View Deuteronomy 20 in the note window.
The exhortation of the priest to them who were going to battle,
ver. 1 - 4.
The dismission of them who were engaged in business,
or faint - hearted, ver. 5 - 9.
How they were to treat distant cities, ver. 10 - 15.
The cities of the Canaanites, ver. 16 - 18.
Fruit - trees not to be destroyed, ver. 19, 20.
2: Speak unto the people - Probably to one regiment of the army
5: What man - This and the following exceptions are to be understood
only of a war allowed by God, not in a war commanded by God, not in the
approaching war with the Canaanites, from which even the bridegroom was
not exempted, as the Jewish writers note.
6: A vineyard - This and the former dispensation were generally
convenient, but more necessary in the beginning of their settlement in
Canaan, for the encouragement of those who should build houses or
plant vineyards, which was chargeable to them, and beneficial to the
common - wealth. Eaten of it - Heb. made it common, namely, for the use
of himself and family and friends, which it was not, 'till the fifth year.
9: Make captains - Or rather, as the Hebrew hath it, they
shall set or place the captains of the armies in the head or front of
the people under their charge, that they may conduct them, and by their
example encourage their soldiers. It is not likely they had their captains
to make when they were just going to battle.
16: Nothing - No man. For the beasts, some few excepted, were given
them for a prey.
19: Thou shalt not destroy - Which is to be understood of a general
destruction of them, not of the cutting down some few of them, as the
conveniency of the siege might require. Man's life - The sustenance or
support of his life.