“But HASHEM your God is marching with you” (Dt.20:4).
The One who was with you in the wasteland
is the very One who will be with you
in times of trouble.
And so He says:
“HASHEM will do battle on your behalf, so you must be silent” (Ex.14:14).
“To do battle with your enemies on your behalf, to deliver you” (Dt.20:4)—
[from human enemies, but also]
from poisonous snakes,
scorpions, and evil spirits.
“And the officers shall speak” (Dt.20:5)—
till this point, the speaker is the Priest Anointed for War.
From this point and on,
“And the officers shall continue speaking” (Dt.20:8) .
“Who is the man. . .who has betrothed a woman” (Dt.20:7)?
Even if he betrothed a widow;
even if she is awaiting the levir’s decision
[to either marry or release her];
even if the levir heard
that his [childless] brother
was killed in battle
[thus releasing her to marry anyone]—
all these may return from war.2
“He shall go and return to his home” (Dt.20:7)—
all heed the words of the Warrior Priest
and return home,
where they supply their brothers
with water and food,
and help pave the roads. 3
“And the officers shall continue speaking” (Dt.20:8).
Is it possible to say that
the officers used other words?
When He states:
“And the officers shall continue speaking to the people” (Dt.20:8),
this teaches that these are their very words.
So, what does the Teaching add by
“And the officers shall speak” (Dt.20:5)?
When the officer begins his charge,
then the Priest explains the exemptions to them.