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Tools of War

Warfare, and the killing of one human by another, is recorded throughout The Bible. It began not long after The Seven Days Of Creation with Cain and Abel, and continued throughout all of Bible History. Prophecy describes much more to come before The Return Of Jesus Christ puts an end to all war: "He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore." (Micah 4:3)


Weapons used in Bible times were crude by modern standards, but nevertheless very deadly. Some examples:

  • Swords and Daggers
    Swords are the first weapons mentioned in the Bible: "After He drove the man out, He placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:24). Mention of swords is made throughout the Scriptures, figurative, e.g. "Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of The Spirit, which is The Word of God" (Ephesians 6:17), and literal e.g. "David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword." (1 Samuel 17:51) (see The Sword)

  • Rod
    The rod was a stick, loaded at one end. It was used peacefully by Shepherds e.g. "Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4 KJV), and as a weapon e.g. "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." (Psalm 2:9 KJV)

  • Sling
    Slings were often a band of leather, wider in the middle to hold a small rock. It was then swung overhead before releasing one of the ends to fire the projectile. The most famous example of this was David And Goliath

  • Bow and Arrow
    Although often thought of as a later invention of medieval Europe (where the so-called "Lost Ten Tribes" first migrated from Assyria), the bow and arrow was used widely in Bible times e.g. "But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, "Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I've been wounded." (1 Kings 22:34) (see Kings of Israel and Judah)

  • Spears and Javelins
    Spears and javelins were used either for thrusting at close range, or for throwing. There were often specialized formations of them e.g. "Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, "Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight." (Acts 23:23). It was a spear wound that actually killed Jesus Christ (see How Did Jesus Christ Die?)

Fact Finder: What spiritual weapons are Christians to use?
See Armor Of God

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