A close-range weapon composed of a long wooden shaft on which was mounted a shorter, pointed blade (i.e., spearhead). During the biblical period, the spearhead was usually made of bronze or iron, and it was attached to the shaft in various ways. The NRSV uses “spear” and “javelin” inconsistently to refer to two distinct weapons (cf. passages where both weapons are named, e.g., 1Sam 17:6-7, 1Sam 17:45). In more precise terms, the spear was used primarily for thrusting or stabbing (Num 25:7-8; 1Sam 26:8; 2Sam 23:8; 2Sam 23:18; 2Sam 23:21) and the lighter, shorter javelin was designed for throwing. Passages where the NRSV uses “spear” to translate the Hebrew word for “javelin” include (1Sam 18:11; 1Sam 19:10; 1Sam 20:33). Figurative references to the spear are rare but potent (Ps 35:3; Ps 46:9; Ps 57:4). The prophets speak about the future age of peace as a day in which spears will be converted into pruning hooks (Isa 2:4; Mic 4:3; Joel 3:10; where the opposite process was envisioned). In the NT the only reference to a spear is (John 19:34). The two hundred “spearmen” who escorted Paul to Antipatris (Acts 23:23) might have been javelin throwers.

1Sam 17:6-7

6He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders.7The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head ... View more

1Sam 17:45

45But David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies ... View more

Num 25:7-8

7When Phinehas son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand,8he went after the Israelite man ... View more

1Sam 26:8

8Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand today; now therefore let me pin him to the ground with one stroke of the spear; I will not stri ... View more

2Sam 23:8

David's Mighty Men
8These are the names of the warriors whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the Three; he wielded his spear agains ... View more

2Sam 23:18

18Now Abishai son of Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, was chief of the Thirty. With his spear he fought against three hundred men and killed them, and won a name b ... View more

2Sam 23:21

21And he killed an Egyptian, a handsome man. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand; but Benaiah went against him with a staff, snatched the spear out of the Egyp ... View more

1Sam 18:11

11and Saul threw the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David eluded him twice.

1Sam 19:10

10Saul sought to pin David to the wall with the spear; but he eluded Saul, so that he struck the spear into the wall. David fled and escaped that night.

1Sam 20:33

33But Saul threw his spear at him to strike him; so Jonathan knew that it was the decision of his father to put David to death.

Ps 35:3

3Draw the spear and javelin
against my pursuers;
say to my soul,
“I am your salvation.”

Ps 46:9

9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear;
he burns the shields with fire.

Ps 57:4

4I lie down among lions
that greedily devour human prey;
their teeth are spears and arrows,
their tongues sharp swords.

Isa 2:4

4He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
na ... View more

Mic 4:3

3He shall judge between many peoples,
and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away;
they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into p ... View more

Joel 3:10

10Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruning hooks into spears;
let the weakling say, “I am a warrior.”

John 19:34

34Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.

Acts 23:23

Paul Sent to Felix the Governor
23Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Get ready to leave by nine o'clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred sol ... View more

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