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Elhanan and Goliath[edit]

You should place this story in the beginning of the page. The first and second books of Samuel, many times contradict each other. The 'David & Goliath' story is the well known version of this story but it is not necessarily the true version. Most likely Elhanan killed Goliath and David took the credit in this fictional version.

There are two biblical accounts: David & Goliath and Elhanan & Goliath. They should both be presented in the beginning of the page. The two Goliaths (in Samuel 1 and Samuel 2)are described in the same way and it appears they are the same person. If there were two Goliaths, they would add his father's name, to avoid confusion. (I speak Hebrew and the spelling in both accounts is the same in regards to Goliath's name and where he is from.)

The page is set up in a way that presents the "David & Goliath" as the true story. I think that's incorrect. --Michal 22:56, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

"Account of the Qur'an[edit]

As far as a I can tell, the Qur'anic mention of the confrontation between D avid and Goliath is limited to one passage:

2-251. So they put them to flight by <REMOVED GRAFFITI, SOMEONE WILL HAVE TO RE-COMPLETE THE PASSAGE>. And Dawood slew Jalut, and Allah gave him kingdom and wisdom, and taught him of what He pleased. And were it not for Allah's repelling some men with others, the earth would certainly be in a state of disorder; but Allah is Gracious to the creatures.

The Tafsir Ibn Kathir referenced in the article expands very little on this account. How on earth did the breathless, to-the-minute story attributed to the Qur'an make it into the article? Entertaining, to be sure - all it's missing is a car chase, a few gratuitous explosions and a squad of scantily clad Israelite cheerleaders... 01:02, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

== Headline

According to the Dead Sea Scrolls, and some copies of the Greek Septuagint, Goliath was "4 cubits and a span tall." This would make him roughly 6.5 feet to 7 feet tall. He was a huge man in a day where the average palestinian was 5'5."

important correction: no palestinians in those days, the name of those people is philistines. Jaakobou 20:41, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I saw that one in a document too. Sounds much more plausible, however this is not a historical article but a mythological article. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

People taller than 250 cm (around 8 feet) have usualy problems with walking. If Goliath really was a warrior, a bigger size would be a real promblem and he would probably be a really weak warrior. Im myselg 6f8i so I know a bit abou tallness. But considering size aroung 7 feet, it would be a huge plus in hand-to-hand combat (look at how succesfull are huge boxers like Klitschko or Valuev). I think we should mention this height for goliath also in the article "famous tall men", my edit was reverted and i was told to look here. --Dudo2 21:43, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

People who are 8 feet tall with 6 foot parents have trouble walking. Not true of people who come from 7-to-8-foot families, such as basketball players.
Look up Sultan Kösen, and Ajaz Ahmed and notice there's issues with those two with walking. Neither would be a very good soldier if they can't even walk without help! You expect me to believe when the tallest living people on Earth can't walk without help that someone is over a FOOT TALLER and able to do it without help? You're nuts!2602:304:CFD3:2EE0:6D01:A1B8:7E6C:9DDD (talk) 02:45, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Origins of the Goliath Legend[edit]

Under careful reading it becomes clear that there is only one traditional battle where "the Goliath," the one we are most familiar with, is slain by David and by David only. Elhanan the son of Jair slew "The brother of Goliath" and not Goliath whom David killed. The famous mistranslation in 2 Sam 21:19 which says, "Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite" is an obvious unintended scribal error. I feel certain it originaly intended to mean "The brother of Goliath" because of the simple fact that "The Brother" is mentioned in the book of 1Chronicles 20:5. Unfortunately the books of Samuel are perhaps some of the poorest copied books of the Bible.

'[In 1Chronicles 20:5]The Hebrew text reads, "Elchanan son of Jair killed Lachmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite." But it is likely that the accusative marker in front of ymjl, "Lachmi," is a corruption of tyb, and that ymjl ta should be emended to ymjlh tyb, "the Bethlehemite." See 2 Sam 21:19.'

Goliath and his 4 brothers(cousins), 2 of whose names are mentioned, "Ishbibenob" and "Sippai" along with a six-fingered man, were all descended from "Rapha" of Gath (2Sam 21). Rapha was Undoubtedly descended from the Anakim/Rephaim of whom the OT is full of references to.

Infact, the book of Joshua 11:22 says that the sons of Anak took refuge in Gath when he and Caleb expelled them:

"At that time Joshua attacked and eliminated the Anakites from the hill country31--from Hebron, Debir, Anab, and all the hill country of Judah and Israel.32 Joshua annihilated them and their cities. 11:22 No Anakites were left in Israelite territory, though some remained in Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod."

Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod were chief cities of Philistia. Evidently the few remaining Anakim were permitted to ally with the Philistines or whoever controlled those cities during the Conquest of Canaan by Joshua. The Philistines historicaly are believed to have first arrived to the coast of Canaan at around 1200 B.C.

The real question is who were the sons of Anak? Were they legendary or were they a real people? The bible speaks of them like it speaks of all other surrounding nations except that they were "large and tall" and they made Moses's Spies feel like mere locusts in comparison.

There are multiple references to the Anakim in the OT. They were sometimes called Rephaim by the Hebrews, and also Zamzummim and Emim by the Ammonites and Moabites. Og was their northern most leader in his kingdom of Bashan, modern day Syria. So it would seems that these were a physical, real and historical people.

