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Deuteronomy 20 (Devarim)

Deuteronomy 20 (Devarim) Summary

Deuteronomy 20 (Devarim) is the war chapter. It provides instructions on three aspects of war: preparing for war, taking captives, and conducting a siege.

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Deuteronomy 20 (Devarim) Outline

Deuteronomy 20 (Devarim) can be navigated in three possible ways. (1) Jewish tradition of daily reading called Torah Portions. (2) Rabbi Johnathan Sacks proposed treaty (covenant) layout and finally (3) theme based verses.

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Torah Portions:

  1. Sixth Reading vv. 1 – 9
  2. Seventh Reading vv. 10 -20

Treaty (Covenant):

  1. Stipulations – Specific Provision: The details of the law, with special reference to how they are to be carried out by the people as a whole in the Land of Israel.

Verses Topics:

  1. v.1 – Encouragement not to fear when they go to war and the other nations are larger and better equipped.

Deuteronomy 20 (Devarim) Verses

Parsha Shoftim #48
~ Judges~

SIXTH READING

→ Stipulations – Specific Provision:

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

Notes on Deuteronomy 20:1

Deuteronomy 20:1

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2 And it shall be, when ye draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, 3 and shall say unto them: ‘Hear, O Israel, ye draw nigh this day unto battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, neither be ye affrighted at them; 4 for the LORD your God is He that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’

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

6 And what man is there that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not used the fruit thereof? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man use the fruit thereof.

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

8 And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say: ‘What man is there that is fearful and faint-hearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart melt as his heart.’

9 And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people, that captains of hosts shall be appointed at the head of the people.

SEVENTH READING

10 When thou drawest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. 11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that are found therein shall become tributary unto thee, and shall serve thee.

12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it. 13 And when the LORD thy God delivereth it into thy hand, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword; 14 but the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take for a prey unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.

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

16 Howbeit of the cities of these peoples, that the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, 17 but thou shalt utterly destroy them: the Hittite, and the Amorite, the Canaanite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; 18 that they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods, and so ye sin against the LORD your God.

19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by wielding an axe against them; for thou mayest eat of them, but thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee?

20 Only the trees of which thou knowest that they are not trees for food, them thou mayest destroy and cut down, that thou mayest build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it fall.

