Israel and Egypt for the next 38½ years. During this time, all of the adults—Gen X—died the sin unto death (Moses, Joshua and Caleb being the notable exceptions); and their children—the Generation of Promise—came of age while living out in the desert.


Moses was going to lead these young men from the desert into the land of Canaan, except that he made a terrible mistake at the very end, striking a rock in order to get water, when God told him to merely speak to the rock (this destroyed the concept of type and antitype—Moses was to strike one rock one time, and that would produce the living waters for the children of Israel—Ex. 17). Instead, Moses, upset with the people, struck a second rock for water (Num. 20). For that reason—because he disobey God and thereby confused a type—Moses was unable to bring the children of Israel into the Land of Promise.


Most of the book of Deuteronomy is a set of sermons delivered by Moses to the children of Israel before they cross over into the Land of Promise.


What is really remarkable with the book of Deuteronomy is, in Exodus through Numbers, Moses is very careful to distinguish between God speaking and him speaking. That is, Moses wanted it to be very clear when God was laying down the law as over against when Moses was giving some historical narrative.


However, when we come to the book of Deuteronomy, Moses speaks to the people of Israel with divine authority. That is, the laws, code, and regulations found in the book of Deuteronomy are presented with the same authority as the laws given directly from God.

This prequel is almost identical throughout the book of Deuteronomy.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


We need to know who the people are who populate this chapter.

The Principals of Deuteronomy 20

Characters

Commentary

Moses

This is a part of several sermon which Moses gave to the people of Israel. These are the last sermons of Moses, as he will not travel over into Canaan with his people.

Generation of promise

After 40 years, the adults who left Egypt under the command of Moses have all died the sin unto death (I have named them Gen X). The only ones who remain are their children, who are now adults and are ready to enter into the Land of Promise (Canaan).

The priest

A priest will be called in before battle to speak to the people to give them spiritual encouragement.

The officers

These men will speak to the people and eliminate those who should not go to war.

The latter two categories will be brought in before a battle. This does not refer to a specific priest or officer.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Here is what to expect in Deuteronomy 20:

A Synopsis of Deuteronomy 20

Moses is speaking to the children of Israel. They are about to go west, over the Jordan River, to take the land of promise. He will remain on the east side to die a natural death.

Moses primarily speaks about the military. First, he tells the people not to be worried if they go to meet a well-equipped, larger army in battle. The priest are to tell the people that God is with them; and that this is the same God Who led them out of Egypt. Deut. 20:1–4

Then Moses gives those who are exempt from going into battle: anyone who has built a new house, planted a new vineyard, or is almost married, but the marriage has not yet been consummated. Also, if a person is afraid, he may return home as well. Deut. 20:5–8.

After these preliminary talks, there will be an organization of the authorities over the army and their divisions and companies. Deut. 20:9

When approach a city to go to war against them, the Jews must first offer them terms of peace. If they accept these terms, the people of that city become their slaves. If not, they are to kill every male in the city and then take all of the women, children and livestock as their prey, to be enslaved. Deut. 20:10–15

Some suggest that Deut. 21:10–14 belongs right here, where a soldier sees a woman out from the female captives whom he greatly desires. Deut. 21:10–14

The procedure of offering terms of peace are not to be followed by the Jews when it comes to the cities within the land of promise. Those people are to be destroyed, as per God’s instructions. Deut. 20:16–18

Finally, when besieging a city that the Jews plan to occupy, they are not to destroy the fruit trees around the city, as these will provide them with food when they occupy the city. Deut. 20:19–20

Like all chapters of the Word of God, you need more than just the simple plot outline to understand what God wants us to know.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


I always like to include a different source when it comes to the summary of a chapter:

Matthew Henry Summarizes Deuteronomy 20

This chapter settles the militia, and establishes the laws and ordinances of war,

I.       Relating to the soldiers.

         1.      Those must be encouraged that were drawn up to battle (Deut. 20:1–4).

         2.      Those must be dismissed and sent back again whose private affairs called for their attendance at home (Deut. 20:5–7), or whose weakness and timidity unfitted them for service in the field (Deut. 20:8, Deut. 20:9).

II.      Relating to the enemies they made war with.

         1.      The treaties they must make with the cities that were far off (Deut. 20:10–15).

         2.      The destruction they must make of the people into whose land they were going (Deut. 20:16–18).

         3.      The care they must take, in besieging cities, not to destroy the fruit–trees (Deut. 20:19, Deut. 20:20).

From Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, Deut. 20 chapter comments.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Keil and Delitzsch call this chapter: Instructions for Future Wars – Deuteronomy 20. The instructions in this chapter have reference to the wars which Israel might wage in future against non–Canaanitish nations (Deut. 20:15.), and enjoin it as a duty upon the people of God to spare as much as possible the lives of their own soldiers and also of their enemies. All wars against their enemies, even though they were superior to them in resources, were to be entered upon by them without fear in reliance upon the might of their God; and they were therefore to exempt from military service not only those who had just entered into new social relations, and had not enjoyed the pleasures of them, but also the timid and fainthearted (Deut. 20:1–9). Moreover, whenever they besieged hostile towns, they were to offer peace to their enemies, excepting only the Canaanites; and even if it were not accepted, they were to let the defenceless (viz., women and children) live, and not to destroy the fruit–trees before the fortifications (Deut. 20:10–20). Footnote


There are two facts which you should hold in the back of your mind, as we go through this and other chapters of Deuteronomy: (1) Moses was prepared for this job in many ways, including the study of law in Egypt and (2) this younger generation standing before Moses does not know what the real world is like, and their parents are dead, having died the sin unto death, so they must be taught by Moses both spiritual information and practical information.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Encouragement Before Going to War


As before. Moses is speaking to the people of Israel, to the generation of promise. Many translations begin this as a quotation, because this is a quotation. However, apart from the first chapter, I have decided to leave the quotation marks indicating Moses speaking off. I will probably include them, however, in the final chapter of his speaking as well.


Kukis slavishly literal:

 

Kukis moderately literal:

When you go forth to war against your enemies and you have seen a horse and a rider—a people great more than you—you will not fear from them for Yehowah your Elohim [is] with you—the One bringing you up out of a land of Egypt.

Deuteronomy

20:1

When you go forth to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots—a people greater than you—you will not fear them for Yehowah your Elohim [is always] with you—[He is] the One Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

Kukis not so literal:

When you go out to war against your enemies, and you see their horses and chariots, and you see that they have an army much greater than yours—do not fear them because Jehovah your God is always with you—even in war. He brought you up out of the land of Egypt.


Here is how others have translated this verse:

 

Ancient texts:                       Note: I compare the Hebrew text to English translations of the Latin, Syriac and Greek texts, using the Douay-Rheims translation Footnote ; George Lamsa’s translation, and Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton’s translation as revised and edited by Paul W. Esposito, respectively. I often update these texts with non-substantive changes (e.g., you for thou, etc.). I often use the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible instead of Brenton’s translation, because it updates the English text.

 

The Septuagint was the earliest known translation of a book (circa 200 b.c.). Since this translation was made before the textual criticism had been developed into a science and because different books appear to be translated by different men, the Greek translation can sometimes be very uneven.

 

When there are serious disparities between my translation and Brenton’s (or the text of the Complete Apostles’ Bible), I look at the Greek text of the Septuagint (the LXX) to see if a substantive difference actually exists (and I reflect these changes in the English rendering of the Greek text). I use the Greek LXX with Strong’s numbers and morphology available for e-sword. The only problem with this resource (which is a problem for similar resources) is, there is no way to further explore Greek verbs which are not found in the New Testament. Although I usually quote the Complete Apostles’ Bible here, I have begun to make changes in the translation when their translation conflicts with the Greek and note what those changes are.

 

The Masoretic text is the Hebrew text with all of the vowels (vowel points) inserted (the original Hebrew text lacked vowels). We take the Masoretic text to be the text closest to the original. However, differences between the Masoretic text and the Greek, Latin and Syriac are worth noting and, once in a great while, represent a more accurate text possessed by those other ancient translators.

 

In general, the Latin text is an outstanding translation from the Hebrew text into Latin and very trustworthy (I say this as a non-Catholic). Unfortunately, I do not read Latin—apart from some very obvious words—so I am dependent upon the English translation of the Latin (principally, the Douay-Rheims translation).

 

Underlined words indicate differences in the text.

 

Bracketed portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls are words, letters and phrases lost in the scroll due to various types of damage. Underlined words or phrases are those in the Dead Sea Scrolls but not in the Masoretic text.

 

The Targum of Onkelos is actually the Pentateuchal Targumim, which are The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan Ben Uzziel. On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee by J. W. Etheridge, M.A. Taken from http://targum.info/targumic-texts/pentateuchal-targumim/ and first published in 1862.


Ancient texts:

 

Targum (trans. By Cook)        When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots, and peoples proud, overbearing, and stronger than you, fear them not; for all of them are accounted as a single horse and a single chariot before the Lord your God, whose Word will be your Helper; for He brought you free out of the land of Mizraim.

Latin Vulgate                          If you go out to war against your enemies, and see horsemen and chariots, and the numbers of the enemy’s army greater than your, you will not fear them: because the Lord your God is with you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        When you go forth to war against your enemies and you have seen a horse and a rider—a people great more than you—you will not fear from them for Yehowah your Elohim [is] with you—the One bringing you up out of a land of Egypt.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    WHEN you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and a people more than you, you shall not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

Septuagint (Greek)                And if you should go forth to war against your enemies, and should see a horse and rider, and a people more numerous than yourself; you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

 

Significant differences:           In the Hebrew, horse and chariot are both in the singular; however, these can be used as collective nouns.

 

The targum has a few extra words, as usual.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Rules for warfare

When you march out to battle your enemies and you see horses, chariots, and a fighting force larger than yours, don't be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, the one who brought you up from Egypt, is with you.

Contemporary English V.       If you have to go to war, you may find yourselves facing an enemy army that is bigger than yours and that has horses and chariots. But don't be afraid! The LORD your God rescued you from Egypt, and he will help you fight.

Easy English                          Special rules for war

Do not be afraid when you go out to fight against your enemies. You may meet larger armies with more horses than you have. Do not be afraid! The *Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you.

Good News Bible (TEV)         "When you go out to fight against your enemies and you see chariots and horses and an army that outnumbers yours, do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who rescued you from Egypt, will be with you.

The Message                         When you go to war against your enemy and see horses and chariots and soldiers far outnumbering you, do not recoil in fear of them; GOD, your God, who brought you up out of Egypt is with you.

New Century Version             Laws for War

When you go to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots and an army that is bigger than yours, don't be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you.

New Life Version                    "When you go to battle against those who hate you and see more horses and war-wagons and soldiers than you have, do not be afraid of them. For the Lord your God, Who brought you from the land of Egypt, is with you.

New Living Translation           Regulations concerning War

"When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!

The Voice                               Moses: This is how you should act during wartime: When you go to battle against your enemies, if you see their army is larger than yours and they have horses and chariots, don't be afraid of them! The Eternal your God is with you-the same God who defeated Pharaoh and brought you out of Egypt.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'And when you go to war against your enemies and find that they have a larger army and more horsemen than you do; don't be afraid of them, for Jehovah your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt is with you!

Beck’s American Translation When There’s a War

“When you go out to fight against your enemies and see horses and chariots, a bigger army than yours, don’t be afraid of them, because the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt is with you.

Christian Community Bible     War

When you go to war against your enemies and you see horses, chariots and an army more numerous than yours, then have no fear because Yahweh, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, is with you.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       When thou dost go out to war against thy enemies, never be daunted by the sight of horsemen and chariots, and a host greater than thy own arrayed against thee; the Lord thy God, who rescued thee from Egypt, fights on thy side.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Courage in War.

When you go out to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD, your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, will be with you.

NIRV                                      Going to War

When you go to war against your enemies, you might see that they have horses and chariots. They might even have an army that is stronger than yours. But don't be afraid of them. The Lord your God will be with you. After all, he brought you up out of Egypt.

Revised English Bible            When you take the field against your enemies and are faced by horses and chariots, a force greater than yours, you need have no fear of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you up from Egypt, will be with you.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      When you proceed to war toward your enemies and see horses and chariots with more legions of people than you, never fear them. For Yahweh your God is with you and ascended you from the land of Egypt.

Bible in Basic English             When you go out to war against other nations, and come face to face with horses and war-carriages and armies greater in number than yourselves, have no fear of them: for the Lord your God is with you, who took you up out of the land of Egypt.

The Expanded Bible              Laws for War

When you go to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots and an army that is bigger than yours, don't be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 Laws of War.

When you go to war with your enemies, and see horses and chariots,—a people more numerous than yourselves, fear them not,—for your Ever-living God is with you, Who brought you from the land of Mitzeraim.

NET Bible®                             Laws Concerning War with Distant Enemies

When you go to war against your enemies and see chariotry [Heb "horse and chariot."] and troops [Heb "people."] who outnumber you, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, is with you. When it comes to making an actual material change to the text, the NET Bible® is pretty good about indicating this. Since most of these corrections will be clear in the more literal translations below and within the Hebrew exegesis itself, I will not continue to list every NET Bible® footnote.

NIV, ©2011                             Going to War

When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   THE TORAH ON WARRING

When you go to war against your enemies

and see horses and chariots

and a people more than you,

awe them not:

for Yah Veh your Elohim is with you

- who ascended you from the land of Misrayim.

Kaplan Translation                 Preparing for War

When you go to battle against your enemies, and see horses, war chariots and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, since God your Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, is with you. The Kaplan Translation, particularly in Exodus through Deuteronomy, takes note of historic rabbinic opinions.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           When thou goest out to milchamah against thine enemies, and seest sus (horses), and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them; for Hashem Eloheicha is with thee, which brought thee up out of Eretz Mitzrayim.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    When you go forth for battle against your enemies, and you see horses and chariots and a people more numerous than you, you should not fear them, for Yahweh your Elohim is with you, the One bringing you up from the country of Egypt.

English Standard V. – UK       Laws Concerning Warfare

"When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

The updated Geneva Bible    When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, [and] a people more than you, be not afraid of them: for the LORD your God [is] with you, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Meaning, upon just occasion: for God does not permit his people to fight every time it seems good to them.

NASB                                     Laws of Warfare

"When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.

New King James Version       Principles Governing Warfare

"When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

New RSV                               When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots, an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Subject - War}

When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a soldiers more than you have. . . be not afraid of them . . . for Jehovah/God your Elohiym/Godhead is with you . . . Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. {Note: Jews did not traditionally have chariots and in most battles they were outnumbered. Yet they were commanded to Trust in the Lord and not be afraid.}.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, [and] a people more than you, you will not be afraid of them; for Yahweh your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

World English Bible                When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a people more than you, you shall not be afraid of them; for Yahweh your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

Young’s Updated LT             “When you go out to battle against your enemy, and have seen horse and chariot—a people more numerous than you—you are not afraid of them, for Jehovah your God is with you, who is bringing you up out of the land of Egypt.

 

The gist of this verse:          The Jews are not to be afraid in battle, even if their enemy appears to have a great military advantage over them.


Deuteronomy 20:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

BDB gives this list of definitions: 1) that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since; 1a) that; 1a1) yea, indeed; 1b) when (of time); 1b1) when, if, though (with a concessive force); 1c) because, since (causal connection); 1d) but (after negative); 1e) that if, for if, indeed if, for though, but if; 1f) but rather, but; 1g) except that; 1h) only, nevertheless; 1i) surely; 1j) that is; 1k) but if; 1l) for though; 1m) forasmuch as, for therefore.

Kîy, like many of the small words in Hebrew, has a large number of uses: ➊ It is used as a relative conjunction, particularly after the verbs seeing, hearing, speaking, knowing, believing remembering, forgetting and in such cases means that. ➋ Although kîy is used for consecution and effect and rendered to that, that; it sometimes has an intensifying force and is rendered so that, so even, even. This is how it is used in this context. ➌ The connective can be used of time and be rendered at that time, which, what time, when. ➍ Kîy can be used of time, but in such a way that it passes over to a demonstrative power where it begins an apodosis (then, so). ➎ It can be used as a relative causal particle: because, since, while, on account that. When we find it several times in a sentence, it can mean because...and or for...and. ➏ It can also have a continuous disjunctive use here and be rendered for...or...or (when the second two kîy’s are preceded by conjunctions). ➐ After a negative, it can mean but (the former must not be done because the latter is to be done).

yâtsâʾ (יָצָא) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go [come] out, to go [come] forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of relative proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʾâyab (אָיַב) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #340 & #341 BDB #33


Translation: When you go forth to war against your enemies... Throughout much of Deuteronomy, Moses uses the 2nd person masculine singular verbs and suffixes when speaking to the Jews. Many times when we would have expected Moses to address these people as a whole, as an army, as a nation, as a collective, he speaks to them individually or, at the very least, as a collective whole.


Therefore, Moses is not talking about the army of Israel going out to fight against their enemies—Moses is specifically speaking to Charley Brown and how Charley Brown will go out to war against Israel’s enemies (called his enemies). This is all extraordinarily personal.


Israel would never be without enemies. In this world, if you are aligned with God, then Satan will encourage others to be aligned against you. The only time there is an exception to this is when you, as a believer, are already doing Satan’s work for him. Perhaps you have little or no doctrine in your soul, so that all that you stand for is exactly opposed to the plan of God. Under those circumstances Satan might leave you alone. However, at the same time, if you have believed in Jesus Christ, that makes God your Father, and God, as your Father, might whup you a bit. My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for whom the Lord loves he disciplines, and he skins alive with a whip every son whom He receives (Heb. 12.5b–6; R. B. Thieme, Jr. translation).


My point is, you don’t get a break. You cannot play God. You cannot believe in His Son, and then turn around and do Satan’s bidding without consequences. And if you are successfully living the Christian life, then you will have enemies that way too. This is no nice middle ground where you produce just the least amount of divine good that keeps you off of God’s or Satan’s radar.


So Israel would be going to war on many occasions. When David was king, Israel appeared to be at war nearly every year. David (or Joab) would defeat one army, and another nation would send an army in their place. However, by the time that Solomon came along, God gave peace to Israel. When Israel got further from God, then discipline increased, and foreign armies became much more menacing.


Deuteronomy 20:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

râʾâh (רָאָה) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to observe; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

çûwç (סוּס) [pronounced soos]

horse, chariot horse; swallow, swift

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5483 BDB #692

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rekeb (רֶכֶב) [pronounced REH-khebv]

riders, cavalry; chariot; horses; the upper millstone [riding on a lower millstone]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7393 BDB #939

Apparently, the Jew saw this chariot as one unit comprised of 3 parts: the chariot, the rider and the horse. This word could refer to any of the 3 or to the unit as a whole.


Translation: ...and you see horses and chariots... This man, when going to war, is going to look about, and he will see horses and chariots (also found in the singular, but can be understood as an army of chariots). This means that they are going into a war where they have much less by way of equipment than their enemies.


The Canaanites and the Philistines had iron chariots, as we will see in Joshua 17:16 Judges 4:3 1Sam. 13:5. We know that the Egyptians used chariots in war from Ex. 14:7. The Syrians also were fond of using the chariot in war (2Sam. 8:4 1Chron. 18:4 19:18 Psalm 20:8). Obviously, for chariots to be of any use, they require horses, so the Canaanites would have horses as well. We will hear about the horsemen in 1Sam. 13:5.


Israel functioned primarily with an infantry for a very long time. The nations around Israel built up their armor—meaning they developed greater weapons and utilized horses and chariots in war—and yet, for that 1000 or so years, when Israel was an independent nation, Israel defeated many of her enemies. It was only when Israel fell into great spiritual depravity that she began to lose wars.


Therefore, Israel was not to be concerned when it could see that the army they faces was superior in numbers or weaponry.


Application: This does not mean that we, in the United States, because many of us believe in Jesus Christ, that we should operate with the fewest weapons possible. We do not go into war with a bag of sawed-off shotguns. This is a different era. Although we are a client nation to God, we do not have the same relationship with God as Israel did. God gave them that plot of land that they lived on, and God would defend this land against all comers, no matter how great the opposing army (there is one portion of a chapter in 2Samuel where David defeats an army which changes ancient history—and its worldwide import is almost completely lost to us, except that we know of their army and of their might). God did this as a sign to all of the other peoples around Israel. They could come to Israel to express faith in Israel’s God because Israel was so amazing in war. However, we, as a client nation, are to do the prudent thing, and to build up our military to the point where only the most foolish nation would think to oppose us.


Deuteronomy 20:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

rab (רַב) [pronounced rahbv]

many, much, great (in the sense of large or significant, not acclaimed)

masculine singular adjective

Strong's #7227 BDB #912

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577


Translation:...—a people greater than you... Not only does Israel see great technological advances for that day and time, but the armies which they faces were often much larger. God is telling them not to worry about this.


Deuteronomy 20:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yârêʾ (יָרְא) [pronounced yaw-RAY]

to fear, to be afraid; to fear-respect, to reverence, to have a reverential respect

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3372 BDB #431

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #4480 BDB #577


Translation: ...—you will not fear them... God orders them here not to fear these foreign armies, no matter what the situation—no matter how well-armed they are, no matter how advanced they are, and no matter how large the army is. Moses is telling this people not to fear them.


No other army in the history of the world had a protector like Yehowah, the God of Israel. Therefore, Moses reassures Israel concerning warfare on several occasions: “If you should say in your heart, ‘These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?’ You will not be afraid of them; you will well remember what Yehowah your God did to Pharaoh and to all of Egypt.” (Deut. 7:17–18). “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for Yehowah your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” (Deut. 31:6).


