Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spoil and War (Joshua 22:8)

Joshua 22:8

King James Version (KJV)
And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.

War is costly, both in money and lives. Enemy spoil helps to compensate for this. When the war is just, it is preferable to taxing the people of the victorious nation. 

With spoil, soldiers can be paid for their labor, and widows who have lost their husbands in the war can be provided for. 

The validity of spoil in a just war is assumed in the rules of war in Deuteronomy 20: 
But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.