Animals, Colors, Metals, Numbers and Signs in Scripture.
600 War, and Weapons of War
There is a strong correlation in the scriptures between the bible number six hundred and the subject of war and weapons of war. Either in almost every instance in which the number six hundred appears in the scriptures it appears in connection with a war that is taking place or it is associated with a weapon of war:
1. Gen. 7:6 "And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth."
2. Ex. 14:7 "And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them."
3. Judg. 3:31 "And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel."
4. Judg. 18:11 "And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war."
5. Judg. 18:16 "And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate."
6. Judg 18:17 "And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war."
7. Judg. 20:47 "But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months."
8. 1 Sam. 17:7 "And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him."
9. 1 Sam. 23:13 "Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth."
10. 1 Sam. 27:2 "And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath."
11. 1 Sam. 30:9 "So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed."
12. 2 Sam. 15:18 "And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king."
13. 1 Ki. 10:16 "And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target."
14. 1 Ki. 10:29 "And a chariot came up and went out of Egypt for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, did they bring them out by their means."
15. 1 Chr. 21:25 "So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight."
16. 2 Chr. 1:17 "And they fetched up, and brought forth out of Egypt a chariot for six hundred shekels of silver, and an horse for an hundred and fifty: and so brought they out horses for all the kings of the Hittites, and for the kings of Syria, by their means."
17. 2 Chr. 3:8 "And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents."
18. 2 Chr. 9:15 "And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one target."
Several years ago, I heard a very able preacher call the bible a war manual. A very sizeable part of the scriptures deals with the wars of Israel and ultimately with the war against sin.
There are two major parts to the war against sin. There is the war against sin that would have destroyed us eternally from the presence of God. There is also the war against sin that we are to wage in our daily personal lives. In the next several essays, we will examine many of the above scriptures quoted and some of the lessons taught us in these two major battles against sin.
Noah was Six Hundred at the Time of the Flood
Gen. 7:6 "And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth."
The number six hundred is closely associated with the subject of war and weapons of war in the scriptures. God's war against sin is manifest in the destruction of the world by a flood. This is both a timely destruction and figurative
Gen. 6:5 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
In the judgment of God, God moved to destroy the earth with a flood from off the face of the earth because the wickedness of man was so great in the earth. This wickedness was so great that EVERY imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. In contrast to the judgmental flood that would destroy man and beast from the face of the earth, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Noah's position before God was not based on his personal worth, for he had none. His position was based on the grace of God. God's grace was manifest in the midst of determined judgment.
God, as the creator of the universe, had every right to destroy his creation because of sin and this he did by the flood. However, God manifest his grace and mercy toward Noah, his wife, his three sons, and their wives.
The timing of this judgment against the sins of the pre-flood world was when Noah was six hundred years old. This was God's time, not Noah's choice of time. God chose to bring this timely judgment against sin when Noah was six hundred years old.
Furthermore, in the midst of this timely judgment against sin, God showed forth his grace and mercy towards his elect in saving Noah, his wife, and his three sons and their wives from the judgmental waters.
According to the scriptures, the ark is a type of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 3:18 "For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. 21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."
In verse 21, baptism and the ark are said to be like figures. Thus, just as baptism is a figure of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, so is the ark a figure of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
With this as a basis of discussion, we make the following points:
1. God chose who would go into the ark. Those (Noah, his wife, his three sons, his three sons wives) that went in did not chose of themselves to go into the ark.
2. God's choice of who would go into the ark was according to his grace. Grace precludes any action or quality of the recipients. Noah and the others did not deserve to go into the ark, they did not choose of themselves to go into the ark, but their being placed in the ark was the sovereign act of a sovereign God.
3. Those outside the ark were judged based on what they deserved because of their sins. Those inside the ark deserved the same punishment as those outside the ark, but God was gracious unto them.
4. The material of the ark had to die in order that the occupants of the ark might live.
Next, we notice the similarity to the above timely judgment of sin to God's eternal judgment of sin:
1. God chose who would be saved from the eternal judgment of sin. Eph. 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." This choice placed the ones chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. Further, this choice results in the redemption of those chosen. This choice was God's choice and not man's choice.
2. This choice of who would be in Christ and redeemed by Christ was by the grace of God and not the works or will of man: Rom. 11:5 "Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." In addition, Rom. 9:11 "(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
3. The non-elect are judged based on what they deserve: Rev. 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." In contrast, the elect are spared from this judgment because they were in Christ when their sins were judged by God at the cross.
4. Christ had to die in order that we might live with him in glory. Heb. 10:12 "But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. 14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified." This work of redemption was solely and totally by the Lord himself and completely by his grace: Heb. 1:3 "Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high." Further, this work of redemption renders the elect righteous: 2 Cor. 5:21 "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." In addition, it completely wipes our slate clean from sin before God: Rom. 8:33 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Six Hundred Chosen Chariots of Egypt
Ex. 14:7 "And he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them."
