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Jehovah’s Witnesses


Online Bible | The Bible in Living English

Deuteronomy 20:1-20

20  “When you go out to battle against your enemies and see ponies and chariots and superior numbers, you shall not be afraid of them, because you have with you your God Jehovah who brought you up out of Egypt. 2  And when you join battle the priest shall come up and speak to the men 3  and say to them ‘Listen, Israel: you are joining battle with your enemies today; do not be discouraged or afraid, nervous or overawed, because of them, 4  for it is your God Jehovah that goes with you fighting for you against your enemies, making you victorious.’ 5 * “And the marshals shall speak to the men and say to them ‘Who is there that has built a new house and not performed the rites for beginning to use it? let him go home, for fear he should die in the battle and another man perform the rites. 6  And who is there that has set out a vineyard and not enjoyed fruit from it? let him go home, for fear he should die in the battle and another man have the first enjoyment of the fruit. 7  And who is there that has betrothed a wife and not married her? let him go home, for fear he should die in the battle and another man marry her.’ 8  And the marshals shall go on to say to the men ‘Who is there that is afraid and downhearted? let him go home and not have his brothers’ hearts melt down like his.’ 9 * And when the marshals finish speaking to the men they shall appoint generals to head the men. 10  “When you approach a city to attack it you shall summon it to surrender peaceably; 11  and if it agrees to surrender and opens to you, then all the people that are found in it shall be liable to forced labor and be your subjects; 12  but if it does not come to terms with you but makes war with you, and you besiege it and 13 * Jehovah gives it into your hands, you shall massacre all its males. 14  Only the women and children and cattle and everything in the city, all its booty, you shall plunder for yourselves, and eat the booty of your enemies, which your God Jehovah has given you. 15  Thus you shall do to all the cities very distant from you, which are not cities of these nations. 16  Only of the cities of these peoples that your God Jehovah is giving you as your estate you shall not leave alive anything that breathes, 17  but destroy without quarter the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivvites and the Jebusites, as your God Jehovah has commanded you to, 18  in order that they may not teach you to do the like of all the detestable things they do for their gods, so that you should sin against your God Jehovah. 19  “When you besiege a city for a long time, attacking it to capture it, you shall not ravage its trees, using an ax on them, but eat from them and not cut them; for are the trees of the countryside human, to be besieged by you? 20  Only the trees you know are not good for food you shall cut and use up, and build siege-works against the city that is making war with you till it comes down.


20:5, 6, 7, 8 Lit. Who is the man that
20:9 Lit. generals at the head of the men
20:13 Or with you, you shall besiege it and Jehovah will give it into your hands, and you shall Or with you, and you besiege it, Jehovah will give it into your hands and you shall