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The Battle of David vs Goliath








Once, in the reign of Saul, the Jews had a war with the Philistines. When the troops stood against each other, a giant named Goliath stepped out of the Philistine camp. He shouted to the Jews: "Why should we all fight? let one of you come out against me, and if he kills me, the Philistines will be your slaves; if I overcome him and kill him, then you will be our slaves." For forty days, morning and evening, this giant came out and laughed at the Jews, blaspheming the army of the living God. King Saul promised a great reward to those who defeat Goliath, but none of the Jews dared to oppose the giant.


At this time, David came to the Jewish camp to visit his older brothers and brought them food from his father. Hearing the words of Goliath, David volunteered to fight this giant and asked the king to let him.


But Saul said to him: "You are still young, but he is strong and has been used to war since childhood."


David answered: "When I pastured the sheep with my father, it happened that a lion or a bear would come and take the sheep away from the flock; I overtook him and pulled the sheep out of the pasture, and if he rushed at me, then I killed him. If the Lord had first saved me from the lion and the bear, he will save me now from this Philistine."


Saul agreed and said, "Go, and the Lord be with you."


David put five smooth stones in his shepherd's bag, took a sling, that is, a stick adapted for throwing stones, and went to the battle against Goliath. Goliath looked at David with contempt, because he was very young, and mockingly said: "Am I a dog, why are you going at me with stones and a stick?"


David answered: "You go against me with a sword, a spear, and a shield, and I go against you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, which you reproached. The Lord will help me, and the whole earth will know that the Lord does not save with a sword and a spear".


And so, when Goliath began to approach, David hurried to meet him, put a stone in his sling and let it go at the giant. The stone hit him right in the forehead. Goliath fell unconscious to the ground. David ran up to Goliath, pulled out his sword, and cut off his head with his weapon. Seeing this, the Philistines, terrified, fled, and the Israelites drove them to their very cities and killed many.


Saul made David a general. Then he married his daughter to him.


When Saul and David returned from victory, Jewish women came out to meet them singing and dancing, and exclaimed: "Saul defeated thousands, and David - tens of thousands!" This was unpleasant for King Saul, he became jealous of the glory of David and planned to kill him. David went into the wilderness and hid from Saul until his death.




One of the greatest biblical stories, the battle of David and Goliath, has recently received new references regarding its existence, following new findings discovered in the biblical city of "Gat Plishtim", also known as Tel Tzafit.

For 23 years Prof. Aharon Meir from Bar Ilan University has been excavating in Gath - one of the five Philistine cities in the area of ​​the southern coastal plain and the territory of the tribe of Judah more than 3000 years ago. In the past, Prof. Meir discovered findings from the time of the Canaanite kingdom to the days of King Hazel of Aram, who destroyed the city in 830 BC, in an event mentioned in the book of Kings. Until now, it was believed that Gat reached its peak in the 10th century BC - a period Kingdom of David and Solomon.

However, during the last excavation season that ended in the summer, Prof. Meir's team of diggers discovered evidence that the city of Gat was even larger before the 10th century, probably in the 11th-12th century (Early Iron Age) as well as before the story of David and Goliath which probably took place in The 10th century. According to the latest findings, the size of Gat during Goliath's time in the 11th century was about 500 dunams - twice as large as any Philistine city in the area - and the stones used to build the city were also larger - up to two meters per stone - than half a meter in later periods.

"We know that Tel Tzafit is "Gat Phlishtim" - the home of Goliath - and for years we thought that the site reached its peak in the 10th century CE,"! Prof. Meir, "but we discovered that the city is even bigger than we thought and built monumentally. Therefore, it is possible that in the Bible, in the context of Goliath and in the context of other figures in Gath who are described as giants, they did not live, but it was a mythology that came later, but the question is how that mythology grew."


According to the book of Joshua, chapter 11/22, Gat is one of the three Philistine cities where giants remained, after Joshua cut them down throughout Israel: "There are no giants left in the land of the children of Israel: only, in Gaza, in Gat, and Ashdod ." Following the revelation of the new size of the city, Meir proposes a theory according to which the people of Judah, who arrived in the area after Gat was destroyed by Hazal, saw its remains which included large fortifications built of large stones - and gave an interpretation that these large remains were built by giants who could move large stones.


According to him, this interpretation, which attributes the construction of large sites to giants, is not new and is drawn from different cultures throughout the ancient period. "We have examples of this from other ancient cultures, such as in ancient Greece where they saw the Mycenaean culture and its type of construction as cyclopean construction (giant human-like creatures with one eye from Greek mythology). This is also true for other cultures, for example, the pyramids that they considered Were built by people from outer space," explains Meir.

"The impressive remains of Gath are probably what led to this myth, and we have no such parallels in other Philistine cities," says Meir. "When Hazael destroyed the city, a large part of it was not resettled, so people thought for years that the large fortifications belonged to giants and that only they were able to move and lift these large stones." From this, the residents of Judah who lived in Geth during the time of Hezekiah (8th century BC) and after the time of Goliath concluded that giants did indeed live in ancient Gat.




Tel Azeka is the name of the site where the battle took place, All the way to the top of the hill you can enter the atmosphere of the story with quotes that will accompany you from the preparations for the battle to the moment of truth itself. In the place, you will find a very nice sitting area between almond trees, a model with information about the structure of the Israeli lowland, and an interesting sundial. Tel Azeka is in Britannia Park and offers plenty of trails and picnic areas for travelers.






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