Weapon (usually כּלַי, ὅπλον, which denote an instrument of any kind). Among the Hebrews we find, in general, the same kinds of military weapons mentioned (1Sa 17:5 sq.; 2Ch 26:14; Ne 4:13,16; Eze 39:9; comp. Philo, Opp. 2, 530) as among other warlike nations of antiquity (see Herod, 7:61 sq.). We can therefore determine little about their precise form or material, except so far as monuments or modern usage enables us to draw, a comparison. We note the following kinds (comp. 2Co 6:7, ὅπλα; δεξιὰ καὶ ἀριστερά, Diod. Sic. 3, 51; σκεπαστηρια, ἀμυντήρια, Lat. arman et tela; see Bremi on Nepos, 14:11): —
I. Protective Weapons. — To this class belong the following:
1. The Shield (q.v.).
2. The Helmet (כּוֹבִע or קוֹבִע, 2Ch 26:14; Jer 46:4; ἡ περικεφαλαία, Eph 6:17) of brass (1Sa 17:5,38; 1Sa 1 Macc. 6:35; comp. Diod. Sic. 5, 30; Xenoph. Anab. 1, 2, 16). Whether the Israelites also wore them of leather (neats hide, Homer, 11, 10:257 sq.; Strabo, 7:306, etc.; see Passow, s.v. κυνέη) is uncertain, although such certainly belonged to rude ages (for the ancient Egyptian form, see Wilkinson, 1, 331). SEE HELMET.
3. The Breastplate (שַׁריוֹן, θώραξ), which covered the center of the person (1Sa 17:5; Ne 4:16; 2Ch 26:14; 2Ch 1 Macc. 3, 3), usually of brass (1Sa 17:5; Re 9:9; comp. Iliad, 13:371 sq., 397 sq.), and sometimes composed of plates (קִשׂקִשַּׂים, 1Sa 17:5), by which, however, we must not understand the Roman lorica squameata, consisting of a leather corselet covered with brass scales. In order to would a fully equipped soldier, it was necessary to strike some spot where the brazen pieces failed to join each other fully, or where ordinary clothing intervened (1Ki 20:34). Among the Syro- Seleucid generals we find chain armor (panoply) in use (1 Macc. 6:35; comp. the Sept. at 1Sa 17:5; Diod. Sic. 5, 30); but of linen corselets (see Kopke, Kriegsw. d. Griech. p. 97 sq.) there appears no trace in the Bible. SEE BREASTPLATE.
4. Greaves for protecting the knees and legs (מַצחָה, κνημῖδες, ocreae; 1Sa 17:6), commonly of brass (Iliad, 7:42), were universal in classical antiquity (Xenoph. Anab. 1, 2, 16; 4:7; 16; Virgil, En. 11:177; Pliny, 34:18, etc.), and are regarded as an invention of the Carians (Pliny, 7:57). We must distinguish from these the military shoe (סאוֹן, Isa 9:4), probably like the Roman caliga (see Bynaeus, De Calaeis Hebr. p. 83 sq.), a sort of half-boot of leather shod with strong nails (Juvenal, 16:24; Josephus, War, 6:1, 8; clavi caligeres, Pliny, 9:33; 22:46; 34:41). SEE GREAVES; SEE SHOE.
II. Aggressive Weapons. —
1. The Sword (חֶרֶב), which was carried in a special belt at the hips (1Sa 17:37; 1Sa 25:13; 2Sa 20:8), but certainly not (as Jahn [Archceöl. II, 2, 40] falsely argues from Jg 3:16,21; Josephus, War, 3, 5, 5) on the right side (see the figures of Ninevites in the Journal Asiatique, 1840, 7 pl. 3, 6, 7, 10; 10:17, 19, 22, 53, etc.). It was enclosed in a sheath (תִּעִר, 1Sa 17:51; 1Sa 2 Samuel loc. cit.; נָדָן, 1Ch 21:27; θήκη, Joh 18:11), hence the phrase "to draw the sword" (הֵרַיק חֶרֶב, or שָׁלִŠ, or פָּתִח), and was double-edged (שׂנֵי פַיּות, Jg 3:16; Pr 5:4; δίστομος, Heb 4:12; Re 1:20; Re 2:12; ἀμφήκης, Iliad, 21:118). It was used both for striking and stabbing (1Sa 31:4; 2Sa 2; 2Sa 16; 2Sa 20:10, etc.). The Sept. usually translates the Heb. חֶרֶב by μάχαιρα, which latter occurs in the New Test., and originally denoted the short dagger (comp. Iliad, 3, 271 sq.), but later any (curved) saber in distinction from. ξίφος, the proper (military) sword; but that חֶרֶב also signifies the straight sword there can be no doubt. The Roman sica, a somewhat curved poniard, was introduced later among the Jews, and became, shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem, the deadly weapon of the bold robbers, who hence were called Sicarii (Josephuas, Ant. 20:8, 10; War, 7:10, 1; Life, § 56). SEE SWORD.