How tall were they? Goliath was either 7 or 9 feet tall depending on the tradition. Og, king of Bashan had a bed (or coffin) of Ironstone that measured some 9 cubits or 13.5 feet long. An Egyptian slain by One of David's mighty Men (1Chron 11:22) stood 5 cubits or 7.5 ft.

"Pliny mentions that in the reign of Claudius (A.D. 41-54), a nine-foot-nine-inch giant named Gabbaras was brought to Rome from Arabia."

According to Unger's Bible Dictionary, "Skeletons recovered in Palestine attest the fact that men as tall as Goliath once lived in that general region" (p. 419).

The liberal Harper’s Bible Dictionary (1961) p.231) mentions that "recovered skeletons prove that men as tall as Goliath lived in Palestine."

The conservative Wycliffe Bible Dictionary p.709 also says, "Recovered skeletons of equal height from archaeological excavations at Gezer and other sites bear out the unusually tall stature of individuals in ancient Palestine at roughly the same period."

Infact, tall human skeletons of men 6ft-6ft4 inches tall were found and published in "The excavation of Gezer 1902 - 1905 and 1907 - 1909"

Evidently these tall people inspired the myths and legends of the Anakim and Rephaim like Goliath who literaly were giants compared to the Average 5ft men of those times.

Height of the Anakim/Rephaim/Emim/Zamzummim--Goliath's kin[edit]

The Bible Background Commentary states ". . .the Egyptian letter on Papyrus Anastasi I (13th century B.C.) describes fierce warriors in Canaan that are seven to nine feet tall. Two female skeletons about seven feet tall from the twelfth century B.C. have been found at Tell es-Sa'ideyeh in Transjordan."

3Walton, John H. "The IVP Bible Background Commentary Genesis-Deuteronomy" Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1997, p. 188 archives/lessons_about_courage.pdf

From the Papyrus Anastasi I, we have the satirical letter between two scribes. The Scribe Hori mentions the lands of Canaan and Syria in detail and tells us of Shasu warriors 4-5 cubits tall living around the carmel ridge:

"The(?) narrow defile is infested(?) with Shosu concealed beneath the bushes; some of them are of four cubits or of five cubits, from head(??) to foot(?), fierce of face, their heart is not mild, and they hearken not to coaxing. Thou art alone, there is no helper(?) with thee, no army behind thee."

The archaeological findings at Tell es-Sa'ideyeh,Jordan by Jonathan Tubb of the British museum from 1985 onward did reveal some extraordinary tall skeletons from the late Bronze age, approx 1100 bc--contemporary with the philistines and other biblical peoples. Some of the Tell es-Sa'ideyeh finds revealed two women between 7 and 7.5 feet in stature-this is certainly gigantic!

Other archaeological findings throughout Palestine have revealed people as tall as 2 meters(6ft6) at Gezer and other sites. So it would seem that there is atleast some actual skeletal evidence that people of very tall stature did exist roughly about the time of the supposed conquest and judges--contemporaneous with the Anakim.

According to the German wikipedia, Flavius Josephus was also speaking about a height of 2 meters.

Goliath and the Phillistines were from the seed of Caphtorim who was the son of Mizraim who was Hams second son. This being true and with the comparisons to Canaanites listed herein, then the images of Goliath portrayed on the main article page couldn't possibly be true. Tom 02/11/08

Goliath had Acromegaly?[edit]

I think the idea Goliath had this disease is total nonesense. And if he did, it sure wouldn't explain why he was considered a Champion to the Philistines.

No, the truth is Goliath was a big and strong warrior, who was swift and accurate with his spear. The original Dead sea scrolls tell [which contain the oldest story of Goliath] us he was 4 cubits and a span in stature. since a cubit is 18 inches, and a span is half that, Goliath was 81 inches tall, or 6 foot 9. Now if he was 250 or 300 lbs of muscle, Goliath certainly could carry the armor described in ISamuel 17:

-Over 100 lbs of a Bronze cuirass, or chest armor-

-Helmet of Bronze--probably with dyed horse hair to form a crest-

-Bronze shin guards-

-Bronze sword-

-Bronze covered shield-

-Iron tipped spear that weighs 15 lbs-

In all, Goliath probably was carrying with him, about 150 lbs of combined Armor and weapons. Obviously a strong man. And if he was 6 feet 9 inches tall, he would have towered chest and shoulders above average Semetic men of the time who were in the vicinity of 5'5 to 5'6. He was a comparative giant for men of that time period, and even today. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

I think it is silly to even discuss this. I mean, who would claim that the cyclops lacks this and that gene, causing it to have only one eye? It's mythology. It has giants and other fictional creatures.

There are plenty of professional wrestlers that are larger than this (The Big Show, The Great Khali) by means of natural giantism, by genetic defect. Why is it so hard for you to believe that it could have happened a few thousand years ago? Hawkrawkr (talk) 20:37, 28 February 2011 (UTC)Hawkrawkr

It's silly to discuss this if you define mythology as mere fiction. But if mythology is defined as "origins" then verification is of importance. Mind you, the genre in which we find the story of Goliath is not mythological in nature. The genre was written as historical narrative.

Even if the theory has some importance, it shouldn't be couched in the POV language that is used. The author refers to "intriguing medical hypotheses." Hmmm...I guess they failed to intrigue me. IMO, this section is a waste of time, especially the part that implies you'd need to sneak around someone with a sling in order to kill them with it. I'm not arguing to get rid of it just because I didn't like it, but words like "intriguing" are POV in this context and need to go.

