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Thread: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

  1. #1

    How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.

    Every picture I have ever seen of this shows David holding the head by the hair. But that doesn't make sense to me. According to the record Goliath was a military man from his youth. Military men have crew cuts so that you can't grab their hair in a fight. Second, David has returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, this was a sword fight chasing them for miles. It must have been several hours. Surely Goliath's hair would not have held up to a sword in a sword fight. Third, Goliath was wearing armor, including a helmet. You would have to take the helmet off to hold the head by the hair. But if you are going to use the head as a shield in one hand it would be better to leave the helmet on.

    I believe the only reasonable answer is that David held the head by the neck. But, if that is the case then you have to carefully and precisely sever it at the collar bone. This is not some kid running up and chopping the head off, this is planned. David had intended to use the head as a shield. Why? Visualize the harmless shepherd boy a few seconds later holding Goliath's head in one hand, his sword in the other and covered in blood. He doesn't look like a harmless little shepherd boy anymore, he looks like a bloody monster, hence the Philistines fled.

    But this creates a whole new problem -- does anyone really think that David could have come up with that plan alone?

    15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.
    16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

    For forty days David is going back and forth from the camp to his father, Jesse. So when his oldest brother accuses him of spying out the situation it was true, David didn't deny it, he simply said "is there not a cause". I think that David and Jesse worked on the plan, and they also trained -- just like David said to Saul when he said he couldn't use Saul's armor and sword because he hadn't trained with them. He has trained to kill Goliath, but not by using Saul's armor. However, the plan did include using Goliath's head and sword.

  2. #2
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    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Can you post some of your findings about the hair length of ancient Philistine warriors?
    Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

  3. #3

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Can you post some of your findings about the hair length of ancient Philistine warriors? -- ChangedbyHim

    I don't. Wouldn't matter. You could never prove that Goliath didn't have hair long enough to hold. That is not the point. The point is that it is extremely unlikely, if not impossible. Not just if the hair were too short, but also because the hair would not have held up during several hours of sword fighting.

    On the other hand the neck would work regardless of how long his hair was, regardless of how inconvenient the helmet made it, and it would have been the perfect handhold during the sword fight, holding up for hours.

  4. #4

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    This may seem like a trivial question, but I think it gives us two radically different views of David, Jesse, and what is involved in training someone to be an overcomer.

    The typical exposition is that David was just a kid, kills a giant, chops off his head, and is now engaged to the King's daughter, living in the Palace, soon to be king.

    But that doesn't make sense on many, many levels. For example, David "came and went" so he was on Israel's side of the battle, and no doubt he saw Goliath coming out into the field in his armor, challenging the Israelites for 40 days. But if he is in his armor a hundred yards away how would you even know if the hair were long enough?

    On the other hand, if David is spying out the situation, going home and talking it over with Jesse and planning on how to defeat Goliath (after all he has been anointed by Samuel and should feel responsible to lead the Israelites to freedom) then they planned on using Goliath's head and sword. Then you see the strategy. He appears as a harmless shepherd boy, not a fighter, standard "Art of War" strategy to make the opponent underestimate you. But we know this isn't true, he killed a bear and a lion with his bare hands (perhaps with a knife). Sounds like he was a real fighter, the whole "shepherd boy" is an act. Kills Goliath in a matter of 30 seconds, cuts off his head, and now we see a killer holding the sword in one hand, the head in the other, and covered in blood. Terrifying and confusing the Philistines all at once, causing them to flee.

    Everyone is focused on Goliath, but the strategy was focused on how to defeat the Philistines who were enslaving the Israelites.

    To me this is a very different and far more realistic view of David and of Jesse.

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    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by znpaaneah View Post
    Can you post some of your findings about the hair length of ancient Philistine warriors? -- ChangedbyHim

    I don't. Wouldn't matter. You could never prove that Goliath didn't have hair long enough to hold. That is not the point. The point is that it is extremely unlikely, if not impossible. Not just if the hair were too short, but also because the hair would not have held up during several hours of sword fighting.

    On the other hand the neck would work regardless of how long his hair was, regardless of how inconvenient the helmet made it, and it would have been the perfect handhold during the sword fight, holding up for hours.
    It doesn’t matter?? Your whole theory starts with he couldn’t have held the head by the hair since it was shaved down.

