And the charge was a third of a shekel for the plowshares, and for the mattocks, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads.
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Today some also leave the heights of God’s Word to which they ought to have ascended and listened to. Instead they go down and hear worldly fables and doctrines of demons. Deprived of all spiritual knowledge, they meet to read logicians, teachers of rhetoric and the poets of the Gentiles to exercise their earthly talents, just as the unarmed men of Israel went to the smiths of the Philistines to sharpen their iron tools for use in the woods or fields. - "Four Books on 1 Samuel 2.13"
The reason for this is rather obvious. It clearly offers the enemy an opportunity to devastate the land, that is to say, to corrupt the virtues of the church, if there is no teacher and smithy of the spiritual arms which the apostle teaches we must employ against the fiery darts of the evil one. For the wicked tempters take care with all their might to keep us from putting on the armor of God so that the two-edged sword might not appear in our hands and exact vengeance upon them. - "Four Books on 1 Samuel 2.13"
Mended, by the Philistines. (Haydock)
The Hebrew is variously translated. "Their implements were like saws; or, they had a file to sharpen the "(Calmet)
Septuagint, "and the fruits were ready to be gathered. But the vessels (instruments for labour) were three sicles for a tooth, and the same price (or station, upostasis, a word used ver. 23, in the latter sense) for an axe or a scythe "as if the Philistines required three sicles for doing the smallest thing, when the harvest was at hand. (Haydock)
For, as a result of the king’s sin [Saul’s offering of the sacrifice], fear had pervaded the whole army. The camp of the enemy, which was lying at no great distance, showed them how real the danger was, and no one had the courage to think of going out to battle: most had absconded to the marshes. For besides the lack of courage on the part of those who felt that God was alienated from them on account of the king’s sin, the army was in the greatest need of iron weapons; so much so that nobody, except Saul and Jonathan his son, is said to have possessed either sword or spear. For the Philistines, as conquerors in the former wars, had deprived the Hebrews of the use of arms, and no one had had the power of forging any weapon of war or even making any implement for rural purposes. - "Sacred History 1.33"