Army

Exodus 12:41; Joshua 5:14; Numbers 1:3; Numbers 31:14; Joshua 7:17; Numbers 10:9; 1 Corinthians 14:8; 1 Samuel 13:2; 1 Samuel 17:55; 2 Samuel 23:8-39; 1 Chronicles 27:1-15; 1 Kings 9:22; Deuteronomy 17:16; 2 Samuel 8:4; 1 Kings 10:28-29; 1 Kings 10:26; 2 Chronicles 1:14; 1 Chronicles 21:5; 2 Chronicles 17:14-19; Acts 10:1,22; Acts 21:31-37; Mark 6:21; John 18:12; Revelation 19:18; Acts 10:1; 21:31; Acts 12:4
It must be remembered that Israel were the hosts of Jehovah, keeping His charge and fighting His battles (Ex. 12:4141And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:41); Josh. 5:1414And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? (Joshua 5:14)). It appears that all who reached the age of twenty years were contemplated as able to bear arms (Num. 1:33From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: thou and Aaron shall number them by their armies. (Numbers 1:3)); and they marched and encamped in 4 divisions of 3 tribes each, with a captain over every tribe. The subdivisions were into thousands and hundreds (Num. 31:1414And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, with the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. (Numbers 31:14)), and into families (Josh. 7:1717And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: (Joshua 7:17)). There were also trumpet calls (Num. 10:99And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the Lord your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. (Numbers 10:9), compare 1 Cor. 14:88For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle? (1 Corinthians 14:8)), and all the appearance of careful organization. Until the time of the kings this natural or tribal organization seems to have been usual, but in the time of Saul there was a body guard (1 Sam. 13:22Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in mount Beth-el, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. (1 Samuel 13:2)), and a captain of the host (1 Sam. 17:5555And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. (1 Samuel 17:55)). In David’s days those heroes who were with him in the cave of Adullam formed the nucleus of his “mighty men” (2 Sam. 23:8-398These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. 9And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: 10He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the Lord wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. 11And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. 12But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory. 13And three of the thirty chief went down, and came to David in the harvest time unto the cave of Adullam: and the troop of the Philistines pitched in the valley of Rephaim. 14And David was then in an hold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, which is by the gate! 16And the three mighty men brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: nevertheless he would not drink thereof, but poured it out unto the Lord. 17And he said, Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men. 18And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three. 19Was he not most honorable of three? therefore he was their captain: howbeit he attained not unto the first three. 20And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man, of Kabzeel, who had done many acts, he slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow: 21And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. 22These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men. 23He was more honorable than the thirty, but he attained not to the first three. And David set him over his guard. 24Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty; Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27Abiezer the Anethothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29Heleb the son of Baanah, a Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai out of Gibeah of the children of Benjamin, 30Benaiah the Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash, 31Abi-albon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32Eliahba the Shaalbonite, of the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite, 34Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maachathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35Hezrai the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armorbearer to Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38Ira an Ithrite, Gareb an Ithrite, 39Uriah the Hittite: thirty and seven in all. (2 Samuel 23:8‑39)). They were devoted to the service of God’s king. David afterward organized a monthly militia of 24,000 men under 12 captains (1 Chron. 27:1-151Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand. 2Over the first course for the first month was Jashobeam the son of Zabdiel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 3Of the children of Perez was the chief of all the captains of the host for the first month. 4And over the course of the second month was Dodai an Ahohite, and of his course was Mikloth also the ruler: in his course likewise were twenty and four thousand. 5The third captain of the host for the third month was Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, a chief priest: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 6This is that Benaiah, who was mighty among the thirty, and above the thirty: and in his course was Ammizabad his son. 7The fourth captain for the fourth month was Asahel the brother of Joab, and Zebadiah his son after him: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 8The fifth captain for the fifth month was Shamhuth the Izrahite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 9The sixth captain for the sixth month was Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 10The seventh captain for the seventh month was Helez the Pelonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 11The eighth captain for the eighth month was Sibbecai the Hushathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 12The ninth captain for the ninth month was Abiezer the Anetothite, of the Benjamites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 13The tenth captain for the tenth month was Maharai the Netophathite, of the Zarhites: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 14The eleventh captain for the eleventh month was Benaiah the Pirathonite, of the children of Ephraim: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. 15The twelfth captain for the twelfth month was Heldai the Netophathite, of Othniel: and in his course were twenty and four thousand. (1 Chronicles 27:1‑15)).
