Those two words can mean different things. Think of two people or two groups who argue with each other about a subject, a proposal, a theme, a law, or most anything. Someone or some group that is not aligned with either of those distinct people or groups might be a compromiser, a peace maker, or might distract them by introducing some point or argument different from the two options that are being discussed.
In politics, compromise is normally proposed by a politician from one or the other of the two sides. But, that situation does not fit my article. An outsider might do it, but within the outsider’s core principles, does he or she really have no allegiance to one or the other side? Difficult to tell.
During War, sometimes an opposing nation switches sides to became the other side’s ally (in order to survive, in order to become favored by the stronger side as war develops, or to punish their original ally for not being true to an important promise made to them). That situation does not fit my article either. “Neither side” is an absolute (unrelated, neither qualified nor diminished) statement of position. It literally means that “I or we will not support you,” and it is said to each side. Can you think of an example of that? Can you understand how either (or both) sides can work with a third-party who proclaims that he, she, or they have a side of their own?
Even writing or saying that presents a difficulty. By definition, a side is left or right of center. A side of a house is a wall, and a wall only makes sense if there are at least 3 (usually there are four) complementing walls that complete the building, along with a floor and roof. A side begins at the edge of something that is in the middle. One side opposes another side. Look at the title again. Just because the person or group belongs to neither of two sides, it does not necessarily mean that he, she, or they is a side at all. I have found one clear example of who is the object of “Neither Side.” Web Search Joshua 5: 13-15.
Joshua, Moses’ Second-in-Command, was In Command when this happened because Moses was dead. Moses had led the Hebrew people out of bondage in Egypt, as God had commanded him. God had remained close, had regularly communicated with Moses, and through Moses, he had worked tirelessly to shape the Hebrew people to be the nation that he had promised to Abraham. For forty years, these people fell short of being worthy to receive God’s promise of land to dwell in as a nation of God’s people. Literally, they wandered, falling short of deserving, until they all died. Joshua was of the next generation, born to experience the wandering as it happened. Joshua’s generation was all about listening to God and doing what he commanded.
So, imagine that you are Joshua, leading an armed Hebrew force into Canaan (the land that was promised), full of faith in God, ready to take the city of Jericho, and you encounter this daunting warrior who draws his sword on you and tells you that his allegiance as the Commander of God’s Army of Angels is on, “Neither Side, plus get your milwaukee brewers hawaiian shirt off because God is right here!” Now, think about today, about your country. Have you heard someone say, “God is on our side?” Do you see what an arrogant and incorrect thing that is to say?
Joshua wrote the Book of Joshua, a summary of his 20 years of leadership of the Hebrew people. The Book was made available (many copies) after Joshua’s death, around 1399 BC. He understood how important it was for the Hebrew people to always be on God’s side. Had he lived to see it, Joshua would have had profound regret that the Hebrews would again behave in ways that were counter to God’s purpose, and that their suffering would be greater than that of their enslaved ancestors. Yet, God would send prophets to tell them that a Messiah would come one day to show them the way back to him. Consider reading the entire Book of Joshua in order to understand the beginning of the time when the Hebrew people became the chosen people of God. This was the Alpha of that nation which links to the Omega of the Nation of Israel today.
write by Peterson