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Morrish Bible Dictionary


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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,' 1 Samuel 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. 1 Samuel 17:38 ; Ezekiel 23:24 : the word is qoba. Another word, koba, meaning the same, is found in 1 Samuel 17:5 ; 2 Chronicles 26:14 ; Isaiah 59:17 ; Jeremiah 46:4 ; Ezekiel 27:10 ; Ezekiel 38:5 .

2. COAT OF MAIL. Saul put on David a 'Coat of Mail,' shiryon. 1 Samuel 17:5,38 . This word is translated 'HABERGEON ' in 2 Chronicles 26:14 ; Nehemiah 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 5,000shekels.

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

4. TARGET. He had a Target of brass between his shoulders, 1 Samuel 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. Psalm 5:12 ; Psalm 91:4 . The same word is translated BUCKLER. Psalm 35:2 ; Ezekiel 23:24 ; Ezekiel 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 Psalm 28:7 ; Psalm 33:20 ; Psalm 84:11 ; Psalm 119:114 , etc. The same word is translated BUCKLER. 2 Samuel 22:31 ; 1 Chronicles 5:18 ; Song of Solomon 4:4 ; Jeremiah 46:3 , etc.

The word shelet is translated Shield, but is also applied to Shields of gold, 2 Samuel 8:7 , and those suspended for ornament. Ezekiel 27:11 . It occurs also in 2 Kings 11:10 ; 1 Chronicles 18:7 ; 2 Chronicles 23:9 ; Song of Solomon 4:4 ; Jeremiah 51:11 .

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

1. ὅπλα in contrast to 'theworks of darkness' we are exhorted to put on 'the armour of light.' Romans 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." 2 Corinthians 6:7 .

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

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Armour '. Morrish Bible Dictionary. 1897.

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