498. Shields Oiled

Isaiah 21:5
Isaiah 21:55Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield. (Isaiah 21:5). Prepare the table, watch in the watch tower, eat, drink: arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.
Shields were made of bull-hide, of two or more thicknesses, stretched over a frame of wood, and sometimes strengthened with metallic rims, and ornamented in various places by pieces of metal. An occasional rubbing with oil was necessary to prevent the leather from becoming dry and cracked, and to keep the metallic portions from rust. This was especially necessary on getting ready for battle, and hence to “anoint the shield” was equivalent to a preparation for war.