At first glance, one might argue that the Holy War of Islam, the Jihad, is of a similar nature to the wars fought in the Old Testament. After all, in both cases the wars are religiously motivated and the fighters believe that they are acting according to God’s will. However, this is where the similarities end.
The wars in the Old Testament are mainly motivated by the need of the Israelis to settle in the Holy Land, after having escaped slavery in Egypt. As the chosen people, the Israeli believed they had the right to settle in the promised land, as this is what their God had promised them. Therefore, most battles in the Old Testament are a result of this perception: cities which are not willing to agree to this, such as Jericho, are being attacked and conquered as a result. At the same time, one must not forget that the Israelis actually had nowhere else to go and therefore had an actual need to conquer territory in order to be able to settle.
In contrast, Islamic Jihad is not motivated by the need of Muslim people to settle somewhere. Instead, it is a war fought between believers and non-believers, based purely on religious differences. In its most extreme form, Jihad is motivated by and rooted in the belief that non-believers, the infidels, are to be either converted or defeated in order to help protect and spread the Muslim faith.