War

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 11
(embroil). Primitive Hebrew weapons were clubs, arrows, slings, swords, and spears. No army divisions except those indicated by the tribes. The contests of this period often hand-to-hand and brutal (2 Sam. 1:23; 2:1823Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. (2 Samuel 1:23)
18And there were three sons of Zeruiah there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel: and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe. (2 Samuel 2:18)
; 1 Chron. 12:88And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains; (1 Chronicles 12:8); 2 Chron. 13:1717And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. (2 Chronicles 13:17)). Many of the modern stratagems employed, as the double attack (Gen. 14:1515And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. (Genesis 14:15)); ambush (Josh. 8:1212And he took about five thousand men, and set them to lie in ambush between Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of the city. (Joshua 8:12)); false retreat (Judg. 20:3737And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword. (Judges 20:37)); night attack (2 Kings 7:1212And the king arose in the night, and said unto his servants, I will now show you what the Syrians have done to us. They know that we be hungry; therefore are they gone out of the camp to hide themselves in the field, saying, When they come out of the city, we shall catch them alive, and get into the city. (2 Kings 7:12)). Sometimes battles were settled by single-handed combats (1 Sam. 17; 2 Sam. 2:15-1615Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow's side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. (2 Samuel 2:15‑16); 1 Chron. 11:66And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief. (1 Chronicles 11:6)). King David’s army was divided into regularly disciplined and officered bands under a general-in-chief (2 Sam. 18:1-2; 23:8-391And David numbered the people that were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2And David sent forth a third part of the people under the hand of Joab, and a third part under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and a third part under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said unto the people, I will surely go forth with you myself also. (2 Samuel 18:1‑2)
8These 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)
; 1 Chron. 11:25-47; 12; 2725Behold, he was honorable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard. 26Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 27Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite, 28Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Antothite, 29Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite, 30Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite, 31Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite, 32Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite, 33Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite, 34The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite, 35Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur, 36Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite, 37Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai, 38Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri, 39Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armorbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah, 40Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 41Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai, 42Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him, 43Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite, 44Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite, 45Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite, 46Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite, 47Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite. (1 Chronicles 11:25‑47)). He introduced the heavier weapons, such as catapults and battering-rams for siege-work and chariots for fieldwork (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)). Soldiers killed in action were plundered (1 Sam. 31:88And it came to pass on the morrow, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen in mount Gilboa. (1 Samuel 31:8)); survivors were mutilated or killed (Judg. 1:6; 9:456But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. (Judges 1:6)
45And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. (Judges 9:45)
; 2 Sam. 12:3131And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem. (2 Samuel 12:31); 2 Chron. 25:1212And other ten thousand left alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken in pieces. (2 Chronicles 25:12)); or carried into captivity (Num. 31:2626Take the sum of the prey that was taken, both of man and of beast, thou, and Eleazar the priest, and the chief fathers of the congregation: (Numbers 31:26)).