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Arms


Arms, Armor. The subject naturally divides itself into—

1. Offensive weapons: Arms. II. Defensive weapons: Armor.

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Soldier in full Armor.

1. 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, 1 Sam. 17:51; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Chron. 21:27, slung by a girdle, 1 Sam. 25:13, and resting upon the thigh, Ps. 45:3; Judges 3:16, or upon the hips, 2 Sam. 20:8. 2. Next we have the Spear; and of this weapon we meet with at least three distinct kinds. a. The Chanı̂th, a “spear,” and that of the largest kind. It was the weapon of Goliath, 1 Sam. 17:7, 45; 2 Sam. 21:19; 1 Chron. 20:5, and also of other giants, 2 Sam. 23:21; 1 Chron. 11:23, and mighty warriors. 2 Sam. 2:23; 23:18; 1 Chron. 11:11, 20. b. Apparently lighter than the preceding was the Cı̂dôn or “javelin.” When not in action, the Cı̂dôn was carried on the back of the warrior, 1 Sam. 17:6, Authorized Version “target.” c. Another kind of spear was the Rômach. In the historical books it occurs in Num. 25:7, and 1 Kings 18:28, and frequently in the later books, as in 1 Chron. 12:8 (“buckler”); 2 Chron. 11:12. (It varied much in length, weight, and size.) d. The Shelach was probably a lighter missile or “dart.” See 2 Chron. 23:10; 32:5 (“darts”); Neh. 4:17, 23 (see margin); Job 33:18; 36:12; Joel 2:8. e. Shebet, a rod or staff, is used once only to denote a weapon. 2 Sam. 18:14. 3. Of missile weapons of offence the chief was undoubtedly the Bow, Kesheth.

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Egyptian Archer. The Arrows were carried in a quiver. Gen. 27:3; Isa. 22:6; 49:2; Ps. 127:5. From an allusion in Job 6:4 they would seem to have been sometimes 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 Judges 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. 2 Kings 3:25. 5. The Battle-axe, Jer. 51:20, a powerful weapon, of whose exact form we have no knowledge.

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Egyptian Battle-axes.

II. Armor.

1. The Breastplate, enumerated in the description of the arms of Goliath, a “coat of mail,” literally a “breastplate of scales.” 1 Sam. 17:5. This word has furnished one of the names of Mount Hermon. See Deut. 3:9. 2. The Habergeon is mentioned but twice—in reference to the gown of the high priest. Ex. 28:32; 39:23. It was probably a quilted shirt or doublet. 3. The Helmet is referred to in 1 Sam. 17:5; 2 Chron. 26:14; Ezek. 27:10. 4. Greaves or defences for the feet, made of brass, are named in 1 Sam. 17:6 only. 5. Two kinds of Shield are distinguishable. a. The large shield, encompassing, Ps. 5:12, the whole person. When not in actual conflict it was carried before the warrior. 1 Sam. 17:7, 41. b. Of smaller dimensions was the buckler or target, probably for use in hand-to-hand fight. 1 Kings 10:16; 2 Chron. 9:15, 16.

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Assyrian Helmets.