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WAR. We may define war as an attempt to | Pharaoh of Egypt, on the ground that they were “men decide a contest between princes, states, or large bodies of activity,” a phrase which, in Scripture, is always of people, by resorting to excessive acts of violence, and employed to designate soldiers; in fact, the Hebrews compelling claims to be conceded by force.” It is pro- held their grant of land from the Egyptian Pharaoh by bable that the first wars originated in nomade life, and tenure of military service; and that they loyally perwere occasioned by the disputes which arose between formed their obligations, appears from an incidental wandering tribes for the exclusive possession of pas- passage in the Book of Chronicles, which states that the turage favourable to their flocks and herds. We find grandsons of Joseph not only defended the Egyptian that a quarrel arose early between the two divisions of frontiers from the marauding tribes of Syria and Arabia, the Hebrews who settled in Canaan, under Abraham but carried their own retaliating expeditions to the very and Lot: “ The land was not able to bear them that gates of the city of Gath. The lost book, quoted by they might dwell together, for their substance was great, Moses, entitled “The Wars of the Lord,” probably conthat they could not dwell together; and there was a tained the history of these expeditions. strife between the herdmen of Abraham's cattle and the The Israelites, after their departure out of Egypt, had herdmen of Lot's cattle." (Gen. 13. 7,8.) Hostilities, to fight almost every step of their way on the road to on this occasion, were averted by the prudence of Abra- Canaan, and were engaged in hostilities with nearly ham; and he exhibited equal discretion when the every nation with which they came in contact during servants of one of the petty princes of Canaan took their forty years of wandering. They were thus well possession of a well of water, which of right belonged disciplined and trained for their more arduous underto the patriarch and his servants. The whole trans- taking, the conquest of Canaan, which God had proaction is worthy of notice, as it illustrates the petty mised to their father Abraham that he would bestow causes which led to wars between'nomade tribes, and the upon them as an inheritance. Though Joshua had small matters which, in the earlier stages of civilization, superhuman aid in his arduous task, we find that he became the subject of solemn treaties: “Abraham re- did not neglect the ordinary means which Providence proved Abimelech because of a well of water, which had placed in his hands. The ambush by which he sucAbimelech's servants had violently taken away.
And ceeded in his attack on Ai, (Josh. 8,) evinced military Abimelech said, I wot not who hath done this thing: talent of no common order; and the discipline of the neither didst thou tell me, neither yet heard I of it, but Hebrews must have been not less remarkable than the to-day. And Abraham took sheep and oxen, and gave skill of their general, when they ventured on such a them unto Abimelech; and both of them made a cove- perilous manæuvre as a pretended retreat in the face of nant. And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock an enemy already flushed by previous victory, without by themselves. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, having either chariots or cavalry to conceal their moreWhat mean these seven ewe lambs which thou hast set ments. The narrative is so full of instruction that it by themselves? And he said, For these seven ewe deserves to be quoted: “ Joshua rose up early in the lambs shalt thou take of my hand, that they may be a morning, and numbered the people, and went up, he witness unto me, that I have digged this well. Where- and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. And fore he called that place Beersheba; because there they all the people, even the people of war that were with sware both of them.” (Gen. 21. 25-34.)
him, went up, and drew nigh, and came before the city, Tribes which lived by hunting were naturally more and pitched on the north side of Ai: now there was a warlike than those which led a pastoral life; and the valley between them and Ai. And he took about fire latter, again, were more devoted to war than agricultural thousand
men, and set them to lie in ambush between There was almost a natural source of hostility Beth-el and Ai, on the west side of the city. And when between these races; the hunters were enraged against they had set the people, even all the host that was on the shepherds because they appropriated animals by the north of the city, and their liers in wait on the west domestication, and the shepherds equally hated the of the city, Joshua went that night into the midst of the agriculturists because they appropriated land by tillage, valley. And it came to pass, when the king of Ai saw and thus limited the range of pasturage. Hunting also it, that they hasted and rose up early, and the men of indisposed those who lived by the chase to pursue more the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his toilsome and less exciting occupations; those who thus people, at a time appointed, before the plain; but he wist supported themselves, sought to throw all the burden of not that there were liers in ambush against him behind manual labour on their wives, their children, and the city. And Joshua and all Israel made as if they afterwards on persons whom they reduced to slavery. were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the There is a universal tradition in Western Asia, that wilderness. And all the people that were in Ai were Nimrod, mentioned in Scripture as “a mighty hunter called together to pursue after them: and they pursued before the Lord,” was the first who engaged in ex- after Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. And tensive wars for the purpose of obtaining slaves, and there was not a man left in Ai or Beth-el, that went not that he was also the first who introduced the practice of out after Israel: and they left the city open, and purcompelling conquered nations to rescue theniselves by sued after Israel.
