The Israelites had to take possession of the Promised Land by conquest. They had to engage in a long and bloody war
before the Canaanitish tribes were finally subdued. Except in the case of Jericho
the war did not become aggressive till after the death
Till then the attack was always first made by the Canaanites.
Now the measure
of the iniquity of the Canaanites was full, and Israel
was employed by God
to sweep them away from off the face
of the earth.
In entering on
this new stage of the war, the tribe
according to divine direction, took the lead.
In the days of Saul
the people of Israel engaged in many wars with the nations around, and after the division of the kingdom into two they often warred with each other. They had to defend themselves also against the inroads of the Egyptians, the Assyrians, and the Babylonians. The whole history of Israel from first to last presents but few periods of peace.
The Christian life
is represented as a warfare, and the Christian graces are also represented under the figure of pieces
; 1 Thess. 5:8
; 2 Tim. 2:3, 4
). The final blessedness of believers is attained as the fruit
of victory (Rev. 3:21