The Wars of Israel

An Eastern Orthodox Point of View

  • Cătălin Varga Babes-Bolyai University, Romania


The war of God orchestrated by His people Israel, has a profound dimension both theological and pedagogical, through this belligerent manner, in the case of the occupation of Canaan, YHWH wishes to exterminate the idolatrous population that could no longer correct itself because their hearts were darkened, in order to replace it with Israel, the holy people, in the middle of which Messiah, the Savior of the world will born. The law of the war of Yahweh from Deut 20 is the guide the Israelites use for this war, and the social dimension of this law places Israel on a clearly superior position in comparison with the other nations from an ethical point of view. The logical stages of the war of YHWH must be respected entirely, for Israel to be victorious in his armed confrontation with his idolatrous neighbors. The incapacity of the Israelites to obey strictly the laws of the war and their alienation from the ethical perspective of the armed battles, announce indirectly the necessity of the coming of Messiah and of the universal time of peace.

Keywords: the war of YHWH, ethics, Joshua and Canaan, war strategy.

How to Cite
VARGA, Cătălin. The Wars of Israel. Studia Universitatis Babes-Bolyai Theologia Orthodoxa, [S.l.], v. 63, n. 1, p. 5–26, june 2018. ISSN 2065-9474. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 07 mar. 2021. doi:
Biblical Theology