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War and Warfare


to the destruction of the first temple

The methods of offensive and defensive warfare developed side by side in the Ancient Near East. The development of weapons was dependent upon the supply of raw materials, such as stone, metal, and wood; the technical developments of the period, e.g., the development of a metallurgical industry, the manner in which wood was treated, and that in which different materials, such as wood and metal, were joined; and the need, i.e., whether methods of warfare developed by one country necessitated corresponding developments to counteract them by a rival country.


the early bronze age (c. 3150–2200 b.c.e.)

The beginning of urbanization and the consequent development of more sophisticated armies in the Early Bronze Age also brought about the development of more sophisticated weapons, and the first metal weapons appear at this time. Several types of bows (Heb. תֶשֶק, keshet (qeshet)) are known in this period: the simple double-convex Egyptian bow; the early Mesopotamian bow, shaped like a simple curve; and the composite bow, developed by the Akkadians in the second half of the third millennium. Arrows (Heb. חֵץ, ḥeẓ) were hollow reed shafts, their bases usually feathered. Arrowheads were at first made of flint and later of metal. Tubular leather quivers (Heb. אַשְׁפָּה, ʾashpah) with circular bases have been found in Egypt. The spear (Heb. רֹמַח, romaḥ) was used for hand-to-hand combat (Num. 25:7–8) while the javelin (Heb. חֲנִית, ḥanit), a smaller and lighter weapon, was thrown from a distance (i Sam. 18:11). Spearheads found in Palestine (Kefar Monash and Tell el-Hesi) are triangular with a protuberant midrib and a tang terminating in a hood, which was fitted into the staff. The sword (Heb. חֶרֶב, ḥerev, also used for dagger), battle-ax, and mace were the principal weapons used on the battlefield. The technical limitations of the period for the production of long and tough metal blades were the main obstacle in the development of the sword as a basic weapon. At this time, swords were straight, double-edged, and pointed, an average of 10 in. (25 cm.) in length. They were designed mainly for stabbing, as if they were daggers. A second type of sword, the sickle-sword, developed in Mesopotamia in the second half of the third millennium b.c.e., was used for striking. There were two types of axes (Heb. גַּרְזֶן, garzen): the cutting ax and the piercing ax, developed as an answer to the metal helmet. Technically, they are divided into two groups according to the manner in which they were attached to the wooden staff: the shaft-holed axes and the tangled axes, both of which were developed in this period. The Sumerian infantry, for which there is the most information on military dress in this period, wore sleeveless leather vests with metal studs, presumably the earliest known coats of mail. Their metal helmets (Heb. קוֹבַע, kova (qovaʿ)) were slightly pointed, and they carried large rectangular shields (Heb. מָגֵן צִנָּה, magen ẓinnah) of wood and leather (?) to which a metal disk was attached.

Chariots (Heb. מֶרְכָּבָה, merkavah; רֶכֶב, rekhev is mostly collective, "chariotry") were not weapons in themselves but were used as mobile firing bases. They had to fulfill two basic requirements: stability and speed. These contradictory functions followed the development of the chariot, which was first evolved by the Sumerians at the beginning of the third millennium b.c.e. Two-wheeled and four-wheeled chariots are evident at this time, both drawn by two pairs of horses.

the middle bronze age (the age of the patriarchs; c. 2200–1550 b.c.e.)

The most advanced type of bow, the composite bow, was developed in Akkad in the second half of the third millennium (see above). While the highly technical skill that the bow required is not evident among the nomads who penetrated and conquered Syria and Mesopotamia, the appearance of the composite bow fully developed at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age shows that composite bows were in use in the Middle Bronze Age. Most of the data on bows comes from Egypt. The conservative Egyptians continued to use the simple double-convex bow, as seen in the wall paintings at Beni-Hasan, and the Asiatics in the same painting also carry this bow. Also portrayed is a workshop for the manufacture of bows, and the use of the bow in battle. Quivers did not change much, and the Egyptian ones have the same form as earlier ones. The same type of quiver is carried by one of the Asiatics in the Beni-Hasan wall painting.

Spears and javelins are divided into two types according to the method of attachment to the wooden staff: the tanged head and the socketed head. Tanged javelin heads have been found mainly in the tombs of the nomadic peoples of Middle Bronze Age i. The blade is typically leaf-shaped, with a long tang ending in a hook. With the javelin-heads have been found pointed metal skewers, also with long hooked tangs, which were presumably the butt ends of the javelin (Heb. אַחֲרֵי הַחֲנִית, ʾaḥarei ha-ḥanit), used either as weapons (ii Sam. 2:23) or to stick the weapon into the ground when not in use (i Sam. 26:7). The socketed javelin head appears at the time of the Hyksos. Both the javelin head and the socket were cast in the same mold, the socket being wrought into shape afterward. The sicklesword, used for striking, was modified in the Middle Bronze Age, when it was made in a mold and the handle was attached to the hilt by a metal rivet. The length of the handle was twice as long as the blade. Several well-preserved examples have been found at Byblos, Shechem, and in Egypt. The dagger-sword was also developed in this period. Those of Middle Bronze Age i, found mostly in tombs, are straight and narrow, with a prominent central spine. The hilt was made together with the blade and had up to ten rivets. From their length of approximately 12 to 15 in. (30 to 40 cm.) it can be assumed that they were used for striking and thrusting. While the sickle-sword was used for striking, broader and shorter daggers for stabbing also appear at this time (Middle Bronze Age ii b-c). In accordance with their function, they were strengthened by ribs and a central spine. The hilt was made together with the blade and a crescent-shaped stone or metal piece served as a pommel. While the development of the sword as the main weapon of the infantry lagged because of technical difficulties, the battle-ax that replaced it in hand-to-hand combat made rapid technical advances. The blade of the lugged, tanged ax is narrower and longer than previously, and the cutting edge is shaped like a crescent, and is wider than the rest of the blade. Such axes were used by the Egyptian army as piercing axes until the beginning of the New Kingdom. The triple-tanged ax was used at the beginning of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt mainly as a cutting ax. Demand for a special ax for piercing metal helmets gave rise to several changes in this ax. One of the axes developed to serve this need was the "eye ax," used in the 20th–19th centuries b.c.e. The three tangs of this ax ended in a semicircular shaft, thus forming two "eyes." Such axes were used in the 12th dynasty period and in Palestine, Syria, and Anatolia, and a group of ceremonial gold "eye-axes" have been found at Byblos. In Syria and Palestine in the 19th century, the "eye-ax" was developed into the "duck-bill" ax, which had a longer blade, a narrower cutting edge, and narrower oblong "eyes," which gave the ax its name. The haft was curved to prevent its slipping from the hand. Such axes were found mainly in Syria, and one of the Asiatics in the Beni-Hasan wall painting carries one. Shaft-holed axes, the typical piercing battle-ax, appear in Syria and Palestine in the 18th century b.c.e. and were used throughout Middle Bronze Age ii. The forerunner of this ax was used in the Akkadian army. It has a long and very narrow blade, with a shaft no wider than the blade. Technical changes usually consisted of a strengthening of the shaft and a better means of connection between the haft and the blade.

