109th Sura 61: AS-SAFF (The Ranks) – Fighting in Ranks VS Standing in the Gap

Sura 51:4 Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a solid structure (bun’yānun).

This ideology is carried over into the prayer lines one sees in the mosques. Everyone must stand shoulder to shoulder so that there are no gaps.

Joel 2:6 Nations writhe in horror before them; every face turns pale. 7 They charge like mighty men; they scale walls like men of war. Each one marches in formation, not swerving from the course. 8 They do not jostle one another; each man proceeds in his column, as they burst through the defenses, never breaking ranks.

Now such battle techniques are admirable if not preferable in flat open terrain. But where the ground is rough and littered with obstacles – trees and the like, then such a strategy tends to falter. And if one arrives at a choke point like a ford across a river, then all the widest ranks will be to no avail.

In the 2006 Movie “300”, a small elite group of a few hundred Spartans supported by allies from other Greek City-States were able to fend off a substantially larger Iranian army before they were outflanked, needing to send the bulk of their military into a strategic retreat.

…….A Greek force of approximately 7,000 men marched north to block the pass in the middle of 480 BC. The Persian army, alleged by the ancient sources to have numbered over one million, but today considered to have been much smaller (various figures are given by scholars, ranging between about 100,000 and 150,000)…..

1 Samuel 14:13 Then Jonathan climbed up on his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer behind him. And the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor-bearer followed and finished them off. 14 In that first assault, Jonathan and his armor-bearer struck down about twenty men over half an acre of land.

On the eve of his departure, the officer of the British Operations Branch sat in his tent reading the chapter on the war of Saul and Jonathan with the Philistines, and thought to himself, “This passage, those cliffs … they are all still standing in their place. After all, nothing had changed in Palestine throughout generations.” The officer showed the general the chapter in the Bible, and the plan of attack was changed. In the darkness of the night, one platoon advanced up the Michmash Pass, between Bozez and Seneh, the great cliffs. The sleeping Turks, having assumed that the entire British army was crowding them, fled in panic.

In the case of a walled city, the same holds true. If the walls are impenetrable then one can only implement a blockade and hope to starve it – forcing the inhabitants to come out if your attempts to bust in fail. In the Battle of Helms Deep in the 2002 Movie “The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers,” Aragorn and Gimli must fend off attackers on a narrow bridge, giving defenders behind them a chance to shore up the doors to the “Keep” which had been partially battered in.

Ezekiel 22:30 I searched for a man among them to repair the wall and stand (‘ō·mêḏ) in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, so that I should not destroy it. But I found no one.

Ezekiel 13:4 Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among the ruins. 5 You did not go up to the gaps or restore the wall around the house of Israel so that it would stand in the battle on the Day of the LORD. 6 They see false visions and speak lying divinations. They claim, “Thus declares the LORD,” when the LORD did not send them; yet they wait for the fulfillment of their message.

Isaiah 59:16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede; then his own arm brought him salvation, and his righteousness upheld him.

For in the example of Jonathan and his armour-bearer it was not an “army in ranks” that had the ultimate victory.

Joel 2:20 I will drive the northern horde far from you, pushing it into a parched and barren land; its eastern ranks will drown in the Dead Sea and its western ranks in the Mediterranean Sea. And its stench will go up; its smell will rise.

Sura 27:83 One day We shall gather together from every people a troop of those who reject our Signs, and they shall be kept in ranks.

Sura 61:6 And when Isa son of Marium said: O children of Israel! surely I am the Apostle of Allah to you, verifying that which is between my hands of the Taurat and giving the good news of an Messenger who will come after me, his name being Ahmad, but when He came to them with clear arguments they said: This is clear magic.

Strong’s Hebrew 5975
Original Word: עָמַד
Part of Speech: Verb
Transliteration: amad
Phonetic Spelling: (aw-mad’)
Definition: to take one’s stand, stand

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