How did David slay Goliath

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Bootjack | Forum Activity | Posted: Sun, Jan 13 2013 11:53 AM

1Sam 17:49-50 states David killed the giant with the single stone. How then are we to understand vs 51 that says he slew him by cutting off his head.

How are we to understand this - especially vs 51.

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Scott E. Mahle | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 1:16 PM

A cursory view of any commentaries you have will reveal some interesting items you may wish to spend more time studying. One, the UBS Handbook, states, “This verse [verse 50], which is a kind of summary statement, is missing in the Septuagint. MFT and NAB place the entire verse within square brackets, indicating that the translators regard the verse to be a later addition to the Hebrew text.

 

Omanson, R. L., & Ellington, J. (2001). A handbook on the first book of Samuel. UBS Handbook Series (380). New York: United Bible Societies.

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Liam | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 1:16 PM

Bootjack:
How then are we to understand vs 51

Bootjack, as far as I understand this verse it's talking about after Goliath was dead David took Goliath's sword and cut off his head.

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Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 1:17 PM

But the question still is - was Goliath slain in vs 49- 50 or actually taken out in vs 51. It appears he was killed by the stone no doubt but then the word *slew* is used again in vs 51 as to imply he was killed by removing his head. Which is it and does it the word slew in vs 51 simply mean in this case, he cut off his head. Both words *slew* in vs 50 & 51 are the same in the original.

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 1:22 PM

Bootjack:

1Sam 17:49-50 states David killed the giant with the single stone. How then are we to understand vs 51 that says he slew him by cutting off his head.

How are we to understand this - especially vs 51.

What translation are you reading that says he slew him by cutting off his head? It might be helpful to look at that verse in different translations. Here are a few that might shed some light on how we can understand v. 51:

CEB: Then David ran and stood over the Philistine. He grabbed the Philistine’s sword, drew it from its sheath, and finished him off. Then David cut off the Philistine’s head with the sword. When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they fled. 

GW: David ran and stood over the Philistine. He took Goliath’s sword, pulled it out of its sheath, and made certain the Philistine was dead by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw their hero had been killed, they fled. 

The Message: Then David ran up to the Philistine and stood over him, pulled the giant’s sword from its sheath, and finished the job by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their great champion was dead, they scattered, running for their lives.

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Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 1:32 PM

I'm reading from the KJV - which states, " ...took his sword and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew (killed) him and cut off his head" ... but again, if you notice vs 50, it is said, "So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote (kill) hi: but there was no sword in the hand of David" ... which seems to say that the giant was actually killed without a sword.

So could that suggest that vs 51 is simply saying in the words "slew him and cut off his head" that he simply was beheaded, the word *slew* meaning just that. Your furthered thoughts are going to be appreciated I'm sure. Thanks!

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 2:00 PM

Here's a perfect application for the Exegetical Guide. Run it on 1 Sam 17:51.

Many different lexicons provide insight into that word which KJV translates slew. Not sure which of these you have in your Library:

HALOT gives the definition "make a full end of" particularly for that verse:

So, apparently the word "slew" in verse 50 left Goliath in the Monty Pythonesque "I'm not dead yet" state.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh8mNjeuyV4

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Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 2:05 PM

That's helpful Rosie. Your quotes are appreciated muchly.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 2:45 PM

Bootjack:
But the question still is - was Goliath slain in vs 49- 50 or actually taken out in vs 51.

Given that we still have trouble defining point of death with accuracy ....

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 3:01 PM

Is that it? No one's got anything better?

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 3:03 PM

Scott E. Mahle:

A cursory view of any commentaries you have will reveal some interesting items you may wish to spend more time studying. One, the UBS Handbook, states, “This verse [verse 50], which is a kind of summary statement, is missing in the Septuagint. MFT and NAB place the entire verse within square brackets, indicating that the translators regard the verse to be a later addition to the Hebrew text.

