An organized fighting force. Although there was no standing army in ancient Israel until the monarchy, Abraham rallied 318 followers to rescue his relatives who had been captured by a coalition of kings (Gen 14
). In the tribal federation a people’s militia served when called upon by a leader, judge, or field commander. Saul added a bodyguard of “three thousand” responsible to himself and Jonathan, and later to Abner, as commander (1Sam 13:2
; 1Sam 17:55
). Mercenaries in David’s bodyguard (2Sam 8:18
; 2Sam 15:19-22
) supported the southern throne, in contrast with a tumul-tuous dynastic sequence in the north. Solomon introduced chariotry. Under the monarchy the army became highly organized, and warfare was greatly routinized. Although the NT recalls OT feats of arms (Heb 11:34
), the armies mentioned are either Roman (Luke 21:20
; Acts 23:27
) or supernatural (Rev 9:16
; Rev 19:14
; Rev 19:19
Lot's Captivity and Rescue
1In the days of King Amraphel of Shinar, King Arioch of Ellasar, King Chedorlaomer of Elam, and King Tidal of Goiim,2these kings made ... View more
2Saul chose three thousand out of Israel; two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of ... View more
55When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he said to Abner, the commander of the army, “Abner, whose son is this young man?” Abner said, “As your sou ... View more
18Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were priests.
19Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also coming with us? Go back, and stay with the king; for you are a foreigner, and also an exile from yo ... View more
34quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Foretold
20“When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near.
27This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, but when I had learned that he was a Roman citizen, I came with the guard and rescued him.
16The number of the troops of cavalry was two hundred million; I heard their number.
14And the armies of heaven, wearing fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.
19Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against the rider on the horse and against his army.