Tuesday, November 26, 2013

War is not for Woman, and Helping Brethren in War (Joshua 1:12-15)

Joshua 1

King James Version (KJV)

12 And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,
13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, saying, The Lord your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land.
14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them;
15 Until the Lord have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the Lord your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the Lord's servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.

There is a special protection given to women in war. Like children, they are exempt from being put to the sword (Deuteronomy 20:14). (Only in Israel's unique historical situation were women and children of certain peoples to be slaughtered in war [Deuteronomy 20:16, 17].) And here in Joshua 1, women, like children, are not to be sent into battle. War was only for "the mighty men of valour." It is quite perverse and wicked today to see women sent to war.

Note, too, the moral obligation that the Reubenites, the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh had to their fellow Israelites. Even though they already had their own land, they were to help their brethren until the Lord would give them rest. It is worth considering whether this has implications for today as to whether Christian nations should help one another in wartime.