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Bible Dictionaries

Easton's Bible Dictionary

Goliath

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  • A famous giant of Gath, who for forty days openly defied the armies of Israel, but was at length slain by David with a stone from a sling (1 Samuel 17:4 ). He was probably descended from the Rephaim who found refuge among the Philistines after they were dispersed by the Ammonites (Deuteronomy 2:20,21 ). His height was "six cubits and a span," which, taking the cubit at 21 inches, is equal to 10 1/2 feet. David cut off his head (1 Samuel 17:51 ) and brought it to Jerusalem, while he hung the armour which he took from him in his tent. His sword was preserved at Nob as a religious trophy (21:9). David's victory over Goliath was the turning point in his life. He came into public notice now as the deliverer of Israel and the chief among Saul's men of war (18:5), and the devoted friend of Jonathan.

  • In 2 Samuel 21:19 there is another giant of the same name mentioned as slain by Elhanan. The staff of his apear "was like a weaver's beam." The Authorized Version interpolates the words "the brother of" from 1 Chronicles 20:5 , where this giant is called Lahmi.

    Copyright Statement
    These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain.

    Bibliography Information
    Easton, Matthew George. Entry for 'Goliath'. Easton's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/ebd/g/goliath.html. 1897.

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