Left-handed - They were ambidexters - could use the right hand and the left with equal ease and effect. See the note on Judges 3:15.
Could sling stones at a hair - and not miss - velo yachati , and not sin: ; Sept. Here we have the true import of the term sin; it signifies simply to miss the mark, and is well translated in the New Testament by ̔ , from , negative, and , to hit the mark. Men miss the mark of true happiness in aiming at sensual gratifications; which happiness is to be found only in the possession and enjoyment of the favor of God, from whom their passions continually lead them. He alone hits the mark, and ceases from sin, who attains to God through Christ Jesus.
It is worthy of remark that the Persian khuta kerden , which literally signifies to sin or mistake, is used by the Mohammedans to express to miss the mark.
The sling was a very ancient warlike instrument, and, in the hands of those who were skilled in the use of it, it produced astonishing effects. The inhabitants of the isles called Baleares, now Majorca and Minorca, were the most celebrated slingers of antiquity. They did not permit their children to break their fast till they had struck down the bread they were to eat from the top of a pole, or some distant eminence. They had their name Baleares from the Greek word to dart, cast, or throw.
Concerning the velocity of the ball out of the sling, there are strange and almost incredible things told by the ancients. The leaden ball, when thus projected, is said to have melted in its course. So Ovid, Met. lib. ii.. ver. 726.
Obstupuit forma Jove natus: et aethere pendens
Non secus exarsit, quam cum balearica plumbum
Funda jacit; volat illud, et incandescit eundo;
Et, quos non habuit, sub nubibus invenit ignes .
Hermes was fired as in the clouds he hung;
So the cold bullet that, with fury slung
From Balearic engines, mounts on high,
Glows in the whirl, and burns along the sky.
This is not a poetic fiction; Seneca, the philosopher, in lib. iii. Quaest. Natural., c. 57, says the same thing: Sic liquescit excussa glans funda, et adtritu aeris velut igne distillat ; "Thus the ball projected from the sling melts, and is liquefied by the friction of the air, as if it were exposed to the action of fire." I have often, by the sudden and violent compression of the air, produced fire; and by this alone inflamed tinder, and lighted a match. Vegetius de Re Militari, lib. ii., cap. 23, tells us that slingers could in general hit the mark at six hundred feet distance. Funditores scopas-pro signo ponebant; ita ut Sexcentos Pedes removerentur a signo-signum saepius tangerent . These things render credible what is spoken here of the Benjamite slingers.
Other Adam Clarke entries containing Judges 20:16:
1 Samuel 17:40
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