The context is very important.
9:1 Freedom from obligation is proclaimed from God and His Messenger towards those of the Pagans with whom you had made a treaty. [The treaties that the believers had signed with the idolaters of the Arabian Peninsula, no longer remain valid, since they have repeatedly violated them. 9:4]
9:2 (O Idolaters, who have repeatedly violated the peace treaties!) Travel freely in the land for four months, and know that you cannot escape God, and that God will bring disgrace to the rejecters of the truth. [Four months of peacetime, see 9:36. The Central Authority will subdue the aggressors]
9:3 And a proclamation from God and His Messenger is herewith made to all mankind on this day of the Greatest Pilgrimage (9th day of the 12th lunar month, Zil-Hajjah). God disowns the idolaters, and so does His Messenger. So, if you repent, it will be better for you. But if you turn away from repentance, then know that you cannot escape God. (O Messenger) give tiding of an awful retribution to those who are bent upon opposing the truth,
9:4 Except those idolaters with whom you have a treaty and they have not subsequently failed you, nor have they helped others against you. You shall fulfill your treaty with them until their term. God loves those who are mindful of His laws. [9:3-5]
9:5 When the four Sacred Months are over (and if the idolaters are still aggressing, neither becoming law-abiding citizens of the State, nor emigrating), subdue them whichever tribe they may belong to. Take them captive, and besiege them, and prepare for them ambush. But if they repent from aggression, and help in the consolidation of the Divine System and in setting up the Economic Order of Zakaat, then leave their way free. Surely, God is Forgiving Merciful (so shall you be).
[The four Sacred Months forbidden for any warfare: From the 12th month, Zil-Hajjah up to the 3rd month, Rabi'ul Awwal 2:193-195, 9:36]
9:6 (O Messenger) if anyone of the idolaters seeks your protection or a safe passage, grant him protection from the State. Convey to him the Word of God, and then escort him to where he feels safe and secure. This kindness on your part is mandatory because they are people who do not know (and have not yet seen the beauty of the Divine System).
9:7 How can there be a treaty with God and His Messenger for the idolaters (when they have repeatedly violated it)? Exempted are those with whom you make a treaty at the Sacred Masjid. If they honor and uphold such a treaty, so shall you. God loves those who live upright.
9:8 How can there be a treaty seeing that if they get the upper hand against you, they would respect no ties and no pacts with you? They pleased you with their speech but their hearts opposed you. Most of them defy their pledges. [Fasiqeen = Those who drift away]
9:9 They trade away God’s revelations for petty gains and hinder people from His path. Their deeds spread inequity and confusion in the society. [This trade, frequently mentioned in the Qur’an, indicates: Fulfilling selfish desires for instant gains at the cost of disregarding Permanent Moral Values]
9:10 They respect no tie and no pact regarding a believer. They are the ones given to excesses.
9:11 If they mend their ways, (and as law-abiding citizens), help consolidate the Divine System, and the Economic Order of Zakaat, then they are your brothers in the System of Life. We explain Our messages for those who wish to learn.
[The usual translation of this verse conveys the meaning that if they start praying five times a day and give 2.5% poor-due per year, then they are your brothers in religion. This interpretation goes directly against the all-encompassing Ordinance of God that there is no compulsion or coercion in Deen Islam. 2:256]
9:12 If they keep breaking their pledges after their treaty, and assail your System, then fight the chiefs of the disbelievers. They have no respect for their binding oaths. This action will help restrain them from aggression.
9:13 Will you not fight a people who keep breaking their solemn pledges and did everything to drive out the Messenger, and did attack you first? What! Do you fear them? Nay, it is God alone Whom you should more justly fear, if you are truly believers.