I Samuel 17 as Paradigm for Militia Operations in Ancient Israel
Ray Sutherland

1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath, gives us a useful overview of the standard practices of the tribal militia which formed the backbone of Israel’s military throughout the pre-Exilic period. The Israelite militia mustered voluntarily when called and was organized along family and tribal lines. It was primarily supplied by the family and tribe from which each element came and that these family supplied provisions were collected and distributed at some kind of central logistical facility under the control of a professional staff officer. The primary compensation of the militia soldiers was the looting of the camp and corpses of the enemy after a victory. Militia units were commanded by professional officers who were appointed by the king and who were recipients of royal land grants and contributions by the families of the soldiers under the officer’s command. During the era of the monarchy, the militia served as support troops with the professional units being the primary forces in a battle.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijpt.v3n2a3