ImmerseBeginnings NLT - Page 314


before them. For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for
you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’
“Then the officers of the army must address the troops and say, ‘Has
anyone here just built a new house but not yet dedicated it? If so, you
may go home! You might be killed in the battle, and someone else would
dedicate your house. Has anyone here just planted a vineyard but not yet
eaten any of its fruit? If so, you may go home! You might die in battle, and
someone else would eat the first fruit. Has anyone here just become engaged to a woman but not yet married her? Well, you may go home and get
married! You might die in the battle, and someone else would marry her.’
“Then the officers will also say, ‘Is anyone here afraid or worried? If
you are, you may go home before you frighten anyone else.’ When the
officers have finished speaking to their troops, they will appoint the unit
“As you approach a town to attack it, you must first offer its people terms
for peace. If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all
the people inside will serve you in forced labor. But if they refuse to make
peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town. When the Lord your
God hands the town over to you, use your swords to kill every man in the
town. But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock,
and other plunder. You may enjoy the plunder from your enemies that the
Lord your God has given you.
“But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of
the nations in the land you will enter. In those towns that the Lord your
God is giving you as a special possession, destroy every living thing. You
must completely destroy the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites,
Hivites, and Jebusites, just as the Lord your God has commanded you.
This will prevent the people of the land from teaching you to imitate their
detestable customs in the worship of their gods, which would cause you
to sin deeply against the Lord your God.
“When you are attacking a town and the war drags on, you must not cut
down the trees with your axes. You may eat the fruit, but do not cut down
the trees. Are the trees your enemies, that you should attack them? You
may only cut down trees that you know are not valuable for food. Use
them to make the equipment you need to attack the enemy town until
it falls.
“When you are in the land the Lord your God is giving you, someone
may be found murdered in a field, and you don’t know who committed the

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