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Deuteronomy 20

1 - When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, 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.

2 - It shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

3 - and shall tell them, "Hear, Israel, you draw near today to battle against your enemies. Don't let your heart faint! Don't be afraid, nor tremble, neither be scared of them;

4 - for the LORD your God is he who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."

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

6 - What man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not used its fruit? Let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use its fruit.

7 - 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."

8 - The officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, "What man is there who is fearful and faint-hearted? Let him go and return to his house, lest his brother's heart melt as his heart."

9 - It shall be, when the officers have finished speaking to the people, that they shall appoint captains of armies at the head of the people.

10 - When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it.

11 - It shall be, if it makes you answer of peace, and opens to you, then it shall be, that all the people who are found therein shall become forced laborers to you, and shall serve you.

12 - If it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it.

13 - When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, you shall strike every male of it with the edge of the sword;

14 - but the women, the little ones, the livestock, and all that is in the city, even all its plunder, you shall take for plunder for yourself. You may use the plunder of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you.

15 - Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far off from you, which are not of the cities of these nations.

16 - But of the cities of these peoples, that the LORD your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes;

17 - but you shall utterly destroy them: the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as the LORD your God has commanded you;

18 - that they not teach you to follow all their abominations, which they have done to their gods; so would you sin against the LORD your God.

19 - When you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; for you may eat of them. You shall not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged by you?

20 - Only the trees that you know are not trees for food, you shall destroy and cut them down. You shall build bulwarks against the city that makes war with you, until it falls.


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Deuteronomy Images and Notes

The Book of Deuteronomy

Deuteronomy 28:1 - And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe [and] to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
Deuteronomy 28:2 - And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

Painting of a Religious Jew Reading the Scroll of the Torah
Religious Jew Reading the Scroll of the Torah, notice the prayer shawl over his head and the phylacteries on his forehead and arm to remind him that he must keep the law with his head and his heart. He is reading the scroll of the Torah which was written on parchment and fastened to rollers.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Deuteronomy
Hebrew Name - elleh haddebharim "these are the words"
Greek Name - Deuteronomion "The Second Law"
Author - Moses
Date - 1451 BC Approximately
Theme - Reminders of God's Covenant
Types and Shadows - In Deuteronomy Jesus is prophet like unto Moses

Quick Reference Map
Map of the Route of the Exodus
Map of the Possible Route of the Exodus (Click to Enlarge)

Summary of The Book of Deuteronomy

The word "Deuteronomy" comes from the Greek word for "the second law" or "the law copied or repeated." In the book of Deuteronomy Moses is writing a series of speeches to the people of Israel in the plains of Moab on the day before they entered the land of Canaan, the promised land. these messages are intended to speak to every member of the congregation of Israel, not just the religious. The purpose of Moses was to remind them of God's law, and everything that God did for them, and every promise God made to them. Moses explained to them that their new life in the land of Canaan would be blessed or cursed depending on their ability to walk after after God and His law. These words were spoken to them on the 11th month of the final year of Israel's wandering in the wilderness, the 40th year after they left Egypt.

In the first speech (Deuteronomy 1:1-4:43), Moses warns the people of Israel about the sins which had kept their fathers from entering the promised land. He repeatedly encourages them to obey God and reminds them about the events that took place in the 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. He carefully explains what happens when there are difficult situations and they choose not to trust the Lord but rather act in obstinance, doubt, fear, and finally disobedience.

The second speech (Deuteronomy 4:44-26:19) goes into the details about the law. It is really the main message here that Moses gives them, the first speech was more of an introduction and preparation for this message. It deals mainly with the legal aspects of the law, moral, civil, and ceremonial. It deals first with the 10 Commandments (Deuteronomy chapters 5-11) and secondly the details behind God's law with the emphasis on following God statutes, religious ordinances, and living with one another as the people of God (Deuteronomy chapters 12-26).

The third speech (Deuteronomy 27:1-31:30) is primarily a message about the blessings of obedience and the curses of disobedience. Moses mainly directs his message to the elders, the priests, the Levites, and all the leaders who are responsible to carry out the ceremonies. The place chosen for the ceremonies was a spot in the center of the land of Israel where the first altar to God have been erected. Once they had crossed over the Jordan River they were commanded to set up great stones on Mount Ebal, with the law of God inscribed and to build a great altar. The 12 tribes of Israel were to be divided between the two hills. Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin were to gather themselves on Mt. Gerizim to recite the blessings which God promised them if they would obey him. Across on Mt. Ebal, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun and Naphtali were to speak the curses which God had promised them if they were to disobey him.

Moses finished his discourses and encourage the people to follow Joshua, their new leader, to cross the Jordan and to take the land which had been promised to their father Abraham. Moses wrote down the law in a book, gave it to the priests, who were to keep it as a perpetual reminder for the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 31:9-13). They were to read it every seventh year when the people assembled for the feast of Tabernacles.

God told Moses and Joshua to come before Him at the tabernacle and He told them of the future infidelity of the children of Israel and instructed Moses to leave the people a song as a witness against them which they were to learn. This song of Moses is recorded in Deuteronomy 32 and it speaks about the blessings which God has bestowed on his people and the corrupt ways in which they responded to those blessings. Deuteronomy 33 speaks about Moses' blessing on the people and Deuteronomy 34 records briefly the account of the death of Moses, the great leader of Israel.

Outline of The Book of Deuteronomy

1) The First Address of Moses

Historical  overview (Deuteronomy 1:6-3)
Appeal for commitment to God  (Deuteronomy 4)

2) The Second Address of Moses

God's covenant with Israel (Deuteronomy 5:1-21)
A Message about the First Commandment (Deuteronomy 6-9:6)
A Survey of the Laws Given on Mount Sinai (Deuteronomy 9:7-10:11)
Reminders of God's Laws (Deuteronomy 10:12-11)

3) The Laws

Sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12)
Giving in to Idolatry (Deuteronomy 13)
Acceptable and Forbidden Foods (Deuteronomy 14:3-21)
Tithes (Deuteronomy 14:22-29)
Year of Release (Deuteronomy 15:1-11)
Releasing Slaves (Deuteronomy 15:12-18)
Firstlings of Cattle and Sheep (Deuteronomy 15:19-23)
Yearly Pilgrimage Feasts and Festivals (Deuteronomy 16:1-17)
Leaders of the Nation (Deuteronomy 16:18-28:22)
Right of Asylum (Deuteronomy 19)
Conduct of War (Deuteronomy 20, 21:10-14, 23:9-14)
Marriage and Family Life (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24:1-4, 25:5-10)
Certain Humanitarian Regulations (Deuteronomy 21, 22, 24, 25)
Blessings and Curses on the People (Deuteronomy 27)
Results of Observance and Neglect (Deuteronomy 28)

4) The Last Days of Moses

Third Address (Deuteronomy 29-30)
Last Words and Acts of Moses (Deuteronomy 31-33)
Death and Burial of Moses (Deuteronomy 34)

Quick Reference Maps - Deuteronomy

Canaan Before Joshua

The Island of Caphtor

The First Day. Light.

Deuteronomy Resources

The Wilderness Wanderings

More About the Book of Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
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