Btw, why isn't anyone signing any of their comments? And also, the story of David and Goliath is hardly fiction or mythology. Now, if you don't believe God was with David when he killed Goliath as the Bible states, thats cool. But most historians consider the bible to be a reliable sorce (although those who are not Christians believe that they take certain "liberties"), and we have many other written records from the time (such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, along with others) that prove that the bible is true. We know Goliath did exist, and we know he was tall. In fact, if you read more history on him he was from an entire clan of giants. So, its entierly possible that he could have been bred to such a great height, just as the Spartans were bred to great health and strength (by killing the unhealthy babies, and training them to be strong). We assume he was somewheres between 7 foot (a very believable height) and 9 foot (slightly harder to believe, but he was supposed to be a huge giant and we have records of people being 8'11" with diseases. Why couldnt he have just been bred to such a great height and size?). And if you don't believe a man can be that big with that much muscle, then check out Nathan Jones. He's 322 pounds of good, solid muscle and 7 foot tall. The man's a freakin Mack truck. If the Dead Sea Scrolls are right and the bible mistranslated (which it could have been; even i a searious Christian can admit to that) then Goliath would have pretty much been Nathan Jones. DurotarLord 01:32, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
This 2006 paper, in the journal Ancient Near Eastern Studies suggests that the condition could also have explained his visual impairment: [1] Martinevans123 (talk) 18:35, 7 April 2014 (UTC)


The skeletons found at Tell es-Saidiyyeh were not quite the 7 feet that they were first made out to be. There were actually half a dozen skeletons of people unearthed (in the mid-80's) who stood between 1.8 and 2 meters of height, averaging around six feet c. 1100 bc LB III or 4. The tallest of these skeletons belonged to a man who was about 6'5 or 6'6. Evidently this was a solid foot taller than average men of the day.

Biblical translations on Height[edit]

Seems that the line More modern biblical translations estimate that in fact he stood at four cubits and a span (6' 6") under the heading Account in the Hebrew Bible is possibly a bit misleading. Though no doubt, there are modern Bible translations using this recorded height, this new height comes from a translation of a "damaged Dead Sea scroll" according to the University of Notre Dame's news site [2] (Which is also the same website noted in the current version of the Goliath article). The Notre Dame News article also seems to indicate that Bible scholars find the Dead Sea Scrolls religious authority possibly contestable. Taking in consideration that Goliath's fame is mostly based on his height, it seems to me these facts should at least be taken into consideration within the Wiki article. Thoughts on this?--Adrift* 03:44, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the Dead Sea Scroll passage you refer to is damaged but, the original intention of 4 1/2 cubits can almost certainly be inferred.

I quote the actual English translated Dead Sea Scrolls from 4QSam(Bracketed text is the damaged or lost portions):

"[Then] a cha[mpion named Goliath, who was from Gath, ca]me out [of the Philistine camp. His height was f]our [cu]bits and a span. [He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore bronze scale-armor--and] the armor weighed [five thousand shekels.]..." --The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible: Abegg,Flint, & Ulrich

Of further interest is the fact not only the earliest Greek Septuagint mentions the four cubits, Historian Josephus also agrees with the four 1/2 cubit measurement. The overwhelming evidence indicates that the original core tradition had Goliath at around the 4 1/2 cubit range, and this later grew to 5 1/2, and then 6 1/2 cubits by the time of the Masoretes a thousand years after The DSS and LXX. -- 07:59, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

I have no problem seeing the 4 1/2 cubit measurement included in the article as long as it's in reference specifically to the damaged Dead Sea Scrolls and other sources, but it seems better to highlight where the new measurement comes from than to make fairly vague mention of it as a new biblical translation. Just out of curiousity, and not that i doubt you, but can you give links to the septuagint and Josephus measurements that you're referring to? If these are verifiable, i think that it's important to add them to the article as well.--Adrift* 01:53, 19 August 2006 (UTC)


I agree that there needs to be clear references to the four cubit claim, as Goliath is an important biblical figure in the life and career of David and the account of his height is certainly of interest.

Josephus' Writings-Book 6, CH.9:

"Now there came down a man out of the camp of the Philistines, whose name was Goliath, of the city of Gath, a man of vast bulk, for he was of four cubits and a span in tallness, and had about him weapons suitable to the largeness of his body, for he had a breastplate on that weighed five thousand shekels..."

Search any English translation of the Greek Septuagint and you'll find that they use the same measurement.-- 05:54, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

Awesome. Thank you for the references... that was pretty easy.--Adrift* 02:38, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Major cultural bias[edit]

I didn't flag this with a NPOV tag... yet... but there's a major problem here: specifically, that the article is written with the assumption that Goliath (and David, etc.) was an actual, historical person. While Judeo-Christianity may be the default view of much of the Western world, the historicity of the figure is certainly not proven, and to treat this figure as if it were any more real than the myths of other cultures is a major instance of POV-pushing. The article should be reworded to take this into account. 12:56, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

That's an understandable view, but it's wrong. Stories like these are not wild fantastic epics, they're written as mundane history. Until something indicates otherwise (and it wouldn't have to indicate very strongly, even) it's fair to assume these things happened.

No Cultural Bias, sorry[edit]

This part of the Bible isn't considered to be fictional, even by people who freely admit that much of the OT is mythological in character. You (and others) likely think it's a myth and an obvious one due to the mistranslation of the work which made a giant (9'6 instead of 6'6) out of Goliath.

