The main pieces of armour worn by a soldier in ancient warfare were a coat of mail to protect the body, greaves to protect the legs, and a helmet to protect the head. These were usually made of bronze, though sometimes were made of leather (1 Sam 17:5-6; 1 Kings 22:34; Neh 4:16; Jer 46:4).

Soldiers who did the heavy fighting in the front ranks carried large shields, and the archers who came behind carried smaller shields (1 Sam 17:7; 2 Chron 14:8). Shields were sometimes made of bronze (1 Kings 14:27), but less expensive kinds were made of rattan overlaid with leather. They could therefore be burnt (Ezek 39:9; see also WAR; WEAPONS). Christians are likened to soldiers who put on the armour of God to fight against the evil forces of Satan. Their defences against the enemy’s attacks are truth, righteousness, faith and confidence in the Word of God and their own salvation (Rom 13:12; 2 Cor 6:7; Eph 6:10-18; 1 Thess 5:8).

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