We have had times in our history where God has preserved us in battle, but Israel is given full assurances of God’s participation in her battles. Obviously, with God as their Protector and Leader, Israel did not have to concerned about being outnumbered or about having inferior equipment. Some [boast] in chariots, and some in horses; but we will boast in the name of Yehowah our God (Psalm 20:7). God only expected for Israel to lean upon Him, rather than any human ally: Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, [who] rely upon horses and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong. But they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek Yehowah! (Isa. 31:1).

 

The Open Bible: It is better to have a few absolutely committed persons than a multitude of the half-hearted. God will get greater glory from the small army than from the large one (see Judges 7:3 Zech 4:6). Footnote


Deuteronomy 20:1e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767


Translation: ...for Yehowah your Elohim [is always] with you—... This is because the Lord God is with Israel and He will always be with them. They may depend upon this throughout their history. And when the army places their faith in the power of their God, their army is great. But if they depend upon an alliance with a different country, like Egypt, they will lean on Egypt as if a walking stick, and that sharp walking stick will pierce through their hand.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: In the approaching invasion of Canaan, or in any just and defensive war, the Israelites had reason to expect the presence and favor of God. Footnote


The mental attitude of the Generation of Promise was crucial to their survival. Moses told their parents, generation X, the same thing: “Do not rebel against Yehowah; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them and Yehowah is with us—do not fear them.” But all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!” (Num. 14:9, 1–2). This left God with only one alternative: [God speaking to Moses]: “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says Yehowah, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will certainly do to you; your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me.’ “ (Num. 14:28–29). The Generation of Promise has two choices: they could choose God and believe in Him and live or distrust the Word of God and die, as their parents did.


When David faced Goliath, this was his mental attitude: Then David said to the Philistine: “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Yehowah of the armies, who you have taunted.” (1Sam. 17:45).


The promise which I heard many times in church went as follows: “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, certainly I will help you, and certainly I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” (Isa. 41:10). That is a promise for all believers in Jesus Christ throughout the ages.


Deuteronomy 20:1f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʿâlâh (עָלָה) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

the one bringing, the one taking, the one leading up

masculine plural, Hiphil participle; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

min (מִן) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, of, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ʾerets (אֶרֶץ) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, territory, country, continent; ground, soil; under the ground [Sheol]

feminine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

Mitserayim (מִצְרַיִם) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

double straights; transliterated Mizraim; also Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595


Translation:...[He is] the One Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Moses personalizes this—Jesus Christ, the God of Israel, brought you—Charley Brown—personally out of Egypt. Egypt, at that time, had one of the greatest armies in the world, and God took 2 million people out of Egypt, and this great Egyptian army could not stop them.


People seem to have two opposing mindsets for the same set of current events. On the one hand, each generation thinks that human history is all about them, and all about their thoughts and dreams and aspirations. It may not strike them until they are in their 50's and 60's that they have done no better a job than their parents who came before them. But, until that time, they think they are the center of the universe, the coolest, hippest generation yet. Then, suddenly, they find that they are old—and, in many cases, without the appropriate wisdom to accompany their age.


However, on the other hand, there are dramatic, historical events which take place during their lives and they do not fully appreciate the impact of these events. Most people do not have any sort of an historical perspective, because, insofar as they are concerned, real human history did not begin until the day they were born. For this reason, they tend to make a big deal of events which are meaningless in the scale of world events; and, simultaneous, not recognize the historic importance of other events until much later.


Let’s look at those people in their 20's and 30's—they may look a Lady Gaga, who appears to have come to the end of her run, as really something in the music scene, almost revolutionary. She is another singer who had a good run. She might be around for another decade or so and she might not. However, what is far more important on an historic scale is, what about the overtures just made by Iran toward the United States (I write this in September of 2013)? These overtures could change world history and the environment of the United States forever. This nation is quite close to becoming a nuclear power—they are somewhat of a nutty regime quite devoted to Islam, and with a great hate toward the United States and Israel. If, during these talks (which may or may not take place) stifle Israel from taking out their nuclear sites, and they develop nuclear weapons in the midst of these talks, this will change everything. And since Islam is very much into asymmetric warfare, and our borders remain porous, it is only a matter of time before a nuclear weapon or perhaps several, make their way across the Mexican border into the United States—which weapons could be either used in large American cities or set up in various American cities and used to blackmail the United States. The things which may occur while our fairly naive president engages in talks with Iran could change everything here. Now, at this point, we don’t know if these talks will occur. We do not know if this will prevent Israel from striking. However, these are big events. What some singer does is, on the whole, not all that important by comparison (and maybe my example of Lady Gaga could have been more perceptive for that age range).


The point I am making is, these Israelites have been with Moses, in the desert, after seeing God take them out of Egypt—events which will change human history—and they may not be fully appreciative of what has taken place—partially because they were children when all of this place and partially because people have a hard time sorting out history as it unfolds before them. Furthermore, these children (now adults) have watched their own parents drop one by one in the desert, all dying the sin unto death. So they have relatively little guidance from their parental units.


When speaking with the Jews, God, speaking through Moses or through whomever, often begins with Egypt and His taking the Israelites out of Egypt. When it comes to events in ancient history, I suspect that this is in the top 5 of those known throughout the world (which events would include the worldwide flood, David’s killing of Goliath, and the events of the public ministry of Jesus Christ).


What happened in Egypt and in the desert is something that we study today, and so do Jews. In fact, there are very few people who do not have some idea about God leading the Jews out of Egypt (whether they choose to believe this historical fact or not). At the same time, Satan has taken these events and has been working overtime to give them some weird interpretation related to Blacks and slavery and socialism. That is what Satan does—he distorts the truth. Communists were having a very difficult time making headway in Latin and South America, because they could not successfully challenge the Bible and the Catholic church. So, what they finally figured out was to study the Bible and take portions out of the Bible and distort them, and present these things as Biblical truth (this is Liberation Theology and Black Liberation Theology). And because the people in Latin and South America did not know the Scriptures well, many countries fell into communism. Communists would explain, “We are just trying to get the same results as the Bible. We support the same things as the Bible does. We are helping the poor.” If the people do not know the Scriptures, then it is easy to fool them.


Application: This is the approach of many liberal websites. You can count on several things in a liberal website: distorted statistics, a blame-America-first attitude, and disparagement of the Bible. I have taken the time to make comments at such websites, particularly when the Bible is presented in a negative and inaccurate light, and in several instances, my remarks have been removed. The dishonest graphic about the Bible is never removed; but often (not always), my remarks to explain the dishonesty of the graphic are removed (I have had this happen twice, for instance, in Facebook, where my comments were no longer allowed, and thereby removed from all discussions—they aren’t really discussions; they are more like echo chambers). Liberalism is the thinking of Satan. It is not presented for discussion (unless the liberal is able to clearly win the debate). It is a collection of lies and half-truths, and when successfully challenged, the one who challenged is removed, but never the lies and half-truths. The last time that this occurred for me was, a particular dishonest graphic was not shared by most of the subscribers to that page, and I remarked something along the lines of, “Maybe some of you are beginning to recognize how dishonest some of these graphics are and you are choosing not to share them” (or words to that effect). Bam. I was no longer allowed to make remarks after that.


The Voice, a translation which I am warming up to, translates this verse as follows: Moses: This is how you should act during wartime: When you go to battle against your enemies, if you see their army is larger than yours and they have horses and chariots, don't be afraid of them! The Eternal your God is with you-the same God who defeated Pharaoh and brought you out of Egypt. The italics simply indicate additional text, added much like the targum text, to better explain the verse, to fill in possibly things which are missing in the verse to help with the understanding (this does not mean that this words in italics were originally in the earliest Hebrew text; but sometimes words and phrases are left out simply because that is the style of the writer—or speaker, as is the case here).


——————————


When going to war, what is most important is the spiritual factor. In order to be ready to face the enemy, the soldier needs spiritual guidance and fortitude.


And he was in their drawing near unto the battle and has been brought near the priest and he has spoken unto the people and he has said unto them, “Hear, O Israel, you [all are] drawing near the day to the battle against your enemies. Will not be timid your heart—you [all] will not fear and you [all] will not retreat and you [all] will not tremble from their faces, for Yehowah your Elohim the One going with you to battle for you [all] with your enemies to deliver you [all].”

Deuteronomy

20:2–4

And it is when they draw near to the war that the priest will be brought near [to them] and he will make a proclamation to the people, saying, “Hear, O Israel, you [are all now] drawing near this [lit., the] day to war against your enemies. [Let] your hearts not become fearful—you will not fear and you will not retreat and you will not be terrified because of them, for Yehowah your Elohim is going with you to fight for you against your enemies to deliver you [from them].”

When they are ready to go to battle, the priest will be brought forward and he will proclaim to the people, “Listen, O Israel, on this day that you are drawing near to go to war against your enemies. Do not allow your hearts to become fearful—do not become fearful or terrified because of them and do not retreat—for Jehovah your God will go with you into this battle against your enemies and He will deliver you from them.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And at the time that you draw nigh to do battle, the priest shall approach and speak with the people, and say to them, Hear, Israel, you draw near this day to fight against your adversaries; let not your heart be moved, be not afraid, tremble not, nor be broken down before them: for the Shekinah of the Lord your God goeth before you to fight for you against your enemies, and to save you.

Latin Vulgate                          And when the battle is now at hand, the priest shall stand before the army, and shall speak to the people in this manner: Hear, O Israel, you join battle this day against your enemies, let not your heart be dismayed, be not afraid, do not give back, fear ye them not: Because the Lord your God is in the midst of you, and will fight for you against your enemies, to deliver you from danger.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And he was in their drawing near unto the battle and has been brought near the priest and he has spoken unto the people and he has said unto them, “Hear, O Israel, you [all are] drawing near the day to the battle against your enemies. Will not be timid your heart—you [all] will not fear and you [all] will not retreat and you [all] will not tremble from their faces, for Yehowah your Elohim the One going with you to battle for you [all] with your enemies to deliver you [all].”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when you come near to the battle, the priest shall approach and speak to the people, And shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you approach this day to the battle with your enemies; let not your heart faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be terrified because of them; For the LORD your God is he that goes with you, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and it is he who shall fight for you with your enemies, and he shall save you.

Septuagint (Greek)                And it shall come to pass whenever you shall draw near to battle, that the priest shall draw near and speak to the people, and shall say to them, Hear, O Israel; you are going this day to battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint; fear not, neither be confounded, neither turn aside from their face. For it is the Lord your God who advances with you, to fight with you against your enemies, and to save you.

 

Significant differences:           The targum often has additional phrases in it, as noted above.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           As you advance toward the war, the priest will come forward and will address the troops. He will say to them: "Listen, Israel: Right now you are advancing to wage war against your enemies. Don't be discouraged! Don't be afraid! Don't panic! Don't shake in fear on account of them, because the Lord your God is going with you to fight your enemies for you and to save you."

Contemporary English V.       Before you march into battle, a priest will go to the front of the army and say, "Soldiers of Israel, listen to me! Today when you go into battle, don't be afraid of the enemy, and when you see them, don't panic. The LORD your God will fight alongside you and help you win the battle."

Easy English                          Just before you begin to fight, the *priest must come to the front of the army. He must say, "*Israelites, listen to me! Today you are going to fight your enemies. Do not be troubled or afraid. Be brave! Do not run away from your enemies because you are frightened. The *Lord your God is going with you. He will fight for you and you will win."

Easy-to-Read Version            “When you go to the battle, the priest must go to the soldiers and speak to them. The priest will say, ‘Men of Israel, listen to me! Today you are going against your enemies in battle. Don’t lose your courage! Don’t be troubled or upset! Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Why? Because the Lord your God is going with you. He will help you fight against your enemies. The Lord your God will help you win!’

Good News Bible (TEV)         Before you start fighting, a priest is to come forward and say to the army, 'Men of Israel, listen! Today you are going into battle. Do not be afraid of your enemies or lose courage or panic. The LORD your God is going with you, and he will give you victory.'

The Message                         When the battle is about to begin, let the priest come forward and speak to the troops. He'll say, "Attention, Israel. In a few minutes you're going to do battle with your enemies. Don't waver in resolve. Don't fear. Don't hesitate. Don't panic. GOD, your God, is right there with you, fighting with you against your enemies, fighting to win."

New Life Bible                        When you are coming near the battle, the religious leader will come near and speak to the people. He will say to them, 'Hear, O Israel. Today you are going into battle against those who hate you. Do not let your hearts become weak. Do not be afraid and shake in fear before them. For the Lord your God is the One Who goes with you. He will fight for you against those who hate you. And He will save you.'

New Living Translation           When you prepare for battle, the priest must come forward to speak to the troops. He will say to them, `Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them. For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!'

The Voice                               As you are approaching the battlefield, your priest will come over to you and address you: "Listen, Israel! Today you're going to fight a battle against your enemies. Don't be intimidated by them! Don't be afraid! Don't run away! Don't let them terrify you! The Eternal, your True God, has come out here with you, and He'll fight for you against your enemies and save you."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And before you go to fight; the Priests must come and speak to the people, and tell them: Listen, O IsraEl! Today you're going to fight against your enemies. So, be courageous! Don't be afraid, don't get confused, and don't retreat; because, Jehovah your God is with you and He will fight against your enemies and save you!

Beck’s American Translation When there’s a battle ahead of you, a priest should step forward and talk to the troops. ‘Listen, Israel,” he should tell them, ‘today you’re going to fight against your enemies. Don’t let them make you feel timid, afraid, alarmed or terrified, because the LORD your God is going with you to fight your enemies for you and give you the victory.’

Christian Community Bible     When the hour of battle draws near, the priest shall advance to the head of the army and shall speak to the people saying: “Listen, Israel, today you are to enter into battle against your enemies. Do not let your heart be discouraged, or afraid or troubled, and do not tremble before them, for Yahweh, your God, is with you, to fight in your favor against your enemies and save you.”

God’s Word                         Before the battle starts, a priest must come and speak to the troops. He should tell them, "Listen, Israel, today you're going into battle against your enemies. Don't lose your courage! Don't be afraid or alarmed or tremble because of them. The LORD your God is going with you. He will fight for you against your enemies and give you victory."

New Advent (Knox) Bible       When the hour of battle draws near, the high priest will take his stand there in front of the ranks, and say to the people, Listen, Israel; as you join battle to-day with your enemies, there must be no faint hearts among you, no flinching, no yielding, no trembling here. The Lord your God is here in the midst of you, and will fight on your side against your adversaries, to deliver you in the hour of peril.

New American Bible              "When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and say to the soldiers: 'Hear, O Israel! Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Be not weakhearted or afraid; be neither alarmed nor frightened by them. For it is the LORD, your God, who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies and give you victory.'

New American Bible (R.E.)    When you are drawing near to battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the army, and say to them, "Hear, O Israel! Today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies. Do not be weakhearted or afraid, alarmed or frightened by them. For it is the LORD, your God, who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies and give you victory." Dt 1:30; 3:22; Ex 14:14; 15:3; Jos 23:10; Jgs 4:14.

NIRV                                      Just before you go into battle, the priest will come forward. He'll speak to the army. He'll say, "Men of Israel, listen to me. Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Don't be scared. Don't be afraid. Don't panic. Don't be terrified by them. The Lord your God is going with you. He'll fight for you. He'll help you win the battle over your enemies."

New Jerusalem Bible             When you are about to join battle, the priest must come forward and address the people. He must say to them, "Listen, Israel: today you are about to join battle with your enemies. Do not be faint hearted. Let there be no fear or trembling or alarm as you face them. Yahweh your God is marching with you, to fight your enemies for you and make you victorious."

New Simplified Bible              »A priest must come and speak to the troops before the battle begins.

He should say: »Listen, Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not lose your courage! Do not be afraid. Do not tremble because of them.

»Jehovah your God is going with you. He will fight for you against your enemies and give you victory.

Revised English Bible            Then when fighting impends, the priest must come forward and address the army in these words: “Hear, Israel! Now that you are about to join battle with your enemy do not lose heart or be afraid; do not let alarm affect you, and do not give way to panic in face of them. The Lord your God accompanies you to fight for you against your enemy and igves you the victory.”


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      When war is nearing, the priest approaches and speaks to the people, saying to them, "Hear, Israel! You near a war today toward your enemies. Do not tenderize your hearts. Never fear, never hustle, and never cower in front of them. For Yahweh your God goes with you to fight for you with your enemies to save you.".

Bible in Basic English             And when you are on the point of attacking, let the priest come forward and say to the people, Give ear, O Israel: today you are going forward to the fight; let your heart be strong; do not let uncontrolled fear overcome you because of those who are against you; For the Lord your God goes with you, fighting for you to give you salvation from those who are against you.

The Expanded Bible              The priest must ·come [approach] and speak to the army before you ·go into [engage in] battle. He will say, "Listen, Israel! Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Don't lose ·your courage [Lheart] or be afraid. Don't panic or be ·frightened [in dread], because the Lord your God goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies and to ·save you [give you the victory]."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And when you are preparing for the war, the Priest shall come forward and address the People and say to them, " Listen, Israel ! You are now preparing for war with your enemies. Let not your heart shrink. Fear not, nor be startled, nor terrified at them ! for your Ever-living God marches with you, to fight for you against your enemy, and save you.".

HCSB                                     When you are about to engage in battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army. He is to say to them: 'Listen, Israel: Today you are about to engage in battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, alarmed, or terrified because of them. For the LORD your God is the One who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.'

NET Bible®                             As you move forward for battle, the priest [The reference to the priest suggests also the presence of the ark of the covenant, the visible sign of God's presence. The whole setting is clearly that of "holy war" or "Yahweh war," in which God himself takes initiative as the true commander of the forces of Israel (cf. Exod 14:14-18; 15:3-10; Deut 3:22; 7:18-24; 31:6, 8).] will approach and say to the soldiers [Heb "and he will say to the people." Cf. NIV, NCV, CEV "the army"; NRSV, NLT "the troops."], "Listen, Israel! Today you are moving forward to do battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted. Do not fear and tremble or be terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you to fight on your behalf against your enemies to give you victory [Or "to save you" (so KJV, NASB, NCV); or "to deliver you."]."


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           When you are about to go into battle, the cohen is to come forward and address the people. He should tell them, 'Listen, Isra'el! You are about to do battle against your enemies. Don't be fainthearted or afraid; don't be alarmed or frightened by them; because ADONAI your God is going with you to fight on your behalf against your enemies and give you victory.

exeGeses companion Bible   And so be it, when you approach the war,

the priest approaches and words to the people,

and says to them, Hear, O Yisra El,

you approach this day to battle against your enemies:

neither tenderize your hearts

nor awe nor hasten nor terrify at their face;

for Yah Veh your Elohim is he who goes with you,

to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Kaplan Translation                 When you approach [the place of] battle [(Yad, Melakhim 7:3).], the priest [A priest anointed especially for war (Sotah 42a).] shall step forward and speak to the people. He shall say to them, 'Listen, Israel, today you are about to wage war against your enemies. Do not be faint-hearted, do not be afraid, do not panic, and do not break ranks before them. God your Lord is the One who is going with you. He will fight for you against your enemies, and He will deliver you.'.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the milchamah, that the kohen shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Shema, Yisroel, ye approach today unto milchamah against your enemies; let not your hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For Hashem Eloheicha is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

The Scriptures 1998              “And it shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall come and speak to the people, and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Yisraʼĕl: You are drawing near today to battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not fear, or tremble, or be afraid before them, for יהוה your Elohim is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.ʼ


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And when you come near to the battle, the priest shall approach and speak to the men, And shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you draw near this day to battle against your enemies. Let not your [minds and] hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble or be terrified [and in dread] because of them. For the Lord your God is He Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you.

Context Group Version          And it shall be, when you { pl } draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people, and shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you { pl } draw near this day to battle against your { pl } enemies: don't let your { pl } heart grow soft; don't fear, nor tremble, neither be { pl } afraid of them; for YHWH your { pl } God is he who goes with you { pl }, to fight for you { pl } against your { pl } enemies, to rescue you { pl }. The Context Group Version indicates when we have a plural when that is not clear to the reader. They do not do this for the singular.

NASB                                     When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people. He shall say to them, `Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

New King James Version       So it shall be, when you are on the verge of battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people. 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; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.'

New RSV                               Before you engage in battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the troops, and shall say to them: `Hear, O Israel! Today you are drawing near to do battle against your enemies. Do not lose heart, or be afraid, or panic, or be in dread of them; for it is the Lord your God who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to give you victory.'

Syndein/Thieme                     {What does an army need first? Spiritual Strength - Creating Moral Courage}

And it shall be, when you are come near unto the battle, that the priest {communicates the written word of God} shall approach and speak unto the people. And shall say unto them, "Hear, O Israel, you approach this day unto battle against your enemies . . . 'do not be weak minded'/'do not let not your hearts faint' {we would say 'do not crack under the pressure' - your norms and standards should be straight - this is RIGHT when done unto the Lord} . . . or afraid or panic/tremble, {this is the body - stay strong physically also} neither be you intimidated/terrified because of them for Jehovah/God your 'Elohim/Godhead is He Who marches with you . . . to fight for you against your enemies . . . to deliver you. " {no enemy can kill you unless God permits it!}.

Young’s Updated LT             And it has been, in your drawing near unto the battle, that the priest has come nigh, and spoken unto the people, and said unto them, Hear, Israel, you are drawing near to-day to battle against your enemies, let not your hearts be tender, fear not, nor make haste, nor be terrified at their presence, for Jehovah your God is He who is going with you, to fight for you with your enemies—to save you.

 

The gist of this verse:          When it comes close to going to battle, the priest will step before the army and encourage them, reminding them not to be afraid, as Yehowah Elohim will be with them, to deliver them.


