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Reference: Arms, Armor


Arms, Armor.

The subject naturally divides itself into-- I. Offensive weapons: Arms. II. Defensive weapons: Armor. I. Offensive weapons.--

1. Apparently the earliest known and most widely used was the Chereb or SWORD. Very little can be gathered as to its shape, size, material or mode of use. Perhaps if anything is to be inferred it is that the Chereb is both a lighter and a shorter weapon than the modern sword. It was carried in a sheath,

See Sword

1Sa 17:51; 2Sa 20:8; 1Ch 21:27

slung by a girdle,

1Sa 25:13

and resting upon the thigh,

Ps 45:3; Jg 3:16

or upon the hips.

2Sa 20:8

2. Next we have the SPEAR; and of this weapon we meet with at least three distinct kinds.

See Spear

a. The Chanith, a "spear," and that of the largest kind. It was the weapon of Goliath,

1Sa 17:7,45; 2Sa 21:19; 1Ch 20:5

and also of other giants,

2Sa 23:21; 1Ch 11:23

and mighty warriors.

2Sa 2:23; 23:18; 1Ch 11:11,20

b. Apparently lighter than the preceding was the Cidon or "javelin." When not in action the Cidon was carried on the back of the warrior,

1Sa 17:6

Authorized Version "target." c. Another kind of spear was the Romach. In the historical books it occurs in

Nu 25:7

and 1Kin 18:28 and frequently in the later books, as in

1Ch 12:8


2Ch 11:12

(It varied much in length, weight and size.) d. The Shelach was probably a lighter missile or "dart." see

2Ch 23:10; 32:5


Ne 4:17,23

(see margin);

Job 33:18; 36:12; Joe 2:8

e. Shebet, a rod or staff, is used once only to denote a weapon.

2Sa 18:14

3. Of missile weapons of offence the chief was undoubtedly the BOW, Kesheth. The ARROWS were carried in a quiver.

See Bow

See Arrows

Ge 27:3; Isa 22:6; 49:2; Ps 127:5

From an allusion in Job 6:4 they would seem to have been some times poisoned; and

Ps 120:4

may point to a practice of using arrows with some burning material attached to them.

4. The SLING is first mentioned in

See Sling

Jg 20:16

This simple weapon, with which David killed the giant Philistine, was the natural attendant of a shepherd. Later in the monarchy, slingers formed part of the regular army.

2Ki 3:25


Jer 51:20

a powerful weapon of whose exact form we have no knowledge. II. Armor.--

1. The BREASTPLATE, enumerated in the description of the arms of Goliath, a "coat of mail," literally a "breastplate of scales."

See Breastplate

1Sa 17:5

This word has furnished one of the names of Mount Hermon. See

De 3:9

2. The HABERGEON is mentioned but twice--in reference to the gown of the high priest.

See Habergeon

Ex 28:32; 39:28

It was probably a quilted shirt or doublet.

3. The HELMET is referred to in

See Helmet

1Sa 17:5; 2Ch 26:14; Eze 27:10

4. (GREAVES) or defences for the feet, made of brass, are named in

See Greaves

1Sa 17:6


5. Two kinds of SHIELD are distinguishable.

See Shield

a. The large shield; encompassing,

Ps 6:10

the whole person. When not in actual conflict it was carried before the warrior.

1Sa 17:7,41

b. Of smaller dimensions was the buckler or target, probably for use in hand-to-hand fight.

1Ki 10:16; 2Ch 9:15-16

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