WHAT IS A “BUCKLER?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
One clue to defining “buckler” is to notice verses frequently pair it with “shield.” The two words appear in the context of war or fighting. Notice these 16 occurrences of “buckler” in our King James Bible:
- 2 Samuel 22:31: “As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.”
- 1 Chronicles 5:18: “The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, of valiant men, men able to bear buckler and sword, and to shoot with bow, and skilful in war, were four and forty thousand seven hundred and threescore, that went out to the war.”
- 1 Chronicles 12:8: “And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;….”
- 2 Chronicles 23:9: “Moreover Jehoiada the priest delivered to the captains of hundreds spears, and bucklers, and shields, that had been king David’s, which were in the house of God.”
- Job 15:26: “He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:….”
- Psalm 18:2: “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
- Psalm 18:30: “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.”
- Psalm 35:2: Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
- Psalm 91:4: He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
- Proverbs 2:7: He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
- Song of Solomon 4:4: Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.”
- Jeremiah 46:3: “Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.”
- Ezekiel 23:24: “And they shall come against thee with chariots, wagons, and wheels, and with an assembly of people, which shall set against thee buckler and shield and helmet round about: and I will set judgment before them, and they shall judge thee according to their judgments.”
- Ezekiel 26:8: “He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee.”
- Ezekiel 38:4: “And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:….”
- Ezekiel 39:9: “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years:….”
“Shield” is generic; “buckler” is more specific. A buckler is a small, round shield, worn on the forearm or held by a handle. Both are used for defense, protection against attacks. Interestingly, “buckler” is derived from the Middle French “bocler,” related to “boss” (as in a knob or projection—that is, the convex shape or bulge of a shield). Of course, you will remember Job 15:26: “He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:….”
In the case of Scripture, the LORD serves as refuge or safety to believers. The Adversary—in Hebrew, Satan—is always aiming to harm the physical bodies but especially the souls (spiritual bodies) of God’s people. Ephesians 6:10-20, which see, provides a description of this spiritual battle. “The shield of faith”—trusting sound Bible doctrine, rightly divided Scripture—is the key to “quenching [putting out, extinguishing] all the fiery darts of the wicked.” As touching the Psalmist (usually David), he represents Israel’s believing remnant surviving their persecution under the Antichrist.
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