Did B地ai Yisrael Have Weapons When They Left Egypt?

In Beshalach, Shmot 13:18 we read: 敵od led the people round-about by the way of the Reed Sea Desert and B地ai Yisrael went up 田hamushim from the land of Egypt.

 

According to Rashi, the word chamushim means armed. Because God took them on the round-about route in the desert, He caused them to go up armed. For had He taken them by the way of settled areas they would not have armed themselves with all of their needs, but rather as one traveling from place to place, whose intention it was to obtain what he needs there. But when one sets out into the wilderness, one must prepare for all his needs. This pasuk was necessary so that later during the wars of Amalek, Sichon, Og and Midian nobody would wonder where B地ai Yisrael obtained the weapons that enabled them to defeat their enemies by the sword.

 

In Yehoshua 1:14 the word chamushim is also used 套You shall pass before your brothers armed (chamushim), all the mighty men of valor and help them.

 

According to Eben Ezra, chumashim refers to the belted swords that they were wearing. This shows that they did not leave Egypt as fleeing slaves, but rather as soldiers with weapons.

 

We learn from here that even though God didn稚 want B地ai Yisrael to encounter the battle field right away and therefore He didn稚 take them straight through the land of the Philistines (where the Gaza strip is today) there would inevitably be battles that would need to be fought. We already see at the end of Parsha Beshalach that the nation of Amalek attacked them.

 

B地ai Yisrael miraculously won the war with Amalek which was fought spiritually by God and Moshe as well as physically 澱y the edge of the sword.

 

In Israel, we constantly see soldiers and civilians who are 田hamushim with a gun in their pocket or slung over their soldier. We know that on the one hand God is watching over us, but on the other hand we must be prepared to protect ourselves if necessary.

 

May God watch over and protect our soldiers who watch over and protect the residents of Israel.