Goliath is considered as much a historical personage as Buddha, Mohammed, or Alexander the Great. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 22:03, 19 January 2007 (UTC).


I wouldn't go that far, but the Hebrew texts do atleast give us a general historical setting for Goliath. As for King David, most scholars tend to lean towards his existence, ultimately because there are atleast one or two known references to "The House of David" from the Tel Dan and possibly the Mesha Stele both written within 150 years of his life. Perhaps more can be learned about the historical David if Mazar's palace discovery proves authentic.-- 08:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Note On First Paragraph[edit]

I've put my minor addition in the first paragraph back after another user removed it. You can see the brief discussion here. Robinson weijman 07:32, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Later Jewish Sources[edit]

this text was moved here for discussion about factuality (or lack thereof):

In rabbinic literature, Goliath is given a detailed gnealogy which is not attested in the Bible, and which is clearly modeled on David's descent from the Moabite woman Ruth which is described in the Book of Ruth. The Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 42b) makes Goliath a descenadnt of Orpah, and also makes Orpah and Ruth into sisters (in the Bible they are only sisters-in-law). The net result is to make David and Goliath into distant cousins (their great-grandmothers were sisters).

i've looked up the talmudic refrenced ruth page [3] and there seems to be no mention of either Goliath or David... plus, orpha and ruth are not sisters, but married to brothers... all this "later jewish sources" seems like innacurate original research/mythology... perhaps the contributer got it off a neturei karta website. Jaakobou 09:35, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

here's the talmud sutah refrence [4], no mention of sisterhood between the women. Jaakobou 10:20, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for noticing the missing Ruth Rabbah reference, I have now put it in. Adam Keller 23:39, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

"Died of the stone"[edit]

In the account of the battle it says that David shot him, then beheaded him. Then it says he "Died of the stone and not of the sword" with "died of the stone" in bold. Is there any particular reason for the emphasis here? Was being killed with a sling bullet part of some prophecy or something? Otherwise, I don't really understand the significance of dying from the shot rather than the beheading. Childe Roland of Gilead 19:43, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree, the emphasis is only by the fact that it's mentioned in the biblical text, i don't think that there's much of a reasoning to give a special bold style to the quote. Jaakobou 20:48, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps it was written in bold to call attention to an interpretation of Mathew 26:52-Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword." ESV 2007 Most likely whoever placed the phrase "died of the stone" bold believes the implications of "dying by the sword" to be somewhat negative and therefore thinks it quite necessary to differentiate the two. I also think it not necessary to place the bold style to the phrase. Jason 01:02, 20 April 2008

"Died of the stone and not of the sword" with "died of the stone" in bold is how the story is presented in many versions of the Bible among other texts, as a reference to the direct, exact method of Goliath's death, per David's speech, "This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand...that God saves not with sword and spear...."[1] Whether Goliath DID die of the stone or the sword is still a major debate [2], but this is the reason the phrase is often shown in bold, as the Bible contends the stone was the direct cause of death. Wikilade (talk) 06:55, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


  1. ^
  2. ^


What exactly does the word wog mean in this article? I haven't been able to find any definitions that make sense in the context of this article, but I don't know enough about the subject to change it.

Re-writing the sumamry[edit]

I re-wrote the summary section to make it a bit tighter and to make it reflect more closely the text of 1 Samuel 17. I used present tense because it makes the story more immediate, as well as marking off the words of the text from any editorial comment (though I tried to put all editorial comment into footnotes). What do you think? PiCo 09:35, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

RE: Later Jewish sources[edit]

This section ends in the middle of a sentence, and I can't find a revision where this is not the problem. --Martian.knight 23:51, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Goliath and Gigantism[edit]

The idea that Goliath was an isolated case of hyperpituitarism is largely unfounded on two grounds.

1) Under modern archaeology, the Dead Sea Scrolls have been translated and contain the oldest intact portions of the book of Samuel. The Dead Sea Scroll version of Samuel clearly reads "Four cubits and a span." This tallies out to about 7 feet tall, depending on which cubit is used. There are many people around 7 feet tall which have a pure genetic basis for their constitutional stature, and indeed gigantism is a rare occurance.

2)The book of Chronicles chapter 20, describes several different warriors from the same city (Gath) who are also of great stature. And one of them is observed as having Polydactylism (six fingers) a trait often found in inbred societies, "possibly" suggesting the tall stature a familial trait as opposed to rare pathological gigantism.

In addition, it would seem that Philistine "giants" were observed up until atleast 600 BC, at the time of Nebuchadrezzar II's conquest of Palestine. For the famed poet, Alcaeus of Lesbos, mentions that his brother (Antimenidas) was serving as a mercenary under Babylon, and had slain a warrior "lacking one span of five royal cubits in stature." It would seem that Antimenidas faught at the great battle of Ashkelon, or elseware in the vicinity of Philistia. The Neo Babylonian Royal cubit was about 20.8 inches, a span being half this length. Such units indicate this giant Philistine stood approx. 7'10", (probably in full armor and helmet).-- 23:59, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Edits to "Goliath in the Hebew Bible"[edit]

I've made some alterations to my earlier edit of this section, mostly to add references (I'll do more of this in the Bibliography section later), but also by adding Chronicles to this section rather than leaving it in Later Hebrew Texts, as Chronicles is, after all, in the Hebrew bible. Comments?

