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NAVE: War Warfare
EBD: War
Wandering | Wandering In The Wilderness | Wandering Stars | Wanderings Of Israel | Wantoess | War | War, Man Of | Ward | Wares | Warning | Warp


War [EBD]

The Israelites had to take possession of the Promised Land by conquest. They had to engage in a long and bloody war before the Canaanitish tribes were finally subdued. Except in the case of Jericho and Ai, the war did not become aggressive till after the death of Joshua. Till then the attack was always first made by the Canaanites. Now the measure of the iniquity of the Canaanites was full, and Israel was employed by God to sweep them away from off the face of the earth. In entering on this new stage of the war, the tribe of Judah, according to divine direction, took the lead.

In the days of Saul and David the people of Israel engaged in many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from first to last presents but few periods of peace.

The Christian life is represented as a warfare, and the Christian graces are also represented under the figure of pieces of armour (Eph. 6:11-17; 1 Thess. 5:8; 2 Tim. 2:3, 4). The final blessedness of believers is attained as the fruit of victory (Rev. 3:21).

War [NAVE]

Divine approval of, 2 Sam. 22:35.
Civil, Judg. 12:1-6; 20; 2 Sam. 2:12-31; 3:1; 20; 1 Kin. 14:30; 16:21; Isa. 19:2; forbidden, 2 Chr. 11:4; averted, Josh. 22:11-34.
Enemy harangued by general of opposing side, 2 Kin. 18:19-36; 2 Chr. 13:4-12.
Of extermination, Num. 31:7-17; Deut. 2:33, 34; 3:6; 20:13-18; Josh. 6:21, 24; 8:24, 25; 10:2-40; 11:11-23; 1 Sam. 15:3-9; 27:8-11.
God in, Ex. 14:13, 14; Deut. 1:30; 3:21, 22; 7:17-24; 20:1, 4; 31:6-8, 23; 32:29, 30; Josh. 1:1, 5-7, 9; Judg. 1:2; 6:16; 7:9; 11:29; 1 Sam. 17:45-47; 19:5; 30:7, 8; 2 Sam. 5:22-24; 22:18; 1 Kin. 20:28; Psa. 18:34; 76:3; Jer. 46:15; Amos 5:8, 9; Zech. 10:5.
God uses, as a judgment, Ex. 23:24; Lev. 26:17, 31-39; Deut. 28:25-68; 32:30; Judg. 2:14; 2 Kin. 15:37; 1 Chr. 5:22, 26; 21:12; 2 Chr. 12:1-12; 15:6; 24:23, 24; 33:11; 36; Job 19:29; Psa. 44:9-16; 60:1-3; 105:25; Isa. 5:1-8, 25-30; 9:8-12; 13:3, 4, 9; 19:2; 34:2-6; 43:28; 45:7; Jer. 12:7, 12; 46:15-17, 21; 47:6, 7; 48:10; 49:5; 50:25; Ezek. 23:22-25; Amos 3:6; 4:11; Zeph. 1:7-18; Zech. 8:10; 14:2.
Repugnant to God, 1 Chr. 22:8, 9; Psa. 68:30; 120:6, 7; Rev. 13:10.
God sends panic in, Ex. 15:14-16; threatens defeat in, Deut. 32:25; 1 Sam. 2:10; 2 Chr. 18:12-16; Isa. 30:15-17; Ezek. 15:6-8; 21:9-17; inflicts defeat in, Josh. 7:12, 13; 2 Chr. 12:5-8; 24:23, 24; Psa. 76:3; 78:66; 79:10; Isa. 5:25; Jer. 46:15, 16.
Counsels of, Josh. 22:10-34; Judg. 7:10, 11; 2 Sam. 16:20; 17:1-15; Psa. 48:4-7; Prov. 11:14; 20:18.
Wisdom required in, Prov. 21:22; 24:6; Eccl. 9:14-18; Luke 14:31, 32.
Tumult of, Amos 2:2.
Slain in, neglected, Isa. 14:19; 18:6.
Evils of, 2 Sam. 2:26; Psa. 46:8; 79:1-3; 137:9; Isa. 3:5, 25, 26; 5:29, 30; 6:11, 12; 9:5, 19-21; 13:15, 16; 15; 16:9, 10; 18:6; 19:2-16; 32:13, 14; 33:8, 9; 34:7-15; Jer. 4:19-31; 5:16, 17; 6:24-26; 7:33, 34; 8:16, 17; 9:10-21; 10:20; 13:14; 14:18; 15:8, 9; 19:7-9; 25:33; 46:3-12; 47:3; 48:28, 33; 51:30-58; Lam. 1-5; Ezek. 33:27; 39:17-19; Hos. 10:14; 13:16; Joel 2:2-10; Amos 1:13; 6:9, 10; 8:3; Nah. 2:10; 3:3, 10; Zech. 14:2; Luke 21:20-26; Rev. 19:17, 18.
To cease, Psa. 46:9; Isa. 2:4; Mic. 4:3.
Wars and rumors of, Matt. 24:6; Mark 13:7; Luke 21:9.
