Susan C. Anthony

The Six-Day War

A Bible scholar was once asked what proof he could provide that the Bible is true. His answer was, "The Jews, my friend, the Jews." God set aside the Jews to bring His Word to the world. Through them came the Messiah. God's plan of reconciliation is written in types and patterns in Jewish history, much of which can be verified archaeologically. The miracle of the Jews' existence as an identifiable group of people, despite thousands of years of dispersion, has no parallel.

God gave the Jews a choice between blessings if they obeyed and curses if they did not. Either way, they would demonstrate to the world the truth of His Word. They did not choose to obey and their history is marked by persecution and oppression. You may have seen the bumper sticker, "If we're the chosen people, please, choose somebody else!"

2 Chronicles 20 tells about a time when King Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem was threatened by a vast invading army of Moabites and Ammonites. Verses 15-17 say:

This is what the Lord says to you: Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. Tomorrow march down against them. . . . You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.

Throughout history, people have done everything they could to destroy God’s Word as well as God’s chosen people, the Jews. If those efforts had succeeded, we would have reason to doubt the truth of the Bible. The fact that the Jews and the Bible still exist is a powerful testimony to God’s integrity and the truth of His Word.

I talked once before about the Yom Kippur War of 1973. A friend in the audience later asked if I had heard about the angels God sent to aid the Jews during the Six Day War in 1967. He’d recently seen a show on cable TV about that event. I missed that program but it did motivate me to search out some books at the library on the Six Day War.

I found a different miracle story in one of them. The Israeli commander in this story is the same Ariel Sharon who later became Israel’s Prime Minister. He’s been in the news almost daily during the latest series of attacks and counterattacks.

Ariel Sharon in 1967By nightfall, Sharon’s forces had advanced three-quarters of the way from Abu Agheila to Nakhl. Their progress had been laborious and slow, following the course of a wadi through the desert. Their average speed for much of the way had been no more than 3 mph. As they continued their advance by night, they ran into a minefield and lost one of their armored troop-carriers. Sharon abandoned any further advance that night. . . .

At dawn, as they continued their advance, they suddenly came upon a whole brigade of Stalin tanks—the heaviest tanks on the battlefield—facing them in the desert. Behind the tanks were several large self-propelled guns. The Israeli tanks raced forward to attack but the Egyptian tanks made no move at all. The Israelis could not believe their eyes: every tank was intact but deserted—there was no one there. Later, when the fighting was over, Sharon met the commander of this Egyptian tank brigade, who had been taken prisoner.

He explained that he did not believe his armored brigade could resist the Israeli attack (although he had no idea of the size of the Israeli force) so he had decided to escape with all his men without even stopping to blow up his tanks. ‘You spoiled all my plans,’ he told Sharon with great lamentation.

The Egyptian, El-Naby, said he had been greatly alarmed on Tuesday night when he heard the noise of a large body of tanks moving up nearby. The tanks in fact turned out to be an Egyptian armored brigade that was also moving up from the west about which he had not been told.

On Wednesday night, El-Naby once again heard tanks advancing upon him. By now he had had news of the Israeli advance, and, thinking he was about to be attacked, he decided to abandon all his tanks and artillery and withdraw his men in half-tracks westward toward Bir Thamada, which he believed was still in Egyptian hands. ‘It wasn’t,’ Sharon commented with a grin. ‘Our boys were already there.’ After a skirmish with the Israelis, El-Naby abandoned his troops and, taking with him a lieutenant-colonel and a major, headed south-west on foot.

In an interview with Charles Mohr of the New York Times, published on June 20, El-Naby, when asked why he did not destroy his tanks, said: ‘I had orders to withdraw. My orders did not say to destroy my tanks. . . . If I had blown up the tanks the Jews would have heard me. It makes a lot of noise to destroy a tank.’

El-Naby said that the first part of his withdrawal took place ‘in very good order’ with his troops still organized by units and responding to discipline. Trouble came at a road junction in the central desert when Brigadier El-Naby’s men hit what he called an ‘ambush’ or an Israeli roadblock. ‘Because of the ambush we had to take different roads and head for the Mitla Pass further south,’ the Brigadier said.

Why didn’t he try to fight his way through the roadblock?

‘That was impossible,’ he said. An Israeli captain who was monitoring the conversation broke in: ‘Why? What kind of force and weapons do you suppose we had in that roadblock?’ ‘Well,’ the Egyptian replied, ‘I heard light machine guns and I think I heard .50-calibre heavy machine guns.’

The Israeli captain threw his hands and eyes upward and said, ‘You had a whole brigade and we held the roadblock with light forces.’ (A brigade is 3000 to 5000 men.)

‘Yes,’ said El-Naby, ‘but you must remember that I had left the tanks behind.’ . . .

At the Mitla Pass, the brigade fell to pieces, although it was not in contact with enemy forces.

‘I lost all my order at the Mitla,’ the Egyptian said. ‘Everyone wanted to flee for his own skin. All vehicles were abandoned and the men set off on foot to cross the mountains to the west.’ Many of the Egyptians threw away their weapons, helmets and much of their personal equipment. Brigadier El-Naby failed to take any water or food with him when he started his own trek. He was asked whether he attempted to keep any men under his command with him. He answered, ‘No, no. As I said, everyone wanted to save his own skin.’

As recently as 1967, God confused Israel’s enemies and put fear in their hearts! God fought for them, just as He did in the Old Testament stories. Read 2 Kings 7 for a comparable story. The Jews are God's chosen people, just as they were 3000 years ago. They're his witness to the world.

Go on to read Patriarchs and Patterns
Source:, ©Susan C. Anthony