Regarding The "Medical Speculation"[edit]

If Goliath suffered from some sort of vision problem, then ANY Israelite warrior would have been able to sneak up on him!

I can't say I know much about ancient warfare, but simple common sense dictates that, if they do not allow people with vision problems in the army TODAY, chances are, they didn't back then either. Size would have certainly been impressive in an ancient battlefield, but, if Goliath really had had vision problems, he would not have lasted that long in an ancient battle field. Also, keep in mind, the sling was a very common weapon in the ancient mediterranean world. David wasn't the only slinger in Saul's army; chances are, there were probably many.

Statistically speaking, since the Israelite army, like ANY ancient Mediterranean army, would have had many slingers, and many archers, someone with Goliath's vision problems as alleged by the medical speculation would not have lasted very long at all. Part of the reason the Philistines kicked the Israelites around so much is because their army was better organized; if the theory is true that the Philistines were originally a displaced Greek people (namely, the Minoans) chances are they would have been familiar with the Phalanx formation. If this is true, makagainst the unorganized mob that was the Israelite army under Saul, they would not stood much of a chance. Of course, there is a huge problem with my Phalanx theory; for it to work, Goliath would have to be the same size as his fellow warriors. Wait.

Maybe Goliath wasn't a giant at all; maybe he was just a really good fighter made into a giant to make David look good. Whatever the truth is, please reconsider the "medical speculation" part because, with all respect, it just doesn't make any sense. I insist; someone with vision problems as a result of gigantism would not have lasted very long in the brutality of a hand-to-hand dominated ancient battle field. Don't forget all the arrows, spears, and stones flying around.

If the "medical speculation" were true, then, Goliath would not have lasted very long at all.

Now, this last part is not analysis, but purely personal opinion; you ask me, all Goliath was was a really good warrior, not a giant. Like the Greek Achilles, or, the Babylonian Gilgamesh. Time, and exagerated accounts, turned him into a giant. Also, please remember, in any good story, you have to have a threatening villain to make the "hero" look good. Goliath was probably powerfully built, and larger than average, but I have serious qualms that he was actually a giant. If, out of opinion, I had to throw in a figure, I would put his height at around 6'5, or 6'3. When compared to your average ancient Israelite (who stood at 5'4), naturally that would be a terrifying height.

The Philistines, from what I have read, were said to be more sophisticated than the Israelites. That probably means they were better nourished, and had a more varied diet. They were also considerably wealthier, and tended to view the Israelites as "scum" by many speculations. Ironic actually, that in ancient times Philistines were wealthier and more "sophisticated" than the Israelites who live in what is now the West Bank. In modern times, Israelis seem to have taken the place of the Philistines, and Palestinians, the place of the ancient Israelites.

Of course, in ancient Israel there were never any cases of "suicide attacks" on Philistia. 05:10, 5 July 2007 (UTC)stardingo747

I deleted the section, not because of your arguments here, but because it was speculative and peripheral. As for your points above, the LXX and Dead Sea texts of 1 Sam. 17 give G's height as four cubits and a span, about 6'6"; as these two are older than the Masoretic (or at least the extant texts are older), and as they sound plausible, I'm personally of the opinion that they represent the original text. Finally, please get yourself an account and sign your contributions. PiCo 11:40, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Enjoyed the comments about the phalanx formation. Research would have to be done and/or shown that the Minoans actually used the phalanx formation. The first Greek phalanx formation is not mentioned until Homer (8th century BC) (see the wiki on phalanx formation). Though it was used much earlier in some places. You state the Philistines were more "sophisticated" than the Israelites but fail to make note of their use of iron rather than bronze (see wiki on Philistines).PrinceJason (talk) 05:56, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Goliath's armour (reference)[edit]

I have deleted this link to an article about ancient armour:, While not questioning the value of this article in ts own context, it isn't really relevant to our paragraph. The author, E. A. Speiser, is talking about the etymolgy of various words for various pieces of armour; he also concludes that scale armour was well-known in the region in the 10th century BCE. I'm sure he's right, but the point of the paragraph is that the actual armour described in 1 Samuel 17 is Greek and dateable to the 7th-6th centuries. Philistine armour of the 10th century was quite different in appearance, and the matter of scales isn't germane (what's relevant is the description of greaves, body armour, the number of weapons, the presence of a shield-bearer, etc - these are all representative of Greek mercenary hoplites of the 7th century onward, known to have been present in many courts of the region, including that of Judah, while Philistine armour of the 10th century BCE was quite different). So, somwhat regretfully, I'm deleting it. PiCo 04:42, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

The link is clear that the the writer of the biblical text had problems with the words for the new armour that can from the east and not the west, namely Greece. If you want to add a sentence that says some other scolors say its from Greece go ahead. But that really seems like a flawed hypotheses since the text would have used lone word from Greek instead of a hittit or mesoptania. Hardyplants 04:55, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
You've piqued my curiosity about the history of body-armour - I'm sure it must have been invented as soon as people discovered how to hammer metal! Anyway, something for me to look up. Thanks for keeping an eye on the article, I hate to edit with back-up from others. PiCo 07:11, 6 July 2007 (UTC) (Slightly later}: Wiki's article Armour isn't really much use, but it has an interesting photo of some Mycenean armour from 1400 BC. I'll have to go look at some books to get an idea of what was being worn in the Middle East c.1100-1000 BC. PiCo 07:16, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Re: Regarding The "Medical Speculation"[edit]

The Phalanx was a Hoplite technique not used before 700 BC. The Philistines had a regular army equipped with Iron and Bronze spears, but they employed frontline special units of trained men like Goliath. This is similar to King David and his 30 mighty men.