See: Armies; Arms; Fort; Soldiers; Strategy; Tower; Watchman.
Warfare of saints: Is not after the flesh, 2 Cor. 10:3.
Is a good warfare, 1 Tim. 1:18, 19.
Called the good fight of faith, 1 Tim. 6:12.
Is against the devil, Gen. 3:15; 2 Cor. 2:11; Eph. 6:12; Jas. 4:7; 1 Pet. 5:8; Rev. 12:17; the flesh, Rom. 7:23; 1 Cor. 9:25-27; 2 Cor. 12:7; Gal. 5:17; 1 Pet. 2:11; enemies, Psa. 38:19; 56:2; 59:3; the world, John 16:33; 1 John 5:4, 5; death, 1 Cor. 15:26, with Heb. 2:14, 15.
Often arises from the opposition of friends or relatives, Mic. 7:6; Matt. 10:35, 36.
To be carried on under Christ, as our Captain, Heb. 2:10; under the Lord's baer, Psa. 60:4; with faith, 1 Tim. 1:18, 19; with a good conscience, 1 Tim. 1:18, 19; with steadfastness in the faith, 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 5:9, with Heb. 10:23; with earnestness, Jude 3; with watchfulness, 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 5:8; with sobriety, 1 Thess. 5:6; 1 Pet. 5:8; with endurance of hardness, 2 Tim. 2:3, 10; with self-denial, 1 Cor. 9:25-27; with confidence in God, Psa. 27:1-3; with prayer, Psa. 35:1-3; Eph. 6:18; without earthly entanglements, 2 Tim. 2:4.
Mere professors do not maintain, Jer. 9:3.
Saints are all engaged in, Phil. 1:30; must stand firm in, Eph. 6:13, 14; exhorted to diligence in, 1 Tim. 6:12; Jude 3; encouraged in, Isa. 41:11, 12; 51:12; Mic. 7:8; 1 John 4:4; helped by God in, Psa. 118:13; Isa. 41:13, 14; protected by God in, Psa. 140:7; comforted by God in, 2 Cor. 7:5, 6; strengthened by God in, Psa. 20:2; 27:14; Isa. 41:10; strengthened by Christ in, 2 Cor. 12:9; 2 Tim. 4:17; delivered by Christ in, 2 Tim. 4:18; thank God for victory in, Rom. 7:25; 1 Cor. 15:57.
Armor for: a girdle of truth, Eph. 6:14; the breastplate of righteousness, Eph. 6:14; preparation of the gospel, Eph. 6:15; shield of faith, Eph. 6:16; helmet of salvation, Eph. 6:17; 1 Thess. 5:8; sword of the Spirit, Eph. 6:17; called armor of God, Eph. 6:11; called armor of righteousness, 2 Cor. 6:7; called armor of light, Rom. 13:12; not carnal, 2 Cor. 10:4; mighty through God, 2 Cor. 10:4, 5; the whole, is required, Eph. 6:13; must be put on, Rom. 13:12; Eph. 6:11; to be on right hand and left, 2 Cor. 6:7.
Victory in, is from God, 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; through Christ, Rom. 7:25; 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 12:9; Rev. 12:11; by faith, Heb. 11:33-37; 1 John 5:4, 5; over the devil, Rom. 16:20; 1 John 2:14; over the flesh, Rom. 7:24, 25; Gal. 5:24; over the world, 1 John 5:4, 5; over all that exalts itself, 2 Cor. 10:5; over death and the grave, Isa. 25:8; 26:19; Hos. 13:14; 1 Cor. 15:54, 55; triumphant, Rom. 8:37; 2 Cor. 10:5.
They who overcome in, shall eat of the hidden maa, Rev. 2:17; eat of the tree of life, Rev. 2:7; be clothed in white, Rev. 3:5; be pillars in the temple of God, Rev. 3:12; sit with Christ in his throne, Rev. 3:21; have a white stone, and in it a new name written, Rev. 2:17; have power over the nations, Rev. 2:26; have the name of God written upon them by Christ, Rev. 3:12; have God as their God, Rev. 21:7; have the morning star, Rev. 2:28; inherit all things, Rev. 21:7; be confessed by Christ before God the Father, Rev. 3:5; be sons of God, Rev. 21:7; not be hurt by the second death, Rev. 2:11; not have their names blotted out of the book of life, Rev. 3:5.
Symbolized by a red horse, Rev. 6:4.
In Heaven
Symbolical, Rev. 12:7.

