1 “If you go out to war against your enemies and you see a horse and a chariot, an army#Literally “a people” larger that you, you shall not be afraid because of them; for Yahweh your God is with you, the one who brought you from the land of Egypt. 2And then#Literally “And it will happen” when you approach the battle, then the priest shall come near and speak to the troops. 3And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, Israel, you are near today#Literally “the day” to the battle against your enemies; do not lose heart;#Literally “do not be faint/tender-hearted” you shall not be afraid, and you shall not panic, and you shall not be terrified because of them,#Literally “from their faces” 4for Yahweh your God is going with you to fight for you against your enemies to help you.’ 5And the officials shall speak to the troops, saying,#Literally “to say” ‘Who is the man who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go and return to this house, so that he does not die in battle and another man#Literally “a man other” dedicates it. 6And who is the man that has planted a vineyard and has not enjoyed it? Let him go and let him return to his house, so that he does not die in battle and another man#Literally “a man other” enjoys it. 7And who is the man who got engaged to a woman and has not married her? Let him go and let him return to his house, so that he does not die in battle and another man#Literally “a man other” marries her.’ 8And the officials shall continue to speak to the troops, and they shall say, ‘What man#Literally “Who is the man” is afraid and disheartened?#Literally “and soft/weak of the heart” Let him go, and let him return to his house, and let him not cause the heart of his brothers to melt#The verb has a causal meaning here like his.’ 9And when the officials have finished speaking#Literally “it will happen as to finish the officials to speak” to the army troops, then they shall appoint commanders of divisions at the head of the troops.
10“When you approach a city to fight against it, you must offer it peace.#Literally “you should call it for peace” 11And then#Literally “And it will happen” if they accept your terms of peace#Literally “if peace they reply to you” and they surrender to you,#Literally “they open to you” and then#Literally “and it will happen” all the people inhabiting it#Literally “being found in it” shall be forced labor for you, and they shall serve you. 12But if they do not accept your terms of peace#Literally “not they make peace with you” and they want to make war with you, then you shall lay siege against it.#That is, the city 13And Yahweh your God will give it into your hand, and you shall kill all its males with the edge#Literally “mouth” of the sword. 14Only the women and the little children and the domestic animals#Hebrew “animal” and all that shall be in the city, all of its spoil you may loot for yourselves, and you may enjoy the spoil of your enemies that Yahweh you God has given to you. 15Thus you shall do to all the far#Or “distant” cities from you, which are not from the cities of these nations located nearby.#Literally “here”
16But from the cities of these peoples that Yahweh your God is giving to you as an inheritance, you shall not let anything live that breathes.#Or “is alive” 17Rather, you shall utterly destroy them, the Hittites#Hebrew “Hittite” and the Amorites,#Hebrew “Amorite” the Canaanites#Hebrew “Canaanite” and the Perizzites,#Hebrew “Perizzite” the Hivites,#Hebrew “Hivite” and the Jebusites,#Hebrew “Jebusite” just as Yahweh your God has commanded you, 18so that they may not teach you to do like all their detestable things that they do for their gods and thereby you sin against Yahweh your God.
19“If#Or “when” you besiege a town for many days to make war against it in order to seize it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them,#Hebrew “it” for you may eat from them,#Hebrew “it” and so you must not cut them#Hebrew “it” down. Are the trees of the field humans that they should come in siege against you?#Literally “from your face” 20Only#Or “But” the trees#Hebrew “tree” that you know are not fruit trees#Literally “not a tree of food” you may destroy and you may cut down, and you may build siege works against that city that is making war with you until it falls.”#Literally “it to fall”