The earliest Hebrew text make it clear Goliath was gigantic, standing 6 1/2 to 7 feet tall, carrying 100 lbs of armor. Other men this size also came from gath and Gezer. These were not ordinary men.

The stature of Goliath and the warriors of Gath, was clearly hereditary, with some possible mutations (six fingers) caused about by selecive breeding. Not the result of Acromegaly, a rare disease which cannot account for multiple giants in one city.

The height of most Hebrew men was less than 5 1/2 feet tall and would have stood at Goliath's chest. Saul the first king of Israel, was also chosen for his strength and stature, head and shoulders above everyone.

Size was important for ancient battles, the biggest and strongest were the ideal warriors in an age of heroes.

As late as 600 BC, warriors of gigantic stature were found among the Philistines/ Judah, as the poet Alcaeus testifies to the slaying of a man nearly 5 cubits tall.

Talk pages are meant for discussing improvements/changes to the article, not as a place where you can share your personal thoughts on a subject. If you want to edit the article, please do so - and explain your edits here if you feel they might be controversial. And please get yourself an account. PiCo 23:15, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

New section "Texts" and Goliath's height[edit]

Added this new section but it lacks references. Can anyone help? PiCo 09:07, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Here is a web site I came across it does not cover Goliath but gives an overview of the multiply manuscript lines for the book of Samuel(see the bottom), when I have more time I will try to make a more detailed search- but this is not my field so will have learn as I go. Hardyplants 01:53, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks - I'll add that site as a link via a footnote. It might also be useful when I add a further planned section or paragraph on the comparison of the book of Samuel and the book of Chronicles. But it's a useful source for sure. PiCo 02:29, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


11:56, 10 July 2007 PiCo (Talk | contribs) (20,134 bytes) (changing "wounds" to "strikes", the modern equivalent of "smote" and closer to the text.

If you have not seen my talk page already, look at this link for the modern use of the word smote:

It looks like wound or cripple instead of strike. Hardyplants 12:51, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I see. I don't like "wound" as a translation because to me the word implies leaving a gapping hole in the flesh with blood running out and bones showing. That may indeed be what happened, but it doesn't imply what I think is the most importrant aspect of the image 1 Samuel is trying to convey: Goliath is hit by the stone and rendered unconscious (not bloody). How about "struck down"? I'm trying to find an English word or phrase that conveys the intention of the story, rather than staying strictly true to the Hebrew. PiCo 12:55, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't know how to make it perfect, strike as in 'strike down' is close or 'knocked out' but they seems so-so to me. Goliaths incapacitated and falls to the ground and David runs over to stand over him and takes the sword and cuts off his head. The story has steps, the stone hits Goliath, he falls down, David runs to Goliath, David stands over Goliath and takes Goliaths sword and kills him, then cuts the giants head off, ect. Do what seems best to you Hardyplants 13:11, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

What the Bible says is that he was killed by the stone and then his head was cut off with the sword. Not that he was knocked out by the stone and then killed with the sword. In fact, it specifically makes a thing of the fact that he wasn't killed with a sword. (talk) 10:36, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

Four cubits AND A SPAN[edit]

Article leaves out the SPAN in Goliath's stature, and misquotes the source. 4QSAM and LXX actually read "his height was four cubits and a span." The span, is simply a handspan of the oustretched fingers, an approximate measurment in ancient times equalling 8.75-9 inches, roughly half the cubit of a common man in those days. This puts Goliath at about 6-ft-8-ins or 6-ft-9-ins, a very large person. That the original source quoted leaves this fact out is simply incorrect. -- 05:32, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

I've corrected the article by changing the direct quote to an indierct one - I have no idea why the source leaves out the "span".PiCo 09:46, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Goliath and the Greeks[edit]

An editor ercently added a sentence about a parallel between David/Goliath and an incident from the Iliad. It was in the wrong section, but it seemed relevant and well-sourced, so I moved it down to a section which talks about the extra-bilbical referants to Goliath. But when I tried to merge it into that section it didn't quite gel, and I didn't succeed in creating a really fluent paragrpah. Others are welcome to try to improve this. (And I renamed the section "Goliath and the Greeks", but a better title is no doubt possible). PiCo 03:30, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Are there other scholars who agree or disagree with this hypothesis? Hypershock (talk) 08:00, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

It seems that in the Iliad, Ereuthalion is not mentioned as a Giant. He was described as "the tallest and strongest Nestor ever slew". Even if this tale of Nestor provided inspiration, it's best We give this link with clarity.Fotte (talk) 12:15, 21 October 2014 (UTC)

Uncited material[edit]

I've removed a section chock-full of uncited material. each notation needs citation before return ing to the article:

Modern references (Image set as no-wiki)

