From BiblePortal Wikipedia

People's Dictionary of the Bible [1]

Arms, Armor . There were: I. Offensive Weapons: arms. II. Defensive Weapons: armor. I. Offensive weapons. 1. Apparently the earliest and most widely used was the Chereb or sword, a lighter and a shorter weapon than the modern sword. It was carried in a sheath,  1 Samuel 17:51;  2 Samuel 20:8;  1 Chronicles 21:27, slung by a girdle,  1 Samuel 25:13, and resting upon the thigh,  Psalms 45:3;  Judges 3:16, or upon the hips,  2 Samuel 20:8. 2. The spear; at least three distinct kinds. ( A ) The Chanith, a "spear" of the largest kind. It was the weapon of Goliath,  1 Samuel 17:7;  1 Samuel 17:45;  2 Samuel 21:19;  1 Chronicles 20:5, and also of other giants,  2 Samuel 23:21;  1 Chronicles 11:23, and mighty warriors,  2 Samuel 2:23;  2 Samuel 23:18;  1 Chronicles 11:11;  1 Chronicles 11:20. ( B ) Apparently lighter than the preceding was the Cîdôn or "javelin." When not in action the Cîdôn was carried on the back of the warrior,  1 Samuel 17:6, A. V. "target," ( C ) Another kind of spear was the Rômach, mentioned in  Numbers 25:7 and  1 Kings 18:28, and frequently in the later books, as in  1 Chronicles 12:8 ("buckler");  2 Chronicles 11:12. It varied much in length, weight and size, ( D) The Shelach, probably a fighter missile or "dart." See  2 Chronicles 23:10;  2 Chronicles 32:5 ("darts"); some suppose darts are meant by the reading in the margin of A. V. of  Nehemiah 4:17;  Nehemiah 4:23; but the R. V. reads "weapon" in both cases, which makes it uncertain what kind of armor is meant.  Job 33:18;  Job 36:12;  Joel 2:8. (e) Sheba, means a rod or staff, used once only to denote a weapon.  2 Samuel 18:14. 3. Of missile weapons of offence the chief was undoubtedly the Bow (Hebrew, Kesheth ). The Arrows were carried in a quiver.  Genesis 27:3;  Isaiah 22:6;  Isaiah 49:2;  Psalms 127:5. From an allusion in  Job 6:4 they would seem to have been sometimes poisoned; and  Psalms 120:4 may point to a practice of using arrows with some burning material attached to them. 4. The Sling is 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 3:1-27;  2 Kings 25:5. The Battle-Axe,  Jeremiah 51:20, was a powerful weapon; its exact form is unknown. II. Armor. 1. The Breastplate noticed in the arms of Goliath, a "Coat of mail," literally a "Breastplate of scales."  1 Samuel 17:5. 2. The Habergeon is mentioned twice—in reference to the gown of the high priest. Translated coat of mail in R.V.  Exodus 28:32;  Exodus 39:23. It was probably a quilted shirt or doublet. 3. The Helmet was a protection for the head.  1 Samuel 17:5;  2 Chronicles 26:14;  Ezekiel 27:10. 4. Greaves were coverings for the feet, made of brass, named in  1 Samuel 17:6 only. 5. Two kinds of Shield are distinguishable, ( A ) The large shield, encompassing the whole person.  Psalms 5:12. It was carried before the warrior.  1 Samuel 17:7. ( B ) Of smaller size was the Buckler or Target, probably for use in hand-to-hand fight.  1 Kings 10:16;  2 Chronicles 9:15-16.

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [2]

Scripture frequently employs the imagery of armor as a metaphor for spiritual defense and protection. Old Testament symbolism emphasizes that God himself is the protector of his people. In  Genesis 15 , God prefaces his reiteration of the Abrahamic covenant with the assurance, "I am your shield, and your very great reward." Thereafter, the shield becomes perhaps the most common symbol of God's steadfast love and protection in the Old Testament. The metaphor is employed twenty-four times. It is a favorite device of David, who invokes this symbolism fifteen times, as in  2 Samuel 22:31 , "He [the Lord] is a shield for all who take refuge in him." In  Psalm 91:4 , David reveals that security is grounded specifically on the absolute faithfulness of God. In light of God's unfailing fidelity, believers are exhorted to trust in the Lord and take refuge behind him as their protective shield ( Psalm 115:9-11 ).

In the New Testament, the imagery of armor is invoked less frequently. Whereas Old Testament symbolism emphasizes the personification of God as shield, the New Testament reveals various aspects of God's redemptive provision as the means by which the believer may lay hold of God's protection. Such symbolism is employed by Paul ( Romans 13:12;  Ephesians 6:10-18;  1 Thessalonians 5:8 ). The most comprehensive and familiar, of course, is Paul's exhortation to the Ephesian believers to "put on the full armor of God." Paul's use of the Greek word panoplia [   Ephesians 6:12 ) and because of the imminence of the day of the Lord ( Romans 13:12;  1 Thessalonians 5:8 ). Every Pauline reference to the symbolism of armor is accompanied by the command to "put on" the armor. This injunction implies that believers should consciously appropriate elements of God's redemptive provision needed for every area of vulnerability to spiritual attack.

Ralph E. Enlow, Jr.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): (n.) Defensive arms for the body; any clothing or covering worn to protect one's person in battle.

(2): (n.) Steel or iron covering, whether of ships or forts, protecting them from the fire of artillery.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [4]

Armor. See Arms .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [5]

represented in the Auth. Vers. by several Heb. words, Gr. Ὅπλα ), properly distinguished from ARMS as being military equipment for the Protection of the person, while the latter denotes implements of Aggressive warfare; but in the English Bible the former term alone is employed in both senses. In the records of a people like the children of Israel, so large a part of whose history was passed in warfare, we naturally look for much information, direct or indirect, on the arms and modes of fighting of the nation itself and of those with whom it came into contact. Unfortunately, however, the notices that we find in the Bible on these points are extremely few and meagre, while even those few, owing to the uncertainty which rests on the true meaning and force of the terms, do not convey to us nearly all the information which they might. This is the more to be regretted because the notices of the history, scanty as they are, are literally every thing we have to depend on, inasmuch as they are not yet supplemented and illustrated either by remains of the arms themselves, or by those commentaries which the sculptures, vases, bronzes, mosaics, and paintings of other nations furnish to the notices of manners and customs contained in their literature. (See, generally, Jahn's Archeology, § 266-285.) In order to give a clear view of this subject, we shall endeavor to show, succinctly and from the best authorities now available, what were the martial instruments borne upon the person, whether for attack or resistance, by the ancient Asiatics, leaving for other proper heads an explanation of the composition and tactical condition of their armies, their systems of fortification, their method of conducting sieges and battles, and their usages of war as regards spoil, captives, etc. (See Battle); (See Fortification); (See Siege); (See War), (See Army); (See Fight), (See Fortress), etc.

'''I.''' Offensive Weapons