The great concern Torah evinces for an unsolved murder, as in the case of the ‘axed calf’ is a harsh contrast to the laws of warfare which precede it and call upon all Israelite warriors to be fearless and merciless when fighting a divinely mandated war. Yet there is no contradiction between these seemingly disparate commandments. On the contrary, it is because Torah holds up and sanctifies the life of every individual that we must be unsparing when fighting enemies who seek our destruction.