Deuteronomy 20 (Devarim) Verses

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דברים  מח 48

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שופטים מח 48

כ Chapter 20

א כִּֽי־תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל־אֹֽיְבֶךָ וְֽרָאִיתָ סוּס וָרֶכֶב עַם רַב מִמְּךָ לֹא תִירָא מֵהֶם כִּֽי־יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עִמָּךְ הַמַּֽעַלְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם: ב וְהָיָה כְּקָֽרָבְכֶם אֶל־הַמִּלְחָמָה וְנִגַּשׁ הַכֹּהֵן וְדִבֶּר אֶל־הָעָֽם: ג וְאָמַר אֲלֵהֶם שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל אַתֶּם קְרֵבִים הַיּוֹם לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל־אֹֽיְבֵיכֶם אַל־יֵרַךְ לְבַבְכֶם אַל־תִּֽירְאוּ וְאַֽל־תַּחְפְּזוּ וְאַל־תַּֽעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶֽם: ד כִּי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶם הַֽהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם־אֹֽיְבֵיכֶם לְהוֹשִׁיעַֽ אֶתְכֶֽם: ה וְדִבְּרוּ הַשֹּֽׁטְרִים אֶל־הָעָם לֵאמֹר מִֽי־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר בָּנָה בַֽיִת־חָדָשׁ וְלֹא חֲנָכוֹ יֵלֵךְ וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ פֶּן־יָמוּת בַּמִּלְחָמָה וְאִישׁ אַחֵר יַחְנְכֶֽנּוּ: ו וּמִֽי־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר נָטַע כֶּרֶם וְלֹא חִלְּלוֹ יֵלֵךְ וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ פֶּן־יָמוּת בַּמִּלְחָמָה וְאִישׁ אַחֵר יְחַלְּלֶֽנּוּ: ז וּמִֽי־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר אֵרַשׂ אִשָּׁה וְלֹא לְקָחָהּ יֵלֵךְ וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ פֶּן־יָמוּת בַּמִּלְחָמָה וְאִישׁ אַחֵר יִקָּחֶֽנָּה: ח וְיָֽסְפוּ הַשֹּֽׁטְרִים לְדַבֵּר אֶל־הָעָם וְאָֽמְרוּ מִֽי־הָאִישׁ הַיָּרֵא וְרַךְ הַלֵּבָב יֵלֵךְ וְיָשֹׁב לְבֵיתוֹ וְלֹא יִמַּס אֶת־לְבַב אֶחָיו כִּלְבָבֽוֹ: ט וְהָיָה כְּכַלֹּת הַשֹּֽׁטְרִים לְדַבֵּר אֶל־הָעָם וּפָֽקְדוּ שָׂרֵי צְבָאוֹת בְּרֹאשׁ הָעָֽם: ס [שביעי] י כִּֽי־תִקְרַב אֶל־עִיר לְהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ וְקָרָאתָ אֵלֶיהָ לְשָׁלֽוֹם: יא וְהָיָה אִם־שָׁלוֹם תַּֽעַנְךָ וּפָֽתְחָה לָךְ וְהָיָה כָּל־הָעָם הַנִּמְצָא־בָהּ יִהְיוּ לְךָ לָמַס וַֽעֲבָדֽוּךָ: יב וְאִם־לֹא תַשְׁלִים עִמָּךְ וְעָֽשְׂתָה עִמְּךָ מִלְחָמָה וְצַרְתָּ עָלֶֽיהָ: יג וּנְתָנָהּ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּיָדֶךָ וְהִכִּיתָ אֶת־כָּל־זְכוּרָהּ לְפִי־חָֽרֶב: יד רַק הַנָּשִׁים וְהַטַּף וְהַבְּהֵמָה וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בָעִיר כָּל־שְׁלָלָהּ תָּבֹז לָךְ וְאָֽכַלְתָּ אֶת־שְׁלַל אֹֽיְבֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר נָתַן יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לָֽךְ: טו כֵּן תַּֽעֲשֶׂה לְכָל־הֶעָרִים הָֽרְחֹקֹת מִמְּךָ מְאֹד אֲשֶׁר לֹא־מֵֽעָרֵי הַגּֽוֹיִם־הָאֵלֶּה הֵֽנָּה: טז רַק מֵֽעָרֵי הָֽעַמִּים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַֽחֲלָה לֹא תְחַיֶּה כָּל־נְשָׁמָֽה: יז כִּי־הַֽחֲרֵם תַּֽחֲרִימֵם הַֽחִתִּי וְהָֽאֱמֹרִי הַכְּנַֽעֲנִי וְהַפְּרִזִּי הַֽחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי כַּֽאֲשֶׁר צִוְּךָ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ: יח לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר לֹֽא־יְלַמְּדוּ אֶתְכֶם לַֽעֲשׂוֹת כְּכֹל תּֽוֹעֲבֹתָם אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ לֵאלֹֽהֵיהֶם וַֽחֲטָאתֶם לַֽיהוָֹה אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶֽם: ס יט כִּֽי־תָצוּר אֶל־עִיר יָמִים רַבִּים לְֽהִלָּחֵם עָלֶיהָ לְתָפְשָׂהּ לֹֽא־תַשְׁחִית אֶת־עֵצָהּ לִנְדֹּחַ עָלָיו גַּרְזֶן כִּי מִמֶּנּוּ תֹאכֵל וְאֹתוֹ לֹא תִכְרֹת כִּי הָֽאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה לָבֹא מִפָּנֶיךָ בַּמָּצֽוֹר: כ רַק עֵץ אֲשֶׁר־תֵּדַע כִּי לֹא־עֵץ מַֽאֲכָל הוּא אֹתוֹ תַשְׁחִית וְכָרָתָּ וּבָנִיתָ מָצוֹר עַל־הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר־הִוא עֹשָׂה עִמְּךָ מִלְחָמָה עַד רִדְתָּֽהּ: פ

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Covenant & Conversation Commentary – The Late Chief Rabbi Johnanath Sacks’ last published commentary on the Torah.

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon – One of the most used Hebrew and English Lexicons among serious Bible students.

Pentateuch & Haftorahs, By. Dr. J.H. Hertz – The Late Chief Rabbi of the British Empire was renowned for his writings and teaches. By many he is considered a must read. In the Preface Dr. Hertz calls this “a People’s Commentary”.

The Holy Scriptures
According to the Masoretic Text
The Jewish Publication Society translation
[1917] – Public Domain