Laws of Warfare
1 When you go forth to battle against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you. 2 And when you come near to the battle, the priest shall approach and speak to the men, 3 And shall say to them, Hear, O Israel, you draw near this day to battle against your enemies. Let not your [minds and] hearts faint; fear not, and do not tremble or be terrified [and in dread] because of them. 4 For the Lord your God is He Who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to save you. 5 And the officers shall speak to the people, saying, What man is there who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. 6 And what man has planted a vineyard and has not used the fruit of it? Let him also return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man use the fruit of it. 7 And what man has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him return to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her. 8 And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, What man is fearful and fainthearted? Let him return to his house, lest [because of him] his brethren's [minds and] hearts faint as does his own. 9 And when the officers finish speaking to the people, they shall appoint commanders at the head of the people.
10 When you draw near to a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace to it. 11 And if that city makes an answer of peace to you and opens to you, then all the people found in it shall be tributary to you and they shall serve you. 12 But if it refuses to make peace with you and fights against you, then you shall besiege it. 13 And when the Lord your God has given it into your hands, you shall smite every male there with the edge of the sword. 14 But the women, the little ones, the beasts, and all that is in the city, all the spoil in it, you shall take for yourselves; and you shall use the spoil of your enemies which the Lord your God has given you. 15 So shall you treat all the cities that are very far off from you, that do not belong to the cities of these nations. 16 But in the cities of these people which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes. 17 But you shall utterly exterminate them, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded you, 18 So that they may not teach you all the abominable practices they have carried on for their gods, and so cause you to sin against the Lord your God.
19 When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by using an ax on them, for you can eat their fruit; you must not cut them down, for is the tree of the field a man, that it should be besieged by you? 20 Only the trees which you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, that you may build siege works against the city that makes war with you until it falls.