Deuteronomy 20:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

qârab (קָרַב) [pronounced kaw-RABV]

to come near, to approach, to draw near

Qal infinitive construct with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong #7126 BDB #897

The infinitive construct, when combined with the bêyth preposition, can often take on a temporal meaning and may be rendered when [such and such happens]. It can serve as a temporal marker that denotes an event which occurs simultaneously with the action of the main verb.

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536


Translation: And it is when they draw near to the war that the priest will be brought near [to them]... War, in Scripture, is a very spiritual thing, and I recognize that is difficult for some to swallow. There are so many people in the United States in particular who have lived in this marvelous cocoon where they have not been tapped to go to war, war has not come to them, and they somehow feel that, if they really, really want it, peace will come to the world. This simply is not so. Jesus warned, “There will be wars and rumors of wars until I come.” There are nations which avoid war for a number of reasons—having God’s blessing and having a very strong military will help a country to avoid war, which is where our country has been for over a century. However, this does not mean that there is a way for us to avoid war.


So Israel is about to go to war—and they did many, many times—and Moses says that a priest should come forward first.


We are in the devil’s world. There will always be wars in this world. When it comes to Israel, there will be even greater danger, as Satan is always looking to destroy God’s people, and he will do whatever he can to inspire vicious nations to attack them.


We are in the midst of a spiritual war, where the legions of Satan stand against the forces of God, and this war will play out and it will be resolved.


Therefore, it is fitting that the one to come forward and to speak to the troops is a priest.


Deuteronomy 20:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâgash (נָגַש) [pronounced naw-GASH]

to draw near, to be brought near

3rd person masculine singular, Niphil perfect

Strong's #5066 BDB #620

kôhên (כֹּהֵן) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #3548 BDB #463

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

The Piel stem is intensive, making dâbar is stronger. It can carry with it the idea of providing guidance and direction, if not a set of mandates (and this would be determined by context). The kind of intensification is determined by context. The Piel may call for talk, backed with action; give your opinion; expound; make a formal speech; speak out; talk it around, to give a somber and tragic report.

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: ...and he will make a proclamation to the people,... The priest will make a proclamation before the people; he is making a formal speech here.


The priest will step forward and speak to the people because Moses will no longer be with them.

 

Matthew Henry: It is very fitting that armies should have chaplains, not only to pray for them, but to preach to them, both to reprove that which would hinder their success and to raise their hopes of it...[furthermore] it is the work of Christ's ministers to encourage his good soldiers in their spiritual conflict with the world and the flesh, and to assure them of a conquest, yea, more than a conquest, through Christ that loved us. Footnote


War, for the Israelites, was a spiritually significant experience. God had specific plans for the Israelites in war; primarily it was to destroy those degenerate peoples in the Land of Promise. Prior to battle, the priest, one who represented Israel to God, would approach them. This was not necessarily the High Priest. This practice had already been instituted by Moses when Israel went into battle against Midian—he sent Phineas, the son of Eleazar, who was the High Priest, along with the soldiers (Num. 31:6). There were even times the priests went into battle with the Israelites. When Joshua went into battle against Jericho, the Israelites rounded their fortified city as instructed by God, and seven priests carrying the ark of the covenant accompanied their armed forces (Joshua 6).


Key to this is preparation. The priest did not just give a pep talk minutes before going into battle. In this context, war is imminent, possibly unavoidable, but not immediate. This dismissal of certain groups of people (vv. 5–8), the appointment of lower rank authorities (v. 9) and approaching a city and offering them peace are all indications that the Israelites are preparing to go to war, but it will not be in the next fifteen minutes. The spiritual preparation takes a lifetime. At this point in time, the priest is merely reminding the people of what they have learned throughout their lives—that God will fight on their behalf and that they are not to worry.


The only true holy wars were those fought by Israel against the enemies of God. As long as their faith was in Him and as long as they obeyed Him, they would win battles and wars against all odds. Those wars which took place in the Middle Ages had nothing to do with being holy. They were heathen fighting against heathen, clinging to a God with Whom they had no relationship. This does not mean that we as Christians eschew war. We belong to a nation and we owe service and allegiance to that nation—in many cases, that will include joining the armed forces and possibly going to war. People tend to over-think this situation, but we are under authority and we are to obey that authority. Whatever the situation, as long as we remain in fellowship and continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, God will guide us. And always carry with you the promise: “Fear not and be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yea I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.” (Isa. 41:10). Being a soldier for your country is an honorable profession—a doctrine which we covered before in Num. 31:2. Happy is Yehowah, my Rock, Who trains my hands for war—my fingers for battle. [He is] my loving kindness and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and He in Whom I take refuge; [the One] Who subdues my people under me (Psalm 144:1–2). Understanding and believing this was required of the Israeli soldiers.


Deuteronomy 20:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

shâmaʿ (שָמַע) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

listen [intently], hear, listen and obey, [or, and act upon, give heed to, take note of], hearken to, be attentive to, listen and be cognizant of

2nd person masculine singular, Qal imperative

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

Yiserâʾêl (יִשְׂרַאֵל) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

God prevails; contender; soldier of God; transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 & #3479 BDB #975


Translation: ...saying, “Hear, O Israel,... Remember where these people are. They are east of the Jordan River, not many days away from crossing over to take the land given them by God. These people have only recently experienced war in simply walking to this point. Moses is speaking to the people, but telling them that a priest, before they go to war, will need to stand before them and speak. The priest would address the people as a nation, as Israel had universal conscription for all the males of Israel.


Moses is standing before them and he is a priest, inasmuch as he represents them to God, and he is speaking to them now as if he were encouraging them himself before they go into battle.


Deuteronomy 20:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾattem (אַתֶּם) [pronounced aht-TEM]

you all, you guys, you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine plural, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

qârêb (קָרֵב) [pronounced kaw-RAYBV]

approaching, coming near, drawing near

adjective

Strong’s #7131 BDB #898

yôwm (יוֹם) [pronounced yohm]

day; time; today (with a definite article); possibly immediately

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of relative proximity

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752

ʾâyab (אָיַב) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #340 & #341 BDB #33


Translation: ...you [are all now] drawing near this [lit., the] day to war against your enemies. Whatever the circumstance, these Jews are drawing near to war against their enemies. These would be enemies who live on the outskirts and have been tempted by Satan to war against the Jews. This is to be expected. Satan will always be working to rid the world of Jews, and he will do everything possible to inspire nations to rise up against the Jews.


Deuteronomy 20:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb]; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

râkake (רָכַ) [pronounced raw-KAHK]

to be tender, to be weak, to be soft [delicate]; to be softened, to be weakened; to be contrite [penitent] [in one’s mind, soul]; to be timid, fearful

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7401 BDB #939

lêbab (לֵבַב) [pronounced lay-BAHBV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular noun with a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523


Translation: [Let] your hearts not become fearful... Like many translators, I have inserted the word let. The priest is encouraging the army of Israel, and he warns them not to become fearful. This is when their emotions take over their thinking.


Deuteronomy 20:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb]; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

yârêʾ (יָרְא) [pronounced yaw-RAY]

to fear, to be afraid; to fear-respect, to reverence, to have a reverential respect

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #3372 BDB #431

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb]; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

châphaz (חָפַז) [pronounced khaw-fahz]

to run away in fear, to retreat in alarm, to flee in haste, to flee in fright; to move away from because of trepidation; to make haste

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2648 BDB #342


Translation: ...—you will not fear and you will not retreat... War is all about momentum, and when members of one army begin to retreat, that decides the momentum and often the outcome of the battle. The Jews cannot become faint; they cannot in war become fearful and then turn and run away from their enemies. This will cause all of their fellow soldiers to become fearful as well.


Châphaz (חָפַז) [pronounced khaw-fahz] means to run away in fear, to retreat in alarm, to move away from out of trepidation. This is why the KJV renders this as hasten and as tremble. Qal: Deut. 20:3 2Sam. 4:4 2Kings 7:15 Job 40:23 Psalm 31:32 116:11* Niphal: 1Sam. 23:26 Psalm 48:5 104:7.* Strong’s #2648 BDB #342.


Deuteronomy 20:3e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾal (אַל) [pronounced al]

no, not; nothing; none; neither, nor; do not, let not [with a verb]; let there not be [with an understood verb];

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39

ʿârats (עָרַץ) [pronounced ģaw-RAHTS]

to cause to tremble, to tremble, to terrify, to feel dread

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6206 BDB #791

min (מִן) [pronounced mihn]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

pânîym (פָּנִים) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural noun (plural acts like English singular); with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, min pânîym and a suffix mean from before their face, out from before their face, from them, from one’s presence. However, together, they can also be a reference to the cause, whether near or remote, and can therefore be rendered because of them, by them.


Translation: ...and you will not be terrified because of them,... The Jews must maintain a solid mental attitude, where they have not become afraid of their enemies (you may recall that this happened when Israel was first supposed to go into the land and take it from the south—they were afraid of their enemies, and God loathed that generation and He killed them all in the desert wilderness).


We have, in fact, a repetition of synonymous phrases, known as a synonymia [pronounced sin-o-NIM-i-a], combined with a polysyndeton, which uses several and’s. Together, these two concepts emphasize the importance, in this instance, of mental and emotional stability in war: Do not allow your heart to become weak; do not fear and do not retreat in alarm and do not be terrified from before their face. The key is a stable mental attitude by focusing upon God and His Word. We attempt to accomplish the same thing in our training of soldiers by repetition under normal circumstances, so that under the abnormal circumstances of war, the actions are performed almost as by rote.


Moses told the people in v. 1 not to be afraid. In the future, God will give the Israelites the same instructions, speaking through a priest, about their behavior in battle. There are certain behaviors to be found in battle and certain ones not to exhibit. They are not to fear their enemies. Because Yehowah their God would be with them, “One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for Yehowah your God is He Who fights for you, just as He promised you.” (Joshua 23:10). David, when speaking to his brothers and to other soldiers while they cowered in their tents: “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?” (1Sam. 17:26b). David even comforted King Saul: ”Let no man’s heart become weak on account of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” (1Sam. 17:32b). David knew Bible doctrine and he knew that there was no reason to fear Goliath. Goliath was not challenging men; he was challenging God.


The Israelites are enjoined not to, in the midst of battle, retreat out of great fear. For if God be for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31).


God will return to Israel in the Tribulation: Say to those with an anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Observe, your God will come [in] vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will deliver you.” (Isa. 35:4).


So far, vv. 2–3 read: When they are ready to go to battle, the priest will be brought forward and he will proclaim to the people, “Listen, O Israel, on this day that you are drawing near to go to war against your enemies. Do not allow your hearts to become fearful—do not become fearful or terrified because of them and do not retreat—... This was quite a sore spot for this generation, because their parents were cowards in war. Moses is speaking to the generation of promise, the sons of Gen X. God killed all the members of Gen X by means of the sin unto death. God had given the land of Canaan to the Exodus generation, Gen X, the adults who walked out of Egypt, seeing many signs and wonders. God gave them the land and told them to go in and take it. However, they became afraid because when scouting out the land, it became clear that some of these people were giants (they were much larger than the Israelites). And the people of Israel cried and shook with fear, because God wanted them to go to war and to take the land, and their enemies would be too fearsome. All of this is recorded in Num. 13–14. And How did God feel about that generation? For forty years I loathed that generation and said, "They are a people who go astray in their thinking, and they have not known My ways." (Psalm 95:10). For who were those who heard and yet rebelled? Was it not all those who left Egypt led by Moses [which is Gen X]? And with whom was God provoked for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness [the sin unto death]? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? (Heb. 3:16–18). And how did they sin? They were faithless, they did not trust God, and they did not go to war to take the land as God had told them to. [Most of this was taken from the Doctrine of War (HTML) (PDF) (WPD)]. When God is on your side, you cannot be terrified in war.


Deuteronomy 20:4

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

the one walking, the one who is going, the one is departing, the one who is advancing [traveling]

Qal active participle with the definite article

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity; with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâcham (לָחַם) [pronounced law-KHAHM]

to engage in battle, to engage in war, to wage war; to fight, to battle

Niphal infinitive construct

Strong’s #3898 BDB #535

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

ʾâyab (אָיַב) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

masculine plural, Qal active participle with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #340 & #341 BDB #33

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâshaʿ (יָשַע) [pronounced yaw-SHAHĢ]

to deliver, to save; to set free, to preserve; to aid, to give relief, to give help to

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong’s #3467 BDB #446

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

you; untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

sign of the direct object affixed to a 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84


Translation: ...for Yehowah your Elohim is going with you to fight for you against your enemies to deliver you [from them].” God is not just on the side of the Israelites, but God goes to war against the enemies of Israel. Remember that these enemies are inspired by Satan to destroy God’s people, and therefore, God will protect Israel.


Here, there is a 2nd person masculine plural suffix added to Elohim; but when this word shows up again, it will be with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix.

 

Guzik: When Israel was obedient, and trusting in God, they could never lose. But when they were disobedient, or not trusting, they could never win - even if they had superior forces. Footnote


The first 4 verses read as follows: When you go forth to war against your enemies and you see horses and chariots—a people greater than you—you will not fear them for Yehowah your Elohim [is always] with you—[He is] the One Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And it is when they draw near to the war that the priest will be brought near [to them] and he will make a proclamation to the people, saying, “Hear, O Israel, you [are all now] drawing near this [lit., the] day to war against your enemies. [Let] your hearts not become fearful—you will not retreat and you will not be terrified because of them, for Yehowah your Elohim is going with you to fight for you against your enemies to deliver you [from them].” Moses reminds these young people that they are standing before him, not as slaves, but as free men, because God delivered them out of Egypt. God has never before taken an entire people out of a country where they were enslaved and delivered them.


Israel should have had no difficulty when it came to war—whenever Israel was to go to war, the Creator of the Universe, Yehowah their God, went into battle with them. There was no army which could oppose Him. Moses told these men in the past: “Do not fear! Remain stabilized and see the deliverance of Yehowah which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. Yehowah will fight for you while you keep silent.” (Ex. 14:13b–14). And Moses reminds them of this in this great series of messages: “Yehowah your God, Who goes before you, will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes.” (Deut. 1:31). We will see another great example of this in 2Chron. 20:14–26. Therefore, I will not trust in my bow, nor will my sword deliver me; but You have delivered us from our adversaries, and You have put to shame those who hate us (Psalm 44:6–7).

deut20_2-4.jpg

Deuteronomy 20:2–4. This graphic is from African American History. These soldiers are from World War II.


These soldiers are described as "On parade, the 41st Engineers at Ft. Bragg, NC in color guard ceremony." and originally comes from the government archives. Accessed September 28, 2013.


Our founders understood the importance of the spiritual side of war, and, for the reason, there has always been chaplain’s in our military.

——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Military Exemptions


And has spoke the officer unto the people, to say, “What the man who has built a house new and he has not dedicated him. He will go back and let him return to his house lest he die in the battle and a man, another, dedicates him.

Deuteronomy

20:5

Also an officer will speak to the people, saying, “Who [is] the man who has built a new house but he has not [yet] begun to use it—let him go back and return to his house so that he does not die in battle and another man dedicate his house [lit., him, it].

Also, an officer will speak to the army, asking, “Is there anyone here who has built a new house, but has not yet begun to enjoy it? Let that man go back and return to his home so that he does not die in battle without having the chance to enjoy his newly-built home.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And the officers will speak with the people, saying: Who is the man who has built a new house, and has not set fast its door-posts to complete it? Let him go and return to his house, lest through sin he be slain in the battle, and another man complete it.

Latin Vulgate                          And the captains shall proclaim through every band in the hearing of the army: What man is there, that hath 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.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And has spoke the officer unto the people, to say, “What the man who has built a house new and he has not dedicated him. He will go back and let him return to his house lest he die in the battle and a man, another, dedicates him.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    Then the scribes shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there who has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? Let him return and go to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the scribes shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there that has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the war, and another man dedicate it.

 

Significant differences:           The targum defines what it means to dedicate a house; although that is not necessarily what is meant. The Latin has a weird phrase thrown in there as well.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Contemporary English V.       Then the tribal officials will say to the troops: If any of you have built a new house, but haven't yet moved in, you may go home. It isn't right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to live in your new house.

Easy English                          Then the officers will say to the soldiers, "Has anyone built a new house but has not yet made it ready for God? He must go home. If he does not, he may die in the fight. Then someone else may make his house ready.

Easy-to-Read Version            “Those {Levite} officers will say to the soldiers, ‘Is there any man here that has built a new house, but has not yet dedicated it? That man should go back home. He might be killed in the battle. And then another person will dedicate that man’s house.

Good News Bible (TEV)         "Then the officers will address the men and say, 'Is there any man here who has just built a house, but has not yet dedicated it? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, if he is killed in battle, someone else will dedicate his house.

The Message                         Then let the officers step up and speak to the troops: "Is there a man here who has built a new house but hasn't yet dedicated it? Let him go home right now lest he die in battle and another man dedicate it.

New Life Bible                        The leaders will speak to the people also, saying, 'Is there anyone among you who has built a new house and has not given it to God? Let him go and return to his house or he might die in battle and another man will give it to God.

New Living Translation           "Then the officers of the army must address the troops and say, `Has anyone here just built a new house but not yet dedicated it? If so, you may go home! You might be killed in the battle, and someone else would dedicate your house.

The Voice                               Then the officials will say to the people who are eligible for a deferment, "Has anyone just built a new house but hasn't begun to use it yet? Go back to your house, because if you died in this battle, someone else would dedicate it.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'Then the scribes must speak to the people and say, If any man has built a new house and hasn't consecrated it yet, let him return to his home; otherwise he might die in the war and someone else would then consecrate it. Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups. A synonym for to consecrate is to sanctify; an antonym is to desecrate. Footnote

Christian Community Bible     So the secretaries shall say to the people: “Is there anyone of you who has just built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go home; lest he die in battle and another dedicate it.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And then, in the hearing of the whole army, each chieftain will make this proclamation to the men of his own company: Is there anyone here who has built a new house, and not yet handselled it? Let him go back home; shall he be slain in battle, and leave another to handsel it? It is not clear whether this implies a religious dedication; we do not read elsewhere of houses being so treated. Cf. 1Mac. 3.56.

New American Bible              "Then the officials shall say to the soldiers, 'Is there anyone who has built a new house and not yet had the housewarming? Let him return home, lest he die in battle and another dedicate it.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Then the officials shall speak to the army: "Is there anyone who has built a new house and not yet dedicated it? Let him return home, lest he die in battle and another dedicate it.

NIRV                                      The officers will speak to the army. They will say, "Has anyone built a new house and not started to live in it? Let him go home. If he doesn't, he might die in battle. Then someone else will live in his house.

New Jerusalem Bible             'The scribes will then address the people, as follows: "Has anyone built a new house and not yet dedicated it? Let him go home, in case he dies in battle and someone else performs the dedication.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The officers will speak to the people, saying, "Who is the man that built a new house, but never dedicated it? You go and return to the house, otherwise by dying in war another man will dedicate it."

Bible in Basic English             And let the overseers say to the people, If there is any man who has made for himself a new house and has not gone into it, let him go back to his house, so that in the event of his death in the fight, another may not take his house for himself.

The Expanded Bible              The ·officers [or scribes] should say to the army, "·Has anyone [LWho has] built a new house but not ·given it to God [dedicated it]? He may go home, because he might die in battle and someone else would ·get to give his house to God [dedicate it].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The Magistrates, also, shall address the People, saying; "What man is there who has built a new house, and not dedicated it ? Let him go and return to his house, for fear he should be killed in the war, and another man should dedicate it.

HCSB                                     "The officers are to address the army, 'Has any man built a new house and not dedicated it? Let him leave and return home. Otherwise, he may die in battle and another man dedicate it.

NET Bible®                             Moreover, the officers are to say to the troops [Heb "people" (also in vv. 8, 9).], "Who among you [Heb "Who [is] the man" (also in vv. 6, 7, 8).] has built a new house and not dedicated [The Hebrew term חָנַךְ (khanakh) occurs elsewhere only with respect to the dedication of Solomon’s temple (1 Kgs 8:63 = 2 Chr 7:5). There it has a religious connotation which, indeed, may be the case here as well. The noun form (חָנֻכָּה, khanukah) is associated with the consecration of the great temple altar (2 Chr 7:9) and of the postexilic wall of Jerusalem (Neh 12:27). In Maccabean times the festival of Hanukkah was introduced to celebrate the rededication of the temple following its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (1 Macc 4:36-61).] it? He may go home, lest he die in battle and someone else [Heb "another man."] dedicate it.

NIV, ©2011                             The officers shall say to the army: "Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           "Then the officials will speak to the soldiers. They are to say, 'Is there a man here who has built a new house, but hasn't dedicated it yet? He should go back home now; otherwise he may die fighting, and another man will dedicate it.

exeGeses companion Bible   And the officers word to the people, saying,

What man has built a new house

and not hanukkahed it?

Have him go and return to his house,

lest he die in the war and another man hanukkah it.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And the officers shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there who has built a new house and has not yet inaugurated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the war, and another man inaugurate it.

Kaplan Translation                 The lower officers [Shotrim in Hebrew. See above 1:15.] shall then speak to the people, and say, 'Is there any man among you who has built a new house, and has not begun to live in it? Let him go home, so that he will not die in war and have another man live in it.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And the shoterim shall speak unto the people, saying, What ish is there that hath built a bais chadash, and hath not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his bais, lest he die in the milchamah, and another ish dedicate it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And the superintendents will speak to the people, saying:Whoever the man be who has built a new house and has not dedicated it yet, may go and return to his house, lest he should die in the battle and another man should dedicate it.

English Standard Version      Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying, 'Is there any man who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it.