Data from the Middle Bronze Age provide no information on the development of the means for personal protection and the chariot. However, the highly technical advances made at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age could not have been developed in a vacuum and presumably the personal equipment of this period was similar to that of the succeeding period (see below).

the late bronze age (1550–1200 b.c.e.)

The composite bow, made of wood from birch trees (?), tendons of wild bulls, horns of wild goats, and sinews from the hocks of bulls (Aqhat a, tablet 6, lines 20–23; Pritchard, Texts, 151), was the only type of bow used by archers in this period. The highly technical skill required for its manufacture made it the weapon of the armies of the empires and of the wealthy ruling class of the city-states. The two basic types, triangular and bi-concave, were both used during the same period. The triangular bow is shaped like a shallow isosceles triangle with a wide-angled peak. The arms of the bi-concave bow curve near the ends at the points to which the string is attached. A special bow case was attached to the Egyptian chariot, the bow being the main weapon of Egyptian charioteers. The charioteer had a quiver attached to the right side of the chariot and sometimes additional ones on his shoulders. Quivers, made of leather with a shoulder strap, remained long and cylindrical, and each contained 25 to 30 arrows. Arrowheads were leaf-shaped with a central ridge. To train soldiers in the operation of the bow, on foot or while driving a chariot, special training programs were devised, in which ranges and target shooting were employed (i Sam. 20:20–22). Spears and javelins did not change much from those of the Middle Bronze Age. They were used by the infantry of all armies, especially by the assault phalanx. They were the main weapon of Hittite charioteers, while Egyptian charioteers used the bow, as is clearly seen in the reliefs portraying the battle of Kadesh. Improvements in the melting and casting of metal are evident in the swords and daggers of this period. For the first time, the complete weapon – blade, hilt, and handle – was cast in a single mold for additional strengthening of the weapon. The sickle-sword remained the main type of sword, but the relative sizes of the hilt and handle became 1:1. Daggers were straight and narrow, the handle becoming part of the blade. The handle of both the sickle-sword and the dagger was molded with side flanges, the resulting recess in the center of the handle perhaps being filled by plates. At the end of the period, due to the influence of the Sea Peoples, a straight, long sword took the place of the sickle-sword. The two main types of battle-axes continued in this period. The Egyptians still used the tanged ax-head with extended lugs for better attachment to the wood haft. This ax-head, with a crescent-shaped cutting edge, was used throughout the period with only small changes. The blade was shortened and the cutting edge narrowed. The socketed battle-ax, mainly used by armies of the northern countries, underwent slight changes. The blade was widened and prongs were attached to the socket opposite the blade. This type of ax disappeared at the beginning of the Iron Age.

The development of the piercing battle-ax and the composite bow necessitated a development in personal defense. Body armor was composed of leather or rough cloth, to which oblong scales made of thin leaves of bronze were attached. The size of the scales varied according to their position on the coat. According to the Nuzi tablets, each coat of chain mail contained 400 to 600 scales. Such armor had several disadvantages: weight, cost, and the joints at the sleeves, between the scales, and at the collar, which were the weakest points (i Kings 22:34). Chain mail was used by charioteers and archers, as well as for protection of the chariots and horses. Several outfits have been found in Egypt, Syria, Palestine, and Mesopotamia, and they are represented in the wall reliefs of the Egyptian kings, especially in the chariot reliefs of Thutmose iv and those of Ramses ii portraying the battle of Kadesh. Several types of helmets were used by the Late Bronze Age soldiers. The Canaanites wore a round metal helmet that covered the back of the neck but exposed the ears, as represented on the carved ivory plaque from Megiddo. The Asiatics that fought Thutmose iv wore slightly pointed helmets covered by feathers or decorated leather, with a tassel attached to the crown and knotted at the back like a plait. The Hittite helmet as represented on the King's Gate at Boghazköy is pointed with well-defined ear and neck shields and a long tassel. Another type of Hittite helmet is shown in the reliefs of the battle of Kadesh, in which Hittite charioteers wear round helmets covering the neck and exposing the ears. The pharaoh had a special battle crown known as the Blue Crown. The development of armor resulted in a reduction in the size of the shield, which was composed of a wooden frame covered with leather. The Egyptians used a small oblong shield with a round top. A metal disk was later added at the top. The Hittites carried a shield shaped like the number eight. The Canaanite shield was small and rectangular and was later replaced by a small round shield.

The chariot reached a high point of development in this period. It was brought to Egypt by the Hyksos, and the Egyptian chariots of the 16th–15th centuries are imitations of the Canaanite ones. The Egyptian chariots were light, with two wheels, a pole, and a yoke to which two horses were harnessed. The earlier chariots were lighter, with four-spoked wheels and an axle-rod placed near the rear of the body. The frame was constructed of wood and partly covered with leather or light wood. The pole ran underneath the body for additional support, and a double-convex yoke was nailed at the forward end. Chariots of the 14th–13th centuries b.c.e., such as that of Ramses ii, were heavier with six-spoked wheels and an axle-tree at the rear of the body. The Egyptian chariot was built to carry a driver and an archer. A bow case and quiver were attached to it. While Canaanite chariots were copied by the Egyptians at the beginning of the period, under Egyptian rule in Canaan, Egyptian chariots were copied by the Canaanites, as seen in the ivory plaque from Megiddo. Hittite chariots, as represented on the reliefs of Ramses ii portraying the battle of Kadesh, were heavier, with six-spoked wheels and an axle-tree placed under the middle of the chariot or near the rear. Two horses were harnessed to it, and a driver, a javelin hurler, and a shield bearer rode in it. While the Egyptians employed their chariots as mobile bases for the archers, the Hittites used them as mobile bases for the infantry, which was armed with javelins and capable of fighting as infantry without the chariots.

