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Deuteronomy 20:15

15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

Read Deuteronomy 20:15 Using Other Translations

Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here.
“But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of the nations in the land you will enter.

What does Deuteronomy 20:15 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Deuteronomy 20:15

Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off
from thee
As all such were reckoned that were without the land of Israel, even all in their neighbouring nations, the Moabites, Edomites, Ammonites, Syrians for the children of Israel never went to war with any very distant nations, unless they came unto them and invaded them; nor did they seek to carry their conquests to any great distance, when the most powerful and victorious, as in the days of David and Solomon:

which are not of the cities of these nations;
of these seven nations, as the Targum of Jonathan, the seven nations of the land of Canaan; all that were not of them were accounted foreign cities, and at a distance.

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