Swords: Their Development and Use

Hittite Sicle Sword


Image: Hittite Sickle Sword

Date: 13th Century B.C.


The Sword as a Weapon of War

The Bible generally speaks of a sword in the context of war and personal combat. Weapons played an important part in the life of Israel since the nation had to spend much time fighting wars against its enemies, first against the Canaanites and eventually against others nations, especially the Arameans, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. Thus, the Old Testament has much to say about various kinds of weapons, both defensive and offensive.

The biblical writers do not give, however, an exact description of many of the battle weapons. Information in the Scriptures does not provide the details necessary to understand these weapons’ true nature.

This is the introduction to an article I wrote for the Biblical Illustrator 37 (Fall 2010): 51-54. You can read the article on its entirety online or you can download the article in a PDF format by clicking here.

Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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