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336 § 273, coat of MAIL.
§ 272. THE HELMET, vaiz, szip, itsgtzegotiatov.
The HELMET was a piece of armour, which covered the forehead, and the top, and the hind part of the head, and was surmounted for ornament with a horsetail and a plume. Anciently, the spearmen alone appear to have worn the helmet. To this remark, however, the Chaldeans should be made an exception, in as much as all the soldiers of that people seem to have been furnished with this piece of armour, Ezek. 23:24. Jer, 46; 4. compare the large German Edition of this Work, P. II. Vol. II. Tab. XI. no. 5 and 7.
It appears from second Chronicles 26:14, that king Uzziah had furnished an armoury with helmets for the use of his soldiers.
The materials, from which the helmet was made, was an oxhide; but it was usually, especially in the more recent ages, covered with brass. This piece of armour, in allusion to the purposes which it answered in war, is used tropically for defence and protection, Eph. 6: 17.
§ 273. The CUIRAss, BREASTPLATE, or Coat of MAIL.
The enrast-plate, Hong, ong, jiang * tions , [sometimes rendered in the English version a coat of mail, and sometimes habergeons,] and which was known to the Grecians under the word 600gaš, consisted of two parts, the one of which covered the fore part of the body, the other the back; both pieces being united at the sides by clasps or buttons. The breast plate or coat of mail, that was worn by Goliah, (1 Sam. 18:5, 38.) was made of brass. And indeed it was not unfrequently the case, that other warriours likewise wore a breast-plate, made of that metal.
This piece of armour was very common among the Hebrews after the reign of David, and we find, that it had a place among other implements of war and pieces of armour in the armoury of king Uzziah, 2 Chron. 26:14. As it was an efficient means of protection to the body, it occurs tropically for defence, Is. 59: 17. Eph. 6: 14. 1 Thess. 5: 8. Rev. 9: 17.
§ 275. on Fortifications. 337
§ 274. GREAves AND MILITARY FRock.
Although there is no mention in the Bible of the piece of armour, which was used for the defence of the right arm, (armilla militari,) it will be remembered, that the right foot of Goliath was defended with greaves of brass, Hron, 1 Sam. 17:6. In other instances, a sort of half greaves or boots, denominated 1st, Is. 9:4, was worn. The practice of defending the feet and legs in this way, however, does not seem to have been very common among the Hebrews.
As the long robe, which was usually worn, was a hindrance to that celerity of movement, expected from men engaged in military life, the soldiers, accordingly, laid it aside, and wore in its stead a short F.Rock.
The girdle, hits, from which the sword was suspended, is frequently mentioned among the articles of military dress, Is. 5: 27. Eph. 6: 14.
§ 275. ON ForTIFICATIONs.
MILITARY FoRTIFICATIONs were at first nothing more than a trench or ditch, dug round a few cottages on a hill or mountain, together with the mound, which was formed by the sand dug out of it; except perhaps there might have sometimes been an elevated scaffolding for the purpose of throwing stones with the greater effect against the enemy. A city of this kind was built and fortified by Cain; for to build a city and to fortify it, in the Oriental idom, are the same thing. w
In the age of Moses and Joshua, the walls, which surrounded cities, were elevated to no inconsiderable height, and were furnished with towers; and yet, since the Hebrews, who were unacquainted with the art of besieging cities, took so many of them on both sides of the Jordan in so few years, the inference is, that the fortifications, which were at the first so terrible to them, (Num. 13:28.) were of no great strength.
The art of fortification was encouraged and patronized by the
Hebrew kings, and Jerusalem was always well defended, especi338 § 275. on Fontifications.
ally mount Zion. In later times the Temple itself was used as a castle.
The appropriate names for fortifications in Hebrew are as follows, viz, ni-axi, ni-, nix, Hyoso and nyan onx. The words, nevertheless, which usually mean cities, viz. "Yo, -3, Bros, in some instances mean fortifications. In the time of the Hebrew monarchy, armouries, poor, n°2, and guards of soldiers made a part of the military establishment, 2 Chron. 17:2, 19. 26:14, 15. 32: 5. 33: 14.
The principal parts of a fortification were, as follows.
I. The wall, noir. In some instances the wall, erected round cities, was triple and double, 2 Chron. 32: 5. Walls were commonly made lofty and broad, so as to be neither readily passed over, nor broken through, Jer. 51:58. The main wall terminated at the top in a parapet for the accommodation of the soldiers, which opened at intervals in a sort of embrasures, so as to give them an opportunity of fighting with missile weapons.
