Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

Concise Bible Dictionary:

For the protection of the head, as worn by warriors. See ARMOR. In the Christian’s armor the helmet is “salvation,” or “the hope of salvation” (Eph. 6:1717And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (Ephesians 6:17); 1 Thess. 5:88But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8)). It is those who know their salvation that can take part against the wicked spirits in the heavenlies. It is to be remarked that Jehovah (Christ) in a future day will Himself put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation, to avenge His people by punishing their enemies (Isa. 59:1717For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. (Isaiah 59:17)).

From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1. In the earliest times helmets were made of osier or rushes, and were in the form of bee-hives or skull-caps. The skins of the heads of animals were sometimes used. Various other materials were employed at different times. The ancient Egyptian helmet was usually made of linen cloth quilted. It was thick and well padded, sometimes coming down to the shoulder, and sometimes only a little below the ear. The cloth used was colored green, or red, or black. The helmet had no crest, but the summit was an obtuse point ornamented with two tassels. The Assyrian helmet was a cap of iron terminating above in a point, and sometimes furnished with flaps, covered with metal scales and protecting the neck. The Philistine helmet, as represented on ancient monuments, was of unique form. From the head-band there arose curved lines, by which the outline of the helmet was hollowed on the sides and rounded on top.
2. For the body, the skins of bents were probably the earliest protection in battle. Felt or quilted linen was also used subsequently. The ancient Egyptians had horizontal rows of metal plates well secured by brass pins. The ancient Assyrians had scales of iron fastened on felt or linen. Iron rings closely locked together were likewise used by different nations. Scales made of small pieces of horn or hoof were also used. Sometimes a very serviceable armor was made of small plates of metal, each having a button and a slit, fitting into the corresponding slit and button of the plate next to it. It is supposed that Ahab had on armor of this sort when he was slain; the “joints of the harness” being the grooves or slits in the metallic plates, or the place between, where they did not overlap (1 Kings 22:3434And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. (1 Kings 22:34); 2 Chron. 18:3333And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: therefore he said to his chariot man, Turn thine hand, that thou mayest carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. (2 Chronicles 18:33)). Goliath’s “coat of mail” was scale armor (shiryon kaskassim, “armor of scales”). This kind of armor consisted of metallic scales rounded at the bottom and squared at the top, and sewed on linen or felt. The Philistine corselet covered the chest only. On the bas-relief at Nineveh are seen warriors with coats of scale armor which descend to the knees or ankles. In one of the palaces Mr. Layard discovered a number of the scales used for this armor. Each scale was of iron two to three inches long, rounded at one end and squared at the other, with a raised or embossed line in the center, and some were inlaid with copper. At a later period the Assyrian armor was made of smaller scales, which were pointed and ornamented with raised figures, and the coat of mail reached no lower than the waist.

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