Thy neck [is] like the tower of David, builded for an armoury,
&c.] This was either the strong hold of Zion; or some tower erected by David for an armoury, wherein his worthies or mighty men bring up their shields; Mr. Sandys F11 says, it stood aloft in the utmost angle of a mountain, whose ruins are yet extant: though the neck is compared to this, not for its height, seeing a high and outstretched neck is a token of pride and haughtiness with the Jews, ( Isaiah 3:16 ) ; see ( Psalms 74:5 ) ; and so the phrase is used in Latin writers F12; but for its being ornamented with spoils hung up in it, as golden shields after mentioned, as the neck is with pearls, jewels, and chains of gold, ( Song of Solomon 1:10 ) ; The word for "armoury" is from "alaph" , "to teach"; not as being a pattern to teach artificers, as Jarchi; nor to show passengers their way, as R. Jonah and others, who think this tower was built as a "pharus", for such a purpose F13; but it was as an arsenal, in which young learners of the art of war laid up their weapons, as well as what were taken from an enemy; or what were made and laid up here, as a store in time of need. By the church's neck may be meant either the ministers of the word, set in the highest part of the body, the church, next to Christ the Head, and in subjection to him; to whom they hold, and whose name, cause, and interest, they bear up and support in the world; and are the means of conveying spiritual food from him to the souls of men; and are adorned with the gifts and graces of the Spirit: and may be compared to the "tower of David", for their integrity and uprightness, and for their strength and immovableness, standing firm and unmoved against the batteries of Satan and the world, and for the defence of the Gospel; and to that "built for an armoury", they being furnished with the whole armour of God. An ancient writer F14 supposes the Apostle Paul is particularly meant; that eminent exalter of Christ the Head, and who was set for the defence of the Gospel: or it may be rather the Scriptures themselves are meant; which point out and hold forth Christ the Head, and make him manifest to the sons of men; and are a means of conveying spiritual breath; when attended with a divine power, then are they spirit and life; and of conveying food to the souls of men, very nourishing and satisfying; and are bespangled with glorious truths and precious promises; where every truth is a golden link, and every promise a pearl, to a believer: and they may be compared to the "tower of David" for their sublimity, being out of the reach and above the capacity of a natural man; and for their firmness and immovableness, which Satan and all his emissaries will never be able to remove out of the world; and like to that as "built for an armoury",
whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men:
no other armour is mentioned, as in this armoury, but shields; they being a principal part of armour, and are especially F15 so called, as in the Septuagint version of ( 1 Kings 14:26 1 Kings 14:27 ) ; these shields are armour of mighty men; mighty, through God and his grace, to perform mighty actions, and do great exploits; being furnished from the spiritual armoury with the whole armour of God, to repel Satan's temptations, to defend the Gospel, and refute error; particularly the ministers of the word are those mighty men; though it is applicable to all saints.
F11 Travels, p. 139. Vid. Adrichom. Theatrum Terrae Sanctae, p. 168.
F12 Vid. Barthii Animadv. ad Claudian. in Rufin. l. 1. v. 53. & l. 2. v. 294.
F13 Vid. Castell. Lexic. col. 3904. so Pagninus and Tigurine version.
F14 Psellus in ioc.
F15 Vid. Cuperi Observ. l. 1. c. 7. p. 42. & Gutberleth. de Saliis, c. 12. p. 69.