The updated Geneva Bible    And the officers will speak unto the people, saying, What man [is there] that 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. For when they first entered to dwell in a house, they gave thanks to God, acknowledging that they had that benefit by his grace.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Verses 5-7. Evaluation of the Troops - Cases of Honorable Discharge from the Battle}

And the officers shall also speak unto the soldiers, saying, "What man is there that 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." {Note: Case of a 'bad attitude'. This is a young men with a new wife and children - no battle concentration - better to let him experience his house first, then fight in the next battle}

Young’s Updated LT             “And the authorities have spoken unto the people, saying, ‘Who is the man that has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? —let him go and turn back to his house, lest he die in battle, and another man dedicate it.

 

The gist of this verse:          Besides the priest, a military officer will speak to the people and he will weed out some of those who are exempt from going to war.


Deuteronomy 20:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

3rd person masculine plural, Piel perfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

shôţêr (שֹטֵר) [pronounced show-TARE]

 official, commissioned officer, officer; this word refers to an official or an officer who is not the highest in command, but holds a subordinate position

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7860 BDB #1009


Translation: Also an officer will speak to the people,... A military officer will also speak to the army and he will pull out a number of people who do not need to be there.


A commissioned officer is the word shôţêr (שֹטֵר) [pronounced show-TARE] means official, officer who is not the highest in command, but holds a subordinate position. These officers organized the armies of Israel (Joshua 1:10 3:7). This same word is used for the overseers of Israel under Egyptian slavery (Ex. 5:14). Strong’s #7860 BDB #1009.


Now we will hear the ways that keep a person from going out to battle with the enemy. There will be 4 exceptions—4 sets of people who do not have to go to war. The first one is the exception of the man who has recently built his own house. We have a Psalm which apparently was read at the dedication of a house built by David (or for David) in Psalm 30. We can assume that the time allotted to such a man would be a year, as was given to the newly married (Deut. 24:5). Josephus, in Ant. iv. 8, 41, concurs (although he also places a year as the time on the next verse, which would be incorrect).


Deuteronomy 20:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

mîy (מִי) [pronounced mee]

who, whom; whose, whomever; what; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative; the verb to be may be implied

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

bânâh (בָּנָה) [pronounced baw-NAWH]

to build, to construct; to erect; to rebuild, to restore

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #1129 BDB #124

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

châdâsh (חָדָש) [pronounced khaw-DAWSH]

new, new thing; fresh

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #2319 BDB #294


Translation: ...saying, “Who [is] the man who has built a new house... The first person who does not need to go to war is someone who has just built a new house. Often, the armies of Israel would go to war throughout the spring and summer, and partway into the fall, and then they would return home. Soldiers would occupy their time off, and some would build their own home during their time off. In fact, the first three things mentioned which exempt a soldier from a battle are things a soldier might do during his time off.


The vern is bânâh (בָּנָה) [pronounced baw-NAWH] means to build and this verb is in the perfect tense, meaning that we are speaking of a completed action. Therefore, the house has been completed. It may or may not be completely furnished and the fixtures may be in or not; but the house itself, the building of it, has been completed. Strong’s #1129 BDB #124.


Deuteronomy 20:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

With a voluntative, cohortative or jussive, the wâw conjunction means that, so that. It expresses intention. The wâw conjunction can express informal inference or consequence (so, then, therefore); especially at the beginning of a speech. The wâw conjunction can connect alternative cases or contrasting ideas and be properly rendered or, but, yet. The wâw conjunction can also be rendered for.

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

chânake (חָנַ) [pronounced khaw-NAKe]

to dedicate; to begin to use, to initiate use; to train [up]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2596 BDB #335

Gesenius gives Footnote this some unusual meanings: to make narrow; to put something into the mouth; to give to be tasted; to imbue [someone with something]; to instruct, to train up. When applied to inanimate things (Gesenius), it means to initiate, to dedicate, to commence to use.


Translation: ...but he has not [yet] begun to use it... The verb found here is chânake (חָנַ) [pronounced khaw-NAKe]. Gesenius gives Footnote this some unusual meanings: to make narrow; to put something into the mouth; to give to be tasted; to imbue [someone with something]; to instruct, to train up. When applied to inanimate things (Gesenius), it means to initiate, to dedicate, to commence to use. Chânake (חָנַ) [pronounced khaw-NAKe] is generally rendered dedicate and is found twice in this verse, and in 1Kings 8:63 2Chron. 7:5 and Prov. 22:6 (all in the Qal stem).* In 1Kings 8:63, Solomon offers 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep—so the king and all the sons of Israel dedicated the house of Yehowah. 2Chron. 7:5 is a parallel passage. Prov. 22:6 reads: Dedicate a child according to his way he should go; even when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Obviously, this has to be more than some one-shot ceremony performed while the kid is an infant. It is a day-in and day-out process. For the child, it involves guidance and proper direction. So what is involved is probably more than a ceremony, but it is a day-in and day-out choosing of the impact and direction of the house. Strong’s #2596 BDB #335.

 

Gower remarks: Houses...were looked upon as the gift of God, and when a house was first built, there was an act of dedication. Footnote


We may assume that he has built this house and has lived in it for less than a week; or, perhaps, he even has a few things to complete on it. Furthermore, there was probably a demonstrative ceremony which took place in that day, where God is formally thanked for the home. This is probably very similar to a housewarming party today, but with expressing clear gratitude toward God for this blessing. Some of us recognize that a new house or a new car, or food from our garden (or from the store) is a great blessing from God. Now, we may not hold a house blessing party, but, certainly within our own family, thanks ought to be expressed to God.

 

The NET Bible explains this word: The Hebrew term חָנַךְ (khanakh) occurs elsewhere only with respect to the dedication of Solomon’s temple (1Kgs 8:63 = 2Chr 7:5). There it has a religious connotation which, indeed, may be the case here as well. The noun form (חָנֻכָּה, khanukah) is associated with the consecration of the great temple altar (2Chr 7:9) and of the postexilic wall of Jerusalem (Neh 12:27). In Maccabean times the festival of Hanukkah was introduced to celebrate the rededication of the temple following its desecration by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (1Macc 4:36-61). Footnote

 

Freeman has nothing of note to add to this, saying that we are not informed as to the ceremonies accompanying the dedication of a dwelling. He mentions some customs held by the rabbins, which may or may not be pertinent, and adds that Egyptians and Hindus have some sort of a dedication ritual which they perform. Footnote


However, when we are lacking in solid historical confirmation or evidence of a particular Jewish custom or historical note, we should allow God’s Word to interpret itself, which allows me to give the interpretation which I have given. Our application to today becomes obvious: we all have dwelling places and they are either, by our daily actions and thoughts, dedicated to the things of this world or dedicated to God. There is no phoney, one-shot ceremony which determines this. It is our day--to-day life within this home which determines to Whom it is dedicated.


What we do have is, Psalm 30, written by King David, appears to be the dedication of his own house (it may be a reference to the Temple, Footnote as these are the same words).


Deuteronomy 20:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; jussive

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

A jussive expresses the speaker’s desire, wish or command. We often add into the translation may or let. Footnote The jussive involves only the imperfect form of a verb and may be used in the 2nd or 3rd persons (although the latter is the most common).

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: ...—let him go back and return to his house... I have placed the let, which would be a part of the jussive, with the first verb. This person is given an valid excuse to not go to war.


Moses recognized that (just as the Bible does) that one of the most important aspects of a man’s life is the home that he lives in. In the ancient world, most men lived in one home after they left their parent’s home. Therefore, where he lived was a lifetime thing. Today, we might live in 4 or 5 different houses—and far more if we rent instead of own.


I am sure that some of you have thought, “Well, why not time the building of your house (or, whatever) to happen before wartime, to get out of going to war?” A person would do this because he is a coward. The Bible does allow for cowards to not go to war. That will be v. 8.

 

Gower makes an interesting observation about this and the following 2 verses: This was not simply humane treatment, but followed a religious conviction at the time which held that all undertakings had to be completed. Footnote


Deuteronomy 20:5e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pen (פֶּן) [pronounced pen]

lest, peradventure, or else, in order to prevent, or, so that [plus a negative]

conjunction

Strong's #6435 BDB #814

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to die; to perish, to be destroyed; to be put to death; to die prematurely [by neglect of wise moral conduct]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536


Translation: ...so that he does not die in battle... The worry is, this man may die in battle and never get to enjoy his own home that he just built. God gives us time to enjoy life on this earth.


Deuteronomy 20:5f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾachêr (אַחֵר) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, next; other as well as foreign, alien, strange

adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29

chânake (חָנַ) [pronounced khaw-NAKe]

to dedicate; to begin to use, to initiate use; to train [up]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2596 BDB #335

Gesenius gives Footnote this some unusual meanings: to make narrow; to put something into the mouth; to give to be tasted; to imbue [someone with something]; to instruct, to train up. When applied to inanimate things (Gesenius), it means to initiate, to dedicate, to commence to use.


Translation: ...and another man dedicate his house [lit., him, it]. If this man dies, then another man will eventually buy his newly-built home and enjoy it himself.


One of the things implied by this verse, which is important, is that some men who went into battle were killed and they would not return. Even with God leading them into battle, there will still be some casualties—it will be their time to go. We will all check out of this life; God has already determined the place and the time and the circumstances. We have no control over that. We need merely to be in His will, which includes being in fellowship and growing in grace and the knowledge of Bible doctrine. Here, Moses is allowing for such a one to enjoy a recent personal project (in this case, a newly-built home).


God gave the Land of Promise to His people. God wanted them to enjoy their stay in this land. He wanted them to have farms and homes and trees that produced almonds, olives and apricots.

deut20_5.jpg

Deut. 20:5. Graphic is from Dreamstime, and is a royalty free stock image. Accessed September 28, 2013. Houses in the time of Israel were quite a bit smaller than this. They were usually a one-room home, with an open area at the top of the house, a courtyard and perhaps a stable of sorts.


Application: God is not against you enjoying your life or enjoying your environment. Learning Bible doctrine gives you the capacity to enjoy all that God has given you. I spend a huge amount of time in Bible study (3–4 hours a day and more), but that is not God’s plan for every person. But God does expect us to be under a learned pastor-teacher and to spiritual grow under his ministry. God does expect us to learn daily His Word, because for the other 23 hours of that day, we will be pummeled with human viewpoint. The only way we can overcome human viewpoint thinking is to have a little divine viewpoint every day (about an hour is good). God gives us the rest of this time to enjoy our lives (and this includes your work, which is a blessing from God, just as your home is).


Application: I know unbelievers who, by every measure, ought to be happy. One couple I am thinking of are financially stable, their health has been, for the most part, good; they have a wonderful daughter and grandchildren (with a good son-in-law), and yet, they are not overwhelmingly happy. There are believers with much worse circumstances who are much happier. It is all related to capacity, and we develop capacity for life through the intake of Bible doctrine.


Application: God has designed this life for us to be contented and happy. Our lives may be short or they may continue over a long period of time, but God is not against happiness.


——————————


And what man has set up a vineyard and has not profaned him. He will go and let him return to his house lest he die in the battle and a man another profane him.

Deuteronomy

20:6

And what man [here] has planted a vineyard but not [yet] eaten from it [lit., profaned it]? Let him go and return to his house so that he does not die in battle and another man eat from it [lit., profane it].

Is there any man here who has recently planted a vineyard, but has not harvest it yet? Let him return to his home so that he does not die in battle and another man enjoy the fruits of his labor.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                Or, what man has planted a vineyard, and has not redeemed it from the priest [JERUSALEM. And has not redeemed it] to make it common? Let him go and return to his house, lest sin be the occasion of his not redeeming it, but he be slain in the battle, and another make it common.

Latin Vulgate                          What man is there, that has planted a vineyard, and has not as yet made it to be common, whereof all men may eat? Let him go, and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man execute his office.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And what man has set up a vineyard and has not profaned him. He will go and let him return to his house lest he die in the battle and a man another profane him.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And what man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not yet trod the grapes of it? Let him return and go to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man tread its grapes.

Septuagint (Greek)                And what man is there that has planted a vineyard, and not been made merry with it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man be made merry with it.

 

Significant differences:           There are some disagreements as to exactly what to make common, to profane means; so there is some interpretation found in the Syriac and the Greek. This verb is repeated at the end of the verse. Interestingly enough, the Latin appears to give it a completely different translation at that point.

 

All of the translations moved jussive back one verb, as I did in my nearly literal translation.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Or is there anyone here who has planted a vineyard but hasn't yet put it to good use? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the battle and someone else would use the vineyard.

Contemporary English V.       If any of you have planted a vineyard but haven't had your first grape harvest, you may go home. It isn't right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to enjoy your grapes.

Easy English                          Has anyone planted a field with *grapes but has not yet enjoyed the fruit? He must go home. If he does not, he may die in the fight. Then someone else will enjoy the fruit.

Easy-to-Read Version            Is there any man here that has planted a field of grapes, but has not yet gathered any of the grapes? That man should go back home. If that man dies in the battle, then another person will enjoy the fruit from his field.

Good News Bible (TEV)         Is there any man here who has just planted a vineyard, but has not yet had the chance to harvest its grapes? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, if he is killed in battle, someone else will enjoy the wine.

New Century Version             Has anyone planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? He may go home, because he might die in battle and someone else would enjoy his vineyard.

New Life Bible                        Is there anyone who has planted grape vines and has not begun to eat their fruit? Let him go and return to his house or he might die in the battle and another man will begin to eat the fruit.

New Living Translation           Has anyone here just planted a vineyard but not yet eaten any of its fruit? If so, you may go home! You might die in battle, and someone else would eat the first fruit.

The Voice                               Has anyone planted a vineyard but hasn't enjoyed its fruit yet? Go back to your house, because if you died in this battle, someone else would be the first to enjoy its fruit.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And any man who has planted a vineyard and not yet [enjoyed its wine] may go home; otherwise, he might die in the battle and then someone else would get to enjoy it.

Beck’s American Translation Has anyone planted a vineyard and not started to enjoy its grapes? Go back home, or you may die in battle and someone else will start enjoying its grapes.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Is there anyone here who has planted a vineyard, and not shared the first vintage of it with his neighbors [There is no reference in the Hebrew text to this exercise of public hospitality.]? Let him go back home; shall he be slain in battle, and another take his place?

New American Bible              Is there anyone who has planted a vineyard and never yet enjoyed its fruits? Let him return home, lest he die in battle and another enjoy its fruits in his stead.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Is there anyone who has planted a vineyard and not yet plucked its fruit? Let him return home, lest he die in battle and another pluck its fruit.

NIRV                                      Has anyone planted a vineyard and not started to enjoy it? Let him go home. If he doesn't, he might die in battle. Then someone else will enjoy his vineyard.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      "Who is the man that planted a vineyard, but it never began? Go and return to the house, otherwise by dying in war another man will begin it."

Bible in Basic English             Or if any man has made a vine-garden without taking the first-fruits of it, let him go back to his house, so that in the event of his death in the fight, another may not be the first to make use of the fruit.

The Expanded Bible              Has anyone [LWho has] planted a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it? He may go home, because he might die in battle and someone else would enjoy his vineyard.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 "And what man has planted a vineyard and has not reaped it ? Let him go and return to his home, for fear he should be killed in the war, and another man reap it.

NET Bible®                             Or who among you has planted a vineyard and not benefited from it? He may go home, lest he die in battle and someone else benefit from it.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           "'Is there a man here who has planted a vineyard, but hasn't yet made use of its fruit? He should go back home; otherwise he may die fighting, and another man will use it.

exeGeses companion Bible   And what man planted a vineyard

and not yet plucked thereof?

Have him go and return to his house,

lest he die in the war and another man pluck thereof.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Is there anyone who has planted a vineyard but has never harvested it? Let him go back to his home, lest he die in battle and another harvest it.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And what man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not yet redeemed it? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the war, and another man redeem it.

Kaplan Translation                 'Is there any man among you who has planted a vineyard and has not redeemed its first crop [On the fourth year, as in Leviticus 19:24. (Rashi; Saadia). Or, 'enjoyed' (Chizzkuni).]? Let him go home so that he not die in war and have another man redeem its crop.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And what ish is he that hath planted a kerem (vineyard), and hath not yet eaten of it? Let him also go and return unto his bais, lest he die in the milchamah, and another ish eat of it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And whoever the man be who has planted a vineyard and has not taken it yet for profane use may go and return to his house, lest he should die in the battle and another man should take it for profane use.

English Standard Version      And is there any man who has planted a vineyard and has not enjoyed its fruit? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man enjoy its fruit.

The Geneva Bible                  And what man [is he] that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not [yet] eaten of it [The Hebrew word signifies to make common or profane, ( Leviticus 19:25 ) ]? let him [also] go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.

NASB                                     Who is the man that has planted a vineyard and has not begun to use its fruit [Lit treat(ed) it as common]? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would begin to use its fruit [Lit treat(ed) it as common].

 

Syndein/Thieme                     "And what man is he that has planted a vineyard, and has not yet 'reaped its harvest'/'eaten of it'? Let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it." {Note: Second case of a 'bad attitude' - a griper. He is a new business person with his mind on business instead of war. So, again no battle concentration - better to let him taste a little business success, then fight later.}

Webster’s Bible Translation  And what man [is he] that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not [yet] eaten of it? let him [also] go and return to his house, lest he should die in the battle, and another man should eat of it.

World English Bible                What man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not used the fruit of it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use the fruit of it.

Young’s Updated LT             “And who is the man that has planted a vineyard, and has not made it common? —let him go and turn back to his house, lest he die in battle, and another man make it common.

 

The gist of this verse:          A person who has recently planted a garden should return for the harvest, if this is the first harvest.


Deuteronomy 20:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mîy (מִי) [pronounced mee]

who, whom; whose, whomever; what; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative; the verb to be may be implied

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

nâţaʿ (נָטַע) [pronounced naw-TAHĢ]

to set upright; to plant; to place; to fix, to fasten [with a nail]; to pitch [a tent], to set up; figuratively to establish

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5193 BDB #642

kerem (כֶּרֶם) [pronounced keh-REM]

vineyard, orchard, a cultivated garden

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3754 BDB #501

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

châlal (חָלַל) [pronounced khaw-LAHL]

to profane, to make [to treat as] common, defile, pollute; to violate the honour of, dishonour; to violate [break] (a covenant); to cast down, to destroy

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #2490 BDB #320

In Deut. 20:6, the vineyard is, for all intents and purposes, virginal—it has not been used or harvested from. It is in a pristine state. The first harvest makes the vineyard common, used, no longer in a pristine state.

There are several translations for this verb given in BDB, none of which really match its used here. Owen, the HCSB and the ESV render this enjoy its fruit; A Conservative Version, Green’s Literal translation and the WEB render this use its fruit; use the fruit of it. Only a few translators try to make do with the given translations: Voice in the Wilderness renders this violate it; and the CLV take it for profane use.


Translation: And what man [here] has planted a vineyard but not [yet] eaten from it [lit., profaned it]? Someone may have just launched a new business venture. Remember, these are mostly citizen soldiers, who spend most of their lives as normal people, living on the land, farming, marrying, giving in marriage, etc. Now and again, a man enters into a new business venture, or, as suggested here, has just planed a new vineyard. He has not yet profaned it or made it common; indicating that he has not harvested this vineyard yet. The officer is saying that he needs to get his enterprise off the ground for its first year. The idea here is, he would be too distracted to think when in battle.


Châlal (חָלַל) [pronounced khaw-LAHL] is one of the more unusual words in the Hebrew. It has several disparate meanings, which are hard to reconcile to one another. Its root means to bore, by implication meaning wound, dissolve. BDB gives three separate definitions and listings for this verb, and I will try to correlate them. Men killed using swords and arrows, and those who died had been pierced. Because death is so closely associated with defilement and uncleanness, this word also came to mean defiled, polluted., as well as pierce, bore. It means pollute, defile, profane. Footnote Profane is something properly applied in relationship to God and to that which is holy, such as the Sabbath (see Lev. 20:3 Neh. 13:18 Ezek. 23:39). Footnote Finally, in this passage, the vineyard is, for all intents and purposes, virginal—it has not been used or harvested from. It is in a pristine state. The first harvest makes the vineyard common, used, no longer in a pristine state. Strong's #2490 BDB #319–320.


The fruit of a vineyard was not to be eaten for three years and in the fourth, it was considered holy to God, an offering to Him (Lev. 19:23–25). It was the fifth year when they could eat of the fruit. It was in this way that they profaned the vineyard. That is, it was no longer brought as a holy offering to God. Therefore, the time period of exemption from the military for this man could be up to four years.


Again, as before, there was unfinished business in the life of this person going to battle; God allows him to harvest his vineyard in the fifth year, so that it is not on his mind during battle. In modern life, we might apply this to a new business venture or a new career.


Just like the building of the house, this is a new thing which has not quite yet been taken to completion.


With regards to the draft, we did this, allowing student in the midst of college to remain in college and to receive a deferment until they had completed their college. This is very similar.


Deuteronomy 20:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; jussive

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

A jussive expresses the speaker’s desire, wish or command. We often add into the translation may or let. Footnote The jussive involves only the imperfect form of a verb and may be used in the 2nd or 3rd persons (although the latter is the most common).

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

All of this v. 6b is an exact repeat, word-for-word of v. 5d.


Translation: Let him go and return to his house... We had exactly this phrase before; the officer is saying that this man may return to his home and finish out the first year of this new business venture.


