Fight (מַלחָמָה, milchamah', Deuteronomy ii, 32; 1Ki 20:26; 2Ch 26:l11; 32:2, war or battle, as usually rendered; or מִעִרָכָה, maaracah', 1Sa 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, 2Sa 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 Jg 11:12 sq.; 1Ki 20:2 sq.; 2Ki 14:8; Josephus, Ant. 4:8, 41), was preceded in important and deliberate cases by an interrogation of the Urim (q.v.) and Thummims (Jg 20:27 sq;; 1Sa 14:37; 1Sa 23:2; 1Sa 28:6; 1Sa 20:8) or a prophet (1Ki 22:6 sq.; 2Ch 18:4 sq.; 2Ki 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- (Eze 21:20 -sq.) with regard to the Chaldaeans, SEE LOT, like the extispicium. 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 (1Sa 7:9; 1Sa 13:9 sq.), and a priest (De 20:2 sq.), who always appears to have accompanied the prince to the field (2Ch 13:12,14; comp. Nu 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 מלחָמָה 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 (2Ch 20:20). Then followed my a trumpet blast the signal for the conflict (Nu 13:12; Nu 1 Macc. 16:8), and the struggle began amid terrific battle-cries (תּרוּעָה 1Sa 17:52; Isa 13:13; Am 1:14; Jer 1; Jer 42; Eze 21:22; as among almost all ancient nations; see especially Homer, Il. ii, 144 sq., 394 sq.; iii, 2 sq.; 4:452 sq.; Song 3:10,1; Tacit. Germ. iii, a; Dougtsei Analect. i, 74 sq.; Potter, Greek Antiq. ii, 174 sq.). The battle-array מִעֲרָכָה or מִעֲרֶכֶת Samuel 4:2; 22:8, 20, etc.; comp. עָרִך , Jg 20:30; 1Sa 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 Macc. 7:36 sq.; 9:11 ; comp. ver. 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 (Jg 7:16,19; 1Sa 11:11; 2Sa 18:2; comp. 1 Macc. 5:33; so four divisions, 2 Macc. 8:22: the expression wings of the army was already known, comp. כּנָפַים 8:8; אֲגִפַּים." Eze 12:14,17; Eze 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. Eze 4:7; Isa 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 (2Sa 1:23; 2Sa 2:18; 2Sa 1 Chronicles; 12:8; Hab 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, 2Sa 2:28; 2Sa 18:16; 2Sa 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 2Sa 2:14 sq. Sometimes peculiar stratagems were resorted to in the fight (comp. 2Ki 7:12 sq.; see Rosenmuller, Morgenl. iii, 233 sq.), especially the surprise (Jg 7:16 sq.), the ambuscade ( אֹרֶבJos 8:2,12; Jg 20:36; 1Sa 15:5), and surrounding (2Sa 5:23). Informants and spies מִרגּלַים ,κατάσκοποι were also employed (Jos 2; Jos 6; Jos 22; Jg 7; Jg 11 sq.; 1Sa 26:4; 1Sa 1 Macc. 5:38; 12:26). Distinguished acts of individual valor were often secured by an appointed prize (Jos 15:16; Jg 1:12; 1Sa 17:25 sq.; 18:25 sq.; 1Ch 11:6). With the design of insuring a successful issue in battle, the sanctuary (ark of the covenant) was sometimes carried into the field (1Sa 4:4 sq.; comp. 2Sa 5:21). We have no sufficient accounts at the disposition of the Hebrew camp aside from the Mosaic arrangement (Numbers 2); although from 1Sa 17:20; 1Sa 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 (Jg 7:19; Jg 1 Macc. 12:27), and during the action a garrison remained in them or among the baggage (1Sa 30:24). Vanquished enemies were in general treated very severely: the captured generals and princes were put to death (Jos 10:24; Jg 7:25); not unfrequently they were cut to pieces alive or beheaded when dead (2 Macc. 15:30; 1Sa 17:54; comp. Herodot. 7:77; Joseph. War, i, 17, 2); all warriors sere stripped (1Sa 31:8; 1Sa 2 Macc. 8:27), and the living captives either carried into-slavery (Nu 31:26 sq.; De 20:14; some mitigation, however being shown in the case of females, De 21:11 sq.) or put to death (Jg 9:45), sometimes in a cruel manner (2Sa 12:31; 2Ch 23:12; comp. Jg 8:7), or even mutilated (Jg 1:6 sq.; 1Sa 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 (2Ki 15:16; comp. 2Ki 8:12; Isa 13:16; Am 1:13; Ho 10:14; Ho 14:1; Na 3:10; Na 2 Macc. 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 (2Sa 8:4; Jos 11:6,9). But SEE BOOTY. Conquered cities were occasionally burnt or demolished (Jg 9:45; Jg 1 Macc. 5:28, 52; 10:84); at least heathen sanctuaries were destroyed (1 Macc. 5:68; 10:84) or carried away (Isaiah 46, see Gesenius, Comment. in loc.): the open country itself was laid waste (Jg 6:4; 1Ch 20:1; 2Ki 3:19,25; comp. Judith ii, 17; Herodot. i, 17). Sometimes the conquerors contented themselves with pulling down the fortifications and carrying away the treasures (2Ki 14:14; comp. 1Ki 14:26; 2Ki 24:13), demanded hostages (2Ki 14:14), and exacted contributions (2Ki 18:14; see Isa 33:18); garrisons were also left in charge (2Sa 8:6,14). 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 5:1Sa 18:6 sq.; 2 Samuel 22; Judith 16:2, 24; 1 Macc.
4:24); trophies were also set up (1Sa 15:12; 2Sa 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 (1Sa 21:9; see. 31:10; 2Ki 11:10; 1Ch 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 (1Sa 18:25 sq. [comp. Rosellini,. Moism.; Sttor. 4:74]; 2Sa 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 (2Sa 3:31), and their weapons were placed in their grave (Eze 32:27; comp. Dougtaei Anal. ut sup.), as in that case the burial (with the tumultuary pomp of war, Am 2:2) of the remains was a cardinal duty of the army and its commander (1Ki 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 1Co 9:26, SEE GAMES.