sued after Israel. And the Lord said unto Joshua, the payment of tribute, as a ransom. So early as the Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for days of Abraham, we find that wars were undertaken I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched for the express purpose of obtaining slaves and tribute: out the spear that he had in his band toward the city. Chedorlaomer forced several neighbouring princes, in- And the ambush arose quickly out of their place, and cluding the king of Sodom, to pay bim tribute for twelve they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand; and years; and when they ceased to submit to this exaction, they entered into the city, and took it, and hasted and ine invaded their territories for the purpose of reducing set the city on fire. And when the men of Ai looked the inhabitants to slavery. He succeeded, and carried behind them, they saw, and, behold, the smoke of the away a host of captives, amongst whom were Lot and city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to his family; but the prisoners were rescued by Abraham. turn this way or that way: and the people that fled to
The twelve sons of Jacob were distinguished not less the wilderness turned back upon the pursuers. And as warriors than as shepherds; Joseph obtained the when Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had land of Goshen for his brethren, from the reigning taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended,
then they turned again, and slew the men of Ai. And Philistines, who excelled both in archery and the use of the other issued out of the city against them; so they the spear. Saul, the first king of Israel, diligently were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some exerted himself to improve the military discipline of his on that side: and they smote them, so that they let people. The rapid march by which he delivered the none of them remain or escape. And the king of Ai city of Jabesh-Gilead from the Ammonites, was they took alive, and brought him to Joshua. And it achievement of great vigour and skill, especially as the came to pass, when Israel had made an end of slaying policy of the Philistines had left the Israelites all but all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness destitute of weapons of war. His wise policy in forming wherein they chased them, and when they were all a kind of standing army (1Sam. 13. 2.) greatly contrifallen on the edge of the sword, until they were con- buted to restore the military art, while the exploits of sumed, that all the Israelites returned unto Ai, and his gallant son, Jonathan, revived the drooping courage smote it with the edge of the sword. And so it was, of the people. In the battle on Mount Gilboa, where that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were Jonathan fell bravely fighting, and Saul slew himself
hus ; of drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the attributed in some degree to the excellence of their spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants archers. “Now the Philistines fought against Israel; of Ai. Only the cattle and the spoil of that city Israel and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, took for a prey unto themselves, according unto the and fell down slain in Mount Gilboa. And the Philisword of the Lord which he commanded Joshua. And tines followed hard
Saul and his Joshua burnt Ai, and made it an heap for ever, even a the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and desolation unto this day. And the king of Ai he Melchi-shua, Saul's sons. And the battle went sore hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his carcase down from the tree, and cast it at the entering armour-bearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust stones, that remaineth unto this day.” (Josh. 8. 10-29.) me through, and abuse me. But his armour-bearer
It is remarkable that in this narrative, which may be would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul received as a fair specimen of all the battles fought by took his sword and fell upon it. And when his armourthe Hebrews during the conquest of Canaan, we find no bearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise
his mention either of a corps of archers, or of a corps of sword, and died with him. So Saul died, and his three chariots, though both, as we find from the monuments, sons, and his armour-bearer, and all his men, that same were among the principal bodies in the Egyptian armies. day together.” (1Sam. 21. 1-6.) Even Joshua himself fought on foot, and signalled com- David was the great restorer of the military discipline mands to his soldiers with his hand or his spear. It of the Hebrews, and the monarch under whom they was entirely a battle of infantry, fought hand to hand. In attained the greatest eminence in the art of war. such a case, success, humanly speaking, must have mainly Immediately after Saul's defeat and death, before he depended on individual courage and prowess; conse- was yet recognised as king, he caused the children of quently the confusion into which the men of Ai were Judah to be exercised in the use of the bow, having thrown when they saw the flames rising from their city probably learned the value of that weapon during his unexpectedly behind them must have been fatal, for all exile among the Philistines. This service entitled him tacticians declare, that it is quite impossible to rally to a large share of public gratitude, and it was commebroken infantry, without a line of cavalry or some other morated in the poetical records of the Hebrew nation temporary defence which may ward off pursuit until the preserved in the Book of Jasher. (2Sam. 1. 18.) His disorder of the ranks is remedied and the lines restored. victory over the Syrians enabled him to form the nucleus The severity with which the king and people of Ai were of a corps of chariots, and on that occasion we for the treated must not be wholly attributed to the barbarous first time read of garrisons being placed in the cities and customs allowed in ancient warfare; it must be remem- fortresses of a conquered country.
