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Monday, July 23, 2012

David and Goliath with Footnotes


From First Samuel, 17

The Philistines[1] gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, [2]came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[3] He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; [4] on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. [5]His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[6] His shield bearer went ahead of him.[7]
David chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag [Oh yeah, David was a shepherd.  I forgot to mention that part.] and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.  And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals! [8]  David said to the Philistine, “This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals.” [9] As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him.  Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face-down on the ground. [10]  When the Philistines saw this, they fled away.[11]


[1] In England it is pronounced fil-IS-teen, and in America, FIL-is-teen.  The correct way is FIL-is-teen.
[2] A shard with an inscription believed to be Goliath’s name has been found in ancient Gath.  The Proto-Canaanite letters spell out ALWT and WLT.  Walt is not as good a name for a giant as Goliath.  No one would believe the story if it were David and Walter.
[3] About nine foot, six inches.  As Mae West would have put it, “Forget about the six cubits, tell me about the span."
[4] About 125 pounds.  For comparison’s sake, a modern-day US soldier carries about 90 pounds. 
[5] What he needed were some greaves on his head.
[6]This is a little over 12 ½ pounds.  The shaft would have been 16 feet long.  Given the fact Goliath, or Walt, was a little under ten feet, this seems impractical.
[7] You couldn’t expect Goliath to carry everything.
[8] Philistines were known for their ability to talk smack.
[9] I wish David had come up with his own cool things to say.
[10] Like many giants, Goliath had brittle bones, or else he tried throwing that spear of his and lost balance.  A bystander is believed to have remarked, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”  This later became a popular saying.
[11] Which really was over-reacting.  David only had four more stones.

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