When you mount an attack on a town and the siege goes on a long time, don’t start cutting down the trees, swinging your axes against them. Those trees are your future food; don’t cut them down. Are trees soldiers who come against you with weapons? The exception can be those trees which don’t produce food; you can chop them down and use the timbers to build siege engines against the town that is resisting you until it falls.
Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for food, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build siege works against the town that maketh milchamah with thee, until it be subdued.
And if any of them be not apple trees, but be wild, and able into other uses, cut them down, and make of them engines, till thou take the city that fighteth against thee. (But if any of them be not apple trees, or other kinds of fruit trees, but be wild, and good for other uses, then cut them down, and make engines, or bulwarks, out of them, until thou take the city that fighteth against thee.)
Only, the tree, which thou knowest that it [is] not a fruit-tree, it thou dost destroy, and hast cut down, and hast built a bulwark against the city which is making with thee war till thou hast subdued it.
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