2. The Spear, lance, or dart, was used as a weapon both for thrusting (close at hand) and for throwing (at a short distance), like the δόρυ of the Greeks (Strabo, 10:448); but chiefly for the former (see 1Sa 18:1; 1Sa 19:10; 1Sa 20:33). The usual Heb. designations are רֹמִח and חֲנַית, which can hardly be distinguished, except that the latter is generally used in connection with the sword (or bow), while both appear in connection with the shield (Jg 5:8; 1Sa 17:15). Instead of either word, we sometimes find קִיַו (2Sa 21:16) and כַּידוֹן (Jos 8:18,26; 1Sa 17:6; Job 41:21); also שֶׁבֶט in some cases (2Sa 18:14, according to some). They are also thought to have been used as standards for colors (Gesen. Thesaur. p. 683). The spears (see the Persepolitan specimens in Porter, Travels, 1, pl. 36, 40, 46, 49) had a wooden shaft (חֵוֹ, 1Sa 17:7; or עֵוֹ, 2Sa 21:19; 2Sa 23:7) and an iron point (1Sa 17:7). Ash or fir was preferred (Virgil, En. 11:667; Homer, II. 19:390 sq.; 22:293; Odys. 14:281; Ovid, Ietam. 10. 93; Statius, Theb. 6:102; comp. Pliny. 16:24), and hence many (so Rosenmüller) explain Na 2:4; but בּרוֹשׁ. is probably cypress (q.v.). The hasta of the Romans, a weapon for throwing, is called λόγχη in the New Test. (John.19, 34; comp. 2 Macc. 5, 2; 15:11; see Alstorph. De Hastis Veter. [Amst. 1757]). SEE SPEAR.
3. The Bow .(q.v.) in connection with Arrows (q.v.).
4. The Sling (q.v.).
5. A Battle-axe (see Wilkinson, 1, 323, 325 sq.) is named (סַגוֹר, Ps 35:3; comp. the σάγαρις of the Scythians, Massageta, and Persians, Herod. 1, 215; 4:70; 7:64; Xenoph. Cyrop. 1, 2, 9; 2, 1, 9; Strabo, 15:734; the Armenian sacr) as a special weapon of attack (comp. the קִרדּמּוֹת of the Chaldaeans, Jer 46:2). A sledge-hammer may perhaps be meant in one passage (מֵפַיוֹ, Pr 25:18; Sept. ῥόπαλον; comp.
Odys. 11:575); but it is probably only the ordinary mallet (מִפֵּוֹ). See generally Bosvelt [Rau] De Armis Vett, Hebr. (Tr. ad Rh. 1781); Jahn, Archaöl. II, 2, 400 sq.; Seume, Armna Vett. cum Nostris Comniparata (Lips. 1792) SEE ARMOR.
Of the custom of many nations of burying arms with a warrior in the grave, there is no trace in the Bible (see Eze 22:27; Eze 1 Macc. 13:29; comp. Tacitus, Gerz. 27; Rosenmüller, Morgenl. 4, 343 sq.). Captured weapons were suspended in temples or burned in heaps (Isa 9:4 sq.; Eze 39:9; comp. Virgil. in. 8:562 sq.). Arsenals (בָּתֵּי כֵלַים, 2Ki 20:13; Isa 39:2; ὁπλοθήκη, Josephus, War, 2, 17, 9) were erected in cities for the deposit of weapons. SEE ARMORY.