II. Towers, Roo, nion, $132, Towers, which were erected at certain distances from each other on the top of walls, and ascended to a great height, terminated at the top in a flat roof, and were surrounded with a parapet, which exhibited openings similar to those, which have been just mentioned as making their appearance in the parapet of the walls. Towers of this kind were erected likewise over the gates of cities. In these towers guards were kept constantly stationed. At least this was the case in the time of the kings. It was their business to make known any thing, that they discovered at a distance, and whenever they noticed an irruption from an enemy, they blew the trumpet, 2 Sam. 13:34. 18:26, 27. 2 Kgs. 9: 17–19. Nahum. 2: 1. 2 Chron. 17:2. Towers likewise, which were somewhat larger in size, were erected in different parts of the country, particularly on places, which were elevated; and were guarded by a military force, Jud. 8:9, 17. 9:46,49, 51. Is. 21:6. Habak. 2: 1. Hos. 5: 8. Jer. 31:6. The Hebrew word for structures of this kind, is nons; and we find even to this day, that the circular edifices of this sort, which are still erected in the solitudes of Arabia Felix, bear their ancient name of castles or towers. The watch towers of the shepherds, nint, riot, Hosn, are to be distinguished from those, which have now been mentioned, al. § 275, on roatirications. 339
though it was not unfrequently the case, that they were converted into military towers, and eventually into fortified cities, 2 Chron. 26:10. 27:4. This accounts for the fact, that cities in many instances occur under the words, on and Hosn; and also for the following proverbial expressions, which are sometimes found, viz, “From a watch-tower even to a fortified city.” Prophets are frequently compared to the guards, that were stationed in towers, Ezek. 3:17, 27: 11. 33: 1–9. Hos. 12:13.
III. Bastions. [We render the Hebrew word nine by the modern military term bastions, not because it conveys precisely its meaning, but because it appears to approach more nearly to it, than any other technical term. The statement following will give an idea of what is meant.] The walls were erected in such a way as to curve inward; the extremities of them, consequently, projected out. The object of forming the walls, so as to present such projections, was to enable the inhabitants of the besieged city, to attack the assailants in flank. We learn from the history of Tacitus, W. 11, that the walls of Jerusalem, at the time of its being attacked by the Romans, were built in this way. The projections above mentioned are meant to be designated by the Hebrew word nine. They were introduced by king Uzziah, 810 years before Christ, and are subsequently mentioned in the prophet Zephaniah 1:16.
IV. The Fosse, ori, bri. The digging of a fosse put it in the power of the inhabitants of a city to increase the elevation of the walls, and of itself threw a serious difficulty in the way of an en-emy’s approach, 2 Sam. 20:15. Is. 26: 1: Neh. 3: 8. Ps. 48: 13. The fosse, if the situation of the place admitted it, was filled with water. This was the case at Babylon.
V. THE GATEs, too, -zg. They were at first made of wood and were small in size. They were constructed in the manner of valve doors, boro, and were secured by means of wooden bars. Subsequently they were made larger and stronger; and in order to prevent their being burnt, were covered with plates of brass or iron, non: "rooi. The bars were covered in the same manner, in order to prevent their being cut asunder; but it was sometimes the case, that they were made wholly of iron, or "ri"-in. The bars were secured by a sort of lock, Ps. 107: 16. Is. 45: 2.
340 § 276. ARMs Foo Fighting HAND TO HAND.
§ 276. ARMs, with which THE Soldiers Fought HAND To HANd.
The arms, used in fighing hand to hand, were originally a club and a battle-hammer, but these weapons were but very rarely made use of by the Hebrews. Whether the expressions, bi-la too, mean an iron club, Ps 2: 9. 110: 2, and Yoo, Prov. 25: 18, means the battle-mallet or hammer, that was used in fighting, is a question, which has not yet been determined.
Other sorts of weapons, used in close combat, were, as follows.
I. The sword, anri. Among the Hebrews it was fastened around the body by a girdle, 2 Sam. 20:8. 1 Sam. 17:39. Hence the phrase, “to gird one's self” with a sword, means to commence war, and “to loose the sword,” to finish it, 1 Kgs. 20:11. The swords in use among the Hebrews appear to have been short; some of them, however, were longer than others, Jud. 3:16, and some were made with two edges, nine, ninete, Ps. 149: 6. Is. 41: 15. Jud. 3:16. The sword was kept in a sheath; which accounts for such expressions as syr; p"on to draw the sword, Ps. 35: 3. It was polished to such a degree, as to render it exceedingly splendid, and in reference to this circumstance is used tropically for lightning, Gen. 3:24: Ps. 7: 12. By a figure of speech, also, a sword is attributed to God, which the strong imagination of the Hebrew poets represents, as if drunk with blood. This representation is carried still further, and every misfortune and calamity, and indeed wicked persons are represented, as the sword of God, which he wields for the punishment of others, Ps. 17: 13. Jer. 12:12, 47:6. Furthermore, the word arr; signifies, in some instances, war itself instead of the weapon, to which it is calculated to give employment; the same as it does among the Arabians, Lev. 26:6. Jer. 14:12–16. Compare ugyouga, Matt, 10:34.
II. THE SPEAR, Toron, Num. 25: 7. It was a wooden staff, surmounted with an iron point. Its length differed at different times and among different people. It was never shorter than eleven cubits, nor longer than twenty four.