We often use the word “loophole” to denote ambiguity in something; to indicate that there may be a way to get around a certain rule or law or statement of fact – a way in which we can enter and attack it and prove it wrong.
What we don’t often know is that in history, loopholes were narrow slits in the structure of a building where soldiers launched arrows against attacking armies to defend their territories, while staying in a relatively safe and sheltered position on the inner side of the wall.
These loopholes are wider on the inside than they are on the outside, making it convenient for archers to shoot their arrows at their enemies but extremely difficult for the enemy to get their own arrows in and shoot back. The opposing army would need super special archers with really good aim to shoot their arrows through those loopholes.
In nearly every wall structure in Israel you can find these vertical slits. They sort of bring you back to a time when it wasn’t tourists and pilgrims that flooded the place, but kings and soldiers and great wars.
David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:18-24)
18 Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything that was happening in the war. 19 He gave the messenger these orders:
When you finish telling the king everything that has happened, 20 he may get angry and ask, “Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Don’t you know how Abimelech the son of Gideon was killed at Thebez? Didn’t a woman kill him by dropping a large rock from the top of the city wall? Why did you go so close to the city walls?”
Then you tell him, “One of your soldiers who was killed was Uriah the Hittite.”
22 The messenger went to David and reported everything Joab had told him. 23 He added, “The enemy chased us from the wall and out into the open fields. But we pushed them back as far as the city gate. 24 Then they shot arrows at us from the top of the wall. Some of your soldiers were killed, and one of them was Uriah the Hittite.”