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(מַלְחָמָה, milchamah', Deuteronomy ii, 32; 1 Kings 20:26; 2 Chronicles 26 :l11; 32:2, war or battle, as usually rendered; or מִעִרָכָה, maaracah', 1 Samuel 17:20, battle-array, as often rendered; in other passages some form of the verbs לָחִם, צָבָא etc.; Gr. πύλομος war, as usually rendered, or μαχή; also ἄγων , etc.). Thee Israelites began their existence as a nat-ion with an aggressive campaign, in the sequel of which nevertheless they were from time to time compelled to occupy a defensive position throughout the entire period of the Judges (q.v.). This consisted, however, for the most part, of tumultnary and disconnected skirmishes. Regular engagements first occurred under (Saul and) David; and the frequent hostile collisions of disciplined Hebrew generals in, the civil and foreign commotions of subsequent periods must have greatly stimulated military training. The opening of a campaign (generally in spring, 2 Samuel 11:1; Josephus, Ant. 7:6, 3; Harmer, ii, 283), as well as of single engagements, although not prefaced by regular diplomatic communications or a declaration of war (but see Judges 11:12 sq.; 1 Kings 20:2 sq.; 2 Kings 14:8; Josephus, Ant. 4:8, 41), was preceded in important and deliberate cases by an interrogation of the Urim (q.v.) and Thummims (Judges 20:27 sq;; 1 Samuel 14:37; 1 Samuel 23:2; 1 Samuel 28:6; 1 Samuel 20:8) or a prophet (1 Kings 22:6 sq.; 2 Chronicles 18:4 sq.; 2 Kings 19:2 sq.), in like manner as the Greeks consulted oracles before beginning a contest, and even took seers with them to the field (see Wachsmuth, Hellen. Aterth. iii, 390, 411). A peculiar species of divination prior to an attack is mentioned- (Ezekiel 21:20 -sq.) with regard to the Chaldaeans, (See LOT), like the extispi cium. of the Romans (Cicero, Divin. i, 16; ii. 12 sq.). (See SOOTHSAYER).

In solemn instances, while the army stood in sight of the enemy, an offering was brought (1 Samuel 7:9; 1 Samuel 13:9 sq.), and a priest (Deuteronomy 20:2 sq.), who always appears to have accompanied the prince to the field (2 Chronicles 13:12; 2 Chronicles 13:14; comp. Numbers 10:9; a specially selected and anointed functionary of this kind, like a modern field chaplain [Mill, De sacerdote cast-enssi veter.- Hebr Utr. 17281, is, mentioned in the Mishna, Sotah, 8:1, by the taste of ' מָשּׁוּחִ מלְחָמָה כּהֵן, see Reland, Amitiq. Sacm. ii, 3, 2; Otho, ex. Reabb. p. 89; Van Alphen, in Oebrich's Collectio, ii, 515 sq.; Tatii Diss. de sacerdote castr. Hebr., and Ugolini Diss. deasacea. castr. [both in Ugolini Thesaur. xii]; Thorschmied, De sacerdote ad bell. uncto, Torg. 1737; Kretzsachmar, De uncto belli, Dresd. 1738; although not mentioned in the O.T. books; comp. Deyling, Observe. ii, 298, Lakemacher, Observv. Philol. iii, 236 sq.), or the commander himself, delivered a hortatory oration (2 Chronicles 20:20). Then followed my a trumpet blast the signal for the conflict (Numbers 13:12; 1 Maccabees 16:8), and the struggle began amid terrific battle-cries ( תְּרוּעָה 1 Samuel 17:52; Isaiah 13:13; Amos 1:14; Jeremiah 1, 42; Ezekiel 21:22; as among almost all ancient nations; see especially Homer, Il. ii, 144 sq., 394 sq.; iii, 2 sq.; 4:452 sq.; Song of Solomon 3:10; Song of Solomon 3:1; Tacit. Germ. iii, a; Dougtsei Analect. i, 74 sq.; Potter, Greek Antiq. ii, 174 sq.). The battle-array מִעֲרָכָה or מִעֲרֶכֶת 2 Samuel 4:2; 2 Samuel 22:8; 2 Samuel 22:20, etc.; comp. עָרִךְ, Judges 20:30; 1 Samuel 17:21) appears to have been a simple ranging of the troops in line; and even is- the Maccabean period, when the Jews bad acquired some of the strategic art of the Greek' Syrians, their leaders seem to ham-c rested in their simple tactics, gaining advantage over the