Deuteronomy 20:2
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.

New Living Translation
When you prepare for battle, the priest must come forward to speak to the troops.

English Standard Version
And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people

New American Standard Bible
"When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people.

King James Bible
And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When you are about to engage in battle, the priest is to come forward and address the army.

International Standard Version
As you draw near for battle, let the priest approach and speak to the army.

NET Bible
As you move forward for battle, the priest will approach and say to the soldiers,

New Heart English Bible
It shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Before the battle starts, a priest must come and speak to the troops.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And it shall be, when ye draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

New American Standard 1977
“Now it shall come about that when you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And it shall be, when ye are come near unto the battle that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people

King James 2000 Bible
And it shall be, when you are come near unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

American King James Version
And it shall be, when you are come near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

American Standard Version
And it shall be, when ye draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

Douay-Rheims Bible
And when the battle is now at hand, the priest shall stand before the army, and shall speak to the people in this manner:

Darby Bible Translation
And it shall be, when ye approach unto the battle, that the priest shall draw near and speak unto the people,

English Revised Version
And it shall be, when ye draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

Webster's Bible Translation
And it shall be when ye are come nigh to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

World English Bible
It shall be, when you draw near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

Young's Literal Translation
and it hath been, in your drawing near unto the battle, that the priest hath come nigh, and spoken unto the people,
Study Bible
Laws of Warfare
1"When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you. 2"When you are approaching the battle, the priest shall come near and speak to the people. 3"He shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them,…
Cross References
Deuteronomy 20:1
"When you go out to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, who brought you up from the land of Egypt, is with you.

Deuteronomy 20:3
"He shall say to them, 'Hear, O Israel, you are approaching the battle against your enemies today. Do not be fainthearted. Do not be afraid, or panic, or tremble before them,
Treasury of Scripture

And it shall be, when you are come near to the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

Numbers 10:8,9 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets…

Numbers 31:6 And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand of every tribe, them and …

Judges 20:27,28 And the children of Israel inquired of the LORD, (for the ark of …

1 Samuel 14:18 And Saul said to Ahiah, Bring here the ark of God. For the ark of …

1 Samuel 30:7,8 And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray you, …

2 Chronicles 13:12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests …

(2) The priest.--There is no mention of the Levite here. The priest is named as a distinct personage. The words which the priest are to pronounce are, as it were, the blessing of Jehovah on the campaign. It follows that Israel could not lawfully go to war except when the blessing of Jehovah might be invoked.

Verse 2. - The priest. Not the high priest or any one of the priests, but the military priest, the priest appointed to accompany the army, "the anointed for the war;" משׁיח המלחמה, as the rabbins designate him (cf. Numbers 21:6; 1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Chronicles 13:12). His business was to exhort the people, and to encourage them by reminding them that the Lord was their Leader, and would help them in the conflict. The formula of his exhortation is given in vers. 3, 4. When all things are preparing for it, and it seems unavoidable:

that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people; not any priest, but one appointed for this service; who is called

the anointed of war, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra observe, and concerning whom Maimonides (d) is more particular; he says,"they appoint a priest to speak to the people at the time of war, and they anoint him with the anointing oil, and he is called the anointed of war; twice the anointed of war speaks unto the people, once in a book at the time they go forth, before they set in battle array, he says to the people, "what man is there", &c. and when he has caused his words to be heard, he returns; at another time, when they are set in array, he says, "fear not", &c.''this man seems to be an emblem of Gospel ministers, who are anointed with the gifts and graces of the Spirit of God, and whose business it is to encourage the people of God to fight the Lord's battles against sin, Satan, and the world, and not to be afraid of their spiritual enemies; directing them to take to them the whole armour of God, and to endure hardness as good soldiers of Christ, to follow him the captain of their salvation, assuring them of victory through him who makes them more than conquerors, and that their warfare is or shortly will be accomplished.

(d) Hilchot Melachim, c. 7. sect. 1, 2.2-4. when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people—Jewish writers say that there was a war priest appointed by a special ceremonial to attend the army. It was natural that the solemn objects and motives of religion should have been applied to animate patriotism, and so give additional impulse to valor; other people have done this. But in the case of Israel, the regular attendance of a priest on the battlefield was in accordance with their theocratic government, in which everything was done directly by God through His delegated ministers. It was the province of this priest to sound the trumpets (Nu 10:9; 31:6), and he had others under him who repeated at the head of each battalion the exhortations which he addressed to the warriors in general. The speech (De 20:3, 4) is marked by a brevity and expressiveness admirably suited to the occasion, namely, when the men were drawn up in line.20:1-9 In the wars wherein Israel engaged according to the will of God, they might expect the Divine assistance. The Lord was to be their only confidence. In these respects they were types of the Christian's warfare. Those unwilling to fight, must be sent away. The unwillingness might arise from a man's outward condition. God would not be served by men forced against their will. Thy people shall be willing, Ps 110:3. In running the Christian race, and fighting the good fight of faith, we must lay aside all that would make us unwilling. If a man's unwillingness rose from weakness and fear, he had leave to return from the war. The reason here given is, lest his brethren's heart fail as well as his heart. We must take heed that we fear not with the fear of them that are afraid, Isa 8:12.
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