Warfare [NAVE]

See: War.
Spiritual, See: War, Figurative.


The most important topic in connection with war is the formation of the army which is destined to carry it on. [ARMY] In (1 Kings 9:22) at a period (Solomon?s reign) when the organization of the army was complete, we have apparently a list of the various gradations of rank in the service, as follows:
  1. "Men of war" = privates ;
  2. "servants," the lowest rank of officers --lieutenants ;
  3. "princes" = captains ;
  4. "captains," perhaps = staff officers ;
  5. "rulers of the chariots and his horsemen" = cavalry officers . Formal proclamations of war were not interchanged between the belligerents. Before entering the enemy?s district spies were seat to ascertain the character of the country and the preparations of its inhabitants for resistance. (Numbers 13:17; Joshua 2:1; Judges 7:10; 1 Samuel 26:4) The combat assumed the form of a number of hand-to-hand contests; hence the high value attached to fleetness of foot and strength of arm. (2 Samuel 1:23; 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8) At the same time various strategic devices were practiced, such as the ambuscade, (Joshua 8:2,12; Judges 20:36) surprise, (Judges 7:16) or circumvention. (2 Samuel 5:23) Another mode of settling the dispute was by the selection of champions, (1 Samuel 17; 2 Samuel 2:14) who were spurred on to exertion by the offer of high reward. (1 Samuel 17:25; 18:25; 2 Samuel 18:11; 1 Chronicles 11:6) The contest having been decided, the conquerors were recalled from the pursuit by the sound of a trumpet. (2 Samuel 2:28; 18:16; 20:22) The siege of a town or fortress was conducted in the following manner: A line of circumvallation was drawn round the place, (Ezekiel 4:2; Micah 5:1) constructed out of the trees found in the neighborhood, (20:20) together with earth and any other materials at hand. This line not only cut off the besieged from the surrounding country, but also served as a base of operations for the besiegers. The next step was to throw out from this line one or more mounds or "banks" in the direction of the city, (2 Samuel 20:15; 2 Kings 19:32; Isaiah 37:33) which were gradually increased in height until they were about half as high as the city wall. On this mound or bank towers were erected, (2 Kings 25:1; Jeremiah 52:4; Ezekiel 4:2; 17:17; 21:22; 26:8) whence the slingers and archers might attack with effect. Catapults were prepared for hurling large darts and stones; and the crow , a long spar, with iron claws at one end and ropes at the other, to pull down stones or men from the top of the wall. Battering-rams , (Ezekiel 4:2; 21:22) were brought up to the walls by means of the bank, and scaling-ladders might also be placed on it. The treatment of the conquered was extremely severe in ancient times. The bodies of the soldiers killed in action were plundered, (1 Samuel 31:8) 2 Macc 8:27; the survivors were either killed in some savage manner, (Judges 9:45; 2 Samuel 12:31; 2 Chronicles 25:12) mutilated, (Judges 9:45; 2 Samuel 12:31; 2 Chronicles 25:12) mutilated, (Judges 1:6; 1 Samuel 11:2) or carried into captivity. (Numbers 31:26)


