Book Review: Warfare in the Old Testament by Boyd Seevers

One challenging issue in reading the Old Testament is bridging the gap between the events of that time and our time. Warfare in the Old Testament by Boyd Seevers helps to do that in the area of warfare — a major part of historical life throughout the Old Testament.

With a flare for historical fiction, simple military line drawings, and looking at the battle participants from Israel to Egypt to the Philistines, Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians, Seevers opens up the understanding in a way that provides a greater depth of understanding.

The historical fiction personalizes the data with footnotes that support the perspective that is shared.

Dealing with the particulars of military strategy shows what is similar and different in those who go to war. Motivations like power and wealth are still in play for our day.

Documenting weaponry shows the military advantage each side had, with Israel having the divine on her side.

Maps throughout the book provide context, and drawings provide a simple glimpse of military weapons. I was a bit surprised there were not more archaeological pictures of battle sites or weaponry especially with the nice touch of color printing throughout the book and the book’s cover itself.

I give Warfare in the Old Testament 4 out of 5 stars. I appreciated the insights of the various world powers throughout the Old Testament as well as the personal touch of historical fiction, that affirmed a historical basis with a bit more personal touch. This helped keep a dry subject form my perspective a more engaged reading.

The book works well with those interested in military and/or Biblical history. For pastors it provides a better understanding of culture and context of Old Testament battles. The Scripture and Subject indexes in the back provide a good reference in dealing with such texts for study.

My thanks to Kregel publishing for a free copy to review. I wasn’t required to give a positive review just an honest one.

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