Posted by: John-Paul | August 31, 2017


Last week, my rambunctious six-year-old grandson had a birthday. While contemplating what he might like for a present, I thought about a toy sling. Stores sell toy guns and bows and arrows. Why not a Middle Eastern weapon such as the sling?

In ancient times in the Middle East and Greece, shepherds used slings and stones to protect their flocks from predators. They were effective enough to become weapons of war. The future king David is famous for taking on the lumbering giant Goliath with a sling…not a slingshot!

In my novel, Joshua and Caleb: Journey to the Promised Land, the Israelites ask their Egyptian masters for gold and silver, clothing and the tools of various trades. At the same time, I have Joshua ask his master, the general, for weapons of war: kopeks and shields, spears and lances, bows and arrows, and slings and lead slugs. (He even stuffs a sling and pouch of slugs into his girdle.) Joshua knows the Israelites will march out of Egypt in military formation and into Canaan to take over as Yahweh promised.

During the battle against the Amalekites, Joshua orders the slingers and archers into ranks behind the infantry in order to launch volleys of slugs and arrows against the charging camel riders. He also teaches their young guide around Hebron how to use the weapon to bring down small animals for food.

The sling was an important weapon of warfare and hunting for the Israelites. I have made it an important feature of my Pendant novels.


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