Deuteronomy 20:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pen (פֶּן) [pronounced pen]

lest, peradventure, or else, in order to prevent, or, so that [plus a negative]

conjunction

Strong's #6435 BDB #814

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to die; to perish, to be destroyed; to be put to death; to die prematurely [by neglect of wise moral conduct]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾachêr (אַחֵר) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, next; other as well as foreign, alien, strange

adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29

châlal (חָלַל) [pronounced khaw-LAHL]

to profane, to make [to treat as] common, defile, pollute; to violate the honour of, dishonour; to violate [break] (a covenant); to cast down, to destroy

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #2490 BDB #320

In Deut. 20:6, the vineyard is, for all intents and purposes, virginal—it has not been used or harvested from. It is in a pristine state. The first harvest makes the vineyard common, used, no longer in a pristine state.

There are several translations for this verb given in BDB, none of which really match its used here. Owen, the HCSB and the ESV render this enjoy its fruit; A Conservative Version, Green’s Literal translation and the WEB render this use its fruit; use the fruit of it. Only a few translators try to make do with the given translations: Voice in the Wilderness renders this violate it; and the CLV take it for profane use.


Translation: ...so that he does not die in battle and another man eat from it [lit., profane it]. The officer is concerned that he may die in battle—possibly in part because he is distracted over this venture—and if this happens, another man will come in and enjoy the fruits of his labor.


Paul will use this to illustrate to the tight-fisted Footnote Corinthians why he and Barnabas should be remunerated for their spiritual services: Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working [i.e., side jobs so that they may teach and do missionary work]. Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? For it

deut20_6.jpg

is written in the Law of Moses, “You will not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you? (1Cor. 9:6–9a, 11).


In the millennium, the planting again of vineyards and the building again of personal residences will be a sign of God’s return to Israel: Thus says Yehowah God, “When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and I manifest My holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they will live in their land which I gave to My servant Jacob. And they will live in it securely; and they will build houses, plant vineyards, and live securely, when I execute judgments upon all who scorn them around about them. Then they will know that I am Yehowah their God.” (Ezek. 28:25–26).


Deuteronomy 20:6 graphic is from the Passionate Foodie, accessed September 28, 2013. God allows for men to enjoy in life what He had given them to enjoy.


——————————


And what man who is betrothed to a woman and has not taken her. He will go and let him return to his house lest he die in the battle and a man another take her.

Deuteronomy

20:7

And [is there] a man [here] who is betrothed to a woman, but has not [yet] taken her. Let him go and return to his house, so that he does not die in battle and another man take her.

Is there a man here betrothed to a woman, but has not yet consummated the marriage? Let him return to his house so that he does not die another man take her.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And what man hath betrothed a wife, but not taken her? Let him go and return to his house, lest sin prevent him from rejoicing with his wife and he be slain in the battle, and another take her.

Latin Vulgate                          What man is there, that has espoused a wife, and not taken her? Let him go, and return to his house, lest he die in the war, and another man take her.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And what man who is betrothed to a woman and has not taken her. He will go and let him return to his house lest he die in the battle and a man another take her.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And what man is there who has betrothed a wife, and has not taken her? Let him return and go to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

Septuagint (Greek)                And what man is there that 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.

 

Significant differences:           The targum, as usual, includes some additional commentary.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Or is there anyone here who is engaged but not yet married? He may leave and go back to his house; otherwise, he might die in the battle and someone else would marry his fiancée."

Contemporary English V.       If any of you are engaged to be married, you may go back home and get married. It isn't right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to marry the woman you are engaged to.

Easy English                          Has anyone promised to marry a woman? If he has not married her yet, he must go home. He may die in the fight and then another man will marry her."

Easy-to-Read Version            Is there any man here that is engaged to be married? That man should go back home. If he dies in the battle, then another man will marry the woman he is engaged to.’

The Message                         Is there a man here engaged to marry who hasn't yet taken his wife? Let him go home right now lest he die in battle and another man take her."

The Voice                               Has anyone become engaged to a woman but hasn't consummated the marriage? Go back to your house, because if you died in this battle, someone else would take her."


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And if any man is engaged [to marry] and has not yet taken his woman, he should go home; otherwise he might die in the battle and then someone else would have her.

Christian Community Bible     Is there anyone who has made a promise to marry and has not yet been married? Let him go back to his home at once, lest he die in combat and another take the woman as his wife.”

God’s Word                         If you are engaged to a woman but have not married her, you may go home. Otherwise, you might die in battle, and someone else will marry her."

New Advent (Knox) Bible       Is there anyone here that is betrothed to a maid, and has not taken her to himself? Let him go back home; shall he be slain in battle, and leave her to wed another?

New American Bible (R.E.)    Is there anyone who has betrothed a woman and not yet married her? Let him return home, lest he die in battle and another marry her." Deut. 24:5

NIRV                                      Has anyone promised to get married to a woman but hasn't done it yet? Let him go home. If he doesn't, he might die in battle. Then someone else will marry her."

New Jerusalem Bible             "Has anyone contracted to marry a girl and not yet married her? Let him go home, in case he dies in battle and someone else marries her."

Today’s NIV                          Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her."


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      "Who is the man that betrothed a woman, and never took her? Go and return to the house, otherwise by dying in war, another man will take her."

Bible in Basic English             Or if any man is newly married and has had no sex relations with his wife, let him go back to his house, so that in the event of his death in the fight, another man may not take her.

The Expanded Bible              Is any man [LWho is] engaged to a woman and not yet married to her? He may go home, because he might die in battle and someone else would marry her."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 "And what man is engaged to a woman, and has not married her ? Let him go and return to his home, for fear he should be killed in the war, and another man marry her."

NET Bible®                             Or who among you [Heb "Who [is] the man."] has become engaged to a woman but has not married her? He may go home, lest he die in battle and someone else marry her."

NIV, ©2011                             Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her."


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           "'Is there a man here who is engaged to a woman, but hasn't married her yet? He should go back home; otherwise he may die fighting, and another man will marry her.’

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               Is there anyone who has paid the bride-price for a wife [Thereby making her his wife legally, even though the marriage has not yet taken place.], but who has not yet married her? Let him go back to his home, lest he die in battle and another marry her.:

Kaplan Translation                 'Is there any man among you who has betrothed a woman and not married her? Let him go home, so that he not die in war and have another man marry her.' Betrothal rights (erusin) is the first step in marriage, where the couple are legally married, and the marriage can only be dissolved by an official bill of divorce. Today, the giving of the ring is the betrothal ceremony. Adultery with a betrothed girl is a crime punishable by death. Deuteronomy 22:23 f (Rashbam). The second step of marriage is when the husband brings the bride into his domain (nesuin).

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And what ish is there that hath betrothed an isha, and hath not taken her? Let him go and return unto his bais, lest he die in the milchamah, and another ish take her.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Green’s Literal Translation    And who is the man who has betrothed a woman, and has not taken her? Let him go and return to his house, that he not die in the battle, and another man take her.

NASB                                     And who is the man that is engaged to a woman and has not married [Lit taken] her? Let him depart and return to his house, otherwise he might die in the battle and another man would marry [Lit take] her.'

New RSV                               Has anyone become engaged to a woman but not yet married her? He should go back to his house, or he might die in the battle and another marry her.'

Syndein/Thieme                     "And what man is there that has betrothed a wife, and has not 'had marital intercourse'/'taken her'? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man 'has sex with her'/'take her'." {Note: Third case of a bad mental attitude going into battle. This man is engaged only and not yet with her. So, is another example of no battle concentration - love on his mind!}

World English Bible                What man is there who has pledged to be married 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.

Young’s Updated LT             “And who is the man that has betrothed a woman, and has not taken her? —let him go and turn back to his house, lest he die in battle, and another man take her.

 

The gist of this verse:          A man who is about to get married receives a deferment until his marriage has been consummated.


Deuteronomy 20:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mîy (מִי) [pronounced mee]

who, whom; whose, whomever; what; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative; the verb to be may be implied

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾăsher (אֲֹשֶר) [pronounced uh-SHER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun; sometimes the verb to be is implied

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ʾâras (אָרַשׂ) [pronounced aw-RAHS]

to betroth, to marry, to get married to, to espouse, to make one a wife; to become engaged to

3rd person masculine singular, Piel perfect

Strong’s #781 BDB #76

ʾîshshâh (אִשָּה) [pronounced eesh-SHAW]

woman, wife

feminine singular noun

Strong's #802 BDB #61

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542


Translation: And [is there] a man [here] who is betrothed to a woman, but has not [yet] taken her. The third case is a man who is close to getting married, but he has not married his woman yet; he has not yet consummated his marriage.


Here is a man who has become engaged to a woman, yet they have not consumated their marriage nor have they moved in with one another. A man in battle will have his mind on her and not his duty. For that reason alone, he might be killed. The word for take is lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH], and it means, among other things, to take in marriage. Strong’s #3947 BDB #542. We see in Deut. 24:5 that the period of time this man is exempted from the military is one year. He is given one year during which to make this woman happy.

 

Clarke explains the ancient tradition: It was customary among the Jews to contract matrimony, espouse or betroth, and for some considerable time to leave the parties in the houses of their respective parents: when the bridegroom had made proper preparations, then the bride was brought home to his house, and thus the marriage was consummated. The provisions in this verse refer to a case of this kind; for it was deemed an excessive hardship for a person to be obliged to go to battle, where there was a probability of his being slain, who had left a new house unfinished; a newly purchased heritage half tilled; or a wife with whom he had just contracted marriage. Homer represents the case of Protesilaus as very afflicting, who was obliged to go to the Trojan war, leaving his wife in the deepest distress, and his house unfinished. Footnote


Deuteronomy 20:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; jussive

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

A jussive expresses the speaker’s desire, wish or command. We often add into the translation may or let. Footnote The jussive involves only the imperfect form of a verb and may be used in the 2nd or 3rd persons (although the latter is the most common).

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

Vv. 5d, 6b and 7b are all identical.


Translation: Let him go and return to his house,... The officer also allows for him to be excused and to return to his home and to this woman.


Each time before battle, these checks were to be performed in order to exempt some men from military duty.


Deuteronomy 20:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

pen (פֶּן) [pronounced pen]

lest, peradventure, or else, in order to prevent, or, so that [plus a negative]

conjunction

Strong's #6435 BDB #814

mûwth (מוּת) [pronounced mooth]

to die; to perish, to be destroyed; to be put to death; to die prematurely [by neglect of wise moral conduct]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural)

Strong's #376 BDB #35

ʾachêr (אַחֵר) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, next; other as well as foreign, alien, strange

adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29

lâqach (לָקַח) [pronounced law-KAHKH]

to take, to take away, to take in marriage; to seize

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #3947 BDB #542


Translation: ...so that he does not die in battle and another man take her. Again, the idea is identical. He needs to enjoy his time with his woman and to consummate their marriage first.


In fact, Deut. 24:5 gives this man a year at home with his wife: When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.

 

Keil and Delitzsch write: The intention of these instructions was neither to sent away all persons who were unwilling to go into the war, and thus avoid the danger of their interfering with the readiness and courage of the rest of the army in prospect of the battle, nor to spare the lives of those persons to whom life was especially dear; but rather to avoid depriving any member of the covenant nation of his enjoyment of the good things of this life bestowed upon him by the Lord. Footnote However, the last reason for exemption was different.


Application: There are three things common to most men: a home, a business of some sort (he might be employed by someone else) and a wife. When a man has all three of these things, along with a family, then he has a clear, unequivocal reason to fight for Israel. Neh. 4:14b "Don't be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!" (NLT) You fight for these things, but, at the same time, you recognize that God is fighting right along side of you.


Allow me this tangent, if you would. I said that those things are common to most men. You may or may not have your own house, your own wife (or husband) or whatever. God has given us the ability to be content with whatever it is that we have; God has planned out our lives for us. When we make decisions in accordance to His will, we tend to be much happier than when we choose to do that which is against His will for our lives. But God’s plan for us takes into consideration all that we are, where we have progressed spiritually, and even, where we will progress to. You may not be ready for a wife or for children (or whatever). Paul never had a wife. He was still happy with his life. God still provides and God still has a perfect plan for your life.


Let me add this additional thought: you cannot do it all. You cannot be a missionary, you cannot work in a soup kitchen, you cannot be an evangelist and, at the same time, have 2.2 children and a house in the suburbs. No one can do it all. God has planned your life for you in particular, which includes His gifts and your service.


One of the areas where you will be attacked is an area where you cannot really do anything. For instance, you may recognize that abortion is wrong; this does not mean that you must adopt 6 children in order to hold that view. You may recognize that food stamp usage in this United States is out of control. That does not mean that, in order for you to have this opinion, you must work for meals on wheels or in a soup kitchen or donate vast quantities of food to a soup kitchen. Again, you cannot do it all. But you can do all that God has for you in His plan.


In the spiritual realm, it plays out this way—you might be made to feel like a 2nd class Christian because you are not a missionary or a pastor or an evangelist; and you do not work around the church cleaning toilets and turning the lights out. No believer is a 2nd class Christian. We all have a unique life before Jesus Christ. God has a unique plan for us which includes things to enjoy (a house, a wife, a job), the capacity to enjoy these things (by means of Bible doctrine); a spiritual gift, and a ministry of some sort. What God has designed for you and your ministry is unique and developed exactly for you. Some of you may work in a soup kitchen; some of you may be involved in prayer, which is intense and lengthy; some of you may be greatly prospered and you essentially support a church or a set of missionaries with your donations; you may adopt several children and teach them about Jesus Christ. Just because you have this ministry, this does not mean that someone else’s ministry is inferior; and just because your ministry is less noticeable, does not mean your ministry is inferior. Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything. A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial...one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each one as He wills. For as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body--so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, "Because I'm not a hand, I don't belong to the body," in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I'm not an eye, I don't belong to the body," in spite of this it still belongs to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But now God has placed the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body. So the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" nor again the head to the feet, "I don't need you!" On the contrary, all the more, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are necessary. (1Cor. 12:4–7, 11–22; HCSB). I have certainly not listed all of the various ways in which we serve God in His plan. We are, after all, His servants (2Cor. 6:4); we have been bought with a price (1Cor. 6:20). These facts do not mean that our lives are lives of misery and deprivation. These facts orient us to life. And, as slaves, God must take care of us. He must provide our meals, our home and our clothing—and God has designed our lives to be fulfilling and enjoyable.


——————————


And have added the officers to speak unto the people and they have said, “Who [is] the man the fearful one and timid of the heart? He will go and let him return to his house, and not has melted a heart of his brothers as his heart.”

Deuteronomy

20:8

And the officers will add to say to the people, and say, “What man [is] fearful and timid of heart? Let him go and return to his house, so that the heart of his brothers will not melt as his heart.”

Finally, the officers will say, “Is there any man here who is fearful and has a timid soul? Let him return to his house so that he does not weaken the resolve of his fellow soldiers.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                Yet more shall the officers speak to the people, and say, Who is the man who is afraid on account of his sin and whose heart is broken? Let him go and return to his house, that his brethren be not implicated in his sins, and their heart be broken like his.

Latin Vulgate                          After these things are declared they shall add the rest, and shall speak to the people: What man is there that is fearful, and faint hearted? Let him go, and return to his house, lest he make the hearts of his brethren to fear, as he himself is possessed with fear.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And have added the officers to speak unto the people and they have said, “Who [is] the man the fearful one and timid of the heart? He will go and let him return to his house, and not has melted a heart of his brothers as his heart.”

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And the scribes shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him return and go to his house, lest his brothers heart faint as well as his heart.

Septuagint (Greek)                And the scribes shall speak further to the people, and say, What man is there that fears, and is cowardly in his heart? Let him go and return to his house, lest he make the heart of his brother fail, as his own.

 

Significant differences:           The targum adds some additional text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           The officials will continue to address the troops, stating: "Is there anyone here who is afraid and discouraged? He can leave and go back to his house; otherwise, his comrades might lose courage just as he has."

Contemporary English V.       Finally, if any of you are afraid, you may go home. We don't want you to discourage the other soldiers.

Easy English                          Then the officers must also say, "Is anyone afraid? Does anyone not feel brave? He must go home. If he does not, he will make other men afraid too."

Easy-to-Read Version            “Those {Levite} officers must also say to the people, ‘Is there any man here that has lost his courage and is afraid? He should go back home. Then he will not cause the other soldiers to lose their courage too.’

Good News Bible (TEV)         "The officers will also say to the men, 'Is there any man here who has lost his nerve and is afraid? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, he will destroy the morale of the others.'

The Message                         The officers will then continue, "And is there a man here who is wavering in resolve and afraid? Let him go home right now so that he doesn't infect his fellows with his timidity and cowardly spirit."

New Century Version             Then the officers should also say, "Is anyone here afraid? Has anyone lost his courage? He may go home so that he will not cause others to lose their courage, too."

New Life Bible                        Then the leaders will say to the people, 'Is there a man here who is afraid and is weak in heart? Let him go and return to his house so he will not make his brothers' hearts afraid like his heart.'

New Living Translation           "Then the officers will also say, `Is anyone here afraid or worried? If you are, you may go home before you frighten anyone else.'

The Voice                               They'll continue, "Is anyone here afraid or intimidated? You can go back home too! We don't want you to make everyone else as scared as you are!"


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'And the scribes should also speak to the people and tell them: If there is any man who isn't [brave] and is afraid, he should go home, so his fear doesn't discourage his brothers.

Christian Community Bible     They shall also say: “Is there anyone who is afraid or weakhearted? Let him go home immediately, lest his fear discourage others.”

God’s Word                         The officers should also tell the troops, "If you are afraid or have lost your courage, you may go home. Then you won't ruin the morale of the other Israelites."

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And when so much is said, let them add this further proclamation: Is there anyone here whose spirits are daunted by terror? Let him go back home, or he will daunt the spirits of his brethren, and make them cowards too.

New American Bible (R.E.)    The officials shall continue to speak to the army: "Is there anyone who is afraid and weakhearted [Jgs 7:3.]? Let him return home, or else he might make the hearts of his fellows melt as his does."

NIRV                                      The officers will continue, "Is any man afraid? Is anyone scared? Let him go home. Then the other men won't lose hope too."

New Jerusalem Bible             'Finally, the scribes will say to the people: "Is anyone frightened or faint hearted? Let him go home, in case he makes his brothers faint hearted too!"

New Simplified Bible              »The officers will also say to the men: Is there any man here who has lost his nerve and is afraid? If so, he is to go home. Otherwise, he will destroy the morale of the others.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      The officers will speak more to the people, and they will say, "Who is the man fearful and tender in heart? Go and return to the house so his brothers' heart never melts as his heart."

Bible in Basic English             And let the overseers go on to say to the people, If there is any man whose heart is feeble with fear, let him go back to his house before he makes the hearts of his countrymen feeble.

The Expanded Bible              Then the ·officers [or scribes] should also say, "Is anyone here afraid? Has anyone lost ·his courage [Lheart]? He may go home so that he will not ·cause others to lose their courage, too [Lmelt the hearts of his relatives/brothers like his heart]."

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 The Magistrates shall even add to this address to the People, and ask ; - " What man fears with a timid heart ? Let him go and return to his house, and not depress the hearts of his brothers, like his own heart."

NET Bible®                             In addition, the officers are to say to the troops, "Who among you is afraid and fainthearted? He may go home so that he will not make his fellow soldier's [Heb "his brother's."] heart as fearful [Heb "melted."] as his own."


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           "The officials will then add to what they have said to the soldiers: 'Is there a man here who is afraid and fainthearted? He should go back home; otherwise his fear may demoralize his comrades as well.'

exeGeses companion Bible   And the officers word again to the people, and say,

What man awes, and is tender of heart?

Have him go and return to his house,

lest the heart of his brothers melt as well as his heart.

Kaplan Translation                 The lower officers shall then continue speaking to the people and say, 'Is there any man among you who is afraid or faint-hearted [By nature (Ramban) afraid of weapons (Sotah 44a), and unable to kill (Ibn Ezra, Chizzkuni).]? Let him go home rather than have his cowardliness demoralize his brethren.'

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And what ish is there that hath betrothed an isha, and hath not taken her? Let him go and return unto his bais, lest he die in the milchamah, and another ish take her.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, What man is fearful and fainthearted? Let him return to his house, lest [because of him] his brethren's [minds and] hearts faint as does his own.

Concordant Literal Version    Then the superintendents will continue to speak to the people and say:Whoever the man be who is fearful and timid of heart may go and return to his house so that the heart of his brothers may not be melted as his own heart is.

English Standard Version      And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, 'Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.'

Green’s Literal Translation    And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, Who is the man who is afraid, and faint of heart? Let him go and return to his house; then the heart of his brothers will not melt like his heart.

New RSV                               The officials shall continue to address the troops, saying, `Is anyone afraid or disheartened? He should go back to his house, or he might cause the heart of his comrades to fail like his own.'

Syndein/Thieme                     {Verses 8. Case of Dishonorable Discharge from the Battle - Cowards!}

And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, "What man is there that is a coward and fearful/fainthearted? Let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's 'right lobe'/heart/'right lobe' faint as well as his 'right lobe'/heart. {Note: Cowardice is like a communicable disease - one coward encourages cowardice among others.}.

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And the officers will speak further to the people, and they will say, What man is there who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest his brothers' heart melt as his heart.

Young’s Updated LT             “And the authorities have added to speak unto the people, and said, Who is the man that is afraid and tender of heart? Let him go and turn back to his house, and the heart of his brothers does not melt like his heart.

 

The gist of this verse:          Cowards were also eliminated from the Israeli army.


Deuteronomy 20:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

yâçaph (יָסַף) [pronounced yaw-SAHPH]

to add, to augment, to continue to do a thing

3rd person plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3254 BDB #414

shôţêr (שֹטֵר) [pronounced show-TARE]

 official, commissioned officer, officer; this word refers to an official or an officer who is not the highest in command, but holds a subordinate position

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7860 BDB #1009

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

 

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: And the officers will add to say to the people,... There is a change here from the previous 3 exemptions. Now there are officers (plural) who are questioning their men, to determine their courage. This could be a less public forum, where smaller groups of men are spoken to.


