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The English word ambush is derived from an old Teutonic (ancient German) word meaning in the bush, with a practical meaning of waiting in a concealed position with the purpose of attacking an enemy by surprise. Ambush is used to translate the original Hebrew word of the Scriptures, pronounced aw-rab (Arab is derived from the same word, see also Assassins), which means to lurk, or to lie in wait. There were a number of recorded ambushes during Bible History.

Ambushes In Bible History

Ambush Not long after they entered their Promised Land, the Israelites under Joshua captured the heavily-fortified Canaanite city of Ai by means of an elaborate and daring baited ambush:

"And The Lord said to Joshua, "Do not fear or be dismayed; take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land; and you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king; only its spoil and its cattle you shall take as booty for yourselves; lay an ambush against the city, behind it."

"So Joshua arose, and all the fighting men, to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose thirty thousand mighty men of valor, and sent them forth by night. And he commanded them, "Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind it; do not go very far from the city, but hold yourselves all in readiness; and I, and all the people who are with me, will approach the city. And when they come out against us, as before, we shall flee before them; and they will come out after us, till we have drawn them away from the city; for they will say, 'They are fleeing from us, as before.' So we will flee from them; then you shall rise up from the ambush, and seize the city; for The Lord your God will give it into your hand." (Joshua 8:1-7 RSV)

The Lord Himself laid a national ambush for the Babylonians (see Ancient Empires - Babylon) by having the Medes (i.e. the Medo-Persians, see Ancient Empires - Persia) conquer them, precisely as prophesied (see Daniel's Statue):

"The Lord has brought forth our vindication; come, let us declare in Zion [see also Who, What or Where Is Zion?] the work of The Lord our God. "Sharpen the arrows! Take up the shields! The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, because His purpose concerning Babylon is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of The Lord, the vengeance for His Temple [see Temples and "My Father's House", also Raiders Of The Lost Ark]. Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon; make the watch strong; set up watchmen; prepare the ambushes; for The Lord has both planned and done what He spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon." (Jeremiah 51:10-12 RSV)

Fact Finder: What was one of the most devastating defeats suffered by the "invincible" Roman Legions "in the bush" (i.e. in the Teutoburg Forest) of Germany?
See Hermann

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