The Pros and Cons of the Armory of the Ancient Israelites

The Pros and Cons of the Armory of the Ancient Israelites

While the Israelites saw Yahweh in the spiritual sense as their divinely armed warrior leading the way, in the physical realm, they were anything but divinely armed. At Sinai, Moses instituted a draft in which the number swelled from 1,000 soldiers to 5,500 or 5,750. These 5,500 Israelites were trained and armed, most likely in Egyptian fashion. As time progressed the Israelites adopted new forms of strategy, tactics, arms, and armor due to the trial and error of battle.

All weapons serve a defensive and offensive purpose, depending on whether the warrior is repelling or attacking an opponent. One way to examine the Israelite weapons is from a perspective of short, medium, and long-range use.

Bronze, iron and ivory daggers found at Tel El-Farah (11th BC). Israel Museum, Jerusalem. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Bronze, iron and ivory daggers found at Tel El-Farah (11th BC). Israel Museum, Jerusalem. (CC BY-SA 3.0)


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