martial skill of the enemy chiefly by their patriotic valor. Scientific marshallings and exact military lists are mentioned in 1 Maccabees 7:36 sq.; 1 Maccabees 9:11 ; comp. 1 Maccabees 9:45 (see Joseph. Ant. 13:12, 5); 10:77 sq.; 12:28. The foreign troops of the later Jewish kings were maneuvered according to Greek and Roman tactics (comp. Joseph. Ant. 13:12, 5). For stratagems of the Jews during their final war, see Josephus, War, iii, 7, 13, 14, 20, 28. Nevertheless we can early trace a division of the army into three corps, probably with a view to charge the enemy in the centre- and upon both flanks (Judges 7:16; Judges 7:19; 1 Samuel 11:11; 2 Samuel 18:2; comp. 1 Maccabees 5:33; so four divisions, 2 Maccabees 8:22 : the expression wings of the army was already known, comp. כְּנָפַים 2 Maccabees 8:8; אֲגִפַּים ." Ezekiel 12:14; Ezekiel 12:17; Ezekiel 38:6, etc.; see Gesesius, Comment. zu Jes. i, 335, and Thesaur. p. ?29).

The field was probably fought man against man.. The extended arms of the combatants appear to have been bare (" exserti lacerti, humeri,", etc. Sil. Ital. 12:715; Lucan, ii, 543; Stat-is, Theb. i, 413 etc.), the military mantle having no armlets (comp. Ezekiel 4:7; Isaiah 52:10; so Dougtaei Analect. 1, 257 sq.). Great prowess, especially bodily dexterity' and agility (for attack sand pursuit), was a main qualification for the soldier or officer (2 Samuel 1:23; 2 Samuel 2:18; 1 Chronicles 12:8; Habakkuk 3:19; the " swift of foot" of the Homeric heroes). Signals for retreat or desisting from pursuit of the enemy were sounded on the trumpet (שׁוֹפָר, 2 Samuel 2:28; 2 Samuel 18:16; 2 Samuel 20:22). Single combat (q.v.) between two champions, which decided the battle (like the Horatii and Curiatii of Livy, i, 24), is the well-known one between David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17);' another example occurs 2 Samuel 2:14 sq. Sometimes peculiar stratagems were resorted to in the fight (comp. 2 Kings 7:12 sq.; see Rosenmuller, Morgenl. iii, 233 sq.), especially the surprise (Judges 7:16 sq.), the ambuscade (אֹרֶב Joshua 8:2; Joshua 8:12; Judges 20:36; 1 Samuel 15:5), and surrounding (2 Samuel 5:23). Informants and spies מִרְגְּלַים,κατάσκοποι were also employed (Joshua 2:6; Joshua 2:22; Judges 7:11 sq.; 1 Samuel 26:4; 1 Maccabees 5:38; 1 Maccabees 12:26). Distinguished acts of individual valor were often secured by an appointed prize (Joshua 15:16; Judges 1:12; 1 Samuel 17:25 sq.; 1 Samuel 18:25 sq.; 1 Chronicles 11:6). With the design of insuring a successful issue in battle, the sanctuary (ark of the covenant) was sometimes carried into the field (1 Samuel 4:4 sq.; comp. 2 Samuel 5:21). We have no sufficient accounts at the disposition of the Hebrew camp aside from the Mosaic arrangement (Numbers 2); although from 1 Samuel 17:20; 1 Samuel 26:5, it appears to have had a circular form, like that of the Arabs (also the Bedosuins, Arvieux, iii, 214) and ancient Greeks (Xesoph. Rep. Laced. 12:1), and we may understand the term מִעַגָּל (Auth. Vers. "trench") to refer to the bulwark of vehicles and beasts of burden, or (with Thenius) the circumvallation of the encampment (q.v.). The camps were usually guarded by carefully-posted sentinels (Judges 7:19; 1 Maccabees 12:27), and during the action a garrison remained in them or among the baggage (1 Samuel 30:24). Vanquished enemies were in general treated very severely: the captured generals and princes were put to death (Joshua 10:24; Judges 7:25); not unfrequently they were cut to pieces alive or beheaded when dead (2 Maccabees 15:30; 1 Samuel 17:54; comp. Herodot. 