Laws of Warfare
1 “When° you go° out to battle° against° your enemies° and see° ahorses° and chariots° [and] people° more° numerous° than° you, bdo 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°°. aDo not be afraid°, or panic°, or tremble° before°° them, 4 for the LORD° your God° ais the one who goes° with you, to fight° for you against° your enemies°, to save° you.’ 5 The officers° also shall speak° to the people°, saying°, ‘Who° is the man° that has built° a new° house° and has not adedicated° it? Let him depart° and return° to his house°, otherwise° he might die° in the battle° and another° man° would dedicate° it. 6 Who° is the man° that has planted° a vineyard° and has not Ibegun° to use° its fruit°? Let him depart° and return° to his house°, otherwise° he might die° in the battle° and another° man° Iwould begin° to use° its fruit°. 7 aAnd who° is the man° that is engaged° to a woman° and has not Imarried° her? Let him depart° and return° to his house°, otherwise° he might die° in the battle° and another° man° IIwould marry° her.’ 8 Then the officers° shall speak° further° to the people° and say°, ‘aWho° is the man° that is afraid° and fainthearted°°? Let him depart° and return° to his house°, so that Ihe might not make his brothers’° hearts° melt° like his heart°.’ 9 When the officers° have finished° speaking° to the people°, they shall appoint° commanders° of armies° at the head° of the people°.
 aDt 3:22; 7:18; 31:6, 8; Ps 20:7; Is 31:1 b2Ch 32:7, 8; Ps 23:4; Is 41:10
 aDt 20:1; Jsh 23:10
 aDt 1:30; 3:22; Jsh 23:10
 aNe 12:27
 ILit treat(ed) it as common
 ILit taken IILit take aDt 24:5
 ISo with Gr and other ancient versions aJg 7:3
10 ¶ “When° you approach° a city° to fight° against° it, you shall Ioffer° it terms° of peace°. 11 If° it Iagrees° to make° peace° with you and opens° to you, then all° the people° who are found° in it shall become° your aforced° labor° and shall serve° you. 12 However, if° it does not make° peace° with you, but makes° war° against° you, then you shall besiege° it. 13 When the LORD° your God° gives° it into your hand°, ayou shall strike° all° the Imen° in it with the edge° of the sword°. 14 Only° the women° and the children° and athe animals° and all° that is in the city°, all° its spoil°, you shall take° as booty° for yourself; and you shall Iuse° the spoil° of your enemies° which° the LORD° your God° has given° you. 15 Thus° you shall do° to all° the cities° that are very° far° from you, which° are not of the cities° of these° nations° Inearby°. 16 aOnly° in the cities° of these° peoples° that the LORD° your God° is giving° you as an inheritance°, you shall not leave° alive° anything° that breathes°. 17 But you shall Iutterly° destroy° them, the Hittite° and the Amorite°, the Canaanite° and the Perizzite°, the Hivite° and the Jebusite°, as the LORD° your God° has commanded° you, 18 so° that they may not teach° you to do° aaccording to all° their detestable° things° which° they have done° for their gods°, so that you would bsin° against the LORD° your God°.
 ILit call to it for peace
 ILit answers peace a1K 9:21
 ILit males aNu 31:7
 ILit eat aJsh 8:2
 ILit here
 aEx 23:31-33; Nu 21:2, 3; Dt 7:1-5; Jsh 11:14
 IOr put them under the ban
 aEx 34:12-16; Dt 7:4; 9:5; 12:30, 31 bEx 23:33; 2K 21:3-15; Ps 106:34-41
19 ¶ “When° you besiege° a city° a long° time°, to make° war° against° it in order to capture° it, you shall not destroy° its trees° by swinging° an axe° against° them; for you may eat° from them, and you shall not cut° them down°. IFor is the tree° of the field° a man°, that it should IIbe besieged° by you? 20 Only° the trees° which° you know° Iare not fruit° trees° you shall destroy° and cut° down°, that you may construct° siegeworks° against° the city° that is making° war° with you until° it falls°.