“ David smote also bered that the Hebrews were commissioned to execute Hadadezer, the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went Divine vengeance on the guilty nations of Canaan, to recover his border at the river Euphrates. And whose abominable practices were not merely insulting to David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven the Deity, but perfectly shocking to humanity; their hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen; and monarchs were merciless tyrants, and undoubtedly they David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of would have treated the Hebrew chiefs with similar them for an hundred chariots. And when the Syrians rigour had they been successful in the battle.
of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer, king of Zobah, Under the Judges, the Hebrews fought not for David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand conquest but for independence; their wars were under- men. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: taken to assert their liberty by shaking off the yoke and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought of powerful tyrants, who, on account of their iniquities gifts. And the Lord preserved David whithersoever he and idolatries, were permitted by Jehovah to hold them went.” (2Sam. 8. 3-6.) in subjection. During this period, the military disci- Solomon's connexion with Egypt enabled him to propline of the Hebrews became relaxed, and though their cure both chariots and horses from that country; but it enemies, particularly Jabin and Sisera, had chariots of is very doubtful whether he ever organized a regular war made of iron, the Israelites do not appear to have corps of cavalry. Most commentators, indeed, are organized such a species of force. The victory over Sisera agreed that the sacred historians generally intended chawas obtained by the infantry, a circumstance quite suffi- rioteers when they mentioned horsemen. This is evicient to justify the sacred historian in attributing it to dently the case in the account of the war between Ahab the direct interposition of Omnipotence.
and Benhadad, where the king's escape on a horse is In the wars of Gideon and Jephthah, the sword seems mentioned as a singular and extraordinary event; and to have been the weapon in the use of which the where the subsequent mustering of the Syrian host Hebrew soldiers most excelled; this was probably one clearly shows that war-horses were used for chariots of the reasons why they were so often conquered by the only. (1 Kings 20. 20-25.) Horsemen, however, appear
to have been used about this time for picquets and ex- to fight in the valley of Megiddo. And the archers shot presses, as is evident from the account given of Jehu's at King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have approach to Jezreel. The same passage also shows that me away, for I am sore wounded. His servants therethe bow was used by the generals in their chariots, and fore took him out of that chariot, and put him in the it will be seen that the bow-case and quiver are attached second chariot that he had; and they brought him to to the chariot in the engravings illustrating this article. Jerusalem, and he died, and was buried in one of the
“Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for sepulchres of his fathers.' And all Judah and Jerusalem Joram lay there. And Ahaziah, king of Judah, was mourned for Josiah.” (2Chron. 35. 20-24.) come down to see Joram. And there stood a watchman Here we see that chariots, which were only introduced on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of in the reign of David, had become so important that a Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And second chariot was prepared for Josiah, in case of any Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, accident happening to that in which he entered the and let him say, Is it peace? So there went one on battle. The victory appears to have been decided by horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is the superiority of the Egyptian archers, who, according it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with to Jeremiah, were chiefly levied among the Lúddím, a peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, people of northern Africa, tributary to the Pharaohs. saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not The prophet, indeed, in his description of the battle of again. Then he sent out a second on horseback, which Carchemish, or Circesium, has given a most lively came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? description of the state of ancient warfare in the seventh And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? century before the Christian era. “The word of the turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, Lord which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the He came even unto them, and cometh not again; and Gentiles; against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohthe driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Necho, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. And Joram said, in Carchemish, which Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And smote in the fourth year of king Jehoiakim, the son of Joram king of Israel, and Ahaziah king of Judah, went Josiah, king of Judah. Order ye the buckler and shield, out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and draw nigh to battle. Harness the horses, and get and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite. up ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets: And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines. Wheresaid, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What
peace, fore have I seen them dismayed and turned back? and so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her their mighty men are beaten down and fled apace, and witchcrafts are so many? And Joram turned his hands, look not back; for fear was round about, saith the Lord. and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty men escape; Ahaziah. And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, they shall stumble and fall towards the north by the and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow river Euphrates. Who is this that cometh up as a went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot." flood; whose waters are moved as the rivers? Egypt (2Kings 9. 16-24.)
