The priest's exhortation to encourage the people to battle.
Deuteronomy 20:1 When thou goest out to war against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, [and] a people more numerous than thou, thou shalt not fear them; for Jehovah thy God is with thee, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 20:2 And it shall be, when ye approach unto the battle, that the priest shall draw near and speak unto the people, Deuteronomy 20:3 and shall say unto them, Hear, Israel, ye are approaching this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be afraid of them; Deuteronomy 20:4 for Jehovah your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
The officers' proclamation who are to be dismissed from the war.
Deuteronomy 20:5 And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. Deuteronomy 20:6 And what man is there that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not eaten of it? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. Deuteronomy 20:7 And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her. Deuteronomy 20:8 And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and shall say, What man is there that is timid and faint-hearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart melt as well as his heart. Deuteronomy 20:9 And it shall be, when the officers have ended speaking unto the people, that they shall place captains of the hosts at the head of the people.
How to use the cities that accept or refuse the proclamation of peace.
Deuteronomy 20:10 When thou approachest unto a city to fight against it, thou shalt proclaim peace unto it. Deuteronomy 20:11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then all the people that are found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. Deuteronomy 20:12 And if it will not make peace with thee, but will make war with thee, then thou shalt besiege it; Deuteronomy 20:13 and when Jehovah thy God delivereth it into thy hand, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: Deuteronomy 20:14 only the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that shall be in the city, all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take as booty for thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which Jehovah thy God giveth thee Deuteronomy 20:15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities that are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.
What cities must be devoted.
Deuteronomy 20:16 But of the cities of these peoples which Jehovah thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth, Deuteronomy 20:17 but shalt utterly devote them to destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as Jehovah thy God hath commanded thee; Deuteronomy 20:18 that they teach you not to do according to all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods, so that ye sin against Jehovah your God.
Trees of man's meat must not be destroyed in the siege.
Deuteronomy 20:19 When thou shalt besiege a city many days, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by lifting up an axe against them; for thou canst eat of them; and thou shalt not cut them down, for is the tree of the field a man that it should be besieged? Deuteronomy 20:20 Only the trees which thou knowest are not trees for meat, thou mayest destroy and cut them down, and build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it fall.