There is a very strong correlation between the number six hundred and the subject of war and weapons of war in the scriptures. Pharaoh and the Egyptians had experienced the ten very sore judgments of God upon the land of Egypt and had agreed to let the children of Israel go into the wilderness to worship God. As the children of Israel were in departing, Pharaoh and the Egyptians changed their mind and Pharaoh gathered his army to go out and destroy and enslave once again the children of Israel. At this time, Pharaoh's army was considered the greatest and best-armed army on the earth.
In contrast, the children of Israel had no chariots, no captains, and no army with which to fight in a conventional war against Egypt. However, this particular war was not going to be fought by the children of Israel, even though it was directed toward them. God was going to fight for the children of Israel. Thus, this war was a miss-match from the beginning; the Egyptians did not have a chance of winning even though they had all the trained soldiers and all the best equipment (six hundred chosen chariots). Natural weapons and equipment and natural training are no match against the Lord. In this war, the Lord caused a mighty east wind to blow to part the waters of the Red Sea. In the morning, the children of Israel passed over the sea on dry ground. The Egyptians assayed to follow the children of Israel, but God caused the waters of the Red Sea to return and thus destroy Pharaoh, his army, and his equipment.
God's deliverance of the children of Israel from Pharaoh, Egypt, and the army of Egypt is typical of God's eternal deliverance of his elect people from their enemies. We will compare the two deliverances.
We make the following points about God's deliverance of the children of Israel at the Red Sea:
1. The children of Israel were no match for their enemies. They had nothing by which they could fight or deliver themselves from such a host who came out against them.
2. God fought the war for the children of Israel. The children of Israel did nothing in the fight against their enemy to overcome and destroy them.
3. The children of Israel were delivered across the Red Sea in which they could not have delivered themselves.
4. Pharaoh, his army, and all his equipment and weapons was destroyed in the same place that the children of Israel were delivered (in the Red Sea).
5. The children of Israel after this deliverance would never have these enemies to fight against as they were completely destroyed.
The east wind crossing a north-south running Red Sea is typical of the cross of Calvary where the Lord Jesus Christ fought a war that his elect people were not capable of fighting and on behalf of his elect people. The enemies he fought against were Satan, sins, death, hell, and the grave. Now we compare the eternal deliverance of the elect children of God to the above deliverance of the children of Israel at the Red Sea:
1. The elect children of God were no match for their enemies (Satan, sins, death, hell, and the grave). We had nothing whereby we could fight or deliver ourselves from such a host who was against us. We were completely powerless and unable to even actively engage in that war. We were "dead in trespasses and sins."
2. The Lord Jesus Christ fought the war against our enemies for us. We, the elect family of God, did nothing to aid or assist in our deliverance. We were completely passive in this war.
3. The elect family of God was delivered at the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ by a deliverance that we could not attain for ourselves.
4. With the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, our enemies (Satan, sins, death, hell, and the grave) were completely destroyed in the same place that we were delivered. According to Heb. 2:14 Christ delivered us from the works of Satan and the fear of death: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." Likewise, Rom. 8:33 tells us that we have been forever delivered from the judgment of God upon our sins: Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."
Moreover, through this work of Christ we are delivered from the grave:
Furthermore, we were delivered from hell as it is reserved for those whose sins are not redeemed: 1 Tim 5:24 "Some men's sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after." The elect children of God had their sins go before to judgment (at the cross). The non-elect have their sins follow after them and they will be cast into the lake of fire because of their sins at the last day.
Shamgar Slew Six Hundred with an Ox Goad
Judg. 3:31 "And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel."
It is not only remarkable that Shamgar slew six hundred Philistines, but that he slew them with an ox goad! An ox goad is a very unusual weapon to use for waging war. This is the only time that it is mentioned in the scriptures. An ox goad is for prodding the oxen to move who are yoked to pull a plow. It is not generally thought of as a weapon of war.
There are several unusual weapons used in the scriptures by leaders of the children of Israel. Sampson used the jaw bone of an ass: Judg. 15:15 "And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. 16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men." David used a sling: 1 Sam 17:40 "And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine." 50 "So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David."
In addition, Benaiah used a staff to slay an Egyptian with a spear: 2 Sam. 23:21 "And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. 22 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among three mighty men."
All of the above men had one thing in common when they used their unusual weapons to slay the enemy. They had a strong trust in the delivering power of the God of Israel. It was not so much their unusual weapons of war, but their strong trust in God that enabled them to slay their enemies.
In like fashion, we have what the world thinks are unusual weapons of war. 2 Cor. 10:3 "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)" The weapons of our warfare are made for the enemies that we fight against: Eph. 6:12 "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Since this is not a flesh and blood warfare, but a spiritual warfare we must have spiritual weapons in which to engage our enemies.
Paul wrote of the whole armour of God in Ephesians chapter six. There were seven pieces of armour that Paul showed us in this chapter. Five of the pieces were defensive pieces: truth, walking uprightly, preparation of the gospel of peace, faith, and hope of salvation. Two of the pieces were for going on the offense against the enemy. These offensive weapons were prayer and the word of God, which is called the sword of the Spirit. In addition, we read in Rom. 12:21 "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." We are to go forward against our enemies wearing the whole armour of God and going on the offense with prayer, with the word of God and by doing good. With these weapons, we can overcome our enemies if we also have a strong trust in our God: Eph. 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."