Suffering and Deliverance (Part 17) - David and Goliath (Part A)Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Sunday, July 25, 2021.
15. David from Goliath A. Goliath was a champion of the Philistines who was six cubits and a span tall (1Sa 17:4). i. Cubit n. - 1. The part of the arm from the elbow downward; the forearm. 2. An ancient measure of length derived from the forearm; varying at different times and places, but usually about 18–22 inches. ii. Span n. - 1. a. The distance from the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger, or sometimes to the tip of the forefinger, when the hand is fully extended; the space equivalent to this taken as a measure of length, averaging nine inches. iii. Using an 18 inch cubit and a 9 inch span, Goliath would have been 9ft 9in tall. iv. Using a 22 inch cubit and a 9 inch span, Goliath would have been 11ft 9in tall. v. The tallest man in medical history is Robert Perishing Wadlow who was 8ft 11.1in tall. (https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/tallest-man-ever) vii. Goliath was approximately 1-3 feet taller than Wadlow. viii. Goliath would have been between 4-6 feet taller than David if he was of average height. B. Goliath was well armed. i. He had a helmet made of brass (1Sa 17:5). ii. He was armed with a coat of mail that weighed 5,000 shekels of brass (1Sa 17:5). a. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Shekel weighs 1/60th of a Mina which is equivalent to one pound. Therefore, a Shekel weighs 1/60th of a pound. (i) Shekel n. - 1. a. An ancient unit of weight of the Babylonians, and hence of the Phœnicians, Hebrews, and others, equal to one-sixtieth of a mina (see mina 1). (ii) Mina n. - 1. A unit of weight anciently used in Western Asia, Greece, and Egypt. In Greek-speaking countries it contained 100 drachmas; it varied according to locality and time, but was not far from 1 lb. avoirdupois [standard American pound]; 100 minas made a talent. In Assyria and Babylonia there seem to have been two different minas, one being double of the other. (iii) Using this definition of a Shekel, Goliath's coat of mail weighed approximately 83.33lbs (5,000 shekels / 60 shekels/lb). b. According to the Unger's Bible Dictionary, a Shekel weighs ten pennyweights in English (see Metrology, III. (1) Shekel). (i) According to Wikipedia, a Pennyweight is 0.054857 avoirdupois [standard] ounces. (Pennyweight, Wikipedia) (ii) Using this definition of a Shekel, Goliath's coat of mail weighed approximately 171.43lbs ((5,000 shekels x 10 pennyweights/shekel x 0.054857 oz/pennyweight) / 16 oz/lb). c. Depending on the weight of the shekel, Goliath's coat of mail weighed between 83.33lbs and 171.43lbs. d. Needless to say, he was a very large and heavily armored man. iii. He had greaves of brass upon his legs and a target of brass between his shoulders (1Sa 17:6). a. Greave n. - 1. Armour for the leg below the knee. b. Target n. - 1. A light round shield or buckler; a small targe. c. He was well armed and protected. iv. The staff of his spear was like a weaver's beam (1Sa 17:7). a. Beam - A part of a loom, used in comparison to indicate the great size of the spears carried by the enemy soldiers who were defeated by the heroes of Israel (1 S. 17:7; 2 S. 21:19; 1Ch. 11:23; 20:5). (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) b. Goliath's spear was huge. c. It has been estimated to have been over 12 feet long. (i) "Based off the looms used in that time period, it would be common for a weaver’s beam to be 2 to 2 1/2" inches thick and more than 5 feet long." (https://www.goliathsspear.com/weavers-beam) (ii) "For the physics of our Goliath’s spear beam to work properly with a 16lb 11oz spear head and the height of Goliath, we choose a 10’ length 2in diameter pole, including a 6lb 1.2oz counterweight, giving our spear a total length of 12 ft 7in. This is not to say the spear could not have been even longer. The Bible doesn’t give us the exact length. However, the length we calculated for our replica would allow Goliath to have a center of balance to hold the spear easily with one hand about 62 inches from the tip. This would allow him to thrust it directly at the enemy to achieve the best leverage and killing force." (Ibid) v. His spear's head weighed 600 shekels of iron (1Sa 17:7). a. According to the definition of a shekel in the OED (see above) the head of Goliath's spear weighed 10lbs (600 shekels / 60 shekels/lb). b. According to the definition of a shekel in Unger's Bible Dictionary (see above) the head of Goliath's spear weighed 20.6lbs ((600 shekels x 10 pennyweights/shekel x 0.054857 oz/pennyweight) / 16 oz/lb). c. Depending on the weight of the shekel, Goliath's spear head weighed between 10lbs and 20.6lbs. d. In other words, his spear weighed as much as 1-2 sledge hammers. vi. He had a servant bearing a shield in front of him (1Sa 17:7). vii. It should be very obvious by now that Goliath was an enormous giant who was heavily armed and protected. C. Goliath taunted Israel, challenging them to fight with him (1Sa 17:8-10). D. Saul and all Israel were dismayed and greatly afraid of the giant (1Sa 17:11). i. Dismayed ppl. - Overwhelmed with fear, etc.; appalled. ii. Fear n. - 1. In OE.: A sudden and terrible event; peril. 2. a. The emotion of pain or uneasiness caused by the sense of impending danger, or by the prospect of some possible evil. Now the general term for all degrees of the emotion; in early use applied to its more violent extremes, now denoted by alarm, terror, fright, dread. In 14th c. sometimes pleonastically dread and fear. iii. Afraid adj. - 1. As pple. Alarmed, frightened; hence as adj., In a state of fear or apprehension, moved or actuated by fear. iv. Greatly adv. - 1. To a great extent, in a great degree; extensively, exceedingly; highly; much, very. E. David went to take food to his brothers who were fighting the Philistines and saw Goliath defying the armies of God, and he was indignant (1Sa 17:26). F. He went before Saul and volunteered to fight Goliath (1Sa 17:32). i. Saul scoffed at the idea of David fighting Goliath because he was a youth (1Sa 17:33). a. Youth n. - 1. a. The fact or state of being young; youngness. (Often blending with sense 2.) 2. a. The time when one is young; the early part or period of life; more specifically, the period from puberty till the attainment of full growth, between childhood and adult age. b. David was a stripling (1Sa 17:56). c. Stripling n. - 1. A youth, one just passing from boyhood to manhood. d. David was not going to let Saul despise his youth (1Ti 4:12). ii. David made his case for why he was qualified to fight the giant based on his past experience. a. He told of a time when a lion and a bear attacked his flock and he defended the sheep and killed the attackers (1Sa 17:34-35). b. David reasoned that since God delivered him out of paws of the lion and bear that he would deliver him out of the hand of Goliath (1Sa 17:36-37). c. David was walking by faith believing that God would save him presently because he had saved him in the past (2Co 1:10). d. The apostle Paul likewise concluded that because God delivered him out of the mouth of the lion that he would deliver him from every evil work (2Ti 4:17-18). e. This is a principle that Israel should have been familiar with (Deut 1:30). iii. Saul gave David permission to fight the Philistine and gave him armor, a helmet, a coat of mail, and a sword, but David put them off because he had not proved them (1Sa 17:38-39). a. This was wise for a couple of reasons. b. Firstly, we should prove things before we hold fast to them (Eph 5:10; 1Th 5:21). c. Secondly, we should not rely on our weapons for protection, but on God's help and protection (1Sa 17:47; Psa 20:7; Psa 33:16-19; Psa 44:6-7; Pro 21:31; 2Ch 13:15, 18; 2Ch 20:15; Isa 31:1).
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