1 Kings 14:27 and 2 Chronicles 12:10 state that King Rehoboam made bronze shields to replace the golden ones that King David had made because the golden ones were taken away.

In 2 Kings 11:10 and 2 Chronicles 23:9, it states that Jehoida gave the captains the shields of King David.

2 Chronicles 12:10:

and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house.

2 Chronicles 23:9:

And Jehoiada the priest gave to the captains the spears and the large and small shields that had been King David’s, which were in the house of God.

Are these two different sets of shields? Perhaps these passages are referring to a royal insignia of King David? If I'm not mistaken, Solomon made golden shields that were stored in the Place of the Forest of Lebanon (2 Chron 9:16). But these shields were taken by Shishak (2 Chron 12:9). Perhaps someone can help me sort out my confusion.

1 Answer 1


The Shelatim of David and the Magginot and Tsinnah of Solomon

I think the source of confusion is mixing the different words translated as "small shield": magen and shelet.

The mysterious shelet

shelet only appears 7 time in the OT and there is some doubt as to whether it refers to a small circular shield or a quiver.

Here it NIDOTT:

ANE This word is of rather obscure etymology but is likely connected with a verbal root attested in Akk. (šalāṭu) and Arab. (salaṭa). The exact nuance of this term escapes us, so it is safest to translate generically as “shield.”

OT The term occurs only 7× in the OT, 3× with מָגֵן (2 Chron 23:9; Song of Songs 4:4; Ezek 27:11). In all other cases, שֶׁלֶט refers to the military weapon and is never used in a metaphorical sense for God’s protection (see 2 Sam 8:7 = 1 Chron 18:7). The word is often used in contexts where shields are placed on ornamental display. That the word means “shield” is certain in a passage like Song of Songs 4:4, where the parallelism clearly intends a near synonym of a narrower meaning to מָגֵן, the most common term for shield. However, Borger (1972) has marshaled evidence from the versions and cognates that the word means “quiver” in Jer 51:11. Thus, NRSV so renders in that and other passages (cf. Ezek 27:11). For full discussion of the issue see Holladay (422–23). VanGemeren, W. (Ed.). (1997). New international dictionary of Old Testament theology & exegesis (Vol. 4, p. 125). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.

Whatever the shelatim were, David captured an unspecified number of gold shelatim from the Syrians, together with a large amount of bronze, and carried these back to Jerusalem. See 2 Sam 8.7 and mirrored in 1 Chron 18.7

Judah now has an unknown number of gold shelatim and a lot of bronze.

Magen and Tsinnah

magen is widely used in the Old Testament to mean "shield" (that you carry).

tsinnah is a standing shield (covers from head to foot). It only appears twice in the OT.

  • Solomon made 200 gold tsinnah and 300 gold maginnim as described in 1 Ki 10.16-17 and paralleled in 2 Chron 9.15-16.

  • The 300 gold magginim of Solomon were taken by Shishak as described in 1 Ki 14.25-27 and paralleled in 2 Chron 12.9-10. In the same passage, Rehoboam replaces the maginnim with versions made of bronze. No mention is made of the 200 large standing shields -- were they taken? Where they replaced? The text doesn't say and they are not mentioned again.

It happened in the fifth year of King Rehoboam that Shishak the king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, and he took the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and he took all the treasures of the king’s house. He took the small gold shields [maginne] that Solomon had made, so King Rehoboam made small copper shields [maginne] in place of them and entrusted them to the commanders of the royal guard who keep the doorway of the king’s house.

Thus Isreal is missing its 300 gold magginim, which have been replaced with newly created bronze versions, but Israel still has an unspecified number of gold shelatim that David captured frm Syria, and may or may not have the 200 gold tsinnah that Solomon made.

In 2 Chron 23.9, Jehoida gives the 300 (bronze) [maginnot] made by Rehoboam and the unspecified number of gold shelatim that belonged to David, and distributed them to the commanders of the hundreds:

And Jehoiada the priest gave the spears and the large shields [maginnot] and small shields [shelatim] that had belonged to King David that were in the house of God to the commanders of hundreds.

  • Wow, this is very interesting. thanks! Feb 23, 2021 at 19:32

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