Above all, taking the shield of faith
Which may be understood either of the grace of faith, which is like a golden shield, precious, solid, and substantial; and like a shield of mighty men, by which mighty things are done, and by which the believer not only repels, but conquers the enemy. The Jews say F14, that repentance and good works are as a shield against divine vengeance: or rather of the object of faith, that which faith makes use of as a shield; so God himself is a shield, ( Genesis 15:1 ) ; his divine perfections, as his power, faithfulness, truth, and immutability, which encompass the saints as a shield, and are opposed by faith to the temptations of Satan; also the love and favour of God, ( Psalms 5:12 ) ; and particularly God in his word, ( Proverbs 30:5 ) , which is a shield against false doctrines, and the wiles of Satan. Moreover, Christ is a shield, ( Psalms 84:11 ) ; and faith makes rise of him as a shield, his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; which it holds up and opposes to all the charges and objections of Satan; and who is the saints' protection, and security from the wrath of God, divine justice, and eternal death. The disciples of the wise men are said to be F15 (Nwoyrt) , "shielded men", who, as the gloss says fight in the war of the law; but they are not like Christ's disciples, who have on the shield, and fight the fight of faith: and this is "above all" to be taken, as being the most useful part of the Christian armour; or "with all", with the rest, this is to be taken, and by no means to be neglected; and it is to be used "in all"; in every temptation of Satan, in every conflict with that enemy, or any other.
Wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the
of the wicked one, Satan; who was the first wicked one, and the tempter of others to wickedness; and is emphatically the wicked one, being wickedness itself; and his temptations are "fiery darts": they may be compared to "darts", because they sometimes come suddenly and swiftly and thick and fast, are very numerous, and where they stick are very troublesome and grieving; see ( Genesis 49:23 Genesis 49:24 ) . And they may be said to be "fiery", because they serve to inflame the mind, and excite to sin, as lust, anger, revenge, and the like; and were they not repelled, would be the occasion of bringing into everlasting burnings. The allusion is to (belesi pepurwmenoiv) , "the fiery darts", cast by enemies into towns, and upon houses, in order to burn them F16. Mention is also made of (avad yryg) , "fiery darts", with the Jews F17, and of Satan's casting a dart at David F18: from these customs, and ways of speaking, the apostle borrows his phrases; and suggests, that the shield of faith is of use to quench the fiery darts of Satan's temptations; so that they may not have the malignant influence they are designed for; which is chiefly done by faith's dealing with the blood of Christ. And there were ways of quenching the fiery darts alluded to; which was done by skins and hides of beasts made wet, or anointed with alum F19.
F14 Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 11.
F15 T. Bab. Becorot, fol. 36. 1. & Gloss. in ib.
F16 Apollodorus de Orig. Deorum, l. 2. p. 89.
F17 Targum Jon. & Jerus. in Exod. xix. 13.
F18 T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 95. 1. & 107. 1.
F19 Ammian. Marcellin. l. 20. c. 11.