up like a flood, and his waters are moved as the The use of cavalry, in addition to the corps of chariots, rivers; and he saith, I will go up and cover the earth: I began to extend rapidly in the eighth century before the will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof. Come Christian era; and it appears to have been one great up ye horses, and rage ye chariots; and let the mighty source of the rapid successes of the Assyrians. This men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans that explains the vaunting insolence of Rabshakeh when he handle the shield, and the Lydians (Luddim) that handle summoned Hezekiah to become the vassal of his master and bend the bow. For this is the day of the Lord God Sennacherib.
of hosts, a day of vengeance that he may avenge him of “I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of his adversaries, and the sword shall devour, and it shall Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if be made satiate and drunk with blood; for the Lord God thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them. How of hosts bath a sacrifice in the north country by the then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the river Euphrates." (Jerem. 46. 1-10.) This magnificent least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt prediction very forcibly describes the decisive battle of for chariots and for horsemen? Am I now come up Circesium, which deprived the Egyptians of the Syrian without the Lord against this place to destroy it?" provinces, and transferred the empire of Asia to the (2Kings 18. 21-25.)
Babylonians. Rabshakeh clearly could not have meant that Heze- On referring to the accompanying engravings, the kiah did not possess two thousand warriors; his clear accuracy of the prophetic description will be made manipurpose was to taunt the Jews with the small amount of fest; the Egyptian soldiers are represented both with their skill in horsemanship, and their consequent want the square buckler and round shield, and the great size of cavalry, an arm of war in which his master was so of the shield borne by the figure to the right of the powerful
second engraving explains the reason of the prophet's The last great battle which the Jews fought before the dwelling so emphatically on this part of the armour of captivity was that of Megiddo, in which King Josiah was the Egyptian auxiliaries, "the Libyans that handle the slain. “ Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against shield.” In the centre of the third engraving we actuCharchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against ally see one of the Lúddím with his bow and quiver on
But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What his shoulder, and his bow-string in his hand; and to the have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come extreme right is a warrior wearing the tight and neatlynot against thee this day, but against the house where- fitting brigandine on his breast, instead of the heavy and with I have war: for God commanded me to make cumbrous coat of mail. The encounter of the chariots haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is in the first engraving is singularly illustrative of the terwith me, that he destroy thee not. Nevertheless Josiah rific denunciation of Divine vengeance against Nineveh would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, by the prophet Nahum, in which the hostile chariots that he might fight with him, and hearkened not unto occupy a conspicuous place. the words of Necho from the mouth of God, and came “Woe to the bloody city! it is all full of lies and
robbery; the prey departeth not; the noise of a whip, , to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to and the noise of the rattling of the wheels, and of the him, Behold there is a woman that hath a familiar prancing horses, and of the jumping chariots. The spirit at Endor.” (1 Kings 28. 4-7.) horsemen lifteth
both the bright sword and the glit- From the time of David to the end of the kingdom, tering spear: and there is a multitude of slain, and a prophets were usually consulted, and hence arose the great number of carcases; and there is none end of their great numbers of false prophets mentioned in the history corpses; they stumble upon their corpses." (Nahum both of Israel and Judah. If the predictions appeared 3. 1-3.)
