Skip to comments.How did David kill Goliath? (Stone or Sword)
Posted on 01/13/2012 4:43:10 AM PST by TSgt
Simple question to resolve a debate I'm having with a family member. How did David kill Goliath? Was it with the stone from his sling or with the sword when he cut off his head?
50So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.
1 Kings 17 Douay-Rheims  And he put his hand into his scrip, and took a stone, and cast it with the sling, and fetching it about struck the Philistine in the forehead: and the stone was fixed in his forehead, and he fell on his face upon the earth.  And David prevailed over the Philistine, with a sling and a stone, and he struck, and slew the Philistine. And as David had no sword in his hand,
 He ran, and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath, and slew him, and cut off his head. And the Philistines seeing that their champion was dead, fled away.
Seems pretty clear to me.
The sling rendered the big man unconscious, the sword killed him.
That the word “killed” or “slew” (KJV) appears in both verse 50 and 51 should not cause the reader to be confused about what was responsible for Goliath’s death. He was killed by the stone which came from David’s sling, as indicated in verse 50. After killing the giant, David stood over him, and used his own sword to cut off his head. The taking of Goliath’s head was not the point of his death, but immediately followed his death. David, “...slew him, and cut off his head...”
There is no contradiction.
1Sa 17:46 This day will Jehovah deliver thee into my hand; and I will smite thee, and take thy head from off thee; and I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day unto the birds of the heavens, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 1Sa 17:47 and that all this assembly may know that Jehovah saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is Jehovah's, and he will give you into our hand.
Because of David's faith in God to deliver Israel from the Philistines and not in his own strength that God showed forth and provided the victory. Maybe we should start following that example a bit more when dealing with the Philistines in Washington :).
Classic Biblical format. The general followed by the precise. The general: hit him in the head with at stone and killed him. The precise: ran up to him and cut off his head with his own sword and slew him. The same pattern is throughout scripture.
Now THAT is the question!!
The stone rendered him unconscious, and David killed him with the sword. People here are arguing over the modern definition of the word slay. To slay, (Now obsolete, but not 400 years ago) used to mean to hit, not necessarilly to kill. You could argue about it till you’re blue in the face without a definitive answer, but only one makes sense.
The stone rendered Goliath unconscious, the sword finished the job (And he kept the head as a trophy). Even logically, blunt force trauma to the frontal lobe doesn’t necessarilly result in death. The important stuff is in the back.
vb slays, slaying, slew, slain (tr)
3. Obsolete to strike
Depends if you want to classify it as a miracle or a fact. A fact requires evidence, a miracle does not.
You sit are correct. Even if you just read it, without analyzing the word definition (see above), in context it only makes sense that he felled Goliath with the stone, and killed him with the sword. Digging deeper will still provide more evidence of that. The answer is simple, he knocked him out (prevailing in the contest), and cut off his head (killing and taking his trophy).
We do have empircal proof - eyewitness testimony as recorded in the historical narratives of the Bible. It's the only type of empirical proof available for any historical event.
a) asking for empirical evidence that David and/or Goliath even existed and
b) rejecting the Hebrew historical records which are preserved today in the Bible.
Before answering the internet 'bot, perhaps it should be required to show empirical evidence that it is human.
Arguing with software is pointless.
“It’s the only type of empirical proof available for any historical event.”
Unless you’re a pseudo scientist, than you can make up anything and say that’s how it happened, passing it off as “science.”
You are absolutely correct!
In the case of fact, the "proofs" used can be called into question, which ususally lead to refutation and/or confirmation; but in either case, an advance in knowledge.
In the case of the "miracle"; it requires nothing but belief; it leads to no advance in knowledge and sometimes causes "difficulties" between the believer and the "non-believer".
I'll take fact.
“Better question: DID David kill Goliath? Ask for empiricle evidence....and the respondant may not use any biblical “proof” as “evidence”in the answer.
Now THAT is the question!!”
And what exactly are you looking for? Obviously, the Bible recounts the story as a witness or report from a witness. Do you have any witness to say with any credibility that it is false? Thought so, just another atheist fool spewing dumb rhetoric and thinking they sound smart...
sit=Sir. Sorry for the typo.
Yet a better question is whether such an act, killing someone with a sword on a battle field many centuries ago could be expected to leave any evidence other than eye witness accounts?
What sort of empirical evidence did you have in mind?
I think the initial question is pointless, who cares? If you let yourself get Into an argument on that kind of religious trivia, then you are probably missing the grandeur of the religious forrest, your view blocked by an insignificant spruce.
If God can knock down a cities walls with the sound of trumpets, split a Sea with a wooden staff, and make man out of the dust of the earth, it is completely feasible that he can kill the biggest of men with a rock between the eyes. Lets not to try to explain away his miraculous power by using science conceived out of the puny little brains of mortals.
And you sir are just another theist spewing intolerance and insults. (Note that I did not gratuitously call you dumb.)
I don't see it this way. The text says; verse 50, "he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David's hand."
Read on, verse 51. The cutting off of the head was to convince the army of the Philistines that their champion was dead.
The stone killed him, the decapitation proved it to his army.
He’s hoping you’ll post a coroner’s report.
"biblical evidence" to prove a biblical "fact" is a prime example - tho certainly not the only one - of using circular logic to prove a statement.
"Eye witness" "testimony"???? You've got to be kidding, right?? There is just so much wrong with that little piece of "proof" that there isn't room here to write it all down.
And if using the bible to "prove" biblical "fact" is your only weapon....you're un-armed.
