Deuteronomy 20:19
Parallel Verses
New International Version
When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?


New American Standard Bible
"When you besiege a city a long time, to make war against it in order to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by swinging an axe against them; for you may eat from them, and you shall not cut them down. For is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you?


King James Bible
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 tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege:


Holman Christian Standard Bible
When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it in order to capture it, you must not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can get food from them. You must not cut them down. Are trees of the field human, to come under siege by you?


International Standard Version
"When you attack a city and have to fight against it for many days, don't destroy its trees by cutting them down with an ax. You may eat from them, but you must not cut them down. Are the trees of the field human beings, that you would come and attack them?


American Standard Version
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 wielding an axe against them; for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee?


Douay-Rheims Bible
When thou hast besieged a city a long time, and hath compassed it with bulwarks to take it, thou shalt not cut down the trees that may be eaten of, neither shalt thou spoil the country round about with axes: for it is a tree, and not a man, neither can it increase the number of them that fight against thee.


Darby Bible Translation
When thou shalt besiege a city many days, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by lifting up an axe against them; for thou canst eat of them; and thou shalt not cut them down, for is the tree of the field a man that it should be besieged?


Young's Literal Translation
When thou layest siege unto a city many days, to fight against it, to capture it, thou dost not destroy its trees to force an axe against them, for of them thou dost eat, and them thou dost not cut down -- for man's is the tree of the field -- to go in at thy presence in the siege.
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Context
Laws of Warfare

1When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a people more than you, be not afraid of them: for the LORD your God is with you, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt. 2And it shall be, when you are come near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people, 3And shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you approach this day to battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be you terrified because of them; 4For the LORD your God is he that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. 5And the officers shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there that has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. 6And what man is he that has planted a vineyard, and has not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. 7And what man is there that has betrothed a wife, and has not taken her? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her. 8And the officers shall speak further to the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return to his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart. 9And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking to the people that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people. 10When you come near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it. 11And it shall be, if it make you answer of peace, and open to you, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries to you, and they shall serve you. 12And if it will make no peace with you, but will make war against you, then you shall besiege it: 13And when the LORD your God has delivered it into your hands, you shall smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: 14But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shall you take to yourself; and you shall eat the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. 15Thus shall you do to all the cities which are very far off from you, which are not of the cities of these nations. 16But of the cities of these people, which the LORD your God does give you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes: 17But you shall utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the LORD your God has commanded you: 18That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done to their gods; so should you sin against the LORD your God. 19When you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an ax against them: for you may eat of them, and you shall not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege: 20Only the trees which you know that they be not trees for meat, you shall destroy and cut them down; and you shall build bulwarks against the city that makes war with you, until it be subdued.
Cross References
Deuteronomy 20:18
That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done to their gods; so should you sin against the LORD your God.


Deuteronomy 20:20
Only the trees which you know that they be not trees for meat, you shall destroy and cut them down; and you shall build bulwarks against the city that makes war with you, until it be subdued.


Jeremiah 6:6
For thus has the LORD of hosts said, Hew you down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the middle of her.


Treasury of Scripture

When you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an ax against them: for you may eat of them, and you shall not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege:

thou shalt not

Matthew 3:10 And now also the ax is laid to the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down...

Matthew 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves...

Matthew 21:19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said to it...

Luke 13:7-9 Then said he to the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none...

John 15:2-8 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it...

for the tree, etc. or, for, O man, the tree of the field is to be employed in the siege. The original is exceedingly difficult. The LXX. has it, `Is the tree in the field a man, to enter the trench before thee?' The Latin Vulgate:`For it is a tree, and not a man, neither can it increase the number of those who war against thee;' Onkelos, `For the tree of the field is not as a man, that it should come against thee in the siege;' and to the same purpose the Arabic, Philo, and Josephus who say, `If trees could speak, they would cry out, that it is unjust that they, who were no cause of the war, should suffer the miseries of it.' However rendered, the sense is sufficiently clear: and it is a merciful provision to spare all the fruit trees for the support of both the besieged and besiegers.

Deuteronomy 26:6 And the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid on us hard bondage:

to employ, etc. [heb] to go from before thee

Strong's Concordance
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 tree of the field [is] man's [life]) to employ [them] in the siege:
Topical Bible
Armies Arms Ax Axe Besiege Besieged Canst Capture Countryside Cut Destroy Eat Employ Field Fight Fighting Force Forcing Fruit Layest Lifting Making Man's Mayest Order Presence Putting Shut Siege Swinging Thereof Town Tree Trees War Waste Wielding
Resources
Deuteronomy Chapter 20 Verse 19

Alphabetical: a against an and Are ax axe be because besiege besieged by can capture city cut destroy do down eat field fighting for from fruit in is it its lay long make man may not of order people putting shall should siege swinging that the their them time to tree trees war When you

OT Law: Deuteronomy 20:19 When you shall besiege a city (Deut. De Du)
Deuteronomy 20:18
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