Battering ram | Free Online Biblical Library

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Battering ram

BATTERING RAM (כַּר, H4119). An engine of warfare used in besieging a city to break down its walls. Essentially it was a stout pole with some kind of metal head. It was suspended in the middle from a framework which rested on four or six wheels. Large wooden towers protected the soldiers who operated it from the stones and arrows hurled from the walls by the defenders. The battering rams of the Egyptians had a metal point shaped like a spearhead. Both the Assyrians and the Romans made much use of the battering ram. Assyrian sculptures give many interesting representations of the various operations of ancient siege procedure.

It is possible that the battering ram is referred to in 2 Samuel 20:15. Joab and his soldiers are described as building up a mound against the city of Abel of Beth-maacah and battering its walls to throw it down. The prophet Ezekiel was instructed by God to make a model of Jerusalem besieged with battering rams (Ezek 4:2), and the use of battering rams is described as part of the battle plans in the coming siege of Jerusalem (Ezek 21:22). Tyre was warned that Nebuchadrezzar, the king of Babylon, would besiege it and break down its walls with battering rams (Ezek 26:9, KJV ENGINES OF WAR; ASV BATTERING ENGINES). See Armor, Arms.