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

JP van de Giessen vdgiessen at solcon.nl
Thu Aug 1 10:38:28 EDT 2013

Hi Yigal,

Here my 2 cents:

In all Dutch translations it's translated "his gods" ie. the gods of Goliath see also vs. 45 where David as contrast says I come in the name of HaShem/G'd.

Jerusalem 1) an anachronism, or 2) as a kind of warning he will conquer it in the future.

My questions:
in vs 50 and 51 both vss. "he killed him" so he killed Goliath twice? If David didn't kill Goliath with his stone, it's logical he killed him with the sword.
in vs 49 ’el-miṣəḥwō "in his (for)head", throwing a stone with a sling is very fast and I've seen a Persian reenactor slinging a stone through 2.5 cm wood from a distance of 50 meter. Further he gave also the following demonstration by shooting with a pistol on security glass (distance 30 m), the bullet didn't go through the glass. After this he did it with his sling and the stone went through the glass. This man said he could hit a luciferbox (3x5 cm) from 90 m (!!) My question, if David was a good with his sling, why didn't he kill Goliath directly and why was the head of Goliath not pulverized. Why didn't Goliath fall backwards instead of forwards.
Or is ’el-miṣəḥwō not his head but something else, like his shinguard (ie. the greaves of brass upon his legs) in that case he would fall forwards.

Jan Pieter van de Giessen

On Thu, 01 Aug 2013 16:23:51 +0300, Yigal Levin wrote
> 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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