2 occurrences in 2 dictionaries

Reference: Armour


is employed in the English Bible to denote military equipment, both offensive and defensive.

(1.) The offensive weapons were different at different periods of history. The "rod of iron" (Ps 2:9) is supposed to mean a mace or crowbar, an instrument of great power when used by a strong arm. The "maul" (Pr 25:18; cognate Hebrew word rendered "battle-axe" in Jer 51:20, and "slaughter weapon" in Eze 9:2) was a war-hammer or martel. The "sword" is the usual translation of hereb, which properly means "poniard." The real sword, as well as the dirk-sword (which was always double-edged), was also used (1Sa 17:39; 2Sa 20:8; 1Ki 20:11). The spear was another offensive weapon (Jos 8:18; 1Sa 17:7). The javelin was used by light troops (Nu 25:7-8; 1Sa 13:22). Saul threw a javelin at David (1Sa 19:9-10), and so virtually absolved him from his allegiance. The bow was, however, the chief weapon of offence. The arrows were carried in a quiver, the bow being always unbent till the moment of action (Ge 27:3; 48:22; Ps 18:34). The sling was a favourite weapon of the Benjamites (1Sa 17:40; 1Ch 12:2. Comp. 1Sa 25:29).

(2.) Of the defensive armour a chief place is assigned to the shield or buckler. There were the great shield or target (the tzinnah), for the protection of the whole person (Ge 15:1; Ps 47:9; 1Sa 17:7; Pr 30:5), and the buckler (Heb. mageen) or small shield (1Ki 10:17; Eze 26:8). In Ps 91:4 "buckler" is properly a roundel appropriated to archers or slingers. The helmet (Eze 27:10; 1Sa 17:38), a covering for the head; the coat of mail or corselet (1Sa 17:5), or habergeon (Ne 4; 13:31), harness or breat-plate (Re 9:9), for the covering of the back and breast and both upper arms (Isa 59:17; Eph 6:14). The cuirass and corselet, composed of leather or quilted cloth, were also for the covering of the body. Greaves, for the covering of the legs, were worn in the time of David (1Sa 17:6). Reference is made by Paul (Eph 6:14-17) to the panoply of a Roman soldier. The shield here is the thureon, a door-like oblong shield above all, i.e., covering the whole person, not the small round shield. There is no armour for the back, but only for the front.

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None of the Hebrew words translated 'armour' refer definitely to what is understood now by armour worn on the person. Saul armed David with his 'armour,' 1Sa 17:38, but the word used is also translated 'clothes,' etc., and it may refer to Saul's warrior-dress. The articles named are somewhat more definite.

1. Saul put on David a 'HELMET of brass.' These were raised a little above the head, as may be seen by some of the sculptures from Nineveh. 1Sa 17:38; Eze 23:24: the word is qoba. Another word, koba, meaning the same, is found in 1Sa 17:5; 2Ch 26:14; Isa 59:17; Jer 46:4; Eze 27:10; 38:5.

2. COAT OF MAIL. Saul put on David a 'Coat of Mail,' shiryon. 1Sa 17:5,38. This word is translated 'HABERGEON ' in 2Ch 26:14; Ne 4:16, which also signifies 'coat of mail,' and there is a similar word in Job 41:26. It was made of brass scales fastened together. The weight of Goliath's coat of mail was 5,000 shekels.

3. GREAVES. The giant wore Greaves of brass upon his legs. 1Sa 17:6. The word is mitschah, and occurs nowhere else.

4. TARGET. He had a Target of brass between his shoulders, 1Sa 17:6: the word is kidon, and is elsewhere translated both 'shield' and 'spear.' In this case it was probably a small spear carried between the shoulders.

5. SHIELD. A Shield was carried before him. This was a tsinnah, a shield of large size to protect the whole body, with a large boss in the centre rising to a point which could be used as a weapon. It is employed figuratively for God's protecting care of His people. Ps 5:12; 91:4. The same word is translated BUCKLER. Ps 35:2; Eze 23:24; 26:8, etc.

Another word is used for a smaller shield, magen, and this is the word which occurs most commonly in the O.T., especially in the Psalms, referring to God's protection, as Ps 28:7; 33:20; 84:11; 119:114, etc. The same word is translated BUCKLER. 2Sa 22:31; 1Ch 5:18; Cant. 4:4; Jer 46:3, etc.

The word shelet is translated Shield, but is also applied to Shields of gold, 2Sa 8:7, and those suspended for ornament. Eze 27:11. It occurs also in 2Ki 11:10; 1Ch 18:7; 2Ch 23:9; Cant. 4:4; Jer 51:11.

In the N.T. 'armour' is used symbolically.

1. ???? in contrast to 'the works of darkness' we are exhorted to put on 'the armour of light.' Ro 13:12. Paul and his fellow-labourers commended themselves as God's ministers by the "armour, or arms, of righteousness on the right hand and on the left." 2Co 6:7.

2. ????????, 'whole armour.' One stronger than Satan takes away all his 'armour.' Lu 11:22. The Christian is exhorted to put on the 'whole armour of God,' the panoply, that he may stand in the evil day in his conflict with the spiritual powers of wickedness in the heavenlies. Eph 6:11,13. See BREASTPLATE, HELMET, etc.

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