New English Translation
15 This is how you are to deal with all those cities located far from you, those that do not belong to these nearby nations.
Laws Concerning War with Canaanite Nations
16 As for the cities of these peoples that[a] the Lord your God is going to give you as an inheritance, you must not allow a single living thing[b] to survive. 17 Instead you must utterly annihilate them[c]—the Hittites,[d] Amorites,[e] Canaanites,[f] Perizzites,[g] Hivites,[h] and Jebusites[i]—just as the Lord your God has commanded you,Read full chapter
- Deuteronomy 20:16 tn The antecedent of the relative pronoun is “cities.”
- Deuteronomy 20:16 tn Heb “any breath.”
- Deuteronomy 20:17 tn The Hebrew text uses the infinitive absolute for emphasis, which the translation seeks to reflect with “utterly.” Cf. CEV “completely wipe out.”sn The Hebrew verb refers to placing persons or things so evil and/or impure as to be irredeemable under God’s judgment, usually to the extent of their complete destruction. See also the note on the phrase “the divine judgment” in Deut 2:34.
- Deuteronomy 20:17 sn Hittite. The center of Hittite power was in Anatolia (central modern Turkey). In the Late Bronze Age (1550-1200 b.c.) they were at their zenith, establishing outposts and colonies near and far. Some elements were obviously in Canaan at the time of the Conquest (1400-1350 b.c.).
- Deuteronomy 20:17 sn Amorite. Originally from the upper Euphrates region (Amurru), the Amorites appear to have migrated into Canaan beginning in 2200 b.c. or thereabouts.
- Deuteronomy 20:17 sn Canaanite. These were the indigenous peoples of the land of Palestine, going back to the beginning of recorded history (ca. 3000 b.c.). The OT identifies them as descendants of Ham (Gen 10:6), the only Hamites to have settled north and east of Egypt.
- Deuteronomy 20:17 sn Perizzite. This probably refers to a subgroup of Canaanites (Gen 13:7; 34:30).
- Deuteronomy 20:17 sn Hivite. These are usually thought to be the same as the Hurrians, a people well-known in ancient Near Eastern texts. They are likely identical to the Horites (see note on “Horites” in Deut 2:12).
- Deuteronomy 20:17 tc The LXX adds “Girgashites” here at the end of the list in order to list the full (and usual) complement of seven (see note on “seven” in Deut 7:1).sn Jebusite. These people inhabited the hill country, particularly in and about Jerusalem (cf. Num 13:29; Josh 15:8; 2 Sam 5:6; 24:16).