 IRead as interrogative with ancient versions IILit come before you in the siege
 ILit they are not trees for food
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The priest's exhortation to encourage the people to battle.
1 ¶ When² thou goest outºª to battleº against² thine enemies,ºª and seestºª horses,º and chariots,º [and] a peopleº moreº than² thou, be not afraidºª² of² them: for² the LORDº thy Godº [is] with² thee, which brought thee upºª out of the landº² of Egypt.º 2 And it shall be,² when ye are come nighºª unto² the battle,º that the priestº shall approachºª and speakºª unto² the people,º 3 And shall sayºª unto² them, Hear,ºª O Israel,º ye² approachº this dayº unto battleº against² your enemies:ºª let not² your heartsº faint,ºª fearºª not,² and do not² tremble,ºª neither² be ye terrifiedºª because¹ of²² them; 4 For² the LORDº your Godº [is] he that goethºª with² you, to fightºª for you against² your enemies,ºª to saveºª you.
 Gn 26:3; Nu 23:21; Dt 2:7; 3:21; 7:1; 31:6, 8; Jsh 1:5, 9; 10:5; 11:4, 9; Jg 4:3; 6:12; 2Ch 14:11; 20:12; 32:7; Ps 20:7; 33:16; 46:7, 11; 118:6; Is 7:14; 8:9; 31:1; 37:24; 43:2; Ro 8:31.
 Nu 10:8; 31:6; Jg 20:27; 1S 14:18; 30:7; 2Ch 13:12.
 Ps 3:6; 27:1; Is 8:12; 28:16; 35:3; 41:10; 57:7; Mt 8:26; 10:16, 28, 31; Mk 16:6, 18; Ac 18:9; 27:24; Ep 6:11; 1Th 5:15; 1Ti 6:12; He 12:12; 13:6; Rv 2:10.
 Ex 14:14; Dt 1:30; 3:22; 11:25; 32:30; Jsh 10:42; 23:10; 2Ch 13:12; 32:7; Ps 144:1; Ro 8:37.
The officers' proclamation who are to be dismissed from the war.
5 ¶ And the officersºª shall speakºª unto² the people,º saying,ºª What² manº [is there] that² hath builtºª a newº house,º and hath not² dedicatedºª it? let him go¹ª² and returnºª to his house,º lest² he dieºª in the battle,º and anotherº manº dedicateºª it. 6 And what² manº [is he] that² hath plantedºª a vineyard,º and hath not² [yet] eatenºª of it? let him [also] go¹ª² and returnºª unto his house,º lest² he dieºª in the battle,º and anotherº manº eatºª of it. 7 And what² manº [is there] that² hath betrothedºª a wife,º and hath not² takenºª her? let him go¹ª² and returnºª unto his house,º lest² he dieºª in the battle,º and anotherº manº takeºª her. 8 And the officersºª shall speakºª furtherºª unto² the people,º and they shall say,ºª What² manº [is there that is] fearfulº and fainthearted?ºº let him go¹ª² and returnºª unto his house,º lest²² his brethren'sº heartº faintºª as well as his heart.º 9 And it shall be,² when the officersºª have made an endºª of speakingºª unto² the people,º that they shall makeºª captainsº of the armiesº to leadº the people.º
 Nu 31:14, 48; Dt 1:15; 16:18; 1S 17:18; Ne 12:27; Ps 30:1.
 Lv 19:23; Dt 28:1; Is 65:22; Jr 31:5; Zp 1:13.
 Dt 22:23; 24:5; 28:30; Mt 1:18; Lk 14:18; 2Ti 2:4.
 Ex 15:15; Nu 13:31; 14:1; 32:9; Dt 1:28; 23:9; Jg 7:3; Lk 9:62; Ac 15:37; 1Co 15:33; Rv 3:16; 21:8.
