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The bows of the mighty are shattered,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Bible

“bows...are shattered.” This is a difficult sentence for a couple of reasons. Some versions say, “bow...is broken,” while other versions have “bows...are broken.” The reason for the difference is that the word “bow” is singular in Hebrew, while “are broken” is plural. This is likely a case where “bow” is being used as a singular in that it is being used for the class of weaponry, the bow,” and not a single bow.

We should note that the meaning of the Hebrew word translated “broken” can also be “terrified, dismayed.” This verse could also be saying that the mighty bowmen are terrified while those people who used to be weak are armed with strength. C. F. Keil translates the verse, “Bow-heroes are confounded,” and writes, “The thought to be expressed is, not hat the bow itself is to be broken, but that the heroes who carry the bow are to be confounded or broken inwardly. (Keil and Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary).


Commentary for: 1 Samuel 2:4