Within Canaan no captives were to be made; all that breathed were to be destroyed (Deuteronomy 20:14; Deuteronomy 20:16); but outside, if resistance were offered, the women and children were to be made captives, the men slain. Pictures and images, as temptations to idolatry, were to be destroyed (Numbers 33:52). In the ease of Amalek the very cattle Saul was commanded to destroy (1 Samuel 15:2-3). So also in the case of Arad (Numbers 21:1-3) and Jericho, where everything was put under the cherem or curse and became the Lord's (Joshua 6:19-21). Abraham devoted one tenth of the spoil of Sodom, rescued from Chedorlaomer, to Jehovah through Melchizedek the king-priest (Genesis 14:19-24).
David "made a statute and an ordinance for Israel unto this day" that the part of the army which guarded the families and baggage should share equally in the spoil with the troops actually engaged. The occasion of its enactment was upon the capture of immense spoil from Amalek, a part of it recovered property of Ziklag (1 Samuel 30:25, etc.). He also sent presents of the spoil to those of the eiders of Judah who were his friends. Indeed by the law (Numbers 31:26-47) booty was to be shared equally between the army engaged and Israel; only that of the former half only one 500th part was appropriated to the priests of God, of the latter one 50th to the Levites. The spoils dedicated by David and his chiefs to the temple were freewill offerings (2 Samuel 8:11; 1 Chronicles 26:27).