Deuteronomy 20:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾâmar (אָמַר) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think; to command; to promise; to explain; to intend

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

mîy (מִי) [pronounced mee]

who, whom; whose, whomever; what; occasionally rendered how, in what way

pronominal interrogative; the verb to be may be implied

Strong’s #4310 BDB #566

ʾîysh (אִיש) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun (sometimes found where we would use a plural); with the definite article

Strong's #376 BDB #35

yârêʾ (יָרְא) [pronounced yaw-RAY]

who fears, who is afraid; one exhibiting fear-respect, one having reverence [a reverential respect]

Qal active participle; also taken as an adjective; with the definite article

Strong’s #3372 (#3373) BDB #431

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rake (רַ) [pronounced rahkh]

tender, delicate, soft; infirm; weak, weak of heart, timid

masculine singular adjective; construct form

Strong’s #7390 BDB #940

lêbab (לֵבַב) [pronounced lay-BAHBV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523


Translation: ...and say, “What man [is] fearful and timid of heart? Whereas, there appeared to be only one officer speaking before, there seem to be several officers now making this determination. This suggests that we have gone down in rank, and are now dealing with those officers who might be over ten men or 50. They might be asking this question and looking more carefully at their men, to make this determination.


Deuteronomy 20:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

hâlake (הָלַךְ) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

shûwb (שוּב) [pronounced shoobv]

to return, to turn, to turn back, to reminisce, to restore something, to bring back something, to revive, to recover something, to make restitution

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect; jussive

Strong's #7725 BDB #996

A jussive expresses the speaker’s desire, wish or command. We often add into the translation may or let. Footnote The jussive involves only the imperfect form of a verb and may be used in the 2nd or 3rd persons (although the latter is the most common).

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

bayith (בַּיִת) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, residence; household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108


Translation: Let him go and return to his house,... The coward, the man who is afraid to go to war, he is also sent back to his home.


This was one of Absalom’s many mistakes when he raised up an army to fight against his father David. He was convinced to get a huge army together, and one of the many things he took no notice of is, were any of his men cowards? His idea was, the larger the army, the better. David, with a decidedly smaller army, defeated his son in battle, and Absalom’s men retreated.


Deuteronomy 20:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

mâçaç (נָסַס) [pronounced maw-SAUCE]

to be dissolved, to be melted; figuratively to become faint, fearful, to despair; to sorrow, to grieve

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect

Strong’s #4549 BDB #587

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

lêbab (לֵבַב) [pronounced lay-BAHBV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523

ʾâch (אָח) [pronounced awhk]

brothers, kinsmen, close relatives; tribesmen; fellow-countrymen

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #251 BDB #26

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

lêbab (לֵבַב) [pronounced lay-BAHBV]

mind, inner man, inner being, heart

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3824 BDB #523


Translation: ...so that the heart of his brothers will not melt as his heart.” The concern here is to make certain that the other soldiers are not affected and do not lose their nerve as well.


Melt is the Hiphil perfect of mâçaç (נָסַס) [pronounced maw-SAUCE] and it means essentially to melt as it is found in Psalm 147:18. The context is He gives snow like wool; He scatters hoarfrost like ashes. He casts forth His ice as fragments; who can stand before His cold? He sends forth His word and melts them (Psalm 147:16–18a). This word is also found in Psalm 6:6 39:11.* Strong’s #4529 BDB #587 and is related to but different from Strong’s #4549 (also translated melt in Ex. 16:21).

 

McGee wrote: There might be a man who very frankly says, “I am a coward. I am afraid to fight, and I don’t want to fight.” So here are four good reasons for a man not to go to war. I could not have used the first three reasons, but that last one I could have used. If a man was afraid, fainthearted, fearful, he was not to go. I believe I would have turned and gone home. Footnote In American we have had problems with out young men dodging the draft and burning their draft cards. I have great sympathy with many of these young men, but I wish instead of trying to blame the government and blame everybody else, they would just come out and say they are afraid to go fight. That is a good reason. That would have kept me out of the battle, I can assure you of that. I don’t mind admitting I’m a coward. Footnote


We have an illustration of this exemption in Judges 7:3: “Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and trembling, let him return and depart from Mount Gilead.’ “ So 22,000 people returned, but 10,000 remained. Fear and cowardice is catching. When one person fails due to cowardice, this will infect many of those around him. Even though God has promised victory to the Israelites, for some without faith, this is not enough. If they are still terribly apprehensive about going to war, then there is no purpose for them going into battle. At best, they will quietly retreat or be killed while too afraid to do anything. At worst, and the more likely scenario, their fear will infect the hearts of the others.


This certainly recognizes the principle that cowardice can spread throughout a unit. Charley Brown might be a good soldier, but if he looks over and see Linus huddled up and fearful, it affects Charley Brown’s resolve.


This should be an easy concept to grasp. As a teacher, I dealt with discipline problems. Now, if I had 1, 2 or 3 problems, I could spread them out, move about the class, look at them, speak to them directly, and do a number of simple things to diffuse their disobedience. However, when that number increases to 5 or more, this become much more difficult to do, and this pulls in other kids to act inappropriately. What other people do, affects those around them. If that number is kept small, it can be dealt with; if that number increases, then the impact on the crowd increases exponentially.


These 4 verses read: Also, an officer will speak to the army, asking, “Is there anyone here who has built a new house, but has not yet begun to enjoy it? Let that man go back and return to his home so that he does not die in battle without having the chance to enjoy his newly-built home. Is there any man here who has recently planted a vineyard, but has not harvest it yet? Let him return to his home so that he does not die in battle and another man enjoy the fruits of his labor. Is there a man here betrothed to a woman, but has not yet consummated the marriage? Let him return to his house so that he does not die another man take her. Finally, the officers will say, “Is there any man here who is fearful and has a timid soul? Let him return to his house so that he does not weaken the resolve of his fellow soldiers.”

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown sum this section up: Four grounds of exemption are expressly mentioned: (1) The dedication of a new house, which, as in all Oriental countries still, was an important event, and celebrated by festive and religious ceremonies (Neh. 12:27); exemption for a year. (2) The planting of a vineyard. The fruit of the first three years being declared unfit for use, and the first–fruits producible on the fourth, the exemption in this case lasted at least four years. (3) The betrothal of a wife, which was always a considerable time before marriage. It was deemed a great hardship to leave a house unfinished, a new property half cultivated, and a recently contracted marriage; and the exemptions allowed in these cases were founded on the principle that a man's heart being deeply engrossed by something at a distance, he would not be very enthusiastic in the public service. (4) The ground of exemption was cowardice. From the composition of the Israelitish army, which was an irregular militia, all above twenty years being liable to serve, many totally unfit for war must have been called to the field; and it was therefore a prudential arrangement to rid the army of such unwarlike elements––persons who could render no efficient service, and the contagion of whose craven spirit might lead to panic and defeat Footnote .

 

McGee: God say here that He wants His people to know two things before they go to war. First of all, they must be on His side. They must be fighting for what is right and know that God is with them. Secondly, they must be enthusiastic about it. There is a time when one should fight for his country, and there is a place for the flag and for patriotism. The way things are carried out by our politicians actually encourages this motley mob who burn their draft cards. But the way God does it is very wise. He had a marvelous arrangement for His people, even in time of war. Footnote


The removal of troops could be quite remarkable. Gideon began with 32,000 troops and he eliminated 22,000 of them for fear (Judges 7:3). However, then, he sent home 7700 of them for other reasons, leaving behind a relatively small army, which was still victorious over the Midianite army of 135,000 (Judges 7).


In Num. 13–14, Moses was going to take the people into the land (they were only a year or so out of Egypt), and fear so permeated this people that they cried like babies at the thought of invading the land of Canaan (Deut. 1:28). In a situation like this, there was not enough of an army to move forward.


We just spoke about different spiritual gifts. Charley Brown may not have what it takes to go to war; but, he might volunteer with an eye toward providing soldiers with food and other logistics; he might be a medic or a nurse. Such men should not be disparaged simply because they lack battle courage. An army needs logistics; an army needs medical personnel. These are like the various members of the body. You may have a place in the military even if you lack great courage.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


A Strategy Meeting of Military Authorities


And he was as a completion of the officers to speak unto the people and they will number commanders of the armies in a head of the people.

Deuteronomy

20:9

When the officers have completed speaking to the people, then they will have personal contact with the commanders of the armies with the head of the people.

When the officers have finished speaking to the people, then they will speak personally to the commanders of the various divisions with the general of the army.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And when the officers shall have finished to speak with the people, they shall appoint the captains of the host at the head of the people.

Latin Vulgate                          And when the captains of the army shall hold their peace, and have made an end of speaking, every man shall prepare their bands to fight.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And he was as a completion of the officers to speak unto the people and they will number commanders of the armies in a head of the people.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And when the scribes have made an end of speaking to the people, the commanders of the army shall stand at the head of the people.

Septuagint (Greek)                And it shall come to pass when the scribes shall have ceased speaking to the people, that they shall appoint generals of the army to be leaders of the people.

 

Significant differences:           The meaning of the final verb and understanding the final sentence is difficult for many translators. The nearly literal translation above is probably the most accurate.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           Once the officials have completed their speech to the troops, the army commanders will assume leadership of the forces.

Contemporary English V.       When the officials are finished giving these orders, they will appoint officers to be in command of the army.

Easy English                          When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they must choose leaders for it.

Easy-to-Read Version            Then, after the officers have finished speaking to the army, they must choose captains to lead the soldiers.

The Message                         When the officers have finished speaking to the troops, let them appoint commanders of the troops who shall muster them by units.

New Berkeley Version           When the officers have thus completed their speaking, they shall appoint army captains to lead the people.

New Century Version             When the officers finish speaking to the army, they should appoint commanders to lead it.

New Living Translation           When the officers have finished speaking to their troops, they will appoint the unit commanders.

The Voice                               When the officials have finished speaking to the troops, they'll appoint commanders to lead each section of the army.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'And after the scribes have finished speaking to the people, they must appoint generals over the army to lead them.

Beck’s American Translation When the officers are done talking to the troops, they should appoint commanders to lead them.

Christian Community Bible     When they have finished speaking, commanders shall be put at the head of the people.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       And now, having said their say, let the chieftains keep silent, and let each of them set about marshalling his company for battle.

New American Bible (R.E.)    When the officials have finished speaking to the army, military commanders shall be appointed over them.

NIRV                                      The officers will finish speaking to the army. When they do, they'll appoint commanders over it.

Revised English Bible            When the officers have finished addressing the army, commanders will assume command.

Today’s NIV                          When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      When the officers have finished speaking to the people, they count leaders of the host to head the people.

Bible in Basic English             Then, after saying these words to the people, let the overseers put captains over the army.

The Expanded Bible              When the ·officers [scribes] finish speaking to the army, they should appoint commanders to lead it.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 And when the Magistrates have ceased speaking to the People, then they should appoint officers to the regiments to command the People. Vv. 10 - 14 of Ch. xxi. should come in. as I now put them, at Ch. xx. v. 9, they having been misplaced into Ch. xx. by some old copier. See also note on Ch. xxi. forward. - F. F.

HCSB                                     When the officers have finished addressing the army, they will appoint military commanders to lead it.

NET Bible®                             Then, when the officers have finished speaking [The Hebrew text includes "to the people," but this phrase has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.], they must appoint unit commanders [Heb "princes of hosts."] to lead the troops.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

exeGeses companion Bible   ...- and so be it,

when the officers finish wording to the people

they muster governors of the hosts

to head the people.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               When the officials have finished addressing the troops, army commanders shall assume command of the troops.

Judaica Press Complete T.    And it shall be, that when the officials finish speaking to the people, they shall appoint officers of the legions at the edges of the people.

Kaplan Translation                 When the lower offices have finished speaking to the people, then they shall appoint senior officers [Shotrim in Hebrew. See above 1:15.] to lead the people.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And it shall be, when the shoterim have made an end of speaking unto the people that they shall appoint sarei tzvaos to lead the people.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And it will come to be when the superintendents have finished speaking to the people that they will commit chiefs of the militia hosts at the head of the people.

Darby Translation                  And it shall be, when the officers have ended speaking unto the people, that they shall place captains of the hosts at the head of the people.

English Standard Version      And when the officers have finished speaking to the people, then commanders shall be appointed at the head of the people.

New RSV                               When the officials have finished addressing the troops, then the commanders shall take charge of them.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Must Be Able to Identify Officers/Authority}

And it shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, that they shall make 'a table of organization'/'captains of the armies' to lead the people."

Updated Bible Version 2.11   And it will be, when the officers have made an end of speaking to the people, that they will appoint captains of hosts at the head of the people.

Webster’s Bible Translation  And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking to the people, that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.

World English Bible                It shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking to the people, that they shall appoint captains of hosts at the head of the people.

Young’s Updated LT             And it has come to pass as the authorities finish to speak unto the people, that they have appointed princes of the hosts at the head of the people.

 

The gist of this verse:          A system of authorities is set up within the army and they have a staff meeting.


Deuteronomy 20:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

kaph or ke (כְּ) [pronounced ke]

like, as, just as; according to, after; about, approximately

preposition of comparison, resemblance or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

kâlâh (כָּלָה) [pronounced kaw-LAWH]

to complete, to finish; to prepare; to come to an end; to consume, to waste, to destroy, to annihilate; to make pine away

Piel infinitive construct

Strong's #3615 BDB #477

The infinitive construct with the kaph preposition is very similar to its use with the bêyth preposition. Generally, this is seen as a temporal clause, where the preposition is translated when, as, just as, as soon as. Footnote

shôţêr (שֹטֵר) [pronounced show-TARE]

 official, commissioned officer, officer; this word refers to an official or an officer who is not the highest in command, but holds a subordinate position

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7860 BDB #1009

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

dâbar (דָּבַר) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

 

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: When the officers have completed speaking to the people,... The officers have weeded out certain men who are better off returning to their homes—men who are cowards or men who will have their minds on something else entirely. This is better for the army and for Israel that these men are excused.


Deuteronomy 20:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

pâqad (פָּקַד) [pronounced paw-KAHD]

to go to a person, to visit, to have personal contact with, to sort out, to visit a person, to commit, to charge to the care of, to fall upon, to attack, to number, to take a census

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #6485 BDB #823

sar (שַׂר) [pronounced sar]

chieftain, chief, ruler, official, captain, prince, leader, commander

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #8269 BDB #978

tsebâʾôwth (צְבָאוֹת) [pronounced tzeb-vaw-OHTH]

armies, hosts; wars

masculine plural noun, simply the plural of Strong’s #6635, but often used in titles

Strong’s #6635 BDB #838

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

rôʾsh (רֹאש or רֹאֶש) [pronounced rohsh]

head [of a man, city, state, nation, place, family, priest], top [of a mountain]; chief, prince, officer; front, choicest, best; height [of stars]; sum

masculine singular construct

Strong's #7218 BDB #910

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: ...then they will have personal contact with the commanders of the armies with the head of the people. This is simply a meeting between all of the commanders of the army, including the general. They must develop plans and strategy.


The verb in question here—the one responsible for a myriad of interpretations— is pâqad (פָּקַד) [pronounced paw-KAHD]. It means to go to a person, to visit, to have personal contact with, to sort out, to visit a person, to commit, to charge to the care of, to fall upon, to attack, to number, to take a census. The best understanding of this verb, in most cases, is the British concept of sorting out a person or a situation. Often, the former sorting out has to do with some sort of animus or problem, but the idea of personal contact is what we take from this. There is personal contact between all parties involved here. Strong's #6485 BDB #823.


At this point, the squads will require squad leaders. Although an army functions as a unit, it is really a unit of several smaller units which is made up of several smaller units. This is the only way war can be fought—with careful organization and levels of authority. The authorities, or commissioned officers, are actual field commanders. This is not a civilian-run army. However, the verb used here does not mean to appoint; so that is not principally what is happening here. There may be some last minute shuffling of the military authorities, but that is not what pâqad means.


This would suggest that there might be some last minute changes or appointments of rank. There has to be order, coordination and information among the officers of an army. They cannot simply be pointed in a direction with the command, “Charge.” On occasions, some units of an army do just that, but putting together strategy and tactics is key to winning the war. See the Doctrine of the Military (HTML) (PDF) (WPD) and Doctrine of War (HTML) (PDF) (WPD).


As a young Christian, I had come from a very liberal background. I believed in pretty much all of the liberal doctrine, and actually believed that, by protesting, war could be ended. I had a lot of goofy ideas. When listening to R. B. Thieme, Jr., there were some adjustments which I had to make. There were things which he taught about war and the military which were far too hawkish for my liberal soul, so I had to lay these things aside. What I recognized by his teaching was, he knew what he was talking about and he taught the Word of God verse-by-verse, chapter by chapter. I did not see much of that in the Christian world. I lived in a reasonably good-sized city, and, as a young believer, I set out to find a church where the Word of God was taught verse-by-verse, chapter by chapter, and perhaps by someone who was not so dogmatic and hawkish. What a surprise, that, after going to a half-dozen different churches, I was nowhere close to finding good teaching. All this time, I kept on listening to Bob’s teaching, not completely fine with it, but it was the best available.


My point in this is, you might be a new believer and you might have been brought up to believe a whole host of things that are wrong. Now, as a new believer, you need to be willing to set aside what it is that you believe and learn from the Word of God. Many people cannot do that. I have friends of mine who have become believers in Jesus Christ, and they have not changed their thinking over 30 or 40 years time. In about 90% of the people who believe in Jesus Christ, most of what they believe in prior to conversion is wrong. For 100% of new believers, there are some areas in your thinking which are completely wrong. So, when you listen to the teaching of the Word of God, you have to have an open mind. Now, you may not buy into some of what is being said from time to time, and you merely lay that aside. You do not need to react to it; you do not need to become angered by it. You may think, “I understand the war is wrong and many in my generation know that too; so we can literally end war in my generation.” People do believe that. I believed that. So when you read about God preparing His people for war, you may hope that is something which is long-time in the past, and not pertinent to you. If you believe that, then set these things aside for a time. But, at some point, you will need to come back to what it is your believe and what the Bible teaches. In every instance, where you disagree with the Word of God, you are wrong and the Bible is correct.


Primarily, what is occurring here is, the various commanders will meet and strategize, because each unit is a part of the whole, and each unit needs to have instructions to follow. Although little is said about David’s war with Absalom (actually, Joab was at the head of David’s army), I can guarantee you that Joab and his generals and commanders had a variety of meetings to determine how to play their hand. Absalom, not knowing anything about war, probably had not the slightest idea how to organize his army, so his instructions were probably, “Hey ho” as he pointed his sword in the direction of David’s army. Joab chose to place and the time of their meeting, and, although Absalom had a numerically larger army, he was soundly defeated by Joab’s leadership.


I have read some really weird interpretations of this verse, including the idea that these men were to keep Israel from retreating, and they had hatchets and they stood in the rear of Israel’s armies to cut off legs of those who retreated in fear. Footnote Whether or not some of these people existed and whether there is history to back this up, I could not say (Gill provides one ancient reference). But, what I can say unequivocally is, that is not the proper interpretation of this passage.


Throughout Scripture, there is a great deal of thought given to systems of authorities which are set up. One non-military example is when Moses’ father-in-law noticed that Moses was overburdened, the father-in-law suggested that Moses appoint some judges to work under him and to take his place. Moses would have been the court of appeal, but this freed up a great deal of Moses time.


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Israel is to First Offer Terms of Peace


When you have drawn near unto a city to fight against her, and you have proclaimed unto her to peace.

Deuteronomy

20:10

When you draw near to a city to fight against it, you will proclaim peace unto them [lit., her, it].

When you come near to a city to war against them, first offer them terms of peace.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                When you come nigh to a city to make war against it, then you shall send to it certain to invite it to peace;...

Latin Vulgate                          If at any time thou come to fight against a city, thou shalt first offer it peace.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        When you have drawn near unto a city to fight against her, and you have proclaimed unto her to peace.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    When you come near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it.

Septuagint (Greek)                And if you shall draw near to a city to overcome them by war, then call them out peaceably.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           When you approach a city to fight against it, you should first extend peaceful terms to it.

Contemporary English V.       Before you attack a town that is far from your land, offer peace to the people who live there. If they surrender and open their town gates, they will become your slaves. But if they reject your offer of peace and try to fight, surround their town and attack. Then, after the LORD helps you capture it, kill all the men. Take the women and children as slaves and keep the livestock and everything else of value.

Easy English                          Before you attack a city, you must do this: Speak in a friendly way to the people who live there.

Easy-to-Read Version            “When you go to attack a city, you must first offer peace to the people there.

Good News Bible (TEV)         "When you go to attack a city, first give its people a chance to surrender.

The Message                         When you come up against a city to attack it, call out, "Peace?"

New Living Translation           "When you come near a city to fight against it, ask the people of the city if they would rather have peace.

The Voice                               When you first approach a city you're going to fight against, shout out, "Peace!"


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          'Now, whenever you approach a city; before you go to battle against them, you must call out to them peacefully.

Beck’s American Translation “When you come near a town to attack it, call on it not to fight.

God’s Word                         When you approach a city to attack it, offer its people a peaceful way to surrender.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       When thou dost lay siege to a city, first of all thou shalt offer terms of peace.

New American Bible (R.E.)    Cities of the Enemy.

When you draw near a city to attack it, offer it terms of peace.

NIRV                                      Suppose you march up to attack a city. Before you attack it, offer peace to its people.

New Jerusalem Bible             'When you advance on a town to attack it, first offer it peace-terms.

New Simplified Bible              »When you go to attack a city, first give its people a chance to surrender.

Today’s NIV                          When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      When you near a city to fight it, call peace into it.

