[b-hebrew] By Whose God did Goliath Curse and Where did David Take his Head?

Yigal Levin Yigal.Levin at biu.ac.il
Thu Aug 1 09:23:51 EDT 2013

Dear all,


Next week I will be presenting a paper at the IOSOT congress in Munich,
which I called "By Whose God did Goliath Curse and Where did David Take his
Head?". Before doing so, I'd like to present both questions to the members
of our forum, and see if your reading of the text comes up with the same
understanding as mine.


So here goes:


1. In 1 Sam. 17:43, Goliath, upon seeing David armed with a slingshot, says
"Am I a dog, that you comest to me with staves?", and the text then adds:
“וַיְקַלֵּל הַפְּלִשְׁתִּי אֶת-דָּוִד בֵּאלֹהָיו” – "and the Philistine
cursed David by his …. So that's my question: Did Goliath curse David by his
(Goliath's) gods, or by his (David's) God". The Hebrew אלהיו is plural in
form, but the Bible often uses the plural form אלהים when referring to the
one God of Israel. So the text could mean either. What do you think?


2. After killing Goliath, David cut off his head. Then, according to verse
54, "And David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem,
and he put his vessels in his tent". Why in the world would David run to
Jerusalem (which at the time was ruled by the Jebusites) with a bloody head?
Especially if in verse 57 he is still on the battlefield, and still has the
head! And by the way, whose tent?


So – what do y'all think?



Yigal Levin


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