ARMS

Arms are 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" (Prov. 25:18; cognate Hebrew word
rendered "battle-axe" in Jer. 51:20, and "slaughter weapon" in
Ezek. 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 (1 Sam. 17:39; 2 Sam. 20:8; 1 Kings
20:11). The spear was another offensive weapon (Josh. 8:18; 1
Sam. 17:7). The javelin was used by light troops (Num. 25:7, 8;
1 Sam. 13:22). Saul threw a javelin at David (1 Sam. 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
(Gen. 27:3; 48:22; Ps. 18:34). The sling was a favourite weapon
of the Benjamites (1 Sam. 17:40; 1 Chr. 12:2. Compare 1 Sam.
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 (Gen. 15:1;
Ps. 47:9; 1 Sam. 17:7; Prov. 30:5), and the buckler (Heb.
"mageen") or small shield (1 Kings 10:17; Ezek. 26:8). In Ps.
91:4 "buckler" is properly a roundel appropriated to archers or
slingers. The helmet (Ezek. 27:10; 1 Sam. 17:38), a covering for
the head; the coat of mail or corselet (1 Sam. 17:5), or
habergeon (Neh. 4;16), harness or breat-plate (Rev. 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 (1 Sam. 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.