Deuteronomy 20 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Deuteronomy 20)
20:1 When a 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.

(a) Meaning, upon just occasion: for God does not permit his people to fight every time it seems good to them.

20:4 For the LORD your God [is] he that b goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

(b) Is present to defend you with his grace and power.

20:5 And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man [is there] that hath built a new house, and hath not c dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.

(c) For when they first entered to dwell in a house, they gave thanks to God, acknowledging that they had that benefit by his grace.

20:6 And what man [is he] that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not [yet] d eaten of it? let him [also] go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.

(d) The Hebrew word signifies to make common or profane, (Leviticus 19:25)

20:11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of e peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, [that] all the people [that is] found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.

(e) If it accept peace.

20:15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities [which are] very far off from thee, which [are] not of the cities of these f nations.

(f) For God had appointed the Canaanites to be destroyed, and made the Israelites the executers of his will, (Deuteronomy 7:1).

20:19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the g tree of the field [is] man's [life]) to employ [them] in the siege:

(g) Some read: For man shall be instead of the tree of the field, to come out in the siege against you.