1 When you go to war against your enemies and you see horses, chariots and an army more numerous than yours, then have no fear because Yahweh, your God, who brought you out of Egypt, is with you.
2 When the hour of battle draws near, the priest shall advance to the head of the army and shall speak to the people saying: 3 “Listen, Israel, today you are to enter into battle against your enemies. Do not let your heart be discouraged, or afraid or troubled, and do not tremble before them, 4 for Yahweh, your God, is with you, to fight in your favor against your enemies and save you.” 5 So the secretaries shall say to the people: “Is there anyone of you who has just built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go home; lest he die in battle and another dedicate it. 6 Is there anyone among you who has planted a new vineyard and has not yet enjoyed its fruits? Let him go home, lest he die in the war and another enjoy its fruit. 7 Is there anyone who has made a prom ise to marry and has not yet been married? Let him go back to his home at once, lest he die in combat and another take the woman as his wife.”
8 They shall also say: “Is there anyone who is afraid or weakhearted? Let him go home immediately, lest his fear discourage others.” 9 When they have finished speaking, commanders shall be put at the head of the people.
10 When you draw near to a city to lay siege to it, you shall first offer it peace. 11 If it accepts your proposal and opens the gates to you, all the people found in it shall become your slaves and serve you.
12 If they do not accept the peace that you offer them and declare war against you, you shall lay siege to the city. 13 And when Yahweh, your God, gives it into your hands, you shall kill by the sword all the men, 14 but the women and children, the livestock and all the other things which you find there shall be your booty, and you shall eat from the plunder of your enemies which Yahweh has given over to you.
15 This you shall do to all the cities which are very far from you and which are not in the country which you will possess. 16 But in the cities which Yahweh gives you as an inheritance, you shall not leave anything that lives. 17 You must destroy them all according to the law of ana thema—the Hittites, Amorites, Cana anites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as Yahweh, your God, has commanded you, 18 that they may not teach you all those evil things which they have done to honor their gods, for by imitating them you shall sin against Yahweh, your God.
19 If, on attacking a city, you have to lay siege to it for a long time before capturing it, you shall not destroy the fruit trees around it nor cut them with your axe, that you may eat their fruit. Do not cut them, then. Are the trees of the field men that they should also be stricken? 20 If there are trees in the field which are not fruit-bearing, but are for other uses, cut them down and make ladders and instruments out of them with which you may seize the city that offers you resistance.