Deuteronomy 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 tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege:”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

When thou shalt besiege a citie a long time, in making warre against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof, by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eate of them, and thou shalt not cut them downe ( for the tree of the field is mans life) to employ them in the siege.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

"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?
- New American Standard Version (1995)

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?
- American Standard Version (1901)

If in war a town is shut in by your armies for a long time, do not let its trees be cut down and made waste; for their fruit will be your food; are the trees of the countryside men for you to take up arms against them?
- Basic English Bible

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?
- Darby Bible

When thou shalt besiege a city a long time in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees of it by forcing an ax 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:
- Webster's Bible

When you shall besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them; for you may eat of them, and you shall not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of you?
- World English Bible

`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.
- Youngs Literal 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 wielding an axe against them; for thou mayest eat of them, but thou shalt not cut them down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee?
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Deuteronomy 20:19


20:19 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.


Discussion for Deuteronomy 20

  • BSP
    Verse 8: When we are around others we want to speak encouraging and up building words. This can help others to have a positive outlook and strengthen them if they are discouraged.
  • Anne
    The priests were to inform the people they should not be afraid and only those that are willing and able should be sent into battle. Peace was to be extended to their enemies and if it was not accepted they were to destroy them. God would be with them and they were not to wilfully destroy the trees but preserve those that were good for food. Obedience to God is key if we are to be overcomers.
  • April
    Although this sctipture seems blantantly clear on Lords intents,I think that we can apply some of the concepts to other parts of our lives,such as letting go and letting him drive,trusting that he wouldn't let something happen to us unless of course it is a part of our plan and we are his vessles hes using to do a job,when you say you live your life to GOD,how WHOLLY are you willing to give it?...
  • Irene123
    People like to lay 'genocide' on God in the O.T. How does that 'change who He is and how does that make you better than Him?
  • Tetelestai Ministries
    Verse 19 is powerful ...Especially the fact the tree of the field is man's life .
  • Nelson
    God knows everything

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