BR 19:05, Oct 2003
Daily news reports from the Middle East are filled with tales of espionage, terrorism and counterintelligence operations. So is the Bible.
Indeed, some of the most dynamic biblical figuresMoses, Joshua, David, Delilah and Juditheither act as spies or command others to spy. Its not surprising, when we recognize the Bible as the history of a people leaving, reentering, conquering, losing and returning to the land of Israel.
An understanding of military operations not only sheds light on how these shifts in Israels settlement history occurred, it also offers insight into some of the more unusual maneuvers of the Bibles most cunning spies.
Although advances in technology have changed the methods, the underlying motivations for clandestine activity have remained the same since biblical times. Established rulers, whether ancient or modern, develop intelligence services for the defense of their countries, for political expansion, for the internal security of the state and their dynasties, and for the maintenance of control over their subjects. Leaders of occupied peoples have different intelligence needs: They run secret networks to foment rebellions, take back land and plan terrorist activities in the hope of liberating themselves. The Holy Land has witnessed both kinds of intelligence.