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Deuteronomy 20:10-16

Context

20:10 When you approach a city to wage war against it, offer it terms of peace. 20:11 If it accepts your terms 1  and submits to you, all the people found in it will become your slaves. 2  20:12 If it does not accept terms of peace but makes war with you, then you are to lay siege to it. 20:13 The Lord your God will deliver it over to you 3  and you must kill every single male by the sword. 20:14 However, the women, little children, cattle, and anything else in the city – all its plunder – you may take for yourselves as spoil. You may take from your enemies the plunder that the Lord your God has given you. 20:15 This is how you are to deal with all those cities located far from you, those that do not belong to these nearby nations.

Laws Concerning War with Canaanite Nations

20:16 As for the cities of these peoples that 4  the Lord your God is going to give you as an inheritance, you must not allow a single living thing 5  to survive.

1 tn Heb “if it answers you peace.”

2 tn Heb “become as a vassal and will serve you.” The Hebrew term translated slaves (מַס, mas) refers either to Israelites who were pressed into civil service, especially under Solomon (1 Kgs 5:27; 9:15, 21; 12:18), or (as here) to foreigners forced as prisoners of war to become slaves to Israel. The Gibeonites exemplify this type of servitude (Josh 9:3-27; cf. Josh 16:10; 17:13; Judg 1:28, 30-35; Isa 31:8; Lam 1:1).

3 tn Heb “to your hands.”

4 tn The antecedent of the relative pronoun is “cities.”

5 tn Heb “any breath.”



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