348. Bow and Arrows

2 Kings 13:15; Genesis 21:20; Genesis 27:3; Genesis 48:22; Job 20:24; Psalm 18:34; Psalm 38:2
2 Kings 13:1515And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. (2 Kings 13:15). Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows.
1. The bow is a very ancient weapon, and early mention is made of it in the Bible. Ishmael became an archer (Gen. 21:2020And God was with the lad; and he grew, and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. (Genesis 21:20)). Isaac sent Esau to get venison by means of the bow (Gen. 27:33Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison; (Genesis 27:3)). It also came into early use as a weapon of war (Gen. 48:2222Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow. (Genesis 48:22)). Bows were made of various materials: wood, horn, and even ivory, were used. Sometimes the wood and horn were united in the bow, the wood being backed with horn. Metallic bows were also used. See Job 20:2424He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through. (Job 20:24); Psalm 18:3434He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms. (Psalm 18:34). Bows were of various shapes. The Egyptian bow—a round piece of wood from five feet to five and a half long—was either nearly straight, with a slight curve at each end, or else showed a deep curve in the center when unstrung.
Assyrian bows were sometimes curved and sometimes angular. They were shorter than the Egyptian bows. The strings of ancient bows were of leather thongs, horse hair, hide, or catgut. Various modes were adopted for bending the bow, the hand, the knee, or the foot being used. It was probably most usually bent by the aid of the foot, since darak, the word commonly used in speaking of bending the bow, literally means to “tread.”
2. The arrows were made of reed or wood and tipped with metal or horn. They were sometimes feathered, though not always. From Psalm 38:22For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. (Psalm 38:2), we infer that they sometimes had barbed points.