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Bible Dictionaries

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible

Goliath

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GOLIATH . A giant, said to have been a descendant of the early race of Anakim. He was slain, in single combat, by David (or, according to another tradition, by Elhanan) at Ephes-dammim, before an impending battle between the Philistines and the Israelites. That this ‘duel’ was of a religious character comes out clearly in 1 Samuel 17:43; 1 Samuel 17:45 , where we are told that the Philistine cursed David by his gods , while David replies: ‘ And I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts .’ The fact that David brings the giant’s sword as an offering into the sanctuary at Nob points in the same direction. Goliath is described as being ‘six cubits and a span’ in height, i.e. over nine feet, at the likeliest reckoning; his armour and weapons were proportionate to his great height. Human skeletons have been found of equal height, so that there is nothing improbable in the Biblical account of his stature. The flight of the Philistines on the death of their champion could be accounted for by their belief that the Israelite God had shown Himself superior to their god (but see 2Sa 23:9-12 , 1 Chronicles 11:12 ff.); see, further, David, Elhanan.

W. O. E. Oesterley.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Goliath'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/g/goliath.html. 1909.

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