As levy recruits, Ṣābu Ša Qašti are armed and trained to fight in exchange for access to temple owned land.
The armies of the Neo-Babylonian Empire (7th–6th centuries BCE) were typified by their high level of organization and supervision. They inherited a system common to all of Mesopotamia, in which the temples would ensure the recruitment and mobilization of the troops that formed the bulk of the army. In Ancient Babylonia, temples had to perform several roles. They were sites of worship, agricultural production, commercial exchanges, and also represented the base level of military recruitment. This recruitment of troops concerned all families with access to land in the imperial domain. They were required to pay taxes and provide one man from each family group to be called upon for military service or to perform work on temple properties. These “bow service men” (Sabu Sha Qashti) were then equipped with lances, bows, and shields and managed by the temple that had administrative authority.