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Compare Translations for Deuteronomy 20:1

Deuteronomy 20:1 ASV
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 Jehovah thy God is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 BBE
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 CEB
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 CJB
"When you go out to fight your enemies and see horses, chariots and a force larger than yours, you are not to be afraid of them; because ADONAI your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 RHE
If thou go out to war against thy enemies, and see horsemen and chariots, and the numbers of the enemy’s army greater than thine, thou shalt not fear them: because the Lord thy God is with thee, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 ESV
"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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 GW
When you go to war against your enemies, you may see horses, chariots, and armies larger than yours. Don't be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 GNT
"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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 HNV
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 the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 CSB
"When you go out to war against your enemies and see horses, chariots, and an army larger than yours, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 KJV
When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies , and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 LEB
"If you go out to war against your enemies and you see a horse and a chariot, {an army} larger that you, you shall not be afraid because of them; for Yahweh your God [is] with you, the one who brought you from the land of Egypt.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 NAS
"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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 NCV
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 NIRV
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 NIV
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 NKJV
"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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 NLT
"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 safely out of Egypt, is with you!
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Deuteronomy 20:1 NRS
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 RSV
"When you go forth 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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 DBY
When thou goest out to war against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, [and] a people more numerous than thou, thou shalt not fear them; for Jehovah thy God is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 MSG
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 WBT
When thou goest out to battle against thy enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, [and] a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 TMB
"When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses and chariots and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them; for the LORD thy God is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 TNIV
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 TYN
When thou goest out to batayle agenste thine enemyes, and seest horses and charettes and people moo then thou, be not aferde of them, for the Lorde thy God is with the whiche broughte the out of the londe off Egipte.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 WEB
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.
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Deuteronomy 20:1 WYC
If thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and thou seest a multitude of knights, and of chariots, and a greater multitude of the adversary('s) host than (what) thou hast, thou shalt not dread them; for thy Lord God is with thee, that led thee out of the land of Egypt. (If thou goest out to battle against thy enemies, and thou seest a multitude of horsemen, and of chariots, and a greater multitude of the adversary's army than what thou hast, thou shalt not fear them; for the Lord thy God is with thee, who led thee out of the land of Egypt.)
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Deuteronomy 20:1 YLT
`When thou goest out to battle against thine enemy, and hast seen horse and chariot -- a people more numerous than thou -- thou art not afraid of them, for Jehovah thy God [is] with thee, who is bringing thee up out of the land of Egypt;
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Deuteronomy 20 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 20

Exhortation and proclamation respecting those who went to war. (1-9) Peace to be offered, What cities were to be devoted. (10-20)

Verses 1-9 In the wars wherein Israel engaged according to the will of God, they might expect the Divine assistance. The Lord was to be their only confidence. In these respects they were types of the Christian's warfare. Those unwilling to fight, must be sent away. The unwillingness might arise from a man's outward condition. God would not be served by men forced against their will. Thy people shall be willing, ( Psalms 110:3 ) . In running the Christian race, and fighting the good fight of faith, we must lay aside all that would make us unwilling. If a man's unwillingness rose from weakness and fear, he had leave to return from the war. The reason here given is, lest his brethren's heart fail as well as his heart. We must take heed that we fear not with the fear of them that are afraid, Isa. 8:12 .

Verses 10-12 The Israelites are here directed about the nations on whom they made war. Let this show God's grace in dealing with sinners. He proclaims peace, and beseeches them to be reconciled. Let it also show us our duty in dealing with our brethren. Whoever are for war, we must be for peace. Of the cities given to Israel, none of their inhabitants must be left. Since it could not be expected that they should be cured of their idolatry, they would hurt Israel. These regulations are not the rules of our conduct, but Christ's law of love. The horrors of war must fill the feeling heart with anguish upon every recollection; and are proofs of the wickedness of man, the power of Satan, and the just vengeance of God, who thus scourges a guilty world. But how dreadful their case who are engaged in unequal conflict with their Maker, who will not submit to render him the easy tribute of worship and praise! Certain ruin awaits them. Let neither the number nor the power of the enemies of our souls dismay us; nor let even our own weakness cause us to tremble or to faint. The Lord will save us; but in this war let none engage whose hearts are fond of the world, or afraid of the cross and the conflict. Care is here taken that in besieging cities the fruit-trees should not be destroyed. God is a better friend to man than he is to himself; and God's law consults our interests and comforts; while our own appetites and passions, which we indulge, are enemies to our welfare. Many of the Divine precepts restrain us from destroying that which is for our life and food. The Jews understand this as forbidding all wilful waste upon any account whatsoever. Every creature of God is good; as nothing is to be refused, so nothing is to be abused. We may live to want what we carelessly waste.

Deuteronomy 20 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

CHAPTER 20

Deuteronomy 20:1-20 . THE PRIESTS' EXHORTATION TO ENCOURAGE THE PEOPLE TO BATTLE.

1. When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies--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.

2-4. when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people--Jewish writers say that there was a war priest appointed by a special ceremonial to attend the army. It was natural that the solemn objects and motives of religion should have been applied to animate patriotism, and so give additional impulse to valor; other people have done this. But in the case of Israel, the regular attendance of a priest on the battlefield was in accordance with their theocratic government, in which everything was done directly by God through His delegated ministers. It was the province of this priest to sound the trumpets ( Numbers 10:9 , 31:6 ), and he had others under him who repeated at the head of each battalion the exhortations which he addressed to the warriors in general. The speech ( Deuteronomy 20:3 Deuteronomy 20:4 ) is marked by a brevity and expressiveness admirably suited to the occasion, namely, when the men were drawn up in line.

4. your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you--According to Jewish writers, the ark was always taken into the field of combat. But there is no evidence of this in the sacred history; and it must have been a sufficient ground of encouragement to be assured that God was on their side.

5-8. And the officers shall speak unto the people--literally, Shoterim, who are called "scribes" or "overseers" ( Exodus 5:6 ). They might be keepers of the muster-roll, or perhaps rather military heralds, whose duty it was to announce the orders of the generals ( 2 Chronicles 26:11 ). This proclamation ( Deuteronomy 20:5-8 ) must have been made previous to the priest's address, as great disorder and inconvenience must have been occasioned if the serried ranks were broken by the departure of those to whom the privilege was granted. 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 ( Nehemiah 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.

9. they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people--When the exempted parties have withdrawn, the combatants shall be ranged in order of battle.

10-20. When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it--An important principle is here introduced into the war law of Israel regarding the people they fought against and the cities they besieged. With "the cities of those people which God doth give thee" in Canaan, it was to be a war of utter extermination ( Deuteronomy 20:17 Deuteronomy 20:18 ). But when on a just occasion, they went against other nations, they were first to make a proclamation of peace, which if allowed by a surrender, the people would become dependent ( Deuteronomy 20:11 ), and in the relation of tributaries the conquered nations would receive the highest blessings from alliance with the chosen people; they would be brought to the knowledge of Israel's God and of Israel's worship, as well as a participation of Israel's privileges. But if the besieged city refused to capitulate and be taken, a universal massacre was to be made of the males while the women and children were to be preserved and kindly treated ( Deuteronomy 20:13 Deuteronomy 20:14 ). By this means a provision was made for a friendly and useful connection being established between the captors and the captives; and Israel, even through her conquests, would prove a blessing to the nations.

19. thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them--In a protracted siege, wood would be required for various purposes, both for military works and for fuel. But fruit-bearing trees were to be carefully spared; and, indeed, in warm countries like India, where the people live much more on fruit than we do, the destruction of a fruit tree is considered a sort of sacrilege.

20. thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee--It is evident that some sort of military engines were intended; and accordingly we know, that in Egypt, where the Israelites learned their military tactics, the method of conducting a siege was by throwing up banks, and making advances with movable towers, or with the testudo [WILKINSON].