103-1420 Chapter 20
Conscription of Men for War
Those who were called into the army of God for warfare embodied special exemptions. Those who had built a new house but they had not dedicated it, or those who had planted a vineyard but not had eaten of its fruit, and those who were engaged to be married and had yet consummated their marriage were exempt from military duty.
Conciliatory Efforts Toward the Enemy
The Israelites were to be conciliatory towards the enemy before making their attack. They were not only to offer peace to their enemies but to extend peace to distant cities. However the cities that we in the area that the Lord had given them were to be exterminated according to the guidelines given for holy war. These instructions may not be acceptable in later biblical revelation the emphasis of conciliation remains a worthy goal.
Consideration for the Countryside
The countryside was to be respected in the time of war. Ecological care of the land was a concern for the Lord. The tress were not to be cut down but they were allowed to eat the fruit of them. There was an exception for the trees that weren’t fruit bearing. Those tress could be cut down and used for breastworks. The populations were dependent upon the fruit bearing trees and the Israelites were forbidden to destroy them.