The principles of warfare as known today were also employed in the Ancient Near East. The techniques included surprise attack, ambush, concentration of power, methods to ensure maximum mobility, and the interconnected use of different forces of the army. Battles usually were fought on the main roads, such as the battle of Megiddo between Thutmose iii and the Syro-Palestine coalition headed by the king of Kadesh. Prior to this battle in the summer of 1468 b.c.e., Thutmose iii and his army, which included chariots and infantry, camped at Yehem (Kh. Yama (?)), where the pharaoh received the latest intelligence information concerning the king of Kadesh and his allies, who were reportedly waiting for him near Megiddo. A staff meeting with the Egyptian commanders was held and the three possible approaches to Megiddo were discussed. The commanders preferred to march along the easier routes, the southern one, via Taanach, or the northern one, via Djefti. They argued against the use of the main route via the wadi ʿAruna, because the way becomes narrow and they would be forced to march "one man behind the other, and one horse behind the other." Thutmose iii, however, decided to take the more dangerous route on principles of honor and for the sake of achieving a tactical surprise. The entire Egyptian force marched through the pass, in a long procession without encountering any resistance or harassment, regrouped, chose the ground on which the battle would be fought, and won the battle. The Egyptian army, instead of pursuing the fleeing Canaanites, began to loot the camp. Thus the Canaanites managed to take refuge in Megiddo, and it took the pharaoh seven more months of siege to conquer the city and break the rebellion.

Further data concerning the conduct of war are given in the Egyptian description of the battle of Kadesh on the Orontes. In the summer of 1286 Ramses ii marched to Syria to check the advance of the Hittites, taking with him four brigades. Before he crossed the Orontes, two Shosu (Bedouin) came to his camp and gave him false information – that the Hittites were camping at Aleppo to the north of Kadesh. Acting on this information, Ramses ii divided his forces and headed for Kadesh with only two brigades, those of Amon and Re. He arrived at Kadesh with the leading Amon brigade, and while he encamped, his scouts discovered the Hittite army hidden beyond the city of Kadesh. The Hittite chariots then attacked, destroyed the Re brigade while it was marching unawares toward the city, and then struck north, breaking into the fortified camp of the pharaoh. Only the leadership and valor of Ramses and the employment of his reserve brigade saved the Egyptians from total defeat. A mere glimpse of the military tactics of the armies is given in the descriptions of these two battles. However, they reveal that these armies were aware of the advantages of surprise attack, the importance of military intelligence, the deployment of armies marching into battle (with or without a defended flank according to the terrain and the time of day), the division of the army into separate chariot and infantry units, and military discipline.

the iron age (the period of the judges and the united kingdom; 1200–900 b.c.e.)

After a period of decline at the beginning of the period, the bow continued in the tradition of the Late Bronze Age. The composite bow was used by all armies. Changes in the shape of quivers and arrows were marginal. Arrowheads lost their protruding spine and some of those found in Palestine and Syria carried inscriptions, such as "the arrow of ʿAbdlabiʾat" (חץ עבדלבאת). The sling, essentially a shepherd's weapon, also appears on the battlefield, as in the confrontation of David and Goliath (i Sam. 17).

The spear and the javelin, along with the sword and the bow, were the basic weapons of the infantry. Deborah lamented that her army was not prepared because it lacked spears: "Was there a shield or spear among forty thousand in Israel?" (Judg. 5:8). The main type was a shaft-holed spearhead with a long blade and a very broad midrib. The finest description of these weapons occurs in that of Goliath's armament (i Sam. 17:5–7): he had a special hurling javelin, with a finger-loop like a "weaver's beam" on the shaft. Under the influence of the Philistines, the sickle-sword changed into a long, straight iron sword used for cutting and thrusting. Since the smiths at that time were all Philistine, the Israelites were not able to produce similar swords (i Sam. 13:19). The new type of sword, described in Judges 3:16, replaced the sickle-sword as the basic weapon.

The Philistines brought with them weapons that had been developed in the Aegean. In the wall reliefs of Ramses iii at Medinet Habu, each group of Sea Peoples wore slightly different helmets and armor, perhaps as a tribal distinction. The Philistines wore feather-crested helmets, while the other groups wore horned helmets or helmets with disks and horns. The body was protected by a coat of armor made of numerous metal strips laid at angles to each other, thus forming inverted v's or v's, depending upon the tribe. The lower part of the body was protected by a kilt with two strips of leather (?) forming a cross in the front. The Philistine army fought in groups of four, each soldier armed with either a long sword or a pair of spears, and protected by a round wood and leather shield. In hand-to-hand combat, the duelist, like Goliath, was protected by a man-sized shield carried by a special shield bearer (i Sam. 17:7). The bow and the battle-ax were not included in the Philistine arsenal. While the bow remained a decisive weapon on the battlefield, the long, straight-bladed sword took the place of the ax. It is interesting to compare the dress and weapons of Goliath with those of David. The former had, besides a sword (i Sam. 17:51), "a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was 5,000 shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a javelin of brass between his shoulders. And the shaft of his spear was like a weaver's bow; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and his shield bearer went before him" (i Sam. 17:5–7). David was clad in Saul's "apparel, and he [Saul] put a helmet of brass upon his head, and he clad him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his apparel" (i Sam. 17:38–39).

While the Egyptian army continued to use the same type of chariot as was used in the Late Bronze Age, the Philistines employed a heavy chariot with six-spoked wheels and a crew of three, armed with hurling javelins like the Hittite charioteers. The Israelite tribes, when settling in the hill country, "drove out the inhabitants of the hill country, for he [Judah] was unable to drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron" (Judg. 1:19). The tribal army of Deborah and Barak was victorious over the chariots of Sisera in a battle in the Jezreel Valley (Judg. 4:13–15). David and Solomon were the first to form chariot squadrons in the Israelite army, and Solomon built special cities for chariots (i Kings 10:26; ii Chron. 1:14). At the same time, Solomon was the main trader in horses and chariots between Egypt and the Hittites (i Kings 10:28–29).

The technique of night attack can be seen in the description of the battle between Gideon and the Midianites (Judg. 6–8), the latter being mounted on camels. The army of Gideon encamped "beside En-Harod; and the camp of Midian was on the north side of them, by Gibeath-Moreh, in the valley." After the Israelites had assembled, Gideon chose only 300 of them, for a surprise night attack requires only a small number of men. Before the attack, Gideon reconnoitered outside the Midian camp. His plan of attack was simple, with the 300 men divided into three companies under the leadership of Gideon, an agreed signal, and the battle cry of "For the Lord and for Gideon." After a timetable for the attack was set, the Israelites attacked the enemy camp during the changing of the guard. The attack was executed according to plan and the enemy was put to flight. Gideon asked the Ephraimites to block the retreat of the Midianites across the Jordan, while he and his army pursued the fleeing enemy until it was destroyed and the Midianite kings captured.

the iron age: the kingdoms of israel and judah (900–586 b.c.e.)

