If I reduce his age to 14 in the Race chapter, that makes him only 48 at his death on the battlefield.
By my calculations he was 52 when he died.
> But could he really have been riding a chariot into battle throwing javelins at 52?
No way to know for sure. It would depend on his personal health and condition. But I think we do have some clues from what we know about him both historically and biblically.
He could have been leading without fighting or he could still have been in good enough shape to wave a sword around and look like he was still tough even if he wasn’t. I guess one thing to consider is what he was doing thru out his life. If he was vigorous and kept busy he would probably have been in better shape than you or I at that age. But sword combat is physically demanding, so it doesn’t seem too likely that he would still have been doing what the 232 were capable of (Is that why they were such an inspired idea in the first place?).
But, too, let’s remember what else we know about him; he had the two run-ins with BH your story centers on and THEN followed that up a few years later with Qarqar and then died in battle some years after that. So he must have stayed in pretty good shape. And those are only the battles that we have some record of. He probably fought a lot more times than that as part of his kingly duties.
I don’t know in general if commander kings in those days led from the front or from behind. On the stele, of course, they were always leading the charge. But I don’t know if that was actually true or not.
BUT! You have some decisions to make here. All of this ties into his character in a way that directly affects you. If he WAS a physical type of leader that would be reflected in his personality. And I guess I tend to think of him as being an Alpha type, especially as I watched you develop him. If he did lead from behind that would have to figure in your portrayal of him as well. He would then be more conniving than either of us has pictured him thus far. My guess is he should be a “from the front” leader from how we’re thinking about his and O’s preparation for his role when they’re young sprouts, but, thankfully, I don’t have to sweat that one out.