  • The lead character in Disney's animated series "Gargoyles" was called Goliath and according to dialogue in the first episode is so strong that he was named for "Philistine Giant who battle David." (Ironically, his chief enemy was a now reformed villain named David--full name David Xanatos.)
  • A toy vehicle set in the 1980s M.A.S.K. toyline was named Goliath; it consisted of a race car which transformed into a jet, and the race car's transport truck with transformed into a missile launcher.
  • The world's heaviest beetle, and by far the largest member of the scarab family, measuring as much as a sparrow but weighing in at five times a sparrow's weight, is called the goliath beetle.
  • In the TV series Knight Rider, Goliath is the name of Kitt's Arch nemesis, an indestructible trailer truck.
  • In another computer game, Battlefield 2142, in the expansion pack Northern Strike there is a vehicle of the EU team called the Goliath. It is a huge armored APC which is considered the hardest vehicle to destroy as it has regenerating armor, and requires certain panels on it to be destroyed before becoming vulnerable. It is the biggest drivable vehicle in the game (drivable, as in not a Titan).
  • A VLF RADCOM Antenna type. The Goliath will have a mast at each of the six corners and one in the center of each canopy.
  • The Israeli Rock band Kaveret composed and sung a song called "Goliath" telling the tale of the 6 Day War through the tale of David and Goliath.
  • Goliath is the name of the Triax army's giant tank/mobile land fortress in the 1989 Kenner toy line Mega Force.
  • A form of battle armor ridden by Vile in Capcom's SNES/PSX game "Mega Man X3" bears the title Goliath.
  • Goliaths are an extremely strong (and somewhat clumsy) race in the Dungeons & Dragons supplement Races of Stone, where they are considered "medium" sized, but have the "strong body" ability that treats them to be one size larger when it suits them.
  • The 2007 Tommy Lee Jones movie In The Valley of Elah has Jones's character recount the story of David and Goliath (which took place in the valley of Elah) to a young boy. The moral of the movie is one of courage and facing your demons, which mirrors that of the biblical story.

- Arcayne (cast a spell) 01:02, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Pier Gerlofs Donia[edit]

I made an addition to the "see also" section. I added Pier Gerlofs Donia, known as the Goliath of the North. Just to inform you all,

Jouke Bersma —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:39, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Summary: 1 Samuel 17[edit]

Stuff like this is very confusing, is this from the bible? Why is this mentioned without a little explanation of what exactly samuel 17 is?--Extrabatteries (talk) 08:18, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Surely you jest? PiCo (talk) 10:00, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Real or fictional?[edit]

Was Goliath a real man? If so was he realy killed by David? In this article it is unclear if he was purely a product of the old testment or if the bible story depicted a real man. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:09, 8 October 2009 (UTC)

If some sort of House of David existed in the land of Judah as some textual evidence suggests (Tel Dan stele namely) then I might say it isn't a huge leap to suggest that there was a founder of the house of David--A king David, or governor named David, and I would further propose if there was a historical founder named David king of Judah, it isn't a huge academic leap to suggest the plausibility that a Goliath of Gath may indeed also have existed, although it appears several traditions concerning a Goliath of Gath and his brothers seem to have woven into a narrative of good versus evil in the latter pages of the books of Samuel. But even going so far as I have done, that is, suggesting such a figure might have even a remote historical basis is academic suicide in minimalist camps whose extreme skepticism goes beyond simple inquiry into the lands of systematic pre-determined doubt. Then there is the maximalist camp who suggest nearly everything in the Bible is historically accurate to the finest detail, yes even Goliath's armor, height and weapons. I think a compromise of the two camps might be closer to what really existed, but to answer your question no hard proof of a Goliath of Gath has come to light, although some pot shards dating to the 900's BC found at the site believed to have been the city of Gath bear names sort of similar to the name Goliath. To my knowledge no 7 to 10 foot skeletons have been found at the site with the sigil rings bearing the name "bnei ha Rapha" or anything fantastic that would grab the headlines of the National Geographic or more likely, the National Inquirer...-- (talk) 04:32, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

some here seem to imply that 'if the bible said it, it must be true', even to the degree of cherry picking parts of the OT as historic vs. non-historic. regardless, suffice it to say youll have to wait until they invent time machines if you want a scientific answer.Extrabatteries (talk) 17:22, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

The only source for the person of Goliath is the Bible and the Bible clearly noted Goliath as a person, NOT a fictional person or part of a parable. If there are any other source for Goliath that declares him as fiction then it's worthy to be discussed. Just because it seems incredulous that such a person or event can exist it cannot be dismissed as fiction - unless the perception is that the Bible itself is a fiction. It's surprising how easily people just declare historical text from the Bible as fiction because it's unbelievable when compared to what is evident today.

/* Elhanan and Goliath */[edit]

This section is rather confusing and is based on the website "Christian apologetics and research ministry"[5], which cites the findings of Gleason Archer, a defender of Biblical Inerrancy. In my opinion this section does not acquire wikipedias standards for sources and should therefore be removed. greetings -- (talk) 21:06, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

General question. Important[edit]

Why there are no pronunciations of words written in Hebrew? Does anybody think everone can read that in original? We need in all Wikipedia Hebrew words transcribed in Latin alphabet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:31, 17 November 2010 (UTC)

Islam and Goliath[edit]

Someone should mention Islam's POV.