The main sources of this period for information on the military organization are the wall reliefs found in the palaces of the Assyrian kings. The prophet Isaiah describes the character and great strength of the Assyrian army (5:26–28), which was imitated by the other armies of the ancient Near East. The army was divided into three forces – infantry, cavalry, and chariots – as described in the Bible: "And muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot" (i Kings 20:25); "For there was not left to Jehoahaz of the people save fifty horsemen and ten chariots and 10,000 footmen" (ii Kings 13:7). Besides his special weapons, each soldier had a basic armament of a sword, a coat of mail, and a helmet. The design of this basic armament was slightly changed from the reign of one king to the other. The iron sword was long and straight with a double edge, and the handle was constructed to fit to the fingers. It was carried in a sheath shaped like the sword, and a floral decoration was occasionally added near the opening and the base. The sheath was hooked to the belt on the left side and held in place by a leather strap that circled the left shoulder. The coat of armor, shaped like a sack with an opening for the head and short sleeves, was full-length in the ninth century b.c.e. A special scarf of scales used by archers connected the helmet to the armor. In the eighth and seventh centuries the chain mail dress was shortened into a shirt. The shape of metal helmets varied from conical and pointed to feather-crested, according to the troops wearing them and the reigning king.

The infantry (Heb. ragli, ish ragli; i Kings 20:29) was divided into four groups: archers (Heb. dorekhei qeshet; Jer. 50:14; nosheqei qeshet; i Chron. 12:2), slingers (Heb. kalla'im; ii Kings 3:25), spearmen (Heb. ʿorekhei ẓinnah wa-romaḥ;i Chron. 12:9), and auxiliaries. While the spearmen, the assault troops of the army, defended themselves with shields which were rectangular, round, or curved with a round top, depending upon the period, the archers and the slingers were without shields, and special shield bearers were attached to their companies. The infantry took part in battles in the open field and in assaults on fortified cities with no change in their equipment. The cavalry (Heb. parashim) only participated in open field engagements and were equipped with either bows or spears. While mounted spearmen defended themselves with round shields, mounted archers, who needed the use of both hands in combat, were protected by mounted shield bearers. The cavalry operated either as independent units or as a mobile defense for the chariots. Chariots (Heb. rekhev, ḥeil rekhev) as the main assault force underwent many changes in Assyrian military history. The earliest known ones, those of Ashurnaṣirpal ii (883–859 b.c.e.), were heavier than those known from the preceding period. Each had six-spoked wheels of medium size, an axle-rod at the rear of the body, and a heavy pole. Two horses were harnessed to it and a third, riding as an outrigger, was held in reserve. The crew consisted of a driver, who also served as a spearman, and an archer. A shield bearer was added to the king's chariot. The chariots of Tiglath-Pileser iii (745–727 b.c.e.) are heavier still, and the wheels are larger with eight spokes. A driver, archer, and shield bearer rode in the chariot, the latter protecting the others with two round shields. The number of horses and, correspondingly, of yokes was increased to four. The tendency of the kings following Tiglath-Pileser iii was to build heavier chariots. In the time of Ashurbanipal (668–630 b.c.e.), the crew numbered four – a driver, an archer, and two shield bearers.

A complicated description of the battle between Ahab and Ben-Hadad of Aram is given in i Kings 20:1–23. This battle took place in the Samarian Hills, and the Arameans blamed their defeat on the fact that the Israelite God "is a God of the hills; therefore they were stronger than we; but let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they." Subsequently, a second battle was fought in the plain of Aphek in the Golan (i Kings 20:23–30). The two armies faced each other for seven days before finally joining battle, which the Arameans again lost.


the early bronze age (c. 3150–2200 b.c.e.)

The widespread urbanization which had its beginnings in this period created a need for a developed civic organization, a central administration, and the means for defense of the city. Armies were created, and military engineers designed city walls and inner citadels, fortified city gates and bastions. Posterns were built into the city wall for use in counterattack. The achievements of these engineers have been preserved in the monuments and remains uncovered by archaeologists. The earliest plans of fortified cities are preserved on the ceremonial slate palettes of the late pre-Dynastic period in Egypt (late 4th millennium). These show square or rectangular fortified cities with wide walls, square towers, and a parapet around the top for protection of the defenders. Three fortified enclosures dating to the Second Dynasty in Egypt were found at Hierakonpolis and Abydos. Incomplete fortifications that have been uncovered in Palestine usually have very thick walls, 13–26 ft. (4–8 m.) thick, built of the materials available in the region, i.e., of either stone or brick or a combination of the two, the stone forming the foundation and the brick the superstructure. Such walls were found at Megiddo, Ai, Bet-Yeraḥ, and Jericho. They were fortified with semicircular towers, as at Ai, Arad, and Jericho (and as represented in a wall relief from Deshashah in Egypt, detailing the Egyptian assault of a Syrian city), and/or with rectangular towers as at Tell el-Far'ah (biblical Tirzah), Jericho, and Ai. City gates are of two types. At Tell el-Far'ah and Jericho passageways flanked by two protruding towers were found. The second type, as found at Khirbet et-Tabaik (Rosh ha-Nikrah), features an indirect approach between the inner and outer entrances, thus forcing the attacker to turn in the middle of the attack. The forerunners of certain methods of fortification which occur in a more advanced form in the Middle Bronze Age were found in this period. Thus a primitive glacis was uncovered at Gezer, Tel 'Aierani, and Taanach, and a small fosse (moat) at Jericho.

Three methods were employed to conquer a fortified city: direct approach, i.e., penetrating the wall by breaching, climbing it, or digging a passage underneath it; siege; indirect approach, i.e., penetration by ruse. Only when the first method was employed does material evidence remain; for evidence of the other two, written documents must be used. Direct approach was employed to either penetrate the wall in an undefended spot or to attack the gate, the most vulnerable point in the wall. In such an attack, ladders were used for scaling the wall, or axes, spears, and later the battering ram were used for breaching it, all under the covering fire of archers. The weapons of this period were primitive, but even the large walls of the cities crumbled in front of them, as attested by the many layers of destruction found in excavated sites. Hoes and battering poles for breaching the city wall, and mobile and non-mobile ladders for scaling them were widely used by the Egyptian army.

the middle bronze age (2200–1550 b.c.e.)

