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The Military History of Ancient Israel [Hardcover]

Richard A. Gabriel
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 30, 2003 0275977986 978-0275977986 First Edition

Exactly how did the Israelites cross the desert? How did Moses cross the Red Sea? How did Joshua take Jericho, and how did the sun appear to stand still at the Ayjllon Valley? No one has ever analyzed the Bible as a military history Gabriel provides the first attempt at a continuous historical narrative of the military history of ancient Israel. He begins with a military analysis of Exodus, an unprecedented and hugely significant contribution to Exodus Studies.

This book includes collaborative findings from archaelogy, demography, ethnography, and other relevant disciplines. As a seasoned infantry officer and military historian, Gabriel brings a soldier's eye to the infantry combat described in the Bible. Seeking to make military sense of the Biblical narrative as preserved in Hebrew, he renders comprehensible some of the mysterious explanations for famous events.

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Editorial Reviews


?Drawing on findings from archeology, demography, ethnography and other relevant disciplines, Gabriel analyses the Bible as if it were a militory history of ancient Israel; he makes a particularly significant contribution to Exodus studies. Gabriel an experienced infantry officer and military historian, offers astute military insight into the Biblical narrative and makes comprehensive some of the mysterious explanations for well known events.?-Jewish Book World

Book Description

Gabriel provides the first attempt at a continuous historical narrative of the military history of ancient Israel.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; First Edition edition (October 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275977986
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275977986
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,053,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richly interesting scholarship December 30, 2007
This is richly interesting scholarship conveyed by a writer, Richard A. Gabriel, in full command of reader-friendly expository techniques. Those who tacitly see history as a cultural weapon, archaeological and otherwise, to promote politically correct or pacifist ideas will find little succor in Gabriel's smash-through-to-the-truth style. Not that Gabriel doesn't speculate to help us sort through possible interpretive hypotheses.

Gabriel's approach argues for a more comprehensive reading of the Old Testament than is often allowed. As if invoking the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, Gabriel argues that our interpretive filter either allows us to see or not see a particular focus: "To regard the Bible as a religious text makes it difficult to regard it as a military text, for if one accepts the text as describing miraculous events, one will likely be blinded to the text as military history." Is light a wave or a particle? Both, we answer, but not necessarily at the same time.

While Gabriel respects the Bible as primarily a religious text, he lets the reader know that his purpose is to reveal the military background, including "logistics, tactics, manpower, fortifications, command and control, weapons and weapons manufacture, troop leadership, and military strategy." Readers will never feel that Gabriel is doing anything more than illuminating what the writers of the Old Testament have already put there. To respect their intentions, the sacred and divine should best be read in the context of war and military defense.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a different view of the old testament, you need to read this book. It interprets the old testament in terms of military history. It discusses topography of the lands, weaponry, tactics using bible passages. This is not a revisionists history, it is simply providing a military point of view for the old testament history.
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20 of 129 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ignores the last 35 years of archaeological study May 22, 2005
By Ken
The author unquestionably accepts the Biblical Exodus or Conquest theory about the development of ancient Isreal that has been rejected by almost every scholar since the 1920's. He then adds his own speculation on top of this mythical foundation. The result is a string of rather silly assumptions that add absolutely nothing to the study of this comlex subject. In fairness it would make a great script for a movie if only Steve Reeves were around to appear in it.
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