The Expanded Bible              When you march up to attack a city, first make them an offer of peace.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 When you approach a city to war against it, you shall propose peace to ii it ;...

NET Bible®                             When you approach a city to wage war against it, offer it terms of peace.

NIV, ©2011                             When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           "When you advance on a town to attack it, first offer it terms for peace.

exeGeses companion Bible   When you approach to a city to fight against it,

call shalom to it:...

Hebrew Names Version         When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim shalom to it..

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               When you approach a town to attack it, you shall offer it terms of peace [Or, “call on it to surrender.”].

Kaplan Translation                 Taking Captives

When you approach a city to wage war against it, you must propose a peaceful settlement.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           When thou comest nigh unto a town to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of shalom unto it.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    When you come near to a city to fight against it then you should call to it for peace.

English Standard Version      "When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it.

Green’s Literal Translation    When you come near a city to fight against it, then call to it for peace.

NASB                                     "When you approach a city to fight against it, you shall offer it terms of peace [Lit call to it for peace].

New King James Version       "When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it.

New RSV                               When you draw near to a town to fight against it, offer it terms of peace.

Syndein/Thieme                     {Verses 10-20. Siege Procedure in the Jewish Army}

When you come near unto a city to fight against it, then offer terms of peace unto it.

Webster’s Bible Translation  When thou comest nigh to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it.

Young’s Updated LT             “When you draw near unto a city to fight against it, then you have called unto it for Peace.

 

The gist of this verse:          An opportunity for peace must be offered to a city before it is attacked.


Deuteronomy 20:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (כִּי) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

explanatory or temporal conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

qârab (קָרַב) [pronounced kaw-RABV]

to come near, to approach, to draw near

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong #7126 BDB #897

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

ʿîyr (עִיר) [pronounced ģeer]

encampment, city, town

feminine singular noun

Strong's #5892 BDB #746

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâcham (לָחַם) [pronounced law-KHAHM]

to engage in battle, to engage in war, to wage war; to fight, to battle

Niphal infinitive construct

Strong’s #3898 BDB #535

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of relative proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: When you draw near to a city to fight against it,... There can be many reasons to go to war. Israel was very often the aggressor in war, and this was with God’s blessing. In fact, many times, it was God Who used Israel to deal with a degenerate population. However, that all took place within the boundaries of Canaan. From outside of Canaan, Israel faced many peoples who were antagonistic toward them, and they would often find themselves going to war against a variety of nations (the book of Samuel details many of these wars, some dealing with peoples within the land of Israel, and some from without).


In this example, Israel is fighting against a city outside of Canaan. This will be explicitly explained in subsequent verses, but, for right now, just take my word for it. There could be a number of reasons for this war, however, most of the time, this was a matter of antagonism from external forces. However, Israel is clearly the aggressor in this example. Israel is moving toward a city to fight against it—that is aggressive action.


Application: It is wrong to fight only defensive wars. If this is all a people do, then they have lousy leaders. Leaders should be able to determine when there are antagonisms building up, and what should be done about it. They should not be surprised and shocked by an attack from an enemy force. And good leadership ought to be able to prepare its army and be aggressive if need be.


Generally speaking, Israel was not a bully. They did not expand their territory by choosing a plot of land and deciding, “We want this, so let’s take it by force.” They did take the land in Canaan by force, and that was by order of God. However, we have several instances of Israel being stronger than a people and maintaining peace with them. In 1Sam. 23, David sends his parents to Moab for protection. David remains quite friendly with Moab and with Ammon until they turn against him. At that point, David shows no mercy. There is a small country right on the outskirts of Israel known as Maacah. David marries a daughter of the king of Maacah, thus forming an alliance by marriage. The Gibeonites, a people within Israel, tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them, and this treaty was respected for many generations. My point in all of this is, Israel attacked the people whom God told them to attack; but, generally speaking, Israel was not an aggressive nation. The wars during the time of David were unavoidable; however, these many wars established peace for the reign of Solomon.


Deuteronomy 20:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

qârâʾ (קָרָא) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

ʾel (אֶל) [pronounced ehl]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied) with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #413 BDB #39

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

shâlôwm (שָלוֹם) or shâlôm (שָלֹם) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, health and welfare, peace, prosperity, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022


Translation: ...you will proclaim peace unto them [lit., her, it]. Israel would have developed a reputation, although, at times in their history, that reputation would be mixed. However, a nation or city-state needed to ask themselves, “Do I really want to go to war against a nation which has such a close relationship to God?” The people would all know about Israel and its war record. They would all know about its relationship to God. They would all know about Egypt.


Do you really want to go to war against God?


Obviously, it is an unfair fight when the Israelites approach with God as their commanding general. And many look back at the Old Testament as a time of great barbarism. However, those cities which Israel were to rise up against were given first an opportunity to surrender. Why would another city surrender? It would recognize that the God of the Universe, Yehowah, was the God of Israel. This indicates positive volition in their land and they would therefore have the opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, they could also avoid being destroyed in battle by surrendering. Obviously, a people who did not believe in Yehowah, the God of Israel, would stand firm in their opposition to Israel.


There are times when warfare might be imminent, but unnecessary. Our Lord said, as an illustration: “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and take counsel whether he is strong enough with ten thousand to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.” (Luke 14:31–32).


We our ourselves at enmity with God, yet He calls to us with the word peace. We choose to remain as enemies of Him or with take His offer of peace. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we will be delivered in His life (Rom. 5:10). Now all things are from God, Who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2Cor. 5:18–19a). But now, in Christ Jesus you who then were afar off, came to be near by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. And coming, He proclaimed "peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near." (Eph. 2:13–17; Isa. 57:19 Green’s Literal translation). In this way, this passage is illustrative of our relationship to God. We are at enmity with Him and we deserve to be destroyed. Our nature is incompatible with God’s nature. However, God offers us terms of peace; all we have to do is surrender to Him (which is having faith in His Son, Jesus Christ). That short instance of faith changes everything, and puts us into union with Jesus Christ.


Although these are real instructions for real wars, there is also another meaning that we can derive from this.

God Offers Us Peace, Just as Israel Was to Offer Terms of Peace

Enemies under the economy of Israel

Believers under the economy of the Risen Christ

There would be cities of people who are at enmity with Israel.

As human beings, we are naturally at enmity with God. We have a sin nature; we have been imputed with Adam’s original sin; and we have all committed personal sins. Psalm 51:5 Rom. 3:23 5:12 1Cor. 15:22

As a result, such people deserve death.

We deserve death in the hands of a righteous God. Ezek. 18:4 Prov. 10:16 Rom. 1:32 6:23 7:5 Gal. 6:7

However, God, through Moses, tells the people to offer them terms of peace.

God calls the gospel of Jesus Christ to us, offering us terms of peace with Him. Acts 10:36 Rom. 6:23 Eph. 2:14–17 Heb. 13:20 2Peter 3:14

If those in the city accepted those terms of peace, they became enslaved to Israel.

If we accept God’s terms of peace, by believing in Jesus Christ, we become His slaves. Acts 16:17 1Cor. 3:5 4:1 Philip. 1:1

The number of parallels in the Bible is remarkable. However, so that there is no misunderstanding, Moses here is telling his people exactly what to do. This was not understood by them in any other way. However, for us in the Church Age, we can understand both what Moses told his people to do and how this is parallel to God calling to us through His Son, offering us terms of peace.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


One has to keep in mind that, God did send Israel against seven nations because of their great degeneracy. One certainly would ask then, “Was Israel supposed to stop and ask them if they wanted peace?” My assumption here would be, if a city-state has reached the point where God wants them destroyed, coming to them with terms of peace would not work in the first place.

 

Clarke explains why this applied to people outside of Canaan: God, who knows all things, saw that they were incurable in their idolatry; that the cup of their iniquity was full; and as their Creator, Sovereign, and Judge, he determined to destroy them from off the face of the earth, “lest they should teach the Israelites to do after all their abominations.” (Deut. 20:18). Footnote


Some people may object and say, “What about this or that family who is open to the God of Israel? Why should they be destroyed in this attack?” This is not difficult to understand. God knows the hearts of all men. God knows who to pardon and who to put under the sword. When Joshua was going to devote the entire city of Jericho to God (meaning that everyone was to be killed), still, Rahab the prostitute and her family were preserved. So God knows. As a result, those who were willing to believe in Him were preserved from the sword. Footnote


——————————


And he was if peace she answers you and she has opened up to you and he was all the people, those found in her, they are to you to tribute [or, labor] and they have served you.

Deuteronomy

20:11

And it is, if the city [lit., she] answers you “Peace;” and it opens up [its gates] to you, and it will be [that] all the people, those found in it, they are tribute [and labor] for you and they will serve you.

And if the city replies, “We would like peace with you”; and they open up their gates to you, then all of the people in that city will become tribute and labor to you and they will serve you.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                ...and if they answer you with words of peace, and open their gates to you, all the people whom you find therein shall be tributaries, and serve you.

Jerusalem targum                  And if it answer you with words of peace, and open the gates to you, all the people whom you find.] But if they will not make peace, but war, with you, then you will beleaguer it.

Latin Vulgate                          If they receive it, and open the gates to you, all the people that are therein, will be saved, and will serve you paying tribute.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And he was if peace she answers you and she has opened up to you and he was all the people, those found in her, they are to you to tribute [or, labor] and they have served you.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    And if the city give you answer of peace, and it open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be servants and tributaries to you, and they shall serve you.

Septuagint (Greek)                If then they should answer peaceably to you, and open to you, it shall be that all the people found in it shall be tributary and subject to you.

 

Significant differences:           There is a time-marker in the Hebrew at the beginning of this verse and in the middle which is not found in the other ancient languages. There are no words for city and gates in the original Hebrew; but it is not wrong to insert them as seen above.

 

The Jerusalem targum adds an additional sentence.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           If the city responds with peaceful terms and surrenders to you, then all the people in the city will serve you as forced laborers.

Contemporary English V.       If they surrender and open their town gates, they will become your slaves.

Easy English                          Perhaps they may open the gates and let you come in. Then you must make all the people work hard for you, like slaves.

Easy-to-Read Version            If they accept your offer and open their gates, then all the people in that city will become your slaves and be forced to work for you.

The Message                         If they answer, "Yes, peace!" and open the city to you, then everyone found there will be conscripted as forced laborers and work for you.

New Berkeley Version           If there is peaceful response and they open its gates to you, all the people found there shall render you tribute service and shall be your subjects.

The Voice                               If they shout back, "Peace!" and open their gates to you, then you must let them surrender. Make everyone in the city your slaves, and put them to work for you.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          And if they answer you peacefully and open [their gates] to you, all the people who are found there must become your subjects and serve you.

Christian Community Bible     If it accepts your proposal and opens the gates to you, all the people found in it shall become your slaves and serve you.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       If these are accepted, and the gates opened to thee, the lives of all the citizens shall be spared, and they shall become thy subjects, paying thee tribute.

New American Bible (R.E.)    If it agrees to your terms of peace and lets you in, all the people to be found in it shall serve you in forced labor.

NIRV                                      Suppose they accept your offer and open their gates. Then force all of the people in the city to be your slaves. They will have to work for you.

New Jerusalem Bible             If it accepts these and opens its gates to you, all the people inside will owe you forced labour and work for you.

Revised English Bible            If the offer is accepted and the town opens its gates to you, then all the people who live there are to be put to forced labor and work for you.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Ancient Roots Translinear      If it answers with peace and is open to you, have them serve you by a draft from all the people found in it.

Bible in Basic English             And if it gives you back an answer of peace, opening its doors to you, then all the people in it may be put to forced work as your servants.

The Expanded Bible              If they accept your offer and open their gates to you, all the people of that city will ·become your slaves and work for you [serve you in forced labor].

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 ...and if they will adopt peace, and open to you, then all the people found in it shall be subject to you, and serve you.

HCSB                                     If it accepts your offer of peace and opens its gates to you, all the people found in it will become forced laborers for you and serve you.

NET Bible®                             If it accepts your terms [Heb "if it answers you peace."] and submits to you, all the people found in it will become your slaves [Heb “become as a vassal and will serve you.” The Hebrew term translated slaves (מַס, mas) refers either to Israelites who were pressed into civil service, especially under Solomon (1 Kgs 5:27; 9:15, 21; 12:18), or (as here) to foreigners forced as prisoners of war to become slaves to Israel. The Gibeonites exemplify this type of servitude (Josh 9:3-27; cf. Josh 16:10; 17:13; Judg 1:28, 30-35; Isa 31:8; Lam 1:1).].

NIV, ©2011                             If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           If it accepts the terms for peace and opens its gates to you, then all the people there are to be put to forced labor and work for you.

exeGeses companion Bible   ...and so be it,

if it answers you of shalom and opens to you,

then so be it,

all the people found therein

become your vassals and serve you.

JPS (Tanakh—1985)               And it will be, if it responds to you with peace, and it opens up to you, then it will be, that all the people found therein shall become tributary to you, and they shall serve you.

Kaplan Translation                 If [the city] responds peacefully and opens [its gates] to you, all the people inside shall become your subjects and serve you.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And it shall be, if it make thee answer of shalom, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that kol haAm that is found therein shall be servants, placed under tribute unto thee, and they shall serve thee.

The Scriptures 1998              “And it shall be that if it accepts your call for peace, and shall open to you, then all the people found in it are to be your compulsory labour, and serve you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    And it will come to be if it should answer you with peace, and it opens up to you, then it will come to be that all the people who are being found in it shall become tributary to you, and they will serve you.

Context Group Version          And it shall be, if it answers peace to you, and opens to you, then it shall be, that all the people that are found in it shall become slave labor to you, and shall serve you.

English Standard Version      And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you.

The updated Geneva Bible    And it will be, if it make you answer of e peace [If it accept peace. ], and open unto you, then it will be, [that] all the people [that is] found therein will be tributaries unto you, and they will serve you.

Green’s Literal Translation    And it shall be, if it answers peace to you, and shall open to you, then it shall be that all the people found in it shall be forced laborers for you, and shall serve you.

New King James Version       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.

New RSV                               If it accepts your terms of peace and surrenders to you, then all the people in it shall serve you in forced labour.

Syndein/Thieme                     And it shall be, if it responds peaceably and lets you in, all the people present there shall serve you at forced labor.

World English Bible                It shall be, if it make you answer of peace, and open to you, then it shall be, that all the people who are found therein shall become tributary to you, and shall serve you.

Young’s Updated LT             And it has been, if Peace it answer you, and has opened to you, then it has come to pass—all the people who are found in it are to you for tributaries, and have served you.

 

The gist of this verse:          If the city accepts the terms of peace, then they will become slaves to the Jews.


Deuteronomy 20:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

Without a specific subject and object, the verb hâyâh often means and it will come to be, and it will come to pass, then it came to pass (with the wâw consecutive). It may be more idiomatically rendered subsequently, afterwards, later on, in the course of time, after which. Generally, the verb does not match the gender whatever nearby noun could be the subject (and, as often, there is no noun nearby which would fulfill the conditions of being a subject).

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

shâlôwm (שָלוֹם) or shâlôm (שָלֹם) [pronounced shaw-LOHM]

completeness, soundness, health and welfare, peace, prosperity, safe, secure, tranquil, undisturbed, unagitated

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #7965 BDB #1022

ʿânâh (עָנָה) [pronounced ģaw-NAWH]

to answer, to respond; to speak loudly, to speak up [in a public forum]; to testify; to sing, to chant, to sing responsively

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #6030 BDB #772


Translation: And it is, if the city [lit., she] answers you “Peace;”... There are two responses from a city facing a war with Israel—they can make peace with Israel or they can go to war against Israel. So, first, Moses examines what to do if they accept the terms of peace. Vv. 12–14 will be what Israel will do if the city chooses war instaed.


Deuteronomy 20:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

pâthach (פָּתַח) [pronounced paw-THAHKH]

to open, to open up; to let loose [as in, to draw (a sword]; to begin, to lead in

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6605 BDB #834 (& #836)

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...and it opens up [its gates] to you,... This is a sign of submission to an outside army. The gates are designed to keep enemy soldiers out. They will be well guarded and well fortified. So, if they are just opened up, the city is giving up to Israel.


Deuteronomy 20:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ʿam (עַם) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

mâtsâʾ (מָצָא) [pronounced maw-TSAW]

those acquired, those found, those present

Niphal participle with the definite article

Strong’s #4672 BDB #592

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #88

hâyâh (הָיָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

maç (מַס) [pronounced mahç]

tribute, tribute rendered by labor or servile work; laborers, task-workers, labor-group, serfdom; to be liable for servile work [to be pressed into servitude]

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4522 BDB #586

Gesenius is fairly dogmatic that this simply refers to tribute; BDB lists servile work, laborer as its primary meaning.


Translation: ...and it will be [that] all the people, those found in it, they are tribute [and labor] for you... All the people in that city become either taxable or slaves to Israel.


A body of forced laborers is one word: maç (מַס) [pronounced mahç] and it means that or laborers, task-workers, labor-group, serfdom. The use of this word in Ex. 1:11 indicates that this is more than just being tributaries (although, that would be at the discretion of Israel). Strong’s #4522 BDB #586. This is how much the city had to recognize that Yehowah was the God of the Universe: they had to be willing to present themselves as slaves to Israel.


There are consequences to being at odds with the Israelites. You do not get to oppose God’s people without consequence.


Application: This is very difficult for young Americans to understand, because of two Satanic concepts (1) no judgment and (2) no consequences. First of all, I want you to consider Satan and the fallen angels. Do you see how these approaches to life are exactly what they want? They do not want to be judged and they do not want consequences for their actions; and therefore, these approaches to life have become mainstays in modern-day humanism. Let’s say that a young female person sleeps around and gets pregnant. Obviously, there should be some judgment here—by her parents, who are in charge of raising her and by her school, which, standing in for society, knows that this is a bad route for young people to take. In the past, many schools separated these girls from the rest of the students, which made a lot of sense. More recently, under the no-judgment, no-consequences approach, many girls remain in their schools, which can certainly have a negative impact on other female students.


Application: Along the same lines, when it comes to no consequences, the young woman is then offered an abortion (which is incorrectly seen as no consequences); and, in a significant number of cases, this young girl who has the child will now get welfare benefits, which may even include housing. So, she is rewarded for her bad judgment. This is all done under the guise of providing food for the children.


Application: There are times for you to make judgments in life. Some things are wrong to do. Furthermore, a parent has to judge what is going on in the life of his or her children and the child needs to have enough discernment (judgment) to figure out which kids to hang around and which kids to avoid.


Application: When Jesus said, “Do not judge, lest you be judged;” this referred to haughty, self-righteous judgment, passed against others, in such a way to declare moral superiority. An employer must make discerning decisions about who he hires; and parent must make judgments as to how to raise his or her child and when and how much to come down on them; and the child must make judgments daily about what he does, where he goes and who he hangs with. To assert that employers, parents or students should not be discerning in these areas is to completely misinterpret what Jesus was saying.


Application: Therefore, it is wrong when a nation takes a position of animus toward Israel. It should not be difficult for most people to examine the Israeli-Palestinian situation and to judge that Israel is right and the Palestinians are wrong. For taking that unwise position, Palestinians will face negative consequences. When a nation gets on the wrong side of this, they will face consequences as well for their bad judgment.


“They allow themselves to be put into slavery, and that is peace to them?” you may ask.

Does this appear harsh to you?

1.      There are a great many differences in the ancient world from today’s world, at least to us in the United States.

2.      It appears as if Israel is simply picking out one city, putting its army at the front door and saying, “Peace or we come in there and destroy you.” However, that is not necessarily what is occurring here.

3.      Israel developed many alliances throughout the years. King David had a good alliance with Moab until they turned against him. One of David’s wives was the daughter of a king in a nearby kingdom which was much smaller than Israel. Obviously, David could have easily conquered this country and kept any woman that he wanted for himself. He chose peace instead; and there is no indication of their servitude to Israel. My point being is, animus between another country and Israel was usually a matter of choice by the other country.

4.      So, this scenario presupposes a good reason for Israel to go to war against this city—perhaps they were aggressive toward Israel; perhaps they even attacked Israel or an Israeli citizen. This situation assumes that there is a reason for there to be aggression between Israel and this city.

5.      For another nation to take a position in opposition to Israel is a mistake in their judgment, and they will pay for that misjudgment. There are consequences to making a bad decision.

6.      Assuming that there is a reason for this aggression on Israel’s part (the Israelis have never been, as a people, an aggressive or violent people)1, then Israel is required to first offer them terms of peace.

7.      These terms can be rather open ended. It was common for a country to take tribute from other countries; and, to some extent, this was protection money.

8.      Here, there appears to be the option of taking these people into slavery. Again, depending upon the reasons for the animosity, that would be a factor in determining how Israel would treat this situation.

9.      The Ammonites offered peace to one Jewish city, and their terms were, to put out the right eye of every citizen in that city, and then to make them slaves (1Sam. 11:1–3).

10.    My assumption would be, there is a high animosity factor in order for Israel to go to war.

11.    A country at enmity with Israel would also be at enmity with their God. This is key. When a person chooses to reject the God of Israel, this is a problem for them—not for Israel.

12.    When you touch a hot stove and you burn yourself, that is not harsh. When you jump off a one-story building and break your leg, that is not a harsh judgment, that is simply a normal reaction.

13.    Therefore, cities and countries which choose to go against Israel have ot face the natural consequences of their actions.

Today, if modern-day Israel is forced into war with any of its neighbors, it is reasonable for Israel to seize their property as spoils for such a war.

1 Being well-armed and ready to fight back does not make a people aggressive or violent. When Israel took the land of promise, this was by order of God. As we see in the study of Israel’s history, there were many incidents where Israel was not completely on board with God’s directives.

