Bible study 172 – Deuteronomy 20

Moses asks his military officers to give their troops the least encouraging battle muster I’ve ever seen: Any warrior who has basically anything undone in their lives (unmarried fiancés, unharvested vine ranks), or who is just scared, should go home, since there is a large chance they will die.

Enemy cities that sue for peace shall “only” be subject to forced labour; cities that resist shall be annihilated. But the Israelites must take great care not to cut down trees bearing fruit during a siege, for, as Moses rhetorically asks: “Are trees in the field human beings that they should come under siege from you?”

Deuteronomy 20:14
You may, however, take as your booty the women, the children, livestock, and everything else in the town, all its spoil.

Full text.


2 Comments on “Bible study 172 – Deuteronomy 20”

  1. […] allegiance to Israel’s God. The Israelite leaders promise not to hurt them (in accordance with Deuteronomy 20), and even reaffirm this hesitatingly when the ruse is […]

  2. […] of their enemies, so that they will fight instead of running away or suing for peace (which makes Deuteronomy 20’s promise not to destroy cities that sue for peace sort of […]

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