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Then follow Inftructions relating to their Conduct before they began any Attack, and to the Treatment of thofe of their Enemies that should be conquer'd by them. When thou comeft nigh unto a city Deut. to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be that all the people that is found therein, fhall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall ferve thee. And, if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt befiege it. And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt fmite every male thereof with the edge of the fword. But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and 3 all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof shalt thou take unto thy felf; and thou fhalt eat the spoil of thine enemies which the LORD thy God hath given thee.
This was to be the Rule for their Conduct in regard to those who did not inhabit the Land of Canaan, and might fome time or other fhew themselves to be their
Enemies. Thus fhalt thou do unto all the Deut.
cities which are very far off from thee, xx. 15.
which are not of the cities of these nations. To them, a different Conduct was to be shewn: For, as by their insufferable Immoralities and deteftable Vices of all Kinds, they were no longer to be tolerated upon the Face of the Earth, God was pleas'd to give their Land, according to his Promife, to these his Servants, and consequently his chosen People; who were therefore (as far as they were able) utterly to extirpate and deftroy them and all that Deut. belong'd to them. But of the cities of thefe xx. 16. people which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt fave alive nothing that breatheth. But thou shalt utterly deftroy them: namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebufites; as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. That they teach you not to do after their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; fo fhould ye fin against the LORD your God.
In other Cafes, where they were accidentally induc'd to make War, upon Account of fome national Mifunderstanding, or Injury done, they were not to be outrageously
rageously cruel, or wantonly to commit Waste and Depredations. For Example, though it might be convenient, and was therefore allowable for them, to cut down Timber Trees of all Sorts to make their Works and Fortifications with, when they laid Siege to any Place, yet they were always to spare the Fruit Trees of all Kinds; as what would be neceffary to fupport the Lives of the Inhabitants, in future Times; when the little Rancour which was the Occafion of their present Hoftilities fhould be remov❜d and done away. When thou shalt Deut. befiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees, (Fruit Trees) thereof, by forcing an ax against them: For thou mayst eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the fiege. Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shall destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.
In another Place, there are Inftructions relating to the Ufe and Management of
Trumpets in Time of War, as well as upon
Those whom they took, Captives in the War, they were allow'd to fell, if they thought fit; as appears from the followDeut. ing Exception. When thou goeft forth to war against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God hath delivered them into thine hands, and thou hast taken them captive, and seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and haft a defire unto her, that thou wouldst have her to thy wife:. Then thou shalt bring ber home to thine houfe, and she shall have her head, and pare her nails. And he shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and fhall remain in thine house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month: And after that thou shalt go in unto her, and be her husband, and he shall be thy wife. And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither he will; But thou shalt not fell her
at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandife of her, because thou hast humbled ber. How amiable do the Manners of thofe appear, in every Light, in every Circumftance of Life, who are the People of God, and continually adjust their Behaviour according to his Laws! They are, not barely juft, but humane, tender, and ifufceptible of the fofteft Paffions, even in the Hurry of the Battle, and amidst the Spoils of War.
The CAPTAIN of the HOST. The Person who in Scripture is call'd Captain of the Hoft, is of the fame Nature with him whom in the modern Phrase, we ftyle Generaliffimo; one who had the entire Command of the whole Army. Such were Joshua and the Judges, under the primitive Conftitution of their Government, as it was settled by God himself; and fuch, under Saul their first King, was Abner. We read that Abner (the son of Ner) cap- 2 Sam. tain of Saul's Hoft, took Ishbofheth the son of Saul (after his Father's Death) and brought him over to Mahanaim; and made him king over Gilead, and over the Afhurites,