03 November 2012

Judas and his unarmed men kill 3000 of Gorgias' soldiers

In Judas Machabeus' first set of God-assisted killings, He told his men not to worry about large opposing armies. Because success in war depends not on numbers, but on God. "The Lord himself will overthrow them." And that seemed to work well enough, though Judas and his men still had to do at least some of the killing.

This time, though, Judas doesn't even pretend to fight. He and his men didn't have a single sword among them. They didn't need any; God did it all for them.

Here's the story.

Judas and the Israelites prepare for war by putting on haircloth, putting ashes on their heads, rending their garments, blowing trumpets, and crying together with a loud, long, boring prayer to heaven.
The assembly was gathered that they might be ready for battle ...They ... put on haircloth, and put ashes upon their heads: and they rent their garments. 1 Machabees 3:44-47
They cried with a loud voice toward heaven, saying: What shall we do with these, and whither shall we carry them? v.50
For thy holies are trodden down, and are profaned, and thy priests are in mourning, and are brought low. v.51
And behold the nations are come together against us to destroy us: thou knowest what they intend against us. v.52
How shall we be able to stand before their face, unless thou, O God, help us? v.53
Then they sounded with trumpets, and cried out with a loud voice. v.54
And the war rituals worked like magic. 

Judas and his completely unarmed valiant men defeated 5000 well-armed soldiers. He told his men not to do anything; God would do the killing for them. And he did.
Gorgias took five thousand men, and a thousand of the best horsemen: and they removed out of the camp by night. That they might come upon the camp of the Jews, and strike them suddenly. 4:1-2
And Judas heard of it ... he and the valiant men.  v.3
Judas shewed himself in the plain with three thousand men only, who neither had armour nor swords. v.6
Judas said to the men that were with him: Fear ye not their multitude. v.8
Remember in what manner our fathers were saved in the Red Sea, when Pharao pursued them with a great army. v.9
Let us cry to heaven: and the Lord ... will destroy this army. v.10
Judas blew the trumpet and God killed 3000 Gentile soldiers.
They that were with Judas sounded the trumpet ... and the Gentiles were routed. v.13-14
All the hindmost of them fell by the sword ... and there fell of them to the number of three thousand men. v.15
 Then Judas and his men enriched themselves with the booty.
Judas returned to take the spoils of the camp, and they got much gold, and silver, and blue silk, and purple of the sea, and great riches. v.23
As they left bodies of God's victims, they sang a hymn to God, praising him for his mercy.
And returning home they sung a hymn, and blessed God in heaven, because he is good, because his mercy endureth for ever. v.24
And prepared for God's next killing.


David Evans said...

If Judas and his men had no swords, how is it possible that 3,000 of his enemies fell by the sword?

Steve Wells said...

Good question, David.

I guess God must have brought his own sword when he came to destroy them. He says in Deuteronomy 32:42 that his "sword shall devour flesh." So maybe his sword devoured all 3000 by himself.