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English Bible Dictionary

Shield

 

The ordinary shield consisted of a framework of wood covered with leather; it thus admitted of being burnt. (Ezekiel 39:9) It was frequently cased with metal, either brass or copper; its appearance in this case resembled gold when the sun shone on it, 1 Macc. 6:39 and to this, rather than to the practice of smearing blood on the shield we may refer the redness noticed by Nahum. (Nahum 2:3) The surface of the shield was kept bright by the application of oil as implied in (Isaiah 21:5) The shield was worn on the left arm, to which it was attached by a strap, and you can find more about that here on st-takla.org on other commentaries and dictionary entries. Shields of state were covered with beaten gold. Shields were suspended about public buildings for ornamental purposes. (1 Kings 10:17) In the metaphorical language of the Bible the shield generally represents the protection of God: e.g. (Psalms 3:3; 28:7) but in (Psalms 47:9) it is applied to earthly rulers and in (Ephesians 6:18) to faith. [Arms, Armor]

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