The general gradation of ranks was into privates; “men of war”; officers; Solomon’s “servants”; captains or “princes”; and others variously described as head captains, or knights or staff officers; with rulers of his chariots and his horsemen (1 Kings 9:2222But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no bondmen: but they were men of war, and his servants, and his princes, and his captains, and rulers of his chariots, and his horsemen. (1 Kings 9:22)). It may be noticed that horses having been forbidden (Deut. 17:1616But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. (Deuteronomy 17:16)), it was not until Solomon’s time that this was organized, though David had reserved horses for a hundred chariots from the spoil of the Syrians (2 Sam. 8:44And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen: and David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots. (2 Samuel 8:4)). Solomon, trading with Egypt (1 Kings 10:28-2928And Solomon had horses brought out of Egypt, and linen yarn: the king's merchants received the linen yarn at a price. 29And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means. (1 Kings 10:28‑29)), enlarged their number until the force amounted to 1,400 chariots, and 12,000 horsemen (1 Kings 10:2626And Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, whom he bestowed in the cities for chariots, and with the king at Jerusalem. (1 Kings 10:26); 2 Chron. 1:1414And Solomon gathered chariots and horsemen: and he had a thousand and four hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, which he placed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem. (2 Chronicles 1:14)). Every able man being a soldier gave David the immense army of 1,570,000 men that “drew sword” (1 Chron. 21:55And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. (1 Chronicles 21:5)). After the division, Judah under Abijah had an army of 400,000 “valiant men,” and Israel at the same time of 800,000 “chosen men.” Afterward Asa had 580,000 “mighty men of valor”; and Jehoshaphat, who had waxed great exceedingly, had as many as 1,160,000 men, besides those left in the fenced cities (2 Chron. 17:14-1914And these are the numbers of them according to the house of their fathers: Of Judah, the captains of thousands; Adnah the chief, and with him mighty men of valor three hundred thousand. 15And next to him was Jehohanan the captain, and with him two hundred and fourscore thousand. 16And next him was Amasiah the son of Zichri, who willingly offered himself unto the Lord; and with him two hundred thousand mighty men of valor. 17And of Benjamin; Eliada a mighty man of valor, and with him armed men with bow and shield two hundred thousand. 18And next him was Jehozabad, and with him an hundred and fourscore thousand ready prepared for the war. 19These waited on the king, beside those whom the king put in the fenced cities throughout all Judah. (2 Chronicles 17:14‑19)).
In the New Testament a few references are made to the Roman army. A “Legion” was a body that contained within itself all the gradations of the army. It might be called under the empire, in round numbers, a force of not more than 6,000 men. Every legion at times contained 10 cohorts of 600 each; every cohort 3 maniples of 200; and every maniple 2 centuries of 100: hence the name of centurion or commander of 100 men, as found in Acts 10:1,221There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, (Acts 10:1)
22And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee. (Acts 10:22)
. Each legion was presided over by 6 chiefs, χιλίαρχος, each commanding 1,000 men, mostly translated “chief captain,” as in Acts 21:31-3731And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32Who immediately took soldiers and centurions, and ran down unto them: and when they saw the chief captain and the soldiers, they left beating of Paul. 33Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains; and demanded who he was, and what he had done. 34And some cried one thing, some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. 35And when he came upon the stairs, so it was, that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people. 36For the multitude of the people followed after, crying, Away with him. 37And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? (Acts 21:31‑37); it is “high captain” in Mark 6:2121And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; (Mark 6:21); and “captain” in John 18:1212Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him, (John 18:12) and Revelation 19:1818That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. (Revelation 19:18). A cohort, σπεῖρα, is translated “band” in Acts 10:1; 21:311There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, (Acts 10:1)
31And as they went about to kill him, tidings came unto the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. (Acts 21:31)
. A “quaternion” embraced 4 soldiers (Acts 12:44And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. (Acts 12:4)).
The head quarters of the Roman troops was at Cæsarea, with a cohort at Jerusalem; but at the time of the feast, when, alas, the mutinous disposition of the Jews was sure to appear, additional troops were present in the city but without their standards of the eagle, which were especially obnoxious to the Jews. Though the Romans were God’s rod to punish them, their stiff necks could not bow, nor receive the punishment as from Jehovah.