Goliath

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Goliath (Hebrew: גָּלְיָת, Modern Golyat Tiberian Golyāṯ; Arabic: جالوت , Ǧālūt (Qur’anic term), جليات Ǧulyāt (Christian term)), known also as Goliath of Gath (one of five city states of the Philistines), is a figure in the Hebrew Bible (Christian Old Testament). Described as a giant Philistine warrior, he is famous for his combat with the young David, the future king of Israel. The battle between them is described in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and, more briefly, in the Qur'an.

Post-Classical Jewish traditions stressed Goliath’s status as the representative of paganism, in contrast to David, the champion of the God of Israel. Christian tradition gave him a distinctively Christian twist, seeing in David’s battle with Goliath the Church’s struggle against Satan.[1]

Contents

The story

The account of the battle between David and Goliath is given in 1 Samuel, chapter 17.[2] Saul and the Israelites are facing the Philistines at the Valley of Elah. Twice a day for forty days, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, comes out between the lines and challenges the Israelites to send out a champion of their own to decide the outcome in single combat. However, Saul and all the other Israelites are afraid of him. By chance, David is present, having brought food for his elder brothers. Told that Saul has promised to reward any man who defeats Goliath, David accepts the challenge. Saul reluctantly agrees and offers his armor, which David declines, taking only his sling and five stones chosen in a brook.

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