This period is divided into the pre-Hyksos period (Middle Bronze iia in Palestine, the 12th Dynasty in Egypt; c. 2000–1750 b.c.e.) and the Hyksos period (Middle Bronze iib–c in Palestine, the 13th–17th Dynasties in Egypt; cf. 1750–1550 b.c.e.). An excellent example of Egyptian fortifications of the first period was excavated at Buhen in northern Nubia. The citadel measures approximately 170 × 180 m. and has four lines of defense: an inner wall, outer wall, moat, and fortified gate. The brick inner wall is approximately 16½ ft. (5 m.) thick and approximately 33 ft. (c. 10 m.) high. At intervals of 16½ ft. (5 m.) square bastions protrude from the face of the wall. Battlements and balconies crown the top of the wall. The outer wall, lower than the inner one in the typical Egyptian style of this and the preceding period, has a series of semicircular bastions at intervals of 33½ ft. (10 m.). On top of the wall and the bastions are two rows of embrasures, one above the other. A dry moat was excavated at the foot of the outer wall, with a counterscarp on the opposite side. The gate complex consisted of two rectangular towers, which protruded beyond the counterscarp and flanked a narrow passageway leading to a two-doored gate. Remains of a wooden drawbridge were found over the moat. While the ground outside the wall was covered by the archers from at least three directions, the weakest point of the defenses was the gate, and burnt layers at this spot show that the citadel was breached here. A citadel represented on a wall painting at Beni-Hasan in Egypt has a wall sloping outwards at the bottom and topped by balconies and two gates with battlements. A fortified gate excavated at Megiddo was reached by a stairway protected by a wall. The outer and inner entrances are on an indirect axis, which, together with the nearby gate tower, provided an ample means of defense against attack. The appearance of the chariot and a developed battering ram changed the nature of fortifications. The gates could no longer be built with an indirect approach or with a stepped passageway, as chariots could not maneuver under such conditions. Means to protect the wall and its base against the battering ram had to be devised. The walls were built upon large ramparts of terre-pisée, as found at sites as far afield as Syria and Egypt, and at *Sharuhen (Tell al-Fāriʿa), Tell el-ʾAggul (Beth-Egliam), Lachish, Hazor, Tel Dan, and Jericho in Palestine. The outer face of the rampart was made into a glacis, which was constructed of several layers of terre-pisée, in a sandwich pattern, and was faced with bricks, stones, or hardened clay. A fosse was excavated at the foot of the glacis and a counterscarp built on the outer edge. The gates were built against the inner face of the city wall. Three pairs of pilasters flanked the passageway, creating two guardrooms, while also serving as piers for the upper stories of the gate tower. The gate was protected by two multistoried rectangular towers, usually not protruding from the outer face of the wall. This type of gate has been found in almost every excavated site of this period, such as Hazor, Gezer, Beth-Shemesh, and Shechem in Palestine, and Alalakh and Qatna in Syria.

The main development in offensive weapons was the battering ram (Heb. כַּר). Primitive ones are represented in the relief from Deshasheh, but the first representation of one whose users are covered against arrows from the wall by a hut-shaped enclosure appears in the Beni-Hasan wall painting. The battering ram is also mentioned in the Mari letters and the Boghazkőy archives, which deal with problems of use, special methods of construction, and mobility.

the late bronze age (1550–1200 b.c.e.)

The cities of this period occupied the same sites as those of the Middle Bronze Age and where the defenses were still standing, they were reused, with generally only small changes being made. The main feature which emerges in this period is a citadel built inside the city on the highest point. A palace and temple were built inside the citadel. Elevations of Canaanite cities are shown in the wall reliefs of the 19th Dynasty, whose kings, Seti i and Ramses ii, conquered many of them. The cities are stereotyped, being built on a mound with two main features of defense – an outer city wall and an inner citadel, both with semicircular battlements and rectangular balconies. The cities had one or two rectangular gates of the same type as the Middle Bronze ii gates, at Megiddo, Hazor, and Gezer. Archaeological remains that exhibit the new developments in military engineering are scarce. One of them is the eastern city gate at Shechem, which is constructed of two pairs of pilasters, with a guardroom between them. The pilasters served as piers for the upper stories of the gate tower. Remains of citadels and fortified temples, called migdal in the Bible (Judg. 9:46–49, 50–52), were found at Shechem, Megiddo, and Beth-Shean. The rectangular temples at Megiddo and Shechem were protected by thick walls, with a pair of square towers flanking the entrance. According to biblical descriptions and archaeological evidence, they were multistoried. The fortifications of Boghazkőy, the Hittite capital, exhibit several new features in military architecture. The walls were constructed as casemates, with a low outer wall in front of them. Several underground posterns were found underneath the walls. The gates, known as the King's Gate and the Lion's Gate, were formed by two pairs of pilasters with a guardroom between them and a passageway flanked by two multistoried towers.

Most information on war of offense in this period comes from Egyptian wall reliefs and documents and from the Bible. The Egyptians employed all the three possible methods of offense: direct and indirect approach and siege. While assaulting a city, the shock troops, protected by shields, used scaling ladders to climb the wall or attempted to breach the city gates with battle-axes. No battering ram appears in Egyptian reliefs. When direct approach was impossible or too dangerous, the Egyptians laid siege to the city, which sometimes lasted up to three years, as that of ʿAhmose (Amasis), the founder of the 18th Dynasty, against Sharuhen in Southern Palestine. Ruse was also employed in the conquest of cities. One of the most well-known is the Trojan horse, which ended the siege of Troy. Joshua employed ruses at least twice. That used against Jericho (Josh. 6) is still obscure. A clearer stratagem is that used against Ai (Josh. 8:3–8), in which Joshua and the Israelites drew the inhabitants out of the city by feigning retreat. Burnt levels, found at Beth-El, Lachish, Tell Beit Mibsim, and Hazor, indicate the destruction caused by the Israelites in their conquest of the land.

the iron age (1200–900 b.c.e.)

Excavation has revealed remains of the fortifications of the kings of the United Monarchy, Saul, David, and Solomon. Geba, or Gibeath-Shaul (present-day Tell el-Ful) was the capital of Saul's kingdom. The citadel, dating from the second half of the 11th century, was built with a casemate wall and a corner tower with three chambers. Architectural remains from the time of David are scant. Although remains of fortifications have been found in Jerusalem, it is difficult to attribute any of them to David with certainty. From the Bible it is known that he fortified the city after the expulsion of the Jebusites (ii Sam. 5:9). Solomon continued to build in Jerusalem. Besides the erection of the Temple and the palace, he completed the Millo (the fill between the city of David and the Temple Mount) and fortified the city (i Kings 11:27). Remains of two towers, a huge stone glacis, and a gate found in Jerusalem are attributed to the time of David and Solomon. Solomon built extensively throughout the country as well (i Kings 9:15). Excavations at the three cities, Hazor, Megiddo, and Gezer, have shown that all were built according to the same general plan, with almost identical gates. The cities were fortified by casemate walls, a type of construction introduced into Palestine possibly by the Hittites via Syria. The casemates in such walls were used as garrisons and for storage. The gates of these cities were designed with an entrance flanked by two square towers, which led to a roofed passageway with three guardrooms on either side. The walls of the guardroom served as piers for support of the upper story.

