Boyd’s Bible Dictionary:

(cover). A defensive piece of armor, varying in size and shape, and made of skin or metal. Worn on left arm. Metaphorically, divine protection (Judg. 5:8; 1 Kings 10:17; Psa. 3:3).

Concise Bible Dictionary:

As a protection for the body, see ARMOUR.

“253. Spear Large Shield.” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

1 Samuel 17:7 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. The chanith, “spear,” was a heavier weapon than the kidon. See preceding note. The word is rendered both “spear,” and “javelin.” It was the chanith with which Saul endeavored to strike David (1 Sam. 18:10-11; 19:9-10) and which at another time he aimed at Jonathan (1 Sam. 20:33). This heavy spear had at its lower extremity a point by which it could be stuck into the ground. It was in this way that the position of Saul was naked while he lay sleeping in the camp at Hachilah, his spear being his standard (1 Sam. 26:7). This lower point of the spear was almost as formidable as the head. The Arab riders of today sometimes use it to strike backward at pursuers, and it was with this “hinder end of the spear” that Abner killed Asahel (2 Sam. 2:23). The size of Goliath’s chanith, is expressed by the description of the staff and of the head; the latter being of iron, in contrast to the brass head of his kidon, and to his brazen helmet, cuirass, and greaves. See also note on Jeremiah 46:4 (#555).
2. The tsinnah, “shield,” was the largest kind of shield, and was designed to protect the whole body. This shield, as represented on the Egyptian monuments, was about five feet high, with a pointed arch above and square below. The great shield of the Assyrians, as is shown by their sculptures, was taller, and of an oblong shape, and sometimes had at the top an inward curve. The large shields were generally made of wicker work or of light wood covered with hides. They were grasped by a handle of wood or of leather. Goliath had man to bear his great shield before him. In the Assyrian sculptures there are representations of warriors fighting in this manner, with men before them holding the large shields, with the bottom resting on the ground, thus forming movable breastworks. The great shields of the Philistines seem to have been of circular shape.
The beauty of the figure used in Psalm 5:12 is heightened by the fact that the tsinnah is the shield there spoken of. The Lord uses the great buckler for the protection of his people.

“498. Shields Oiled” From Manners and Customs of the Bible:

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.

Related Books and Articles: