Monday, February 25, 2013

Wielded Weaponry- Part 1

I decided to take a break in the series What is That on Your Head? this week as I really busy and part 3 needs some research still. That being said, I have started a knew series based on a Bible study consensus.

It apparently comes as a surprise to many people that I am interested in weaponry. I am not sure why this is but assume it has to do with my lack of a bloodthirsty demeanor.

An interesting weapon is the slingshot. Today, most people do not use them as more than toys. Most boys had one growing up. My own brother had at least five that he played with each for about two days and then they joined the mountains of clutter on his floor.

Slingshots come in wide and varied designs. Some people make theirs themselves from rubber bands and branches or they might buy one from the store made of plastic. One of the many that my brother was given over the years was made out of an ox horn.

Drawing of sling
Like anything, slingshots take time to learn how to use correctly. No one in my family, even my brother, ever figured out how to actually hit anything that we aimed at with one. Still, they are easier to use than their predecessor, the sling.

Made from a strap of leather or woven twine, a cradle or pouch, and any small projectile, the sling took a lot of mastery. Slings were common because they were cheap and easy to make. A poor shepherd could make one himself without a blacksmith and governments would not prohibit them as they did metal weapons. Ammunition was also plentiful was a simple, smooth rock would do.

Sling and rocks
Back before bows were accurate and swords durable, slings would often be used by foot soldiers as well as shepherds and farmers. To use the sling, he would place the projectile in the cradle, clasp the ends of the straps, and swing it over his head until he had gathered enough momentum. Then he would release one strap while keeping hold of the other and the projectile would fly. It could take years before someone was good enough at it to hit anything that actually moved.

This is why I have always found the story of David and Goliath to truly display the hand of God. Not yet a full grown man, David (while a shepherd) would likely not have had the experience nor the strength to hit the relatively small space of Goliath's forehead and knock him out all on his first try. Such a feat took the guidance of God and should leave no doubt that as David said,  

 "This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17: 46-47 NIV)

David and Goliath


1 comment:

  1. Best post yet! I didn't realize the sling was the predecessor to the slingshot. Makes sense. Interesting reference to David's sling.