The destruction of many cities in the devastating campaign of Pharaoh Shishak in approximately 920 b.c.e. and the appearance of the mighty war machines of the Assyrian army changed the methods of fortification under the divided monarchy. Each kingdom built a peripheral defense (ii Chron. 11:6–12). Besides these cities, a chain of citadels was built along the main roads and trade routes and on the frontiers (ii Chron. 26:9–10). Casemate walls remained only in non-strategic places, such as Tell Beit Mirsim in southwest Judah. This was the main feature of citadels in the wilderness, i.e., the Negeb. A fine example of such citadels is that at Kadesh-Barnea, which is rectangular, 100 × 166½ ft. (30 × 50 m.), and fortified by a casemate wall, with square towers at the corners and in the middle of each side. Similar citadels have been found in the Negeb, such as at Arad and Khirbet Uzzah. Inner citadels and fortified palaces, as the palace of Ahab in Samaria and a palace excavated at Ramat Raḥel (Beth-Cherem) near Jerusalem, were also fortified by casemate walls. Defense of the main cities changed with the reappearance of the battering ram, for which there is no extant evidence in the Late Bronze Age and the time of the United Monarchy. The hollow casemate wall was unable to withstand the breaching power of this weapon. The space between the wall was hastily filled with stones, and later a new solid stone wall was built. The outer face of the wall was constructed with salients and recesses. Secondary defenses took the form of a low outer wall, towers and bastions in the weak spots, and a stone glacis. Battlements and balconies were built on top of the walls. A wooden frame to hold the shields of the defenders was added to the battlement to protect the upper body of the warrior, and a screen of shields was thus formed. This structure is clearly seen in the reliefs portraying Sennacherib's assault against Lachish and is described in the Bible (ii Chron. 26:15). Gates also changed, usually following the design of gates in Syria and Assyria. The depth of the entrance was lessened, and a gate with two chambers on either side and two protruding towers was constructed. This style was typical of the ninth century, while a gate with a single chamber on either side and two towers was typical of the eighth century. Gates with a broken approach to the main entrance are also known from this period, especially at Samaria, Lachish, Tell el-Far'ah, and Tell-Muqana' (Ekron). The preparations taken by King Hezekiah of Judah in the face of the coming siege of Jerusalem by Sennacherib are described in ii Chronicles 32:3–5 and included the construction of new waterworks, known as the Siloam tunnel, to bring water directly into the city (ii Kings 20:20; ii Chron. 32:30).

The development of the battering ram in the time of the Judges and the United Monarchy is not known, and the casemate walls constructed at this time were not built to withstand the attack of battering rams. It must be assumed that attacks were carried out along traditional lines, i.e., by means of siege, scaling the walls, and indirect approach, especially surprise attacks. When Shechem rebelled against Abimelech the son of Gideon, who had usurped the kingship there, he divided his troops into three groups and by means of ambush and surprise, stormed the outer city walls (Judg. 9:43–45). After the conquest of the outer city walls, only the citadel remained, which Abimelech destroyed by fire (Judg. 9:48–49). David's campaigns against fortified cities consist of the conquest of Jerusalem by an obscure method (ii Sam. 5; i Chron. 11) and the classic battle of Rabbath-Ammon, which can be divided into five stages. The first phase was a battle in the open field, with the purpose of destroying the armies of the Ammonites and their allies, thus preventing a counterattack on the exposed flanks and rear of the Israelites when it later laid siege to the city (ii Sam. 10). The second phase was the besieging of the city (ibid. 11:1). In the third stage the Israelites tried to breach the walls while the Ammonites counterattacked (ibid. 11:23–25). The conquest of the "royal city" and the "city of waters" (ibid. 12:26–28) constituted the fourth stage, and the conquest of the inner citadel, the last (ibid. 12:29).

The Assyrians were the dominant military power in the Near East at the time of the divided kingdom. Their military might was organized into units, each with a defined purpose, and it was under them that the art of siege was developed. From the reign of Ashurnaṣirpal ii (883–859 b.c.e.) onward, the battering ram reappeared as a decisive siege machine. Both mobile and stationary battering rams were used by the Assyrian army at this time. The mobile type had six wheels and a body built on a wooden frame, with the sides covered by rectangular shields. The front was protected by sheets, probably of metal, behind which a turret rose. Inside the turret hung a rope to which the battering ram was attached like a pendulum. The top of the turret was protected by a metal (?) dome with embrasures. The metal cutting head of the ram was shaped like an ax-head, which could be inserted with force between the bricks or stones of the wall and, by levering on all sides, could remove them from the wall, causing collapse. The battering rams were protected by archers mounted on mobile towers. Ashurnasirpal's methods of siege are portrayed in the wall reliefs in his palace at Nimrud. There, the covering fire of archers protects the assault troops, which use four methods of penetration: battering rams breach the main wall of the city; sappers dig underground tunnels; armored sappers demolish the outer wall with pikes and spears; and spearmen scale the wall with scaling ladders. In the reign of Shalmaneser iii (858–824 b.c.e.), two new mobile battering rams appear, as seen in the reliefs of the bronze gates at Balawat. These rams have four or six wheels, a turret, and a fixed battering head, shaped like a boar's snout. This type of battering ram was presumably used mainly against city gates. Those of Tiglath-Pileser iii (745–727 b.c.e.) and Sargon (721–705 b.c.e.) were light and very maneuverable. They have four wheels and the wooden frame was covered with metal-studded hides. The turret was lower and the cutting edge of the battering ram was shaped like a spearhead. These machines were often operated in pairs and were placed on special man-made ramparts, on which they were driven toward the wall. Several improvements were made in the battering rams of Sennacherib (704–681 b.c.e.), which have a longer pole and higher turret. One member of the crew was a fireman, who poured water onto the front of the battering ram with a long spoon to extinguish the torches thrown by the defenders. The siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonians is summarized by the prophet Ezekiel (21:27): "In his [the king of Babylon] right hand is the lot of Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth for the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds [i.e., for the battering rams], to build forts."

