Goliath is a biblical character. He was a soldier-giant from the city of Gat and a champion of the Philistine army , who was killed by David by beheading him, as mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible , in the First Book of Samuel .
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- 1 Features
- 2 Combat
- 3 Popular culture
- 4 Sources
Goliath was extraordinarily high for the average even by current standards, measuring six cubits and one span (2.9m). His copper chain mail weighed 5,000 shekels (57 kg), and the iron blade of his spear 600 shekels (6.8 kg) (1Sa 17: 4, 5, 7). He was one of the Refaim, and may have been a mercenary soldier in the Philistine army (1Ch 20: 5, 8; see REFAIM). It should be noted that the height described in the Bible about Goliath is approximately 2.90 meters; while Robert Wadlow, who holds the Guinness World Record for tallest man in modern history, measured 2.72 meters at the age of 22.
Not long after Samuel anointed David , and once the spirit of God had left King Saul (1Sa 16:13, 14), the Philistines gathered to wage war against Israel. in Socoh, and they camped at Efes-damim. When the battle lines of the Philistines and Saul’s army met head-on on either side of the valley, the gigantic warrior Goliath left the Philistine camp and loudly challenged Israel to present a man who was fighting with him in a Melee combat, the result of which would determine which army would become the servant of the other. For forty days Goliath challenged the terrified army of Israel every morning and evening. However, no Israelite soldier was brave enough to accept such a challenge (1Sa 17: 1-11, 16).
By challenging God’s armies, Goliath opens a new chapter in Israel’s history. A shepherd boy named David from the tribe of Judah, who was prodigal in talents and good looks, and upon whom was the spirit of God, met his challenge. Goliath, preceded by his squire, advanced, invoking evil against David by his gods. To this David replied: You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you with the name of the God of hosts, the God of the battle lines of Israel, whom you have challenged with derision. When David threw a stone at him with his centrifuge sling, it sank into his forehead and Goliath fell to the ground. Then, David stood on Goliath and with the sword of the giant cut off his head. This was followed by a notable defeat and a great massacre ofPhilistines (1Sa 17:26, 41-53). So David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem, and put his weapons in his tent (1Sa 17:54). Although it is true that David did not take the fortress of Zion until a later time (2Sa 5: 7), the city of Jerusalem had long been inhabited by Israelites and Jebusites (Jos 15:63; Jud 1: 8). It seems that later on, David left Goliath’s sword in the sanctuary, as indicated by the one given to him by the priest Abimelech when he fled from Saul (1Sa 21: 8, 9).
Goliath, generally portrayed as a hero, and as a positive figure (and not as the Bible portrays him negatively), appeared in several Italian epic action-adventure films, or peplum. Steve Reeves made the 1959 film Goliath and the Barbarians . The success of this film led producers to make their sequels Goliath Against the Giants .