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A target was a small shield, or buckler, worn on the body. The original Hebrew words translated as "target" are (pronounced) key-don meaning something to strike with, as in a weapon with which to shield one's self (occurs once, referring to that used by Goliath, see below) and tsin-naw meaning a shield, used to refer to the Israelite version, but also with the alternate meaning of a weapon with which to shield one's self.


David Goliath was very heavily body-armored - and he hit the ground, dead, wearing it.

"Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them."

"And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. And the staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam; and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him." (1 Samuel 17:1-7 KJV)

King Solomon's income of gold was "six hundred threescore and six talents" - approximately 25 tons. That so much was an overabundance is illustrated by his using gold to make shields and targets for his army:

"Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold ... And king Solomon made two hundred targets of beaten gold: six hundred shekels of gold went to one target. And he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three pound of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon." (1 Kings 10:14,16-17 KJV)

Later Israelite armies had shields and targets made of less expensive materials, a practical reality since, in this example, King Asa of Judah (see also Kings of Israel and Judah and Israelite Dynasties) had to outfit a force of 300,000 from Judah and 280,000 from Benjamin (the Kingdom of Judah consisted of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin; see also When Israel Became "Israel" and "Judah"):

"And Asa had an army of men that bare targets and spears, out of Judah three hundred thousand; and out of Benjamin, that bare shields and drew bows, two hundred and fourscore thousand: all these were mighty men of valour." (2 Chronicles 14:8 KJV)

Fact Finder: What sort of "armor" should Believers wear?
Ephesians 6:10-18

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