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Bow [1]

( קֶשֶׁת , Ke'Sheth; Τόξον ), one of the most extensively employed and (among primitive nations) efficient implements of missile attack. (See Armor). It is met with in the earliest stages of history, in use both for the chase ( Genesis 21:20;  Genesis 27:3) and war ( Genesis 48:22). In later times archers accompanied the armies of the Philistines ( 1 Samuel 31:3;  1 Chronicles 10:3) and of the Syrians ( 1 Kings 22:34). Among the Jews its use was not confined to the common soldiers, but captains high in rank, as Jehu ( 2 Kings 9:24), and even kings' sons ( 1 Samuel 18:4), carried the bow, and were expert and sure in its use ( 2 Samuel 1:22).

The tribe of Benjamin seems to have been especially addicted to archery ( 1 Chronicles 8:40;  1 Chronicles 12:2;  2 Chronicles 14:8;  2 Chronicles 17:7), but there were also bowmen among Reuben, Gad, Manasseh ( 1 Chronicles 5:18); and Ephraim ( Psalms 78:9). The bow seems to have been bent with the aid of the foot, as now, for the word commonly used for it is דָּרִךְ , To Tread ( 1 Chronicles 5:18;  1 Chronicles 8:40;  2 Chronicles 14:8;  Isaiah 5:18;  Psalms 7:12, etc.). Bows of steel (or perhaps copper, נְחוּשָׁה ) are mentioned as if specially strong ( 2 Samuel 22:5;  Psalms 18:34). The String is occasionally named ( יֶתֶר , Ye'Ther, or מֵיתָר , Meythar'). It was probably at first some bind-weed or natural cord, since the same word is used in  Judges 16:7-9, for "green withs." In the allusion to bows in  1 Chronicles 12:2, it will be observed that the sentence in the original stands "could use both the right hand and the left in stones and arrows out of a bow," the words "hurling" and "shooting" being interpolated by the translators. It is possible that a kind of bow for shooting bullets or stones is here alluded to, like the pellet-bow of India, or the " stonebow" in use in the Middle Ages, and to which allusion is made by Shakspeare (Twelfth NiSht, ii, 5), and which in  Wisdom of Solomon 5:22, is employed as the translation of Πετροβόλος . This latter word occurs in the Sept. text of  1 Samuel 14:14, in a curious variation of a passage which in the Hebrew is hardly intelligible - Ἐν Βολίσι , Καὶ Ἐν Πετροβόλοις , Καὶ Ἐν Κόχλαξι Τοῦ Πεδίου "with things thrown, and with stone-bows, and with flints of the field." If this be accepted as the true reading, we have here, by comparison with 14:27, 43, an interesting confirmation of the statement (13:1922) of the degree to which the Philistines had deprived the people of arms, leaving to the king himself nothing but his faithful spear, and to his son no sword, no shield, and nothing but a stone-bow and a staff (Auth. Vers. "rod"). (See Bowman).

The Arrows ( חַצַּים , Chitstsf.') were carried in a quiver ( תְּלַי , Teli',  Genesis 27:3; or אִשַׁפִּח , Ashpach',  Psalms 22:6;  Psalms 49:2;  Psalms 127:5). From an allusion in  Job 6:4, they would seem to have been sometimes poisoned; and the "sharp arrows of the mighty with coals of juniper," in  Psalms 120:4, may point to a practice of ulsing arrows with some burning material attached to them. (See Archer).

The bow is frequently mentioned symbolically in Scripture. In  Psalms 7:12, it implies victory, signifying judgments laid up in store against offenders. It is sometimes used to denote lying and falsehood ( Psalms 64:4;  Psalms 120:4;  Jeremiah 9:11), probably from the many circumstances which tend to render a bow inoperative, especially in unskilful hands. Hence also " a deceitful bow" ( Psalms 78:57;  Hosea 7:16), with which compare Virgil's "Perfidus ensis frangitur" (AEn. 12:731). The bow also signifies Any Kind of arms. The bow and the spear are most frequently mentioned, because the ancients used these most ( Psalms 44:6;  Psalms 46:9;  Zechariah 10:4;  Joshua 24:12). In  Habakkuk 3:9, "thy bow was Made Bare" means that it was drawn out of its case. The Orientals used to carry their bows in a case hung on their girdles. See Wemyss, Sym.Dic. s.v. 1 In 2 Samuel i, 18, the Auth. Vers. has, " Also he (David) bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow." "Here," says Professor Robinson (Addit. to Calmet), "the words 'the use of are not in the Hebrew, and convey a sense entirely false to the English reader. It should be 'teach them the bow,' i.e. the song of THE BOW, from the mention of this weapon in v. 22. This mode of selecting an inscription to a poem or work is common in the East; so in the Koran the second Sura is entitled the cow, from the incidental mention in it of the red heifer; comp.  Numbers 19:2. In a similar manner, the names of the books of the Pentateuch in the Hebrew Bibles are merely the first word in each book." (See Hebrew Poetry).

For the "Bow IN THE CLOUD," (See Rainbow).