7:77; Joseph. War, i, 17, 2); all warriors sere stripped (1 Samuel 31:8; 2 Maccabees 8:27), and the living captives either carried into-slavery (Numbers 31:26 sq.; Deuteronomy 20:14; some mitigation, however being shown in the case of females, Deuteronomy 21:11 sq.) or put to death (Judges 9:45), sometimes in a cruel manner (2 Samuel 12:31; 2 Chronicles 23:12; comp. Judges 8:7), or even mutilated (Judges 1:6 sq.; 1 Samuel 11:2), although these cases of extreme severity are evidently peculiar and exceptional. As in all ancient warfare, the gentler sexs and tender age were not always spared amid the ruthless fury of vengeance: there are notices of women violated or disembowelled of their unborn infants and of children dashed in pieces against stones and the corners of streets (2 Kings 15:16; comp. 2 Kings 8:12; Isaiah 13:16; Amos 1:13; Hosea 10:14; Hosea 14:1; Nahum 3:10; 2 Maccabees 5:13; see Schultens, Monument. histor. Arab. -p. 125 Wachesmuth, Hellen. Alterthiimer, iii, 425); although these occur chiefly in connection with heathen countries (comp. Josephus, Apion, ii, 29). Captured horses' were hamstrung (2 Samuel 8:4; Joshua 11:6; Joshua 11:9). But (See BOOTY).

Conquered cities were occasionally burnt or demolished (Judges 9:45; 1 Maccabees 5:28; 1 Maccabees 5:52; 1 Maccabees 10:84); at least heathen sanctuaries were destroyed (1 Maccabees 5:68; 1 Maccabees 10:84) or carried away (Isaiah 46, see Gesenius, Comment. in loc.): the open country itself was laid waste (Judges 6:4; 1 Chronicles 20:1; 2 Kings 3:19; 2 Kings 3:25; comp. Judith ii, 17; Herodot. i, 17). Sometimes the conquerors contented themselves with pulling down the fortifications and carrying away the treasures (2 Kings 14:14; comp. 1 Kings 14:26; 2 Kings 24:13), demanded hostages (2 Kings 14:14), and exacted contributions (2 Kings 18:14; see Isaiah 33:18); garrisons were also left in charge (2 Samuel 8:6; 2 Samuel 8:14). But a more absolute war of extermination was waged by the Hebrew people against the Canaanites on the episode into Palestine. SEE ACCURSED. Victory was celebrated with joyful shouts, songs, and dances (Judges 5 :1 Samuel 18:6 sq.; 2 Samuel 22; Judith 16:2; Judith 16:24; 1 Maccabees 4:24); trophies were also set up (1 Samuel 15:12; 2 Samuel 8:13; but see Thenius, ad loc.). As permanent memorials of good fortune in war, captured weapons or pieces of armor were deposited in the sanctuary (1 Samuel 21:9; see. 31:10; 2 Kings 11:10; 1 Chronicles 10:10; comp. Homer, II. 7:83; Virg. En. 7:183 sq.; Justin, 9:7, Lucan, i; 240; Tacit. Anncal. i,59, 2). For military exploits, individuals were honored with presents or a promotion (1 Samuel 18:25 sq. [comp. Rosellini,. Moism.; Sttor. 4:74]; 2 Samuel 18:11), and David had a sort of honorary legion (2. Samuel 23:8).. Herod the Great once rewarded all his soldiers for a hard earned victory with money (Joseph. Ant. 14:15, 4). Leaders who fell were honored by the army with military mourning (2 Samuel 3:31), and their weapons were placed in their grave (Ezekiel 32:27; comp. Dougtaei Anal. ut sup.), as in that case the burial (with the tumultuary pomp of war, Amos 2:2) of the remains was a cardinal duty of the army and its commander (1 Kings 11:15). The scrupulousness of the. later Jews respecting the observance of the Sabbath (q.v.) sometimes gave the enemy an advantage over them.' See generally Lydii Syntagma de re mi'itari, c. notis Van Til (Dordaei, 1698; also in Ugolini Thes. xxvii). Kausler's Worterb. der Schlacten aller Volker (vol. i, Ulm, 1825) is of little value for Hebrew archeology. (See BATTLE). On 1 Corinthians 9:26, (See GAMES).


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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Fight'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tce/f/fight.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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