When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours,1 do not be afraid2 of them,3 because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with4 you.
References for Deuteronomy 20:1
When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.
He shall say: "Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted5 or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them.
References for Deuteronomy 20:3
For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you6 to fight7 for you against your enemies to give you victory.8"
References for Deuteronomy 20:4
The officers shall say to the army: "Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live in9 it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it.
References for Deuteronomy 20:5
Has anyone planted10 a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it?11 Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it.
References for Deuteronomy 20:6
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.12"
References for Deuteronomy 20:7
Then the officers shall add, "Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that the others will not become disheartened too."13
References for Deuteronomy 20:8
When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.
When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.14
References for Deuteronomy 20:10
If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject15 to forced labor16 and shall work for you.
References for Deuteronomy 20:11
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.17
References for Deuteronomy 20:13
As for the women, the children, the livestock18 and everything else in the city,19 you may take these as plunder20 for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies.
References for Deuteronomy 20:14
This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance21 from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.
References for Deuteronomy 20:15
However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.22
References for Deuteronomy 20:16
Completely destroy them--the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--as the LORD your God has commanded you.
References for Deuteronomy 20:17
Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods,23 and you will sin24 against the LORD your God.
References for Deuteronomy 20:18
When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?
References for Deuteronomy 20:19
However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit trees25 and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.
References for Deuteronomy 20:20