    This isn’t a legitimate discussion.
    Some people don't mind contradicting themselves as long as they can keep disagreeing with you...

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    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Originally Posted by znpaaneah

    57 And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.

    Every picture I have ever seen of this shows David holding the head by the hair. But that doesn't make sense to me. According to the record Goliath was a military man from his youth. Military men have crew cuts so that you can't grab their hair in a fight. Second, David has returned from the slaughter of the Philistines, this was a sword fight chasing them for miles. It must have been several hours. Surely Goliath's hair would not have held up to a sword in a sword fight. Third, Goliath was wearing armor, including a helmet. You would have to take the helmet off to hold the head by the hair. But if you are going to use the head as a shield in one hand it would be better to leave the helmet on.

    I believe the only reasonable answer is that David held the head by the neck. But, if that is the case then you have to carefully and precisely sever it at the collar bone. This is not some kid running up and chopping the head off, this is planned. David had intended to use the head as a shield. Why? Visualize the harmless shepherd boy a few seconds later holding Goliath's head in one hand, his sword in the other and covered in blood. He doesn't look like a harmless little shepherd boy anymore, he looks like a bloody monster, hence the Philistines fled.

    But this creates a whole new problem -- does anyone really think that David could have come up with that plan alone?

    15 But David went and returned from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem.
    16 And the Philistine drew near morning and evening, and presented himself forty days.

    For forty days David is going back and forth from the camp to his father, Jesse. So when his oldest brother accuses him of spying out the situation it was true, David didn't deny it, he simply said "is there not a cause". I think that David and Jesse worked on the plan, and they also trained -- just like David said to Saul when he said he couldn't use Saul's armor and sword because he hadn't trained with them. He has trained to kill Goliath, but not by using Saul's armor. However, the plan did include using Goliath's head and sword.


    Z, start a study concerning what kind of helmet the Philistines wore, especially any "hero" warrior. Scripture mentions the type of metal, so this is vague. A "historic or archeology" study will illuminate more about the helmet.

    Gonna give you two clues too

    1) Most Philistines were actually shaved bald (face too), not just a crew cut.
    2) Their armor and helmets design, is Egyptian based.

    Once you complete such a study, understanding the scriptures will be easy to accept.
    Slug1--out

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    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Goliath was a giant. David likely wrapped his arm around the severed head and carried it pressed to his side. The head could reasonably have been as large as David's torso.

    The sword in David's other hand would have served as a counter-weight.

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    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    He could have held it by the hair, by sticking his fingers into the eye sockets, or holding upside down using the lower jaw.
    James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

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    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    He could have held it by the hair, by sticking his fingers into the eye sockets, or holding upside down using the lower jaw.
    This has to be one of the more unique topics I've seen posted in a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    He could have held it by the hair, by sticking his fingers into the eye sockets, or holding upside down using the lower jaw.
    This has to be one of the more unique topics I've seen posted in a long time.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    Ecc 7:10

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  10. #10

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    David slew Goliath in the valley....the choldren ofmisrael and Judah pursued the philistine armies ....David slaughtered and returned for killing the philistine ....Goliath , thier champion ....against Gods chosen ....how did he carry the head ? Could have been in a bag or anything really it just says he took it to Jerusalem , put his armor in his tent and abner took him to Saul holding the head ....see David was down there with Goliath when he fell the Israeli army then pursued the fleeing philistines ....I read it as David did what he said , when he dropped Goliath , everyone saw God is with them thier little shepherd boy ...killed our mighty giant our man of war ...but David had faith ....in truth he held goliaths head in his hands ....before he ever slung the stone , David already knew what was about to go down ...no doubt , ....to have faith to slay the Giants in our own lives......notice David makes it all about " My God who you are offending is with me , you have no chance " and makes it about God will be glorified in the sight of all ....

    “And David said to Saul, Let no man's heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.

    And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:

    Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.

    ...Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee;

    and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.

    ....So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

    And David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem; but he put his armour in his tent.