to be favourable, a solemn sacrifice was offered, after It may be noticed as illustrative of the importance of which the royal standard was displayed in some wellchariots in early warfare, that the office of charioteer known place of rendezvous, and all faithful subjects was scarcely inferior in dignity to that of the warrior were summoned by sound of trumpet to rally round the whom he drove through the ranks of the battle. We banner of their sovereign. Jeremiah very powerfully find Homer mentioning as no unusual occurrence that describes these preparatory circumstances of war in his Nestor acted as charioteer for Diomede, when that hero denunciation of Divine wrath against Babylon. "Set was about to attack Hector:
ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet Nestor skill'd in war,
among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call Approves his counsel, and ascends the car;
together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and The steeds he left their trusty servants hold
Ashchenaz: appoint a captain against her; cause the Eurymedon and Sthenelus the bold;
horses to come up as the rough caterpillars. Prepare The reverend charioteer directs his course,
against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the And strains his aged arms to lash the horse. Hector they face, unknowing how to fear,
captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the Fierce he drove on, Tydides whirl'd his spear.
land of his dominion. And the land shall tremble and Iliad, viii.
sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be perWe find also two sons of Priam in the same chariot, formed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a one acting as combatant, and the other as driver. desolation without an inhabitant. The mighty men of Two sons of Priam next to battle move,
Babylon have forborn to fight, they have remained in The produce one of marriage, one of love,
their holds: their might bath failed; they became as In the same car the brother-warriors ride,
women: they have burned her dwelling-places; her bars This took the charge to combat, that to ride.-Iliad, ix.
are broken. One post shall run to meet another, and The wars of the Maccabees with the Seleucidæ, and
one messenger to meet another, to show the king of those of the insurgent Jews against the Romans, not Babylon that his city is taken at one end, and that the belonging to Scripture history, do not come within the passages are stopped, and the reeds they have burned proper scope of this work.
In fact, after the Babylonian with fire, and the men of war are affrighted. For thus captivity, the Jews lost all pretensions to military saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter character, and virtually ceased to exist as an independent of Babylon is like a threshing-floor, it is time to thresh nation; our attention must therefore be confined to the her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall circumstances connected with ancient warfare which are come." (Jerem. 51. 27-32.) recorded in the Old Testament. Before a war was It does not appear that the ceremony of declaring war undertaken, it was customary to consult the diviners was always observed; on the contrary, it very often hapand soothsayers, that they might predict its event. The pened that the first intimation which the peaceful inhaprophet Ezekiel describes the king of Babylon using the bitants of a country received of an invasion was from divination by arrows before he ventured to commence the signals displayed on the watch-towers and the most his march against Jerusalem; and it is singular that this prominent eminences, announcing that their enemies form of divination is still practised in Asia, though it were on the frontiers, or perhaps already in the land. was specifically forbidden by the lawgiver of the Mus- Isaiah, predicting the fall of Babylon, mentions as an sulmans. “ The king of Babylon stood at the parting aggravation of the calamity, the unexpected appearance of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divi- of the enemy, coming from a distant land, whence hostination; he made his arrows bright, he consulted with lities could not have been anticipated either by the rulers images, he looked in the liver. At his right hand, was or the citizens. the divination for Jerusalem, to appoint captains, to “ The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms with shouting, to appoint battering rams against the of nations gathered together: the Lord of Hosts musgates, to cast a mount, and to build a fort. And it shall tereth the host of the battle. They come from a far be unto them as a false divination in their sight, to country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the them that sworn oaths, but he will call to remem- weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land." brance the iniquity, that they may be taken." (Ezek. 17.) (Isai. 12. 4,5.)
These and similar practices were forbidden to the War-cries were raised in the onset of battle, and the Jews, but in the early part of their history we find that Hebrews, like most Orientals, generally decided the fate they were accustomed upon such occasions to consult of the day by the first charge; if this was defeated, they the Urim and Thummim, (which see,) and if these could rarely be persuaded to renew the combat. It was were silent, they were filled with consternation and by their superior steadiness and firmness in the ranks perplexity. It was this silence which induced Saul to that the Greeks and Romans prevailed over the Asiatic apply to the witch of Endor. “And the Philistines hordes, though vastly superior to them in numbers, and gathered themselves together, and came and pitched in indeed the victories of the English in India may, for the Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they most part, be attributed to the same cause. pitched in Gilboa. And when Saul saw the host of the The return of a victorious army from war was celePhilistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trem- brated with great pomp and exultation, (See TABRET,
And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord Triumph, &c.), popular songs were composed in honour answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor of the favourite hero, and his entire family participated by prophets. Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek in the favours bestowed upon him by the nation or the me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go sovereign.