Deuteronomy 20:5

Hebrew Bible

3 “Listen, Israel! Today you are moving forward to do battle with your enemies. Do not be fainthearted. Do not fear and tremble or be terrified because of them, 4 for the Lord your God goes with you to fight on your behalf against your enemies to give you victory.” 5 Moreover, the officers are to say to the troops, “Who among you has built a new house and not dedicated it? He may go home, lest he die in battle and someone else dedicate it. 6 Or who among you has planted a vineyard and not benefited from it? He may go home, lest he die in battle and someone else benefit from it. 7 Or who among you has become engaged to a woman but has not married her? He may go home, lest he die in battle and someone else marry her.”

1 Maccabees 3:56


54 Then they sounded the trumpets and gave a loud shout. 55 After this Judas appointed leaders of the people, in charge of thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens. 56 Those who were building houses, or were about to be married, or were planting a vineyard, or were fainthearted, he told to go home again, according to the law. 57 Then the army marched out and encamped to the south of Emmaus. 58 And Judas said, "Arm yourselves and be courageous. Be ready early in the morning to fight with these Gentiles who have assembled against us to destroy us and our sanctuary.

 Notes and References

"... In explaining her protection of the Israelite spies who lodge with her in Jericho, Rahab refers to the report she has heard of the Lord’s mighty deeds on behalf of the Israelites (Joshua 2:8–13). 1 Maccabees certainly does not discount God’s role in Judah’s victories; indeed, it is important for its claims that God is on Judah’s side, that he is the ultimate source of Judah’s success. Yet while it takes pains to show Judah exhorting his troops that the few can triumph over the many because all battles are in God’s hands (1 Maccabees 3:17–22; 4:8–11) and depicts him engaged in prayer and other pious practices before and during battle together with his men (1 Maccabees 3:46–56; 4:30–33, 38–41; 5:28, 33. Most of the practices reported in 1 Maccabees, such as prayer and fasting, are not enjoined by the Torah’s laws of warfare. There are two instances in which Judah’s preparation for war reflects the military legislation in the Torah: Judah sent home the categories of men excluded from participation in battle (Deuteronomy 20:5–8), an act that 1 Maccabees explicitly calls “according to the law” (1 Maccabees 3:56); Judah and his army killed all males in the city of Bozrah, located east of the Jordan (1 Maccabees 5:28, following the legislation for warfare against a distant city in Deuteronomy 20:10-20) it is of Judah’s deeds, not of God’s, that the Gentiles hear ..."

Himmelfarb, Martha "'He Was Renowned to the Ends of the Earth' (1 Maccabees 3:9): Judaism and Hellenism in 1 Maccabees" in Norich, Anita, and Yaron Z. Eliav (eds.) Jewish Literatures and Cultures: Context and Intertext (pp. 77-97) Brown Judaic Studies, 2008

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