WAR; WARFARE - wor, wor'-far (milchamah, 'anshe m., "men of war," "soldiers"; polemos, polemein, strateuesthai, stratia):

1. Religious Significance

2. Preliminaries

3. Operations of War

4. Strategy

5. Important Requisites

6. Characteristics

7. Defeat and Victory

8. Spoils and Trophies

9. Treaties of Peace

10. War in the New Testament


1. Religious Significance:

From an early period of Hebrew history war had a religious significance. The Hebrews were the people of Yahweh, and they were reminded in their wars by the priest or priests who accompanied their armies that Yahweh was with them to fight their battles (Dt 20:1-4). It was customary to open a campaign, or to enter an engagement, with sacrificial rites (1 Sam 7:8-10; 13:9). Hence, in the Prophets, to "prepare" war is to carry out the initiatory religious rites and therefore to "sanctify" war (Jer 6:4; 22:7; 51:27,28; Mic 3:5; Joel 3:9; the Revised Version margin in each case); and Isaiah even speaks of Yahweh mustering His host and summoning to battle His "consecrated ones" (Isa 13:3), the warriors consecrated by the sacrifices offered before the war actually opened. The religious character attaching to war explains also the taboo which we find associated with it (Dt 20:7; 23:10; 2 Sam 11:11).

2. Preliminaries:

(1) Religious Preliminaries.

It was in keeping with this that the oracle should be consulted before a campaign, or an engagement (Jdg 20:18 ff; 1 Sam 14:37; 23:2; 28:6; 30:8). The ark of God was believed to be possessed of special virtue in assuring victory, and, because it was identified in the eyes of the Israelites with the presence of Yahweh, it was taken into battle (1 Sam 4:3). The people learned, however, by experience to put their trust in Yahweh Himself and not in any outward token of His presence. At the battle of Ebenezer the ark was taken into the fight with disastrous results to Israel (1 Sam 4:4 ff). On the other hand at the battle of Michmash, the sacred ephod at Saul's request accompanied the Israelites into the field, and there was a great discomfiture of the Philistines (1 Sam 14:18). In the later history prophets were appealed to for guidance before a campaign (1 Ki 22:5; 2 Ki 3:11), although fanatical members of the order sometimes gave fatal advice, as to Ahab at Ramoth-gilead, and probably to Josiah at Megiddo. Upon occasion the king addressed the host before engaging the enemy (2 Ch 20:20-22, where Jehoshaphat also had singers to go before the army into battle); and Judas Maccabeus did so, with prayer to God, on various occasions (1 Macc 3:58; 4:30; 5:32).

(2) Military Preliminaries.

