1 “If you go out to battle against your enemies, and you see horsemen and chariots, and that the multitude of your adversary’s army is greater than your own, you shall not fear them. For the Lord your God, who led you away from the land of Egypt, is with you.
2 Then, as the battle now draws near, the priest shall stand before the front ranks, and he shall speak to the people in this manner:
3 ‘Listen, O Israel! Today you engage in a battle against your enemies. Do not let your heart be overwhelmed with fear. Do not be apprehensive. Do not yield. You should have no dread of them.
4 For the Lord your God is in your midst, and he will contend against your enemies on your behalf, so that he may rescue you from peril.’
5 Likewise, the officers shall proclaim, throughout every company, in the hearing of the soldiers: ‘What man is there who has built a new house, and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to his house, lest perhaps he may die in the battle, and another man may dedicate it.
6 What man is there who has planted a vineyard, and has not yet caused it to be common, so that all may eat from it? Let him go, and return to his house, lest perhaps he may die in the battle, and another man may carry out his office.
7 What man is there, who has betrothed a wife, and has not taken her? Let him go, and return to his house, lest perhaps he may die in battle, and another man may take her.’
8 After these things have been declared, they shall add the remainder, and shall say to the people: ‘What man is there who is overwhelmed by fear and is fainthearted? Let him go, and return to his house, lest he cause the hearts of his brothers to fear, just as he himself has been thoroughly stricken with fear.’
9 And when the officers of the army have become silent, and have completed their speech, each one shall prepare his unit to wage war.
10 When, at any time, you approach a city to fight against it, you shall first offer peace to it.
11 If they receive it, and open the gates to you, then all the people who are in it shall be saved, and they shall serve you by paying tribute.
12 But if they are not willing to enter into an agreement, and they begin to act against you in warfare, then you shall besiege it.
13 And when the Lord your God will have delivered it into your hands, you shall strike down anyone who is in it, of the male gender, with the edge of the sword,
14 but not the women and young children, nor the cattle and the other things that are within the city. And you shall divide all the plunder to the soldiers, and you shall eat the spoils from your enemies, which the Lord your God will give to you.
15 So shall you do to all the cities which are at a great distance from you, those which are not among the cities that you shall receive as a possession.
16 But among those cities which shall be given to you, you shall not permit anyone at all to live.
17 Instead, you shall put them to death with the edge of the sword, specifically: the Hittite and the Amorite and the Canaanite, the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, just as the Lord your God has commanded you.
18 Otherwise, they may teach you to do all the abominations which they have committed for their own gods. And then you would sin against the Lord your God.
19 When you will have besieged a city for a long time, and you will have encircled it with fortifications, so that you may fight against it, you shall not cut down trees from which one is able to eat, neither shall you cause devastation with axes to the surrounding region. For it is a tree, and not a man. It is not able to increase the number of those who are fighting against you.
20 But if there are any trees which are not fruitful, but are wild, and if these are fit for other uses, then cut them down, and make machines, until you have captured the city that is contending against you.”