God is not speaking into the ear of any president, prime minister or general today. This does not mean that we do not know enough about when to go to war and when not to. That requires a knowledge of Bible doctrine as well as a personal sense of destiny.

Application: Although George W. Bush was an honorable man who did what he believed was right, he made a dramatic miscalculation when it came to Afghanistan and Iraq—he believed that the key to a better life for the people there would be democracy. This was quite unfortunate, as Bush was one of the better-read presidents (whatever goofy prejudices you have about him, you need to lay them aside right now). And he was a very moral, Christian president. But, what he did not get is, Christianity—a relationship to God through Jesus Christ—is what these nations needed. They needed missionaries not a better political system. They needed Bibles, not a better constitution. When our military began discouraging the soldiers sharing their faith in these countries, that was the beginning of the end. Whereas, General MacArthur called for Bibles and missionaries, George Bush called for a better political system. So, what George W. Bush began to do was right and just; however, his follow through was completely wrong. Here is where he needed more Bible doctrine than a knowledge of world history taught mostly by left-leaning historians. This is a miscalculation which resulted in some hard to the United States and to the nations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Although we made things better for a time, our impact on those nations will be much less important than our impact on Japan, South Korea and the Philippines.

As an aside, politics and world events are excellent places to illustrate Bible doctrine. The idea is to take some things which Moses is saying to his people, 3500 years ago, and bring those things up to date. This is why, from time to time, I make reference to current or recent political or historical events. The Bible is a book for all time.


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Deuteronomy 20:11d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâbad (עָבַד) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to work, to serve, to labor; to be a slave to

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #5647 BDB #712


Translation: ...and they will serve you. Although there is some discussion about the meaning of the previous word used, there is no problem understanding what this word means. The people are to be made servants, as per the decree of Moses.


We have a situation which was almost like this. There was a revolt which was pretty much spearheaded by Sheba ben Bichri—Joab halted a total destruction of the city where Sheba ben Bichri was when his head was tossed over the wall (2Sam. 20:10–23). When Moses and the Israelites were traveling through the wilderness to the land of Promise, they often would ask permission to route themselves through a given nation (e.g., Deut. 2:26–28). Israel was only openly hostile to those who were hostile to them or to those God had chosen for destruction. See also 2Kings 6:19–23).


This is ideally our expected service—to be slaves to the Living God, Jesus Christ. As Paul began some of his letters: Paul and Timothy, slaves of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons (Philip. 1:1). We have two responses to the demands of God in our lives: we can surrender or we can fight. It should be obvious to any one of us that the resist God is fruitless. The only reason that God does not kill us immediately for our rebellion is that we are either kept alive as a matter of grace or He keeps us alive as an example to others. Therefore, I urge you, family of God, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [as] a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God—your spiritual service of worship (Rom. 12:1).


However, let’s get back to the reality of this situation. The Jews were to offer peace to a city, and if they accepted this peace, this meant that they must submit themselves as slaves to the Jews. They did not just co-exist; they did not just pay tribute; they became Israel’s slaves. There was no way God would allow these men to continue in their Satanic worship, which is exactly what they would do if they were given the option of co-existing with the Jews.


Slavery interlude: I want you to think back to the slavery which took place in the United States and try to think about it apart from simply being an inhuman imposition. God brought these men and women from Africa—and God chose these men and women personally. Now, it is quite obvious, like other men, they were hard-headed and not easily converted. Slavery gave them a humility—a forced humility—so that a huge number of slaves became believers in Jesus Christ. Many of the masters who owned these slaves realized that this was their missionary field, and they evangelized their slaves. God expected no less from the Jews.

 

In our own country, one of the results of slavery was, there were many, many generations of men who were previously Africans, who heard the gospel when under forced humility, and they responded to the call of Jesus Christ; and they believed in Jesus Christ. The depth of their faith was passed on from generation to generation; and their music reflected their deep faith in Jesus Christ (slaves passed along music that they themselves wrote, called spirituals and called gospel music).

 

God knew the hearts of these slaves—former freedmen in Africa; God knew how negative they were but how positive that they would become with some enforced humility (or, to be more accurate, extreme enforced humility). You may think that slavery is the worst thing that men can do to one another, but it was through slavery in the United States that millions of men from Africa were saved, throughout dozens of generations, even to today. These millions of men and women are now face to face with Jesus Christ because of the institution of slavery.

 

God is able to take something which we find abhorrent—slavery (which was not necessarily that abhorrent in the time of Israel)—and turn it into something wonderful. Millions of former Africans and descendants of Africans are now face to face with Jesus Christ because they were brought to America as slaves and evangelized. Furthermore, there are millions of rich Black businessmen who have become successful because they live in the United States; because their ancestors were slaves brought to America.

 

It is also important for believers in the United States to recognize that a part of our own spiritual heritage is based upon the strength and the power of the Black church, from slavery on to this moment. Because of these churches, the United States as a country enjoyed a great deal of blessing. So, not only were the people from Africa (and their descendants) blessed in being forcefully taken into slavery; but the United States was, in turn, blessed by having them here in our country. This is a wonderful illustration of Rom. 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV) God took a very ugly reality—slavery—and turned it all into blessing, for those subjected to slavery, for their descendants, and for the United States as a country.

 

Of course, there are those who choose to play the victim, and they will eternally blame slavery and prejudice for their lives (even when they are successful in life), but that is a personal shortcoming.


What we do not find here is a specific mention of evangelizing those of the city who agree to become slaves to Israel. We rarely see evangelization in the Old Testament as we have in the New Testament. The disciples were given the mandate to go out to all the people and to tell them all about Jesus Christ; but we do not find similar mandates for the Jews.


For those who agreed to be slaves to the Jews, they would do this first out of fear, knowing that the God of the Jews was greater than their own gods; knowing that the Jews would destroy them and their families and their city if they did not surrender. Eventually, in becoming a part of Jewish society, even as slaves, these people would be exposed to the sacrifices made to God, and, at some point, God the Holy Spirit would make the gospel real to them—probably through observing or offering up a sacrifice—and they would believe in Jesus Christ (or, in the God of the Jews).


——————————


Chapter Outline

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


The Spoils of War


And if she does not make peace with you and she has made with you war, and you have besieged against her. And has given her Yehowah your Elohim into your hand and you have struck down every male to a mouth of a sword.

Deuteronomy

20:12–13

But if the city [lit., she] does not make peace with you, and [instead] has made war with you, you will besiege it and Yehowah your Elohim will give it into your hand. You will strike down every male with the mouth of the sword.

However, if the city does not agree to your terms of peace, and they choose to go to war with you instead, then you will besiege it and Jehovah your God will give the city into your hand. You will kill every male in the city with the sword.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                And when the Lord your God will have delivered it into your hand, then may you smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword.

Latin Vulgate                          But if they will not make peace, and will begin war against you, you will besiege it. And when the Lord your God will deliver it into your hands, you will slay all that are therein of the male sex, with the edge of the sword,...

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        And if she does not make peace with you and she has made with you war, and you have besieged against her. And has given her Yehowah your Elohim into your hand and you have struck down every male to a mouth of a sword.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But if it will not surrender to you, but will make war with you, then you shall besiege it; And when the LORD your God has delivered it into your hands, you shall slay all its males with the edge of the sword;...

Septuagint (Greek)                But if they will not hearken to you, but wage war against you, you shall besiege it; until the Lord your God shall deliver it into your hands, and you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword;...

 

Significant differences:           Maybe I missed a sentence in the targum?

 

The Greek has hearken rather than to make peace.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

Common English Bible           However, if the city does not negotiate peacefully with you but makes war against you, you may attack it. The Lord your God will hand it over to you; you must kill all the city's males with the sword.

Contemporary English V.       But if they reject your offer of peace and try to fight, surround their town and attack. Then, after the LORD helps you capture it, kill all the men.

Easy English                          But they may refuse to listen to you. They may even begin to fight you. Then you must fight against that city. When the *Lord your God gives it to you, you must kill all the men there.

Easy-to-Read Version            But if the city refuses to make peace with you and fights against you, then you should surround the city. And when the Lord your God lets you take the city, you must kill all the men in it.

Good News Bible (TEV)         But if the people of that city will not surrender, but choose to fight, surround it with your army. Then, when the LORD your God lets you capture the city, kill every man in it.

The Message                         But if they don't settle for peace and insist on war, then go ahead and attack. GOD, your God, will give them to you. Kill all the men with your swords.

New Berkeley Version           However, if the city declines to make peace and proffers war, then you must lay siege to it, and the Lord your God will give it into your hands, and yoiu shall put every male in it to the sword;...

New Century Version             But if they do not make peace with you and fight you in battle, you should surround that city. The Lord your God will give it to you. Then kill all the men with your swords, and you may take everything else in the city for yourselves. Take the women, children, and animals, and you may use these things the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. V. 14 is included for context.

New Life Bible                        But if they do not make peace with you and fight against you, you must take the city in battle. When the Lord your God gives the city to you, you must kill all the men in it with the sword.

New Living Translation           But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the Lord your God hands the town over to you, use your swords to kill every man in the town.

The Voice                               But if the city doesn't surrender, if it resists you instead, then lay siege to it. When the Eternal your God enables you to capture the city, kill all the men who are left in it with your swords.


Partially literal and partially paraphrased translations:

 

American English Bible          But if they don't listen to you and they choose to fight a war against you; then you must [lay siege on the city] until Jehovah your God gives it into your hands, and you must kill all the men there with swords.

Beck’s American Translation If it submits peacefully and opens its gates to you, then all the people found there should be made your slaves and should serve you. If it will not submit peacefully to you but fights against you, then besiege it. When the LORD your God puts it in your hands, kill every male in it with the sword, but the women and children, the cattle and everything else in the town, all its goods, take as your spoils, and live on your enemies’ goods that the LORD your God gives you. Vv. 11 and 14 are included for context.

God’s Word                         If they won't accept your offer of peace but declare war on you, set up a blockade around the city. When the LORD your God hands the city over to you, kill every man in that city with your swords.

New Advent (Knox) Bible       But if they refuse to listen, and offer battle, go forward to the assault; and when the Lord makes thee master of it, put only the men folk to the sword, not the women and children, not the cattle or anything else that the city contains. Divide the spoil among the host, and enjoy as thou wilt all the plunder the Lord thy God has allowed thee to take from thy enemies. V. 14 is included for context.

NIRV                                      But suppose they refuse your offer of peace and prepare for battle. Then surround that city. Get ready to attack it. The Lord your God will hand it over to you. When he does, kill all of the men with your swords.

New Jerusalem Bible             But if it refuses peace and gives battle, you must besiege it. Yahweh your God having handed it over to you, you will put the whole male population to the sword.

New Simplified Bible              »If the people of that city choose to fight and will not surrender, surround it with your army.

»When Jehovah your God lets you capture the city, kill every man in it.

Today’s NIV                          If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

Bible in Basic English             If however it will not make peace with you, but war, then let it be shut in on all sides: And when the Lord your God has given it into your hands, let every male in it be put to death without mercy.

The Expanded Bible              12 But if they do not make peace with you and fight you in battle, you should ·surround [besiege] that city. 13 The Lord your God will give it ·to you [Linto your hands]. Then ·kill [Lstrike] all the men with your swords, 14 and you may take ·everything else [all the plunder] in the city for yourselves. Take the women, children, and animals, and you may use ·these things [the plunder] the Lord your God gives you from your enemies. V. 14 is included for context.

Ferar-Fenton Bible                 But if they will not accept peace with you, but make war against you, then assail them ; for your Ever-living God has given them into your hands, and destroy all the men by the edge of the sword.

HCSB                                     However, if it does not make peace with you but wages war against you, lay siege to it. When the LORD your God hands it over to you, you must strike down all its males with the sword.

NET Bible®                             If it does not accept terms of peace but makes war with you, then you are to lay siege to it. The Lord your God will deliver it over to you [Heb "to your hands."] and you must kill every single male by the sword.

NIV, ©2011                             If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.


Jewish/Hebrew Names Bibles:

 

Complete Jewish Bible           However, if they refuse to make peace with you but prefer to make war against you, you are to put it under siege. When ADONAI your God hands it over to you, you are to put every male to the sword.

Kaplan Translation                 If they reject your peace offer and declare war, you shall lay siege to [the city]. When God your Lord gives it over into your hand, you shall then strike down its [adult] males by the sword.

Orthodox Jewish Bible           And if it will make no shalom with thee, but engages in milchamah against thee, then thou shalt besiege it; And when Hashem Eloheicha hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt strike every male thereof with the edge of the cherev;...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Concordant Literal Version    Yet if it should not make peace with you but engages in battle with you, then you must besiege it. When Yahweh your Elohim delivers it into your hand, then you will smite every adult male of it with the edge of the sword;" but the women, the little ones, the domestic beasts and all that is in the city, all its loot, you may plunder for yourself; and you may eat from the loot of your enemies which Yahweh your Elohim gives to you. V. 14 is included for context.

New King James Version       Now if the city will not make peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the Lord your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword.

Syndein/Thieme                     And if does not surrender to you, but would join battle with you, then you shall besiege it. And when Jehovah/God your 'Elohim/Godhead has delivered it into your hands, you shall kill every male thereof with the edge of the sword. {remember . . . this is a COMMAND from God - if you are a soldier in a battle for your country - you be the BEST killer in your outfit!}

Young’s Updated LT             “And if it does not make peace with you, and has made with you war, then you have laid siege against it, and Jehovah your God has given it into your hand, and you have smitten every male of it by the mouth of the sword.

 

The gist of this verse:          If the city does not agree to the terms of peace, the Israelites are to attack it and kill all the males within the city. God will give them the victory.


Deuteronomy 20:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʾîm (אִם) [pronounced eem]

if, though; lo, behold; oh that, if only; when, since, though when (or, if followed by a perfect tense which refers to a past event)

primarily an hypothetical particle

Strong's #518 BDB #49

lôʾ (לֹא or לוֹא) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

shâlêm (  ׂשָלֵם) [pronounced shaw-LAHM

to make peace with; to cause to be at peace; to complete, to perform; to make an end of

3rd person feminine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #7999 BDB #1022

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity with the 2nd person singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767


Translation: But if the city [lit., she] does not make peace with you,... The city has two choices: to agree to the terms of peace as essentially laid out to them, or to stand against those terms.


As before, we do not know exactly what took us to this point of animosity and war, but the Jews were not generally that aggressive. That is, they did not tend to blitzkrieg all of the areas around it.


Deuteronomy 20:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ʿâsâh (עָשָֹה) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare, to manufacture

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

ʿîm (עִם) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near; like; from

preposition of nearness and vicinity with the 2nd person singular suffix

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

milechâmâh (מִלְחָמָה) [pronounced mil-khaw-MAW]

battle, war, fight, fighting; victory; fortune of war

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #4421 BDB #536


Translation: ...and [instead] has made war with you,... Let’s say they do not agree to terms of peace, but choose, instead to go to war with Israel. Then Israel will be free to fight and beat down this city.


Deuteronomy 20:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

tsûwr (צוּר) [pronounced tsoor]

to bind, to besiege, to confine (shut up, cramp, enclose)

2nd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #6696 BDB #837

Tsûwr has 2 other sets of meanings: to show hostility toward, to be an adversary to, to treat as a foe; and to form, to fashion, to delineate.

ʿal (עַל) [pronounced ģahl]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of relative proximity with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #5921 BDB #752


Translation: ...you will besiege it... The Israeli army will then attack the city. The term means to bind, to confine, to shut up. The idea is, the enemy army will be confined to the city, and they will be destroyed therein.

 

Guzak, describing such a siege: Typically, a walled city was conquered by use of the siege. Enemy armies surrounded a city and cut off all their supplies and contact with the outside world. When the city was sufficiently weakened through hunger or thirst, they either surrendered or were conquered. Sometimes a siege would last for years. Footnote


The city is given the opportunity to surrender and to serve Israel—which, in turn, is serving the living God. Their other alternative is to oppose Israel, in which case, Israel is to attack the city. It is foolish to fight a war of containment or a war without the intention of winning, as per General Douglas MacArthur. He warned us against a land war in Asia roughly a decade before we became embroiled in one—which war caused a great deal of dissension and bitterness. Furthermore, we made the additional mistake of not fighting such a war to win—using every implement of war that we had. Otherwise, we should not have been there in the first place. In this verse, if you are going to make war, then you make war with the expressed intention of winning.


A siege against Samaria in northern Israel is described in 2Kings 6:24–33 And afterwards it happened that Ben-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army and went up and laid siege to Samaria. And there was a great famine in Samaria. And behold! They were laying siege to it until the head of an ass was at eighty silver pieces, and a fourth of a cab of dove's dung at five silver pieces. And it happened, the king of Israel was passing by on the wall. And a woman cried to him, saying, Save, my lord, O king. And he said, If Jehovah does not save you, from where shall I save you? Out of the threshing floor, or out of the winevat? And the king said to her, What ails you? And she said, This woman said to me, Give your son and we will eat him today; and tomorrow we will eat my son. And we boiled my son and ate him, and I said to her on the next day, Give your son, that we may eat him. But she hid her son. And it happened when the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his garments. And he was passing by on the wall, and the people looked. And, behold, the sackcloth was inside on his flesh. And he said, So may God do to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat shall remain on him today. And Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. And the king sent a man from before him. Before the messenger came to him, even he himself said to the elders, Do you see that this son of the murderer has sent to take away my head? Behold, when the messenger comes in, shut the door, and you shall hold him fast at the door. Is not the sound of the feet of his lord behind him? While he was speaking with them, then, behold, the messenger came down to him. And he said, Behold, this is the evil from Jehovah. Why should I wait for Jehovah any more? (Green’s Literal translation)


Deuteronomy 20:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâthan (נָתַן) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set; to make

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

YHWH (יהוה) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

ʾĚlôhîym (אלֹהִים) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

God; gods, foreign gods, god; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43

be (בְּ) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

yâd (יָד) [pronounced yawd]

generally translated hand

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #3027 BDB #388

This combination of the bêyth preposition and hand means in your hand; in your power, under your control; with you; through you, by you, by means of you; at your hand [i.e., before your, in your sight].


Translation: ...and Yehowah your Elohim will give it into your hand. God promises, under these circumstances, to deliver this city into their hand, meaning He will give them the victory. Israel had one of the most successful armies in this history of mankind.


Deuteronomy 20:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (וְ or וּ) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though; as well as

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâkâh (נָכָה) [pronounced naw-KAWH]

to smite, to assault, to hit, to strike, to strike [something or someone] down, to defeat, to conquer, to subjugate

2nd person masculine singular, Hiphil perfect

Strong #5221 BDB #645

ʾêth (אֶח) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated generally; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (כֹּל) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

zâkûwr (זָכוּר) [pronounced zaw-KOOR]

male

masculine singular collective noun with the 3rd person feminine singular suffix

Strong’s #2138 BDB #271

lâmed (לְ) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to; belonging to; by

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

peh (פֶּה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804

chereb (חֶרֶב) [pronounced khe-REBV]

sword, knife, dagger; any sharp tool

feminine singular noun; pausal form

Strong’s #2719 BDB #352


Translation: You will strike down every male with the mouth of the sword. However, Israel must kill every man with the sword. These would have been the ones to determine whether to fight back or to accept the terms of peace. They chose to fight against Israel, which reveals negative volition toward their God; and, as a result, they will receive death.


Application: Those who are against the Jews today also reveal negative volition toward the God Who chose them. It ought to be a rare instance, if at all, when a Jew and a Christian are against one another in war.


If you are unsure about the way this or that country leans, then determine, what is their attitude toward the nation Israel? If that attitude is decidedly negative, then they are likely negative toward the plan of God and toward Jesus Christ.


If the people of the land do not surrender, the first order of business is to destroy those who are in authority, all of the males of the city. When the Midianites became involved in the plot to neutralize Israel through Balaam, Moses is told by God to: “Take full vengeance for the sons of Israel on the Midianites.“ So they made war against Midian, just as Yehowah had commanded Moses, and they killed every male (Num. 31:2a, 7).


——————————


Only the women and the children and the livestock and all which is in the city—all her spoil you will pillage to yourself. And you have devoured spoil of your enemies, who has given, Yehowah your Elohim, to you.

Deuteronomy

20:14

Only the women, the children, the livestock and all that is in the city—all of her wealth you will take [as spoil] to yourself. You will devour the wealth of your enemies, which [wealth] Yehowah your Elohim has given to you.

As victors in war, you have the rights to all of the wealth of that city, including the women, the children and all the livestock—you may take any and all of this. You may take all the spoil of your enemies, which wealth Jehovah your God has given to you.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Targum of Onkelos                But the women, children, and cattle, and whatever is in the city, even all the spoil, you shall seize, and eat the spoil of your enemies which the Lord your God gives you.

Latin Vulgate                          Excepting women and children, cattle and other things, that are in the city. And you will divide all the prey to the army, and you will eat the spoils of your enemies, which the Lord your God will give you.

Masoretic Text (Hebrew)        Only the women and the children and the livestock and all which is in the city—all her spoil you will pillage to yourself. And you have devoured spoil of your enemies, who has given, Yehowah your Elohim, to you.

Peshitta (Syriac)                    But the women and the little ones and the cattle and all that is in the city, even all its spoil, you shall plunder for yourselves; and you shall eat of the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God gives you.

Septuagint (Greek)                ...except the women and the stuff; and all the livestock, and whatsoever shall be in the city, and all the plunder you shall take as spoil for yourself, and shall eat all the plunder of your enemies whom the Lord your God gives you.

 

Significant differences:           The Latin suggests that the prey would be divided among the soldiers. The Hebrew is less specific than that.


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