Miracles are facts. Personally obseved by thousands of witnesses and historically recorded.
Whose job was it to check and see if these guys were uncircumcised? No way I want that job.
Far too broad a statement - "all miracles are facts". First, you have to define "miracle", then get agreement from the "eyewitnesses", then allow knowledge gained over time to prove - or disprove - the supposed "miracle".
Were you born or hatched? Present empirical evidence.
I submit you were hatched. My evidence is that you are a turkey.
Well, I know that 84 angels can dance on the head of a pin, and I can prove it!
Not true at all. A miracle is defined as a supernatural occurance. We do have agreement from eyewitness. Many eyewitness and no witnesses disputing them. That is evidence of proof in any court in the land. 2000 years have gone by and nobody has been able to disprove them yet. You merely beg the question by assuming miracles can't occur. A position which is supported by neither logic or reason.
When we were kids in Sunday School, this was such a nice story about a little guy killing a giant. Good thing they never told us about, or showed us a picture of, David standing there holding the giant’s bloody head. Ha! Go, David!!!!
I've always read this passage to mean that David incapacitated Goliath with the stone. Goliath's fate was sealed. David then used the sword to deliver the coup de grace.
When someone commits suicide by jumping off the top of a building, what kills him - the jump, or the sudden impact with the sidewalk? The former renders the latter inevitable.
Alternatively, the stone killed Goliath, but when David decapitated him, that just made it certain.
Goliath was probably laying on the ground twitching, or unconscious when David took the sword and did him in.
The stone delivered a mortal wound but David used the sword to kill him before Goliath had time to die from the stone's wound.
It seems to me that both of these older translations are incomplete.
Read the NIV and the answer is simple. David killed the giant with a stone.
1 Samuel 17:50-51
New International Version (NIV)
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistines sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran.
We’ll have to agree to disagree. Since the word slay did not mean “to kill”, but rather “to strike” at the time that that word was used in translating the Bible, it’s unacertainable from the text provided. In fact, even from the original hebrew there is some debate because the word for “forehead” is akin to another word (IIRC the leg, or greaves, something like that), implying that the stone caused Goliath to fall, but was not dead (again, the word “slay” didn’t mean “kill”). Also probable is the scenario that another FReeper mentioned, in that the wound may have been mortal, but Goliath was not necessarilly “fully” dead. In fact there are multiple stages of death.
In any event, I think as someone else posted, it probably doesn’t matter. Having said that, God answers all prayers. The best answer one can receive is the one received by the Holy Spirit after prayerful study and meditation, and I’ll leave that as a personal issue.
Impossible to resolve.
Maybe the stone killed him. For sure the sword removed all doubt.
Why argue about such a thing?
David was doing what all those folks in horror films should do, but don’t: They whack the guy and see him go down but don’t go back and make sure he can never get up again. David showed good sense. He used the weapon of his choice to put his enemy into his hands and then finished him off with the sword so it would be completely evident to the guy’s comrades in arms that their champion was totally lost.
It can be used as an allegory to describe Jesus, the Rock, and how he smote Satan, Sin, as promised by God to Adam and Eve. Yes, it’s a stretch, but is important.
Sorry, but I put about as much faith in the NIV being accurate to the original texts as I do a guy from the government showing up unrequested at my door saying he’s here to help me.
Did you know David and Goliath were cousins by marriage? It’s true!
Most likely Goliath was dead when he hit the ground. Not too long ago I ran a slinging scenario through a ballistics calculator and found very surprising answers.
It appears that someone who is good at it can produce 500 to 650 Ft/lbs with an appropriate pebble of somewhere between 1/7th and 1/4 pound. I started at 450 fps and ran it up to 650 fps.
Earlier on it is reported that David killed lions with his sling and that result is consistant with the ballistics data.
He probably produced more than 450 fps as he little else to do out there on the sheep range. Current slingers will go 450 fps on a fairly regular basis and David could probaly go considerably more. Because he was a pro.
According to noted theologian Bob Marley...
“David slew Goliath with a sling and a stone;
Samson slew the Philistines with a donkey jawbone”
Think of it this way, a .357 Magnum produces 535 foot lbs., It is quite likely that David generated 600-650 foot lbs. Goliath died on his feet.
The giant would have been easy enough, just look up!
Yeah, it’s pretty amazing what a simple sling can do. The greeks and romans cast lead bullets, and engraved them with pithy quips like “catch”, and “take that”, or lightning bolts.
Wiki has the record for a rock thrown via sling being 1434 feet.
My pastor stated last year that the rock hit with the force of a .45. It was considerably more as it turns out.
IIRC, the bullets made by the Greeks and Romans were actually looked like a double ended bullet and were most likely quite lethal.
As pistol shooters say “all we are doing is shooting a faster sling”. I didn’t completely understand that comment until I ran the ballistics on slinging. They’re right.
I recall a “sling shooter” video of some guy who was spot on everytime. Amazing video and fun to watch him. I think he lived on a mountain or something like. But he could do some real damage. I tend to think in that era , protecting the flocks from preditors and against robbers etc...they were likely sharp shooters with thier slings....or shooting stones even with their hands...Palestinians still use stones to this day.
Yeah, those sling bullets look like they would probably spin. They used to just raise kids up as slingers, like bowmen.
Here’s a website I came across years ago:
They actually have a forum called “Project Goliath” that looks at the history of slings and slingers.
I sort of regard them as a .357 mag without recoil.
www.slinging.org is extremely interesting. I have been there on occasion.
LOL. You can target shoot in your garage with the obnoxious neighbors in the backyard!