What Does the Bible Say About War and Peace?

by Pamela Rose Williams · Print Print · Email Email

War and peace is a vicious cycle. The fact of the matter is that no matter how long we live on this earth, the cycle will continue. It began with the first murder in the Bible (Cain killed Abel) and has continued from there. War begins at the root of lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and pride of life and only has temporary peace when one side feels threatened enough to surrender. The question is: What does the Bible say about war and peace?

War in the Bible

Laws Regarding War

Deuteronomy 20:1–2 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the LORD thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people (read Deuteronomy 20:1-20 in context)

Deuteronomy 23:9 When the host goeth forth against thine enemies, then keep thee from every wicked thing.

Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man hath taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war, neither shall he be charged with any business: but he shall be free at home one year, and shall cheer up his wife which he hath taken.

Luke 14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?

War is Horrifying

2 Samuel 12:31 And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 20:3 And he brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

2 Chronicles 25:12 And other ten thousand left alive did the children of Judah carry away captive, and brought them unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken in pieces.

Isaiah 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, And garments rolled in blood; But this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.

War Requires Strategy

Joshua 8:5–6 And I, and all the people that are with me, will approach unto the city: and it shall come to pass, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them, (For they will come out after us) till we have drawn them from the city; for they will say, They flee before us, as at the first: therefore we will flee before them.

Judges 7:16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

Judges 20:32 And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the highways.

2 Samuel 5:23 And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.

Jeremiah 51:12 Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, Make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, Prepare the ambushes: For the LORD hath both devised and done That which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.

Peace in the Bible

Prophecies Concerning Peace

Psalm 46:9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariot in the fire.

Isaiah 2:4 And he shall judge among the nations, And shall rebuke many people: And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruninghooks: Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more.

Hosea 2:18 And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, And with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: And I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, And will make them to lie down safely.

Zechariah 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, And the horse from Jerusalem, And the battle bow shall be cut off: And he shall speak peace unto the heathen: And his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, And from the river even to the ends of the earth.

Called to Preserve Peace and be Peaceable

Ecclesiastes 10:4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.

Mark 9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

Romans 12:18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Romans 14:19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

Titus 1:6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Final Thoughts

After that first wicked and violent attack by one brother to another, wars and rumors of war have continued. The good news is for the believer peace is promised in the New Jerusalem where we will dwell with the Prince of Peace Himself.

See more from the Bible here: Battles in the Bible

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version

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