Deuteronomy 20:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.

King James Bible
But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

Darby Bible Translation
But of the cities of these peoples which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth,

World English Bible
But of the cities of these peoples, that Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes;

Young's Literal Translation
Only, of the cities of these peoples which Jehovah thy God is giving to thee for an inheritance, thou dost not keep alive any breathing;

Deuteronomy 20:16 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Proclaim peace unto it - Interpreters are greatly divided concerning the objects of this law. The text, taken in connection with the context, (see Deuteronomy 20:15-18), appears to state that this proclamation or offer of peace to a city is only to be understood of those cities which were situated beyond the limits of the seven anathematized nations, because these latter are commanded to be totally destroyed. Nothing can be clearer than this from the bare letter of the text, unless some of the words, taken separately, can be shown to have a different meaning. For the common interpretation, the following reasons are given.

God, who knows all things, saw that they were incurable in their idolatry; that the cup of their iniquity was full; and as their Creator, Sovereign, and Judge, he determined to destroy them from off the face of the earth, "lest they should teach the Israelites to do after all their abominations," Deuteronomy 20:18. After all, many plausible arguments have been brought to prove that even these seven Canaanitish nations might be received into mercy, provided they,

1. Renounced their idolatry;

2. Became subject to the Jews; and,

3. Paid annual tribute: and that it was only in case these terms were rejected, that they were not to leave alive in such a city any thing that breathed, Deuteronomy 20:16.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Deuteronomy 7:1-4,16 When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, and has cast out many nations before you, the Hittites...

Numbers 21:2,3,35 And Israel vowed a vow to the LORD, and said, If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand...

Numbers 33:52 Then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures...

Joshua 6:17-21 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live...

Joshua 9:24,27 And they answered Joshua, and said, Because it was certainly told your servants...

Joshua 10:28,40 And that day Joshua took Makkedah, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and the king thereof he utterly destroyed, them...

Joshua 11:11 And they smote all the souls that were therein with the edge of the sword, utterly destroying them: there was not any left to breathe...

Joshua 11:12,14 And all the cities of those kings, and all the kings of them, did Joshua take, and smote them with the edge of the sword...

Library
'Fit, Though Few'
'Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 2. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against Me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. 3. Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Deuteronomy
Owing to the comparatively loose nature of the connection between consecutive passages in the legislative section, it is difficult to present an adequate summary of the book of Deuteronomy. In the first section, i.-iv. 40, Moses, after reviewing the recent history of the people, and showing how it reveals Jehovah's love for Israel, earnestly urges upon them the duty of keeping His laws, reminding them of His spirituality and absoluteness. Then follows the appointment, iv. 41-43--here irrelevant (cf.
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Exodus 23:31
"I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you.

Numbers 21:2
Then Israel made this vow to the LORD: "If you will deliver these people into our hands, we will totally destroy their cities."

Numbers 21:3
The LORD listened to Israel's plea and gave the Canaanites over to them. They completely destroyed them and their towns; so the place was named Hormah.

Numbers 31:17
Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,

Deuteronomy 7:1
When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations--the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you--

Deuteronomy 20:15
This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

Deuteronomy 20:17
Completely destroy them--the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites--as the LORD your God has commanded you.

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