The call to arms was given by sound of trumpet throughout the land (Jdg 3:27; 6:34; 1 Sam 13:3; 2 Sam 15:10; 20:1; compare Nu 10:2). It was the part of the priests to sound an alarm with the trumpets (2 Ch 13:12-16; compare 1 Macc 4:40; 16:8), and the trumpets were to be blown in time of battle to keep God in remembrance of Israel that they might gain the victory. In the Prophets, we find the commencement of war described as the drawing of the sword from its sheath (Ezek 21:3 ff), and the uncovering of the shield (Isa 22:6). Graphic pictures of the mobilizing of forces, both for invasion and for defense, are found in Isa 22:6-8 and Nah 3:2 and other Prophets. It was in the springtime that campaigns were usually opened, or resumed after a cessation of hostilities in winter (2 Sam 11:1; 1 Ki 20:22,26).

3. Operations of War:

Of the actual disposition of troops in battle there are no full accounts till the Maccabean time, but an examination of the Biblical battlefields by modern travelers with knowledge of military history has yielded valuable results in showing the position of the combatants and the progress of the fight (an excellent example in Dr. William Miller's Least of All Lands, 85 ff, 116 ff, 150 ff, where the battles of Michmash, Elah and Gilboa are described with plans). With the Israelites the order of battle was simple. The force was drawn up, either in line, or in three divisions, a center and two wings. There was a rearguard (called in the King James Version "rereward," in the Revised Version (British and American) "rearward") to give protection on the march or to bring in stragglers (Jdg 7:16; 1 Sam 11:11; 2 Sam 18:2; 1 Macc 5:33; compare also Nu 10:25; Josh 6:9; 1 Sam 29:2; Isa 58:8). The signal for the charge and the retreat was given by sound of trumpet. There was a battle-cry to inspire courage and to impart confidence (Jdg 7:20; Am 1:14, etc.). The issue of the battle depended upon the personal courage and endurance of the combatants, fighting man against man, but there were occasions when the decision was left to single combat, as at the battle of Elah between the giant Goliath and the stripling David (1 Sam 17). The combat at Gibeon between the men of Benjamin, twelve in number, followers of Ish-bosheth, and twelve of the servants of David, in which each slew his man and all fell together by mutual slaughter, was the prelude to "a very sore battle" in which Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David (2 Sam 2:16).

To the minor operations of war belong the raid, such as the Philistines made into the Valley of Rephaim (1 Ch 14:9), the foray, the object of which was plunder (2 Sam 3:22), the foraging to secure supplies (2 Sam 23:11 margin), and the movements of bands who captured defenseless inhabitants and sold them as slaves (2 Ki 5:2).

4. Strategy:

Of strategical movements in war there was the ambush with liers-in-wait resorted to by Joshua at Ai (Josh 8:3 ff); the feint, resorted to by the Israelites against the tribe of Benjamin (Jdg 20:20 ff); the flank movement, adopted by David in the Valley of Rephaim to rout the Philistines (2 Sam 5:22 f); and the surprise, inflicted successfully at the Waters of Merom upon the Canaanites under Jabin by Joshua (Josh 11:1 f). Of all these the story of Judas Maccabeus, the great military leader of the Jewish nation, furnishes illustrations (1 Macc 4:5 and elsewhere).

5. Important Requisites:

Among the requisites for the proper conduct of war the most important was the camp (machaneh). Of the exact configuration of the camp of the Israelites, it is not possible to speak with certainty. The camp of Israel in the wilderness seems to have been quadrilateral, although some have supposed it to be round or triangular (Nu 2:1 ff). The camp in the wilderness was furnished with ensigns and standards--the family ensign ('oth), and a standard (deghel) for the group of tribes occupying each of the four sides. The standard or banner (nec) is used of the signal for the mustering of troops, but standard-bearer, which occurs only once in the Bible, is a doubtful reading (Isa 10:18, where the Revised Version margin, "sick man," is rather to be followed). In time of war the camp was surrounded by a barricade, or wagon-rampart (ma`gal), as at Elah (1 Sam 17:20); and Saul lay within such a barricade in the wilderness of Ziph with his people round about him when David surprised him and carried off his spear (1 Sam 26:5 ff). Tents were used for the shelter of troops, at any rate when occupied with a siege (2 Ki 7:7), although at the siege of Rabbah we read of booths for the purpose (2 Sam 11:11). Pickets were set to watch the camp, and the watch was changed three times in the course of the night (Jdg 7:19; 1 Macc 12:27). It was usual to leave a guard in charge of the camp when the force went into action or went off upon a raid (1 Sam 25:13; 30:10). Careful prescriptions were laid down for the preservation of the purity of the camp, "for Yahweh thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, .... therefore shall thy camp be holy" (Dt 23:9-14; compare Nu 5:1-4). Garrisons (matstsabh) were placed in occupation of fortresses and strategical centers (2 Ch 17:2). No doubt the caves in the hillsides and rocky fastnesses of the land, as at Michmash, would serve for their reception (1 Sam 13). The garrisons, however, which are expressly mentioned, were for the most part military posts for the occupation of a subject country--Philistines in Israelite territory (1 Sam 13:23; 14:1,11), and Israelites in Syrian and Edomite territory (2 Sam 8:6,14).