Omanson, R. L., & Ellington, J. (2001). A handbook on the first book of Samuel. UBS Handbook Series (380). New York: United Bible Societies.

Nonsense. They just don't know what to do with it.

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Jonathan Pitts | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 3:30 PM

I may have a different approach to interpreting scripture to you, but I'll try to help.

Can I suggest that neither the author of 1 Samuel nor David knew at exactly which moment Goliath died? No post-mortem examination was performed, and their understanding of function and dysfunction of the brain was very limited.

Even today I, as a doctor, would find it very difficult to say exactly when someone with the type of brain injury likely to have been caused by David's stone died. Determining time of death after decapitation with a sword is a little easier.

This is my guess (and it is no more than that): Gigantism is caused by a growth-hormone-secreting tumour in the pituitary gland, situated just underneath the brain. If it is a large tumour (which it isn't always), it can press on another structure underneath the brain, the optic chiasm. This is where some of the nerve fibres coming from the eyes cross over the midline to be processed in the opposite side of the brain. The result of damage to the optic chiasm is bitemporal hemianopia: inability to see the outer parts (to the left and right) of the field of vision, with preservation of central vision.

This visual field field defect would make Goliath vulnerable to stones coming at him from the side. Assuming that David was right handed, his best approach would have been to aim his stone at Goliath's left temple (which is included in the meaning of the Hebrew word usually translated forehead). Not only is this the thinnest part of the skull, but just inside is the middle meningeal artery and its branches, making serious bleeding inside the skull (an extradural haematoma) quite likely. Such a sequence of events might fell Goliath and even render him unconscious immediately, but it might (or might not) take a few minutes for the pressure inside his head to affect the brainstem, responsible for breathing and circulation. We would only really regard him as dead once his heart stopped (along with signs that his brain wasn't functioning).

So Goliath may still have been alive when he fell, but he would have died fairly swiftly after his head was removed.

I suggest that you interpret verse 50 less literally. Its point is not when the death occurred but that little David was able to go out against the big, well-armed Goliath with just his sling and no sword and, none the less, defeat and kill him, by the grace of God.

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Edwin Bowden | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 3:41 PM

Jonathan Pitts:
I suggest that you interpret verse 50 less literally. Its point is not when the death occurred but that little David was able to go out against the big, well-armed Goliath with just his sling and no sword and, none the less, defeat and kill him, by the grace of God.

Yes PTL!

 

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alabama24 | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 3:45 PM

Jonathan - thanks for the fascinating perspective. Smile

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Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 4:23 PM

Thank you again folks for the helpful replies. From a medical view Jonathan, this is quite helpful indeed. Appreciated!

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 4:33 PM

Jonathan Pitts:
I suggest that you interpret verse 50 less literally. Its point is not when the death occurred but that little David was able to go out against the big, well-armed Goliath with just his sling and no sword and, none the less, defeat and kill him, by the grace of God.

Peace, Jonathan!         *smile*                            Thank you so very much indeed!                            Truly appreciated!

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 5:12 PM

Bootjack ... don't leave your archaelogy dudes out in the cold. 'Slingers' could heft a lot of firepower, and southern Israel had trouble locating swords (according to our good friend Samuel).


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Erwin Stull, Sr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 5:42 PM

The way I understand 1Sam 17:49-51 KJV as read, David hit Goliath with the stone. Goliath fell to the ground (may have been knocked out, not yet dead). David took Goliath own sword and cut off his head (which ensured death).

 

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Bootjack | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 13 2013 6:13 PM

DMB - the only one that was left out in the cold was Goliath - modern day & loose paraphrase, "knocked out cold"!!!!!

It still is interesting how vs 50 reads, that he was killed without a sword in his hand and yet we are told he was killed in the following verse. I think I could be happy though, with what Rosie and Jonathan have pointed out - that he was literally finished off in vs 51.

I've appreciated the help on this! Thank you again!!!

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