XLI. (219) These, then, are the laws which he appoints to be observed by each individual. But there are other commandments of a more general nature of which he enjoins the observance to the whole nation in common, recommending them to attend to them, not only with regard to their own friends and allies, but also to those who are unconnected with their alliance. (220) For if, says Moses, {46}{#de 20:1.} they shut themselves up within their walls and make their necks stiff, then let you young men arm themselves well, and being provided with all the preparations necessary for war, go forth and fortify their camp all around, and watch in expectancy, not indulging their anger so as to neglect reason, but taking care to apply themselves to what must be done firmly and strenuously. (221) Let them, therefore, at once send out heralds to invite the enemy to an agreement, and at the same time let them display the power and considerable character of the force which is encamped; and if the enemy, repenting of the evil designs which they had conceived, submit and turn to peace in any manner, then let the people gladly receive them and make a truce with them; for peace, even though it be very unfavourable, is more advantageous than war. (222) But if they persevere in their folly, and push it further, acting with audacity, then let our people, display vigorous confidence, relying also on the invincible alliance of justice, and so let them advance, placing their destructive engines against the walls, and when they have made a breach in some part of them let them all enter in together; and shooting with their spears with correct aim, and brandishing their swords, and slaying the enemies all around, let them repel them unshrinkingly, inflicting upon them what they were intended to suffer themselves, (223) until they have overthrown the whole army arrayed against them, every man of them, and taken their silver, and their gold, and all the booty. And let them bring fire against their city, and burn it so that it may never, after an interval of rest, again raise its head and excite wars and tumults, with the view also of terrifying and warning the neighbouring states, since it is by the calamities of others that men are taught to act with moderation. But let them suffer the maidens and the women to go free, inasmuch as they did not expect to suffer any of the evils which war brings upon men at their hands, as they are exempt from all military service through their natural weakness. (224) From all which it is plain that the nation of the Jews is allied with and friendly to all those who are of the same sentiments, and all who are peaceful in their intentions; and that it is not to be despised as one that submits to those who begin to treat it with injustice out of cowardice; but when it goes forth to defend itself, it distinguishes between those who are habitually plotting against it and those who are not; (225) for to be eager to slay all men, and even those who have committed but slight offences, or no offences at all against one, I should call the conduct of an inhuman and pitiless soul, as it would be also to treat women as if they were an addition to the men who carry on war, when their way of life is naturally peaceful and domestic. (226) But our lawgiver implants such a love of justice in all men who live under the institution which he has established, that he does not permit them to injure the fertile land of even an hostile city by ravaging it, or by cutting down the trees, so as to destroy the crops. (227) “For why,” says he, “do you bear a grudge against inanimate things, which are in their nature quiet, and which produce wholesome fruits? Does the tree, my friend, display the hostile spirit of a man that is an enemy, so that you are to tear it up by the roots in retaliation for the evils which it has inflicted, or which it has designed to inflict upon you? (228) On the contrary, it assists you, bestowing on you, when you are victorious, an abundance of necessary food, and of supplies which conduce to rendering life happy and luxurious; for it is not men alone who contribute revenues to their lords, but plants offer even more useful tribute at the fixed seasons of the year, a tribute without which men cannot live.” (229) But there is no prohibition against their cutting down those trees which are barren and unproductive, and which are not cultivated for food, for the purpose of making staves, or poles, or posts, or fences; and, when occasion requires, ladders, and engines, and wooden towers; for the chief use of these kinds of trees is for such and other similar purposes.