6. Characteristics:

Among the characteristic notes of war, the tumult and the shouting were often noticed by the sacred historians (1 Sam 4:6; 14:19; 2 Ki 7:6). In the figurative language of the prophets the terrors and horrors and devastation of war are set forth in lurid colors. "The snorting of his horses is heard from Dan," is Jeremiah's description of an invading army, "at the sound of the neighing of his strong ones the whole land trembleth" (Jer 8:16). `The crack of the whip and the noise of the rumbling wheel and the galloping horse, and the jolting chariot and the rearing horsemen; and the flash of the sword and the glitter of the spear, and the multitude of slain; and a mass of dead bodies and no end to the carcasses' (Nah 3:2-4: J. M. P. Smith's translation in ICC). Because of the devastation of territory and the slaughter of men which it entails, the sword is named with famine and "noisome beasts" (the American Standard Revised Version has "evil beasts") and "pestilence" as one of God's "four sore judgments" (Ezek 14:21, the King James Version). By a familiar figure "the sword" is often taken for all the operations of war, because it is characteristic of it to devour and to destroy (2 Sam 2:26; Jer 2:30).

7. Defeat and Victory:

While the treatment of the vanquished in the wars of Israel never reached the pitch of savagery common in Assyrian warfare, there are not wanting examples of excessive severity, such as David's treatment of his Moabite prisoners (2 Sam 8:2) and of the Ammonites captured at Rabbah (2 Sam 12:31), and Menahem's barbarous treatment of Tiphsah (2 Ki 15:16; compare Nu 31:17; Josh 6:21). That it was common for the Philistines to mutilate and abuse their prisoners is shown by Saul's determination not to fall into their hands (1 Sam 31:4). On that occasion the Philistines not only stripped the slain, but cut off Saul's head and fixed his body to the wall of Bethshan (1 Sam 31:9,10). It was usual to carry off prisoners and sell them as slaves (2 Ki 5:2; 1 Macc 3:41). The conquerors were wont to deport the population of the subjugated country (2 Ki 17:6), to carry off treasure and impose tribute (2 Ki 16:8), and even to take the gods into captivity (Isa 46:1). On the other hand, the victors were hailed with acclamations and songs of rejoicing (1 Sam 18:6), and victory was celebrated with public thanksgivings (Ex 15:1; Jdg 5:1; 1 Macc 4:24).

The spoils of war, spoken of as booty also--armor, clothing, jewelry, money, captives and animals--falling to the victors, were divided equally between those who had taken part in the battle and those who had been left behind in camp (Nu 31:27; Josh 22:8; 1 Sam 30:24 f).