[Yitzhak Margowsky]

second temple to 614

In the period of the Second Temple, Judea was incorporated in the Persian Empire and had no independent army. Jews served as mercenaries of the Persian king at *Elephantine (Yeb) in Upper Egypt; they were organized in companies (called a degel – "flag") and had their own temple. In Judea proper, the Persian governor (who was normally a Jew) had a bodyguard; Nehemiah came with Persian troops, but Ezra refused such protection. In case of need, the governor (as in the case of Nehemiah) could mobilize the entire able-bodied population. During the building of the wall of Jerusalem, the people were armed with swords, spears, and bows and had coats of mail (Neh. 4:10). A trumpeter was kept ready for signaling.

In the Hellenistic period Jews served in the Ptolemaic armies; they were holders of military cleruchies; they were classified as "Persians of the Epigone," one rank below the Macedonians and Greeks and above the native Egyptians. Two of them, *Ananias and Helkias, were generals of Cleopatra iii and their standing influenced the policy of the Egyptian government in relation to Alexander Yannai. In Perea, east of the Jordan, the Jewish family of the *Tobiads had its own cleruchs, as known from the Zeno papyri. The militant nature of Jason, the former high priest, who was allied with the Tobiads, shows their readiness to fight. During the conquest of Jerusalem by Antiochus iii, the Jews actively supported the Seleucid attack on the Egyptian garrison in the Temple citadel. The Seleucid king settled Jewish cleruchs in Asia Minor as reliable and good soldiers. However, until the Hasmonean revolt the Jews as a nation fought no wars.

Driven by necessity the rebels under Judah Maccabee gradually acquired the necessary military skills. It is not clear whether the strategic and tactical genius shown by the Jewish leader was the result of his service with some Hellenistic army or of a natural ability. In the beginning the Jewish rebels were badly armed; Judah himself had to pick up and use the sword of his first defeated enemy, Apollonius the governor of Samaria, after the battle. The Jewish forces were properly organized only at Mizpeh; on the eve of the battle of Emmaus Judah used the biblical grouping into "thousands and hundreds and fifties and tens" (i Macc. 3:55) and appointed the "scribes of the people" (grammateis tou laou) as a kind of military police. The wars of Judah Maccabee were distinguished by his aptitude for strategic thinking, as witnessed in the blockade of Jerusalem and his swift movements on the inner line of communications which headed off successive Seleucid attempts (four in all) to break through to the besieged city. In his tactics Judah knew how to use the ground; he selected for his attacks the passes leading up to Judea (Lebonah?, Beth-Horon, and Emmaus) and was a master of surprise in the field. His campaign against Nicanor was marked by an attack from an unexpected direction and a massive pursuit which led to the disintegration of the enemy forces. Judah's last battle at Elasa was fought against overwhelming forces and even then he achieved a partial success.

Jonathan, the second leader of the revolt, was for some time forced to carry on an "underground" guerrilla warfare from his stronghold in the Judean Desert. His strength lay in mobility and surprise attacks; the operation against the people of Medeba and his subsequent escape from the army of Bacchides, which had cornered him between the Jordan and the Dead Sea, show a high degree of tactical skill. When besieged in Beth-Bassi Jonathan wisely refused to play the enemy's game and concentrated on harassing him from outside the siege lines. Like his brother Judah, Jonathan had the advantage of a superior intelligence, the fighting being in his own country and among his people. Once installed in Jerusalem as governor and high priest, Jonathan was de facto independent and was able to train a regular force. He fortified Jerusalem (one of his towers can be still seen on the Ophel hill). During his time the Jews attained military superiority in the south of the disintegrating Seleucid empire and moved at will all over Coele-Syria. Jonathan's crowning achievement was the battle near Jamnia (Jabneh) against the forces of the Syrian general, Apollonius. Hitherto, the Jews had been successful mainly on hilly ground, where the Seleucid phalanx could not properly operate. Apollonius invited Jonathan to fight in the plain and prepared an ambush; his cavalry attacked the Jewish forces from the rear, while the infantry held them in front. Under these unfavorable conditions the Hasmonean army showed its mettle; while the enemy "cast their darts at the people from morning till evening," the Jewish ranks remained unbroken till the enemy's cavalry wearied. It was now evident that the Hasmonean army could fight the Greeks under any conditions. In the time of Simeon, the last of the Hasmonean brothers, the Jews developed their skill in siege warfare of the Hellenistic type. They constructed a siege tower (helepolis) which was instrumental in the taking of Gezer. Such knowledge must have been most useful in the wars of Simeon's successors, John Hyrcanus (135–104 b.c.e.), Judah Aristobulus i (103 b.c.e.), and Alexander Yannai (103–76 b.c.e), as their conquests were mainly of fortified places. Hyrcanus' sons besieged Samaria for a whole year; the evidence of the destruction wrought by them is still visible. Alexander Yannai, who gradually obtained control of almost all of Ereẓ Israel, was singularly unlucky in the open field; he lost his battles against Ptolemy Lathurus, king of Cyprus, at Zaphon, east of the Jordan; against the Seleucids, Antiochus xii and Demetrius iii (at the Yarkon and at Shechem); and against the Nabatean Obodas at Gedor. Nevertheless, by dint of perseverance and skill in siege warfare, he took Gaza, the northern coast including the Carmel, and most of the lands east of the Jordan, turning the Dead Sea into an inland Jewish lake. One ominous development in his time was the employment of foreign mercenaries, Pisidians, Cilicians, and others, in the Hasmonean service. They stood by the king in his war with the Pharisees when the latter allied with a Seleucid invader, but this use of mercenaries was in itself a sign of the increasing Hellenization of Jewish military life and the loss of the moral qualities which had hitherto distinguished it. Under Salome Alexandra, the armed forces were neglected by the ruling Pharisees, and this nearly led to a revolt under her second son *Aristobulus. The civil war which followed the death of the queen and the Roman intervention diminished the fighting capacity of the Judean army, although it still gave a good account of itself with Antipater, Herod's father, when coming to the aid of Julius Caesar in Egypt.

Herod's superior military capacity defeated his Hasmonean rival Mattathias Antigonus. Once king, Herod was able to raise some Jewish and Idumean troops, with which he defeated the Nabatean Arabs. He settled Idumeans and Babylonian Jews to police Batanea and Trachonitis and thus secured these lands for peaceful colonization. He also raised cohorts from his cities Caesarea and Sebaste. His bodyguard was composed of non-Jews, with an addition of Thracian mercenaries and of German and Gaulish soldiers, the gift of Augustus. Herod also had a navy with which he came to help the Romans in the Black Sea.

