1 Samuel 17:6
And he had greaves of brass on his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
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.When David came to Saul and stood before him, i.e., served him by playing upon his harp, Saul took a great liking to him, and nominated him his armour-bearer, i.e., his adjutant, as a proof of his satisfaction with him, and sent to Jesse to say, "Let David stand before me," i.e., remain in my service, "for he has found favour in my sight." The historian then adds (1 Samuel 16:23): "When the (evil) spirit of God came to Saul (אל, as in 1 Samuel 19:9, is really equivalent to על), and David took the harp and played, there came refreshing to Saul, and he became well, and the evil spirit departed from him." Thus David came to Saul's court, and that as his benefactor, without Saul having any suspicion of David's divine election to be king of Israel. This guidance on the part of God was a school of preparation to David for his future calling. In the first place, he was thereby lifted out of his quiet and homely calling in the country into the higher sphere of court-life; and thus an opportunity was afforded him not only for intercourse with men of high rank, and to become acquainted with the affairs of the kingdom, but also to display those superior gifts of his intellect and heart with which God had endowed him, and thereby to gain the love and confidence of the people. But at the same time he was also brought into a severe school of affliction, in which his inner man was to be trained by conflicts from without and within, so that he might become a man after God's heart, who should be well fitted to found the true monarchy in Israel.
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