Loading...

War, Warfare

WAR, WARFARE 1. General. War was a constant feature in the history of Israel from its beginnings up to the destruction of the second Temple. Long periods of peace seldom occurred and the Bible emphasizes them: “so the land had rest forty years” (Judg 3:11); “but now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side” (1 Kings 5:4; cf. 2 Chron 14:5); and so forth. The nature of the Israelite wars changed according to the political and sociological conditions, such as during the conquest and settlement, the defensive wars of the tribes against the aggressive neighbors in the period of the Judges, the wars of consolidation on the borders during the first days of the Monarchy, the constant struggle for the existence of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the last desperate stand against the great imperial forces. The days of the second Temple are marked, too, with long periods of continuous warfare. In the earlier wars, mainly concerned with border disputes, and in the later wars of libe