 Dt 20:9.
How to use the cities that accept or refuse the proclamation of peace.
10 ¶ When² thou comest nighºª unto² a cityº to fightºª against² it, then proclaimºª peaceº unto² it. 11 And it shall be,² if² it make thee answerºª of peace,º and openºª unto thee, then it shall be,² [that] all² the peopleº [that is] foundºª therein shall be² tributariesº unto thee, and they shall serveºª thee. 12 And if² it will make no peaceºª² with² thee, but will makeºª warº against² thee, then thou shalt besiegeºª² it: 13 And when the LORDº thy Godº hath deliveredºª it into thine hands,º thou shalt smiteºª² every² maleº thereof with the edgeº of the sword:º 14 But² the women,º and the little ones,º and the cattle,º and all² that² is² in the city,º [even] all² the spoilº thereof, shalt thou takeºª unto thyself; and thou shalt eatºª² the spoilº of thine enemies,ºª which² the LORDº thy Godº hath givenºª thee. 15 Thus² shalt thou doºª unto all² the citiesº [which are] veryº far offº from² thee, which¹² [are] not² of the citiesº² of these² nations.º
 2S 20:18; Is 57:19; Zc 9:10; Lk 10:5; Ac 10:36; 2Co 5:18; 6:1; Ep 2:17.
 Lv 25:42; Jsh 9:22, 27; 11:19; 16:10; Jg 1:28, 30; 1K 9:21; Ps 120:7; Lk 19:14.
 Nu 31:7, 17; 1K 11:15; Ps 2:6; 21:8; 110:1; Lk 19:27; 2Th 1:7.
 Nu 31:9, 12, 18, 35; Jsh 8:2; 11:14; 22:8; 2Ch 14:13; 20:25; Ps 68:12; Ro 8:37.
What cities must be devoted.
16 But² of the citiesº² of these² people,º which² the LORDº thy Godº doth giveºª thee [for] an inheritance,º thou shalt save aliveºª nothing²² that breatheth:º 17 But² thou shalt utterly¹ª destroyºª them; [namely], the Hittites,º and the Amorites,º the Canaanites,º and the Perizzites,º the Hivites,º and the Jebusites;º as² the LORDº thy Godº hath commandedºª thee: 18 That²² they teachºª you not² to doºª after all² their abominations,º which² they have doneºª unto their gods;º so should ye sinºª against the LORDº your God.º
 Nu 21:2, 35; 33:52; Dt 7:1, 16; Jsh 6:17; 9:24, 27; 10:28, 40; 11:11, 14.
 Dt 7:1; Is 34:5; Jr 48:10; 50:35; Ezk 38:21; Rv 19:18.
 Ex 23:33; Dt 7:4; 12:30; 18:19; Jsh 23:13; Jg 2:3; Ps 106:34; 1Co 15:33; 2Co 6:17; Ep 5:11; 2Th 3:14; 1Ti 6:5; 2Ti 2:17; Rv 18:3.
Trees of man's meat must not be destroyed in the siege.
19 ¶ When² thou shalt besiegeºª² a cityº a longº time,º in making warºª against² it to takeºª it, thou shalt not² destroyºª² the treesº thereof by forcingºª an axeº against² them: for² thou mayest eatºª of² them, and thou shalt not² cut them downºª² (for² the treeº of the fieldº [is] man'sº [life]) to employºª²² [them] in the siege:º¹ 20 Only² the treesº which² thou knowestºª that² they² [be] not² treesº for meat,º thou shalt destroyºª and cut them down;ºª and thou shalt buildºª bulwarksº against² the cityº that²² makethºª warº with² thee, until² it be subdued.ºª
 Dt 26:6; Mt 3:10; 7:15; 21:19; Lk 13:7; Jn 15:2.
 Dt 1:28; 2Ch 26:15; Ec 9:14; Is 37:33; Jr 6:6; 33:4; Ezk 17:17.
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