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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
• Fausset's Bible Dictionary
• Smith's Bible Dictionary
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Army, Roman
Roman Army
Greek - army
Greek - army
Greek - army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army, hosts is the army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army, army camp
Hebrew - army with banners
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - army, elite army
Hebrew - army
Hebrew - remove the army far
Hebrew - army

A nation's military personnel organized for battle. Thus in Egypt, Israel could be referred to as having “armies” even when they did not have a political organization (Exodus 6:26; Exodus 7:4; Exodus 12:17). Goliath learned that to defy God's people was to defy the “armies of the living God” (1 Samuel 17:26,1 Samuel 17:36), for God was the “God of the armies of Israel” (1 Samuel 17:45). In face of God, humans can only confess, “Is there any number of his armies?” (Job 25:3). Israel recognized God's anger when God did not go out with their armies (Psalms 44:9). To announce salvation, the prophet proclaimed the fury of God upon all armies (Isaiah 34:2). In the New Testament the writer of Hebrews looked back on the heroes of faith and proclaimed that through faith they “turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Hebrews 11:34). John's vision of the end time included the armies of heaven following the King of kings to victory over the beast and the false prophet (Revelation 19:11-21).

Armies were organized in different ways during Israel's history. The patriarchs called upon servants and other members of the household (Genesis 14:1). In the wilderness Joshua led men he had chosen to defend against the Amalekites (Exodus 17:9-10). In the conquest Joshua led the tribes of Israel into battle after being commissioned by the “captain of the host of the Lord” (Joshua 5:14). At times tribes joined together to take territory (Judges 1:3; Judges 4:6).

Deborah summoned many of the tribes to battle, but some did not answer (Judges 5:1). Other judges summoned clans (Judges 6:34) and tribes (Judges 6:35; Judges 7:29). Saul first established a standing, professional army in Israel (1 Samuel 13:2), at first leading it himself with his son but then appointing a professional commander (1 Samuel 17:55). David apparently hired foreign troops loyal to him personally (2 Samuel 9:18; 2 Samuel 15:18). Solomon enhanced the foot soldiers with a chariot corps and calvary (1 Kings 10:26). The army was organized into various units with officers over each, but the precise chain of command cannot be determined (2 Chronicles 25:5). Humanitarian laws determined who was excused from military service and how war was conducted (Deuteronomy 20:1).

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'ARMY'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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