1 Samuel 17:6
And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
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17:1-11 Men so entirely depend upon God in all things, that when he withdraws his help, the most valiant and resolute cannot find their hearts or hands, as daily experience shows.A target ... - Rather, "a javelin." as in 1 Samuel 17:45, and placed between the shoulders, as the quiver was. 6. greaves of brass—boots, terminating at the ankle, made in one plate of metal, but round to the shape of the leg, and often lined with felt or sponge. They were useful in guarding the legs, not only against the spikes of the enemy, but in making way among thorns and briers.

a target of brass—a circular frame, carried at the back, suspended by a long belt which crossed the breast from the shoulders to the loins.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And he had greaves of brass upon his legs,.... Which were a sort of boots, or leg harnesses, which covered the thighs and legs down to the heels; such as Iolaus (k) and the Grecians usually wore, as described by Homer; which are supposed to be double the weight of the helmet, reckoned at fifteen pounds, so that these must weigh thirty pounds of avoirdupois weight:

and a target of brass between his shoulders; the Targum is,"a spear or shield of brass, which came out of the helmet, and a weight of brass upon his shoulders.''Jarchi says the same, and that it was in the form of a spear to defend the neck from the sword; it seems to be a corslet of brass, worn between the helmet and the coat of mail for the defence of the neck, supposed to weigh thirty pounds (l).

(k) Hesiod. Scutum Herc. ver. 122. (l) Vid. Hostii Monomach. David & Goliath, c. 5.

And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
6. greaves] Armour for the legs and feet: from Fr. grève, ‘the shin.’ “Greaves” from the Assyrian monuments are figured in Layard’s Nineveh II. 337. The following passage from Philemon Holland’s translation of Pliny’s Nat. Hist. VII. 20, quoted in the Bible Word-Book, illustrates both the matter and the language:

“My selfe haue seene one named Athanatus do wonderful strange matters in the open shew and face of the world, namely to walke his stations vpon the stage with a cuirace of lead weighing 500 pound [= 360 lbs. avoirdupois], booted besides with a pair of buskins or greiues (cothurni) about his legges that came to as much in weight.”

brass] The word translated brass means copper in such passages as Deuteronomy 8:9, where a natural metal is spoken of. In some instances the compound metal bronze (copper and tin) may be meant, but brass (copper and zinc) was unknown to the ancients.

a target] Rather, a javelin, which was slung across his shoulders, as the Greeks sometimes carried their swords (Hom. Il. II. 45).Roman soldiers were often similarly armed with both pilum (javelin) and hasta (spear). The E. V. follows the Sept. and Vulg. in rendering “target,” i.e. a kind of small shield. The marginal rendering “gorget,” = “a piece of armour for the throat,” from Fr. gorge, has nothing in its favour.

1 Samuel 17:6And "greaves of brass upon his feet, and a brazen lance (hung) between his shoulders," i.e., upon his back. כּידון signifies a lance, or small spear. The lxx and Vulgate, however, adopt the rendering ἀσπὶς χαλκῆ, clypeus aeneus; and Luther has followed them, and translates it a brazen shield. Thenius therefore proposes to alter כּידון into מגן, because the expression "between his shoulders" does not appear applicable to a spear or javelin, which Goliath must have suspended by a strap, but only to a small shield slung over his back, whilst his armour-bearer carried the larger צנּה in front of him. But the difficulty founded upon the expression "between his shoulders" has been fully met by Bochart (Hieroz. i. 2, c. 8), in the examples which he cites from Homer, Virgil, etc., to prove that the ancients carried their own swords slung over their shoulders (ἀμφὶ δ ̓ ὤμοισιν: Il. ii. 45, etc.). And Josephus understood the expression in this way (Ant. vi. 9, 1). Goliath had no need of any shield to cover his back, as this was sufficiently protected by the coat of mail. Moreover, the allusion to the כּידון in 1 Samuel 17:45 points to an offensive weapon, and not to a shield.
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