Reference: 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,
slung by a girdle,
and resting upon the thigh,
or upon the hips.
2. Next we have the SPEAR; and of this weapon we meet with at least three distinct kinds.
a. The Chanith, a "spear," and that of the largest kind. It was the weapon of Goliath,
and also of other giants,
and mighty warriors.
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,
Authorized Version "target." c. Another kind of spear was the Romach. In the historical books it occurs in
and 1Kin 18:28 and frequently in the later books, as in
(It varied much in length, weight and size.) d. The Shelach was probably a lighter missile or "dart." see
e. Shebet, a rod or staff, is used once only to denote a weapon.
3. Of missile weapons of offence the chief was undoubtedly the BOW, Kesheth. The ARROWS were carried in a quiver.
From an allusion in Job 6:4 they would seem to have been some times poisoned; and
may point to a practice of using arrows with some burning material attached to them.
4. The SLING is first mentioned in
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.
5. The BATTLE AXE,
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."
This word has furnished one of the names of Mount Hermon. See
2. The HABERGEON is mentioned but twice--in reference to the gown of the high priest.
It was probably a quilted shirt or doublet.
3. The HELMET is referred to in
4. (GREAVES) or defences for the feet, made of brass, are named in
5. Two kinds of SHIELD are distinguishable.
a. The large shield; encompassing,
the whole person. When not in actual conflict it was carried before the warrior.
b. Of smaller dimensions was the buckler or target, probably for use in hand-to-hand fight.
Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;
And there shall be a hole in the top of it, in the midst of it: it shall have a binding of woven work round about the hole of it, as the hole of an habergeon, that it be not rent.
And a miter of fine linen, and goodly bonnets of fine linen, and linen breeches of fine twined linen,
And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he girded it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men left-handed; every one could sling stones to a hair-breadth, and not miss.
And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.
And he had a helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him.
And the Philistine advanced and drew near to David; and the man that bore the shield went before him.
Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
Therefore David ran and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
And David said to his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the goods.
But he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.
Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
And Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief among three. And he lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them, and had the name among three.
And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.
And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target.
And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.
And they beat down the cities, and on every good piece of land cast every man his stone, and filled it; and they stopped all the wells of water, and felled all the good trees: only in Kirhara-seth they left the stones of it; but the slingers went about it, and smote it.
And of the Gadites there separated themselves to David in the hold in the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;
And in every several city he put shields and spears, and made them exceeding strong, having Judah and Benjamin on his side.
And he set all the people, every man having his weapon in his hand, from the right side of the temple to the left side of the temple, along by the altar and the temple, by the king on all sides.
Also he strengthened himself, and built up all the wall that was broken, and raised it up to the towers, and another wall without, and repaired Millo in the city of David, and made darts and shields in abundance.
They who built on the wall, and they that bore burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us put off our clothes, saving that every one put them off for washing.
For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison of which drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God set themselves in array against me.
He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword.
But if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, and they shall die without knowledge.
Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly disquieted: let them return and be suddenly ashamed.
Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.
Sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
And Elam bore the quiver with chariots of men and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield.
And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shade of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me;
Thou art my battle-ax and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
They of Persia and of Lud and of Phut were in thy army, thy military men: they hung the shield and helmet in thee; they set forth thy comeliness.