    ...And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.”
    **1 Samuel‬ *17:32-34, 36-37, 45-47, 50-51, 54, 57‬ *KJV‬‬

    often the biblical stories we read sort of split for a moment , and then go back to tell us the other side . In this case David goes down with the Lord to meet Goliath and deliver Israel , David then it seems inspires the army theirs to flee and Israels to pursue . I'd say David probably wasn't in on the army pursuit , but just won the battle by slating Goliath and crushing them by his faith in Gods ability.

    I'm not positive but I don't epread it like David carried the head through a battle and used it like a shield and Goliath had no hair and all that . I think David slew the giant , the army slaughtered thier a and then they all returned together , David then is led to Saul by abner .....seems perfectly in order honestly

  11. #11

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ChangedByHim View Post
    It doesn’t matter?? Your whole theory starts with he couldn’t have held the head by the hair since it was shaved down.

    This isn’t a legitimate discussion.
    It isn't a legitimate discussion if you don't read the entire post. No research could prove how long Goliath's hair is. There is no mention in the record as to how David held the head, only that he held it all the way through the battle with one hand. Also we don't know if David removed the helmet from his head, only that he was wearing armor. What can be said is that if he held the head by the neck then that would have been a strong handle, it would have been quite effective as a shield, especially if he left the helmet on, it is reasonable that it would hold up for the entire battle, and he would have had to have cut the neck very carefully and precisely.

  12. #12

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    Z, start a study concerning what kind of helmet the Philistines wore, especially any "hero" warrior. Scripture mentions the type of metal, so this is vague. A "historic or archeology" study will illuminate more about the helmet.

    Gonna give you two clues too

    1) Most Philistines were actually shaved bald (face too), not just a crew cut.
    2) Their armor and helmets design, is Egyptian based.

    Once you complete such a study, understanding the scriptures will be easy to accept.
    The Biblical account says it was a bronze helmet. The description matched archaeological finds during the bronze age, there are a variety of styles for these helmets, but in every case they cover the head with bronze.

    Interesting that you say the Philistines shaved their face, again, not what is depicted in the art work. Our idea that he held his head by the hair is strongly influenced by artistic drawings and is not in any way based on the Biblical account.

  13. #13

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by IMINXTC View Post
    Goliath was a giant. David likely wrapped his arm around the severed head and carried it pressed to his side. The head could reasonably have been as large as David's torso.

    The sword in David's other hand would have served as a counter-weight.
    True, he could have. But he then pursues the Philistines fighting a battle with them. Doesn't seem like a very effective way to fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    He could have held it by the hair, by sticking his fingers into the eye sockets, or holding upside down using the lower jaw.
    He could have also held it by an ear. Still the neck seems to me to be the best approach.

  14. #14

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Follower1977 View Post
    ...And as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, Abner took him, and brought him before Saul with the head of the Philistine in his hand.”
    **1 Samuel‬ *17:32-34, 36-37, 45-47, 50-51, 54, 57‬ *KJV‬‬
    This says "as David returned from the slaughter of the Philistines" so according to the record he did go after them and not just to chase them but to slaughter them. Also, "as David returned" he is taken to see Saul, and the head is in his hand. That seems pretty clear that he must have held it from the time he cut it off till then.

  15. #15

    Re: How did David hold Goliath's head in his hand?

    Quote Originally Posted by teddyv View Post
    This has to be one of the more unique topics I've seen posted in a long time.
    I have always been bothered by the depiction of Jesse not liking his son and treating him disrespectfully. I always felt there was very poor Biblical basis for this. Throughout the Bible Jesse as the root of David is spoken with great respect. Samuel, a great prophet, highly respected in the Bible, looks at his sons and thinks that everyone appears to a king.

    The account is very clear that David went back and forth from the battle to his father's sheep for 40 days while Goliath challenged them. David's older brother says he knows that David is spying out the situation. David doesn't deny it, rather says "is there not a cause".

    David has killed a lion, a bear, a giant, and in a very short while will go and kill 200 Philistines. At what point do we look at all the evidence and realize his appearance to Goliath as a harmless shepherd boy was simply "Art of War" 101.

    Now if David was a tennis player with a room full of trophies everyone would ask who his coach was. That to me is the point of the question "whose son is this?"

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