Augustus had released the Jews from the obligation to serve as auxiliaries in the Roman armies, and with the decline of the Herodian house their troops also diminished, although even Agrippa ii still maintained some cavalry. What fighting was done until the first Roman War was by Zealot guerrillas, who were as a rule suppressed without much difficulty by the local levies of the procurators. Only in specially difficult situations, such as at the annexation of Judea and the first census, did the legate of Syria intervene with his legions.

The first war against Rome (66–73 c.e.) was begun by the Zealots, but the command soon passed to the aristocratic circles who planned the creation of an army able to meet the Romans in the field. At the beginning of the struggle Judea and Galilee were divided into military districts, with Josephus being given the command of Galilee. Their unexpected victory over Cestius Gallus, the legate of Syria, on his retreat from Jerusalem by the pass of Beth-Horon, provided the insurgents with much needed arms and siege engines. Their efforts to attack Ascalon failed, however. In Galilee, the most exposed part of the territory in revolt, Josephus made an effort to train a field army, only to see it dispersed at the first encounter with Vespasian. In his despair he fled to the fortress of Jotapata, which fell after a siege of 47 days, although he displayed most of the ruses of siege warfare. The failures in Galilee exposed the weakness of the tactical conception of the Jewish leadership; unable to hold the field they preferred to lock themselves up in strongholds, which were bound to fall when attacked systematically by the Romans. The Jewish war effort dissolved into a series of siege operations against Gamala, then Jerusalem, and finally Masada. The Zealot leaders John of Giscala and Simeon bar Giora were unable to make headway until it was much too late. The Jews fought with great bravery, which is attested also by Josephus, who saw the siege of Jerusalem from the Roman side. They turned the Roman siege machines against their makers, succeeded in burning down the Roman apparatus and in undermining and destroying the siege dams. In the end, however, the methodical warfare of the Romans, coupled with starvation, prevailed in Jerusalem; Masada, which was provided with food and water, succumbed to a high siege dam and tower. The scanty evidence of the weapons used in defending these places show that the Jews used the standard equipment of the Roman army and its auxiliaries. There were even some naval combats in this war, near Jaffa and on the Sea of Galilee, probably in the style of the naval battle from Yannai's days depicted on a wall of Jason's Tomb, Jerusalem.

The second war with Rome (or the war of *Bar Kokhba, 132–135) was preceded by a Jewish rising in Cyrenaica and Egypt against Trajan. Its leader, Lucuas or Andreas, penetrated into Egypt from Cyrenaica; although Alexandria was saved at the beginning of the revolt (115), it lasted until 117 when it was crushed by a special Roman army commanded by Marcus Turbo. The fight was waged with great ferocity. At the same time the Jews of Mesopotamia defended their cities against Trajan, and although they could not stop him, they upset his timetable.

The war of Bar Kokhba was the last great armed struggle of the Jews as a nation until modern times. Its history shows that the Jews had learned well the lessons of the earlier war. The war was carefully prepared; the Jews tendered offers to supply the Roman army with weapons and deliberately delivered them sub-standard; the arms were rejected and went to arm the insurgents. Bar Kokhba avoided sieges; positions in the field were prepared, probably connected with each other, in order to hold up the Roman advance. The command of the Jewish army remained from beginning to end in the hands of Simeon bar Kosiba (Bar Kokhba). When the war broke out, the Jews soon seized Jerusalem and the whole of Judea, possibly even parts of Samaria; they were joined by gentiles who rebelled against Roman society. In the course of the war one Roman legion, the xxii Deioteriana, was probably destroyed completely; it disappears from the Roman army lists. In the end the Romans had to concentrate an army of several legions (including parts of legions from Moesia). Bar Kokhba's army was finally besieged in Bethar, but some of the insurgents fled to the caves above the Dead Sea. Their archives, discovered in 1960–61, throw much light on the military, civil, and religious organization of Bar Kokhba's army and administration. While he took care of sequestrating food and arresting malcontents, Bar Kokhba also ordered the collection of the "four species" for making lulavim. The Bar Kokhba war marks the last great military effort of the Jewish nation in Ereẓ Israel. It was followed by two minor occasions on which the Jews took up arms against their oppressors. One was the revolt which broke out at Sepphoris in 351 against Gallus Caesar, the tyrannical emperor Constantinus ii. The rebels, led by a certain Patricius, seized the armory and were able for some months to maintain a semblance of government in Galilee (Sepphoris and Tiberias) and Lydda. The revolt was suppressed by the Roman general Ursicinus, who defeated the Jews near Acre and advanced into Galilee.

In 614, at the approach of the Persian armies, the Jews rose again. Their force numbered some 20,000 men from the mountains of Galilee and around Jerusalem. They succeeded this time in taking Acre, but failed before Tyre. Nevertheless they were useful allies in the siege of Jerusalem by the Persians, which ended with the capture of the city and the establishment of a short-lived government there. The Jewish leader in this war is known to us only under the pseudonym "Nehemiah son of Ḥushi'el." The Persians soon dissolved their alliance with the Jews, and this last military effort came to nought.

[Michael Avi-Yonah]

For modern period see: *Israel, State of: Israel Defense Forces; *War of Independence; *Sinai Campaign; *Six-Day War; *Yom Kippur War; *Lebanon War.


Y. Yadin, The Art of Warfare in Biblical Lands (1963); idem, in: em, 2 (1954), 179–262 (incl. bibl.); 5 (1968), 462–71, 931–70 (incl. bibl.); idem, in: World History of Jewish People ed. by B. Mazar, 2 (1970), 127–59; J. Liver (ed.), Historyah Ẓeva'it … (1964). second temple to 614: Besides general histories (Schuerer, Noth, Abel) see F.M. Abel, Les livres des Macchabées (1949); A. Avissar, Milḥamot Yehudah ha-Makkabbi (1968); M. Avi-Yonah, in: Massot u-Meḥkarim bi-Ydi'at ha-Areẓ (1965), 57–72; idem, Atlas Carta li-Tekufat ha-Bayit ha-Sheni … (1966); idem, Bi-Ymei Roma u-Bizantiyyon (1970), 153–8, 223–33; A. Galili, Kavvim le-Ma'arekhot Yisrael bi-Ymei ha-Bayit ha-Sheni (1951); A. Schalit, Hordos ha-Melekh (1962), 94–101; V. Tcherikover and A. Fuks, Corpus papyrorum judaicarum, i (1957), 13–15, 86–92; S. Yeivin, Milḥemet Bar-Kokhva (1957); M. Gichon, Atlas Carta le-Toledot Ereẓ Yisrael mi-Beitar ve-ad Tel-Ḥai, Historyah Ẓeva'it (1969).

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