Quote from the Quran

Quran,Chapter 2 verse 249-251 2:249 When Talut set forth with the armies, he said: "Allah will test you at the stream: if any drinks of its water, He goes not with my army: Only those who taste not of it go with me: A mere sip out of the hand is excused." But they all drank of it, except a few. When they crossed the river,- He and the faithful ones with him,- they said: "This day We cannot cope with Jalut and his forces." But those who were convinced that they must meet Allah, said: "How oft, by Allah's will, Hath a small force vanquished a big one? Allah is with those who steadfastly persevere." 2:250 When they advanced to meet Jalut and his forces, they prayed: "Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm: Help us against those that reject faith." 2:251 By Allah's will they routed them; and Dawud slew Jalut; and Allah gave him power and wisdom and taught him whatever (else) He willed. And did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief: But Allah is full of bounty to all the worlds. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:24, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

David’s age[edit]

The title of this part would imply it is about how old David was when the battle occurred however this is over various manuscripts. The heading needs a re wright to remove the disconnect from the heading and the content. Jasoninkid (talk) 13:59, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

The section is indeed about how old David was at the time of the battle: it says that there are two textual traditions presenty, in one of which he is a young boy, and in the other a warrior. I gave it a new title. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:03, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

section "textual history"[edit]

I appreciate what's been attempted with this section, but it isn't actually about the textual history. To do that, you need to follow up the manuscript history and the reconstructions made by textual critics.PiCo (talk) 10:10, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

I removed a link in the adaptations section, need a new citation[edit]

The old citation link for the VeggieTales reference led to a blog with one explicit post about macrophilia (cannot unsee) so I went ahead and killed the citation. Needs a new citation now. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Planetofthemage (talkcontribs) 05:33, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

The origine of the name Goliath[edit]

Goliath (Bulgarian = goliat) , the naked man, гол мъж, голият човек - - - - -

It certainly isn't Bulgarian in origin. Dougweller (talk) 15:40, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Possible vandalism in introduction[edit]

"MPAA (Motion Pictures Association of America) including 6 motion picture studios namely Sony, Warner Brothers, Universal, Disney, Paramount and Fox are now planning to bring down Google (aka Goliath)."

Definitely not appropriate for the introduction. I removed it. Zeldafanjtl (talk) 19:54, 18 December 2014 (UTC)


I added:

The historicity of King David and especially the detailed stories about him is disputed.

which was reverted by User:Atlan with the edit summary "doesn't belong there".

The article doesn't have any information about the disputed historicity of Goliath, who only appears in the David and Goliath story in the Bible. Is mentioning that in the intro a matter of phrasing (since the way I said it is about King David and not Goliath, though really it applies to both)? Or is there somewhere else in the article this should be? -- Beland (talk) 00:00, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

I have a couple of problems with your addition. First, this is an article about Goliath and not David. The historicity of King David is only tangentially relevant to this article. There was no mention of Goliath in your edit (you already acknowledge this). Second, you shoehorned it in the lead, in a paragraph that could not possibly have less to do with the historicity of Goliath. Third, "this story is disputed" could be added to any religious text. What's the point of such a general statement in the lead?--Atlan (talk) 02:55, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
@Atlan: Maybe a better phrasing would be: "The historicity of Goliath and other stories about King David is disputed." This is an encyclopedia article, so it needs to be clear on the point of whether it's discussing fiction or non-fiction, or a belief held only be a certain denomination. Some elements of religious stories are in fact corroborated in non-religious texts, such as the existence of certain historical persons or events. The way the article goes on now, with details and even paintings of the subject, makes Goliath sound real - which is disputed. -- Beland (talk) 19:06, 23 February 2015 (UTC)


Since the idea seems to have attracted some controversy in years past, I figured I'd mention this here first. There's an interesting paper on the matter here, which raises the possibility. A fairly well-known writer, Malcolm Gladwell, also titled a book David and Goliath and specifically did so because of, among other things, the possibility of Goliath having acromegaly; he wrote that in addition to his size the texts hint at him possibly having vision problems, which are very common in untreated acromegaly patients. In addition to the book itself there's a Charlie Rose interview where he says as much, I can certainly find that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:17, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

How to cover "David and Goliath" used to describe a mismatched/underdog contest[edit]

How can Wikipedia cover the contemporary secular usage of "David and Goliath," especially in the media, to neutrally represent an underdog situation, a mismatched contest, as in:

"used to describe a situation in which a small or weak person or organization tries to defeat another much larger or stronger opponent" > "The game looks like it will be a David and Goliath contest." > "From the Bible story in which Goliath, a giant, is killed by the boy David with a stone." Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

Specifically, usage came up in a contentious WP editing discussion, where it was claimed that "David and Goliath" (used by an editor to describe a situation, i.e. not as a direct quote from a source) by default has good-vs-evil connotations, where David as inherently good (David has God on his side), and Goliath as evil, therefore, not neutral (as in NPOV).

Good-vs-evil is one meaning, but in a survey of major English-language news media, all of the dozens of examples checked were simply small-vs-big, never implying good-vs-evil. This includes site searches of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Economist, The Guardian, and others, describing everything from a tiny Internet startup vs a major Net corporation, to two major league baseball teams.

My intention here is not to argue usage, but to get suggestions on how to cover this, as I think it is noteworthy enough to merit a section in this article (some time ago, I added a line to the lead) as David and Goliath redirects here, and possibly notable and broad enough to start a separate page, which would I suppose would cover the Biblical story, with modern usage of the phrase in its own section. --Tsavage (talk) 14:37, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

UPDATE: Will wait a few more days for input, then will create a section here. An editor has already challenged the multiple citations for the modern usage mention in the lead; the lead should be summarizing content developed in the article, where those sources should apply more specifically. --Tsavage (talk) 02:06, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

UPDATE: Added "Modern usage of 'David and Goliath'" section. --Tsavage (talk) 16:14, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Goliath and the Greeks[edit]

Tweaked a couple of sentences for readability. Hope this meets with approval. SereneRain (talk) 22:46, 17 October 2015 (UTC)