8. Spoils and Trophies:

A proportion of the spoils was reserved for the Levites, and "a tribute unto the Lord" was also levied before distribution was made of the collected booty (Nu 31:28,30). To the Lord, in the Israelite interpretation of war, the spoils truly belong, and we see this exemplified at the capture of Jericho when the silver and the gold and the vessels of brass were put into the treasury of the house of the Lord (Josh 6:24). Under the monarchy, part of the spoils fell to the king who might in turn dedicate it to the Lord or use it for the purposes of war (2 Ki 14:14; 1 Ch 18:7,11). The armor of the conquered was sometimes dedicated as a trophy of victory and placed in the temple of the heathen or preserved near the ark of God (1 Sam 21:9; 31:9).

9. Treaties of Peace:

As the blast of the war-horn summoned to war, so it intimated the cessation of hostilities (2 Sam 2:28); and as to draw the sword was the token of the entrance upon a campaign, so to return it to its sheath, or to put it up into the scabbard, was emblematic of the establishment of peace (Jer 47:6). As ambassadors were sent to summon to war (Jer 49:14), or to dissuade from war (2 Ch 35:21), so ambassadors were employed to negotiate peace (Isa 33:7). Treaties of peace were made on occasion between combatants, as between Ahab and Ben-hadad II after the defeat of the latter and his fortunate escape from the hands of Ahab with his life (1 Ki 20:30,31). By the appeal of Ben-hadad's representative to Ahab's clemency his life was spared, and in return therefor he granted to Ahab the right to have bazaars for trade in Damascus as his father had had in Samaria (1 Ki 20:34). Alliances, offensive and defensive, were common, as Ahab and Jehoshaphat against Syria (1 Ki 22:2 ff), Jehoram and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom against Moab (2 Ki 3:7 ff), and the kings of the West, including Ahab and Hadadezer of Damascus, to resist Shalmaneser II of Assyria, who routed the allies at the battle of Qarqar in 854 BC. It is among the wonderful works of Yahweh that He makes war to cease to the end of the earth, that He breaks the bow, and cuts the spear in sunder, and "burneth the chariots in the fire" (Ps 46:9). And prophetic pictures of the peace of the latter days include the breaking of "the bow and the sword and the battle out of the land" (Hos 2:18), the beating of "swords into plowshares, and .... spears into pruning-hooks" (Isa 2:4; Mic 4:3).

10. War in the New Testament:

Among the signs of the last days given by our Lord are "wars and rumors of wars" (Mt 24:6; Mk 13:7; Lk 21:9; 21:24). Jesus accepts war as part of the present world-order, and draws from it an impressive illustration of the exacting conditions of Christian discipleship (Lk 14:31 ff). He foresees how Jerusalem is to be encompassed with armies and devoted to the bitterest extremities of war (Lk 19:41 ff). He conceives Himself come, not to send peace on earth, but a sword (Mt 10:34); and declares that they who take the sword shall perish by the sword (Mt 26:52). The apostles trace war to the selfishness and greed of men (Jas 4:1 ff); they see, speaking figuratively, in fleshly lusts enemies which war against the soul (1 Pet 2:11); they find in war apt figures of the spiritual struggle and divine protection and ultimate victory of the Christian (Rom 7:23; 8:37; 2 Cor 10:3,5; 1 Tim 1:18; Heb 13:13; 1 Pet 1:5), and of the triumphs of Christ Himself (2 Cor 2:14; Col 2:15; Eph 2:16,17). Paul made the acquaintance of the barracks, both at Jerusalem and at Caesarea (Acts 21:34,37; 23:35); and at Rome his bonds became familiar to the members of the Praetorian guard who were from time to time detailed to have him in keeping (Phil 1:13). It is under the figures of battle and war that John in the Apocalypse conceives the age-long conflict between righteousness and sin, Christ and Satan, and the final triumph of the Lamb, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords (Rev 16:14-16; 17:14; 19:14). For other references see ARMY, 9; PRAETORIAN GUARD; TREATY.


Benzinger, article "Kriegswesen" in Herzog, Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche(3), XI; Nowack, Hebraische Archaeologie, 72; Browne, Hebrew Antiquities, 44-47.

T. Nicol



Also see definition of "War" in Word Study

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