What a strange chapter! First, Moses tells the Israelite soldiers that they don’t have to fight if they have a good reason not to. Then he says they can keep all the plunder, including the women and children, of any town they attack. But then he says, oh, but not the towns you’re getting ready to go into. In those towns you must completely obliviate everything and everyone – except the trees. Don’t cut down the trees! … unless they don’t bear fruit. Then you can cut them down and use them to make weapons.
I had to read this chapter in pieces like three times to get the gist of it. I guess it’s not as confusing as I made it out to be on the first read-through. It’s a bit oddly written, though. It’s kind of like Moses had forgotten to include a few details regarding going to war the first time around and wanted to stuff them in somewhere. I do like the civilized way God approached war, though. You’ll remember in past chapters that any male age 20 and older was pretty much deemed a soldier, unless he was a Levite. As we all know, some dudes just aren’t cut out for war. This chapter gives them a legitimate out with absolutely no shame whatsoever. I mean, there probably shouldn’t have been shame, but the macho manliness comes out in some men, doesn’t it?
Writing prompt: macho man
I’m over-the-moon thankful for our soldiers worldwide, but like I said, not every man is meant to don a military uniform. That doesn’t make men any less manly (to me). It’s just not their thang. However, I do have some very special soldiers in my life today, and they have every right to snub their noses at us civilians. We are an ungrateful lot, for sure. Write about a soldier you know or someone in the military who is special to you today.