All posts tagged: Goliath

81 | The Bible and its GIANTS: What does archaeology have to say

In this podcast, I discuss the several mentions of giants found throughout the Old Testament. Of course, atheists, and their ilk, enjoy mocking the Bible and the Christian faith because of these giants, referring to them as little more than myths. But is there any historical and archaeological evidence that these giants existed.

Anthropology confirms the Bible’s description of a race of GIANTS

As we read the Bible, we find several mentions of giant men. Of course, the most famous of these was Goliath. Throughout history, there have been stories of giant people. The Guinness Book of Records states that the tallest man on record was an Illinois man, Robert Pershing Wadlow, who grew to a size of 8’11”. In this instance, Wadlow’s giant size was due to problems with his pituitary gland that resulted in an inordinate release of growth hormones. Reports suggest that Wadlow was still growing when he died at 22 years of age in 1940 due to an infection. But as we look at the Biblical record, we see that the Bible was not talking about one offs, a person here or there who reached extraordinary size due to glandular problems, it talked about a race(s) of giants known as the Nephilim. The first reference to the Nephilim is found in the Book of Genesis, in the lead up to the worldwide flood: 4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when …

Arrowheads discovered confirming ancient battle for the Philistine city of Gath

For Bible readers, the Philistine city of Gath is best known as the home town of Goliath, a 9+ foot giant in the Philistine army who was taken down by a young boy, named David, with a sling (1 Samuel 17:4). It was also the city that Joshua had earlier described the city as being home to giants (Joshua 11:22). Archaeologists with Bar-Ilan University have been working at the ancient city of Gath, located 21 miles west of Bethlehem, for several years and now believe it was one of the largest cities of that time. According to an article published in Near Eastern Archaeology, they believe they have found evidence supporting the Bible’s narrative that the city was besieged and successfully captured by King Hazel of Aram, an attack recorded in 2 Kings: 17 About this time Hazael king of Aram went up and attacked Gath and captured it. Then he turned to attack Jerusalem. (2 Kings 12:17 NIV) Archaeologists working at the site known as Tel-es-Safi/Gath discovered bone arrowheads and as well a workshop where …

Painting of David slaying Goliath with the giant's sword by Guillaume Courtois (1628-1679) Wikipedia

Shin or forehead and does it matter?

First of all let me state categorically it doesn’t matter, but the discussion provides a unique twist on a favorite Bible story. In the English language we have many words that have more than one meaning take “fly” as an example. It can refer to an insect or “flying” through the air. “Bark” can refer to the outer layer of a tree, or the sound of a dog. In these cases, context means everything. In the Hebrew we can have the same thing happening. Take the story of the epic battle between David and Goliath. In the account found in 1 Samuel 17, we read that the Israeli army was faced off against the Philistines. The Philistines had a giant named Goliath. Standing over 9′ tall, each morning he would come out in full armor and parade in front of the Israelis, shouting for one of them to take him on in one-on-one battle. His challenge was all about fear and intimidation and it was working. No one was brave enough to challenge the Philistine …

Archaeologists digging into Gath, the hometown of Goliath Photo: Flickr/orientalizing

The giant gates of Gath, Goliath’s home town, found

Archaeologists say they have discovered the ancient Philistine city of Gath, home to one of the Bible’s most notorious characters — a giant named Goliath. King David’s slaying of the Philistine Giant in 1 Samuel 17 with a sling is a metaphor today of overcoming incredible odds. And today archaeologists are also uncovering evidence the city and the giants living there were very real. Perhaps it was just a coincidence, but archaeologists from Bar Ilan University working at the Tell es-Safi site have not only uncovered pottery at the site with the name of Goliath etched on it, but recently announced they have found the massive gates to the city. They are considered the largest set of gates ever found, perhaps fitting for a city known for its giants. At this point they have just uncovered the top of the gates and massive walls and it will take several years to fully uncover the gates. However, the size of stones at the top suggest the walls were massive. Archaeologists have been working at the Tell …

Canada’s tallest man to play Goliath in upcoming movie

Canadian Jerry Sokolosky stands 7′ 8″ tall. He has recently been chosen by director Tim Chey to play Goliath in a movie about King David. The $50 million movie is scheduled for release in 2015. The director said he was delighted to find Sokolosky because he didn’t want to use a computer generated image (CGI) to portray Goliath.  CGI was used in the movie “The Incredible Hulk.” Chey says they will use CGI to portray David’s fight with the bear and the lion. Though Goliath was 9′ tall, Chey believes Sokolosky will more than fill the role of Goliath, giving the ancient giant a realistic appearance.

Forgotten History: Bring Your Game

March 6, 1955 is a day in Canadian history that most of us never heard of. In the heart of the cold war, the mighty Soviet Union aimed at world domination in all things, including sports. They invented “amateur” status for hockey players who were paid as military personnel, often as senior officers. These players were trained, fed and groomed in every way to own amateur hockey, thus proving that the Communist system was superior in all things. The system was not fair, but it was clear the Russians owned the world championship. Canada had a simple system, whoever won the Allan Cup national championship, got a trip to Europe for the worlds in Krefeld Germany. Penticton beat Sudbury in a seven game series, one of the best ever, and so a bunch of mill hands from nowhere, the Penticton Vs, crossed the ocean in 1955. 

Was Goliath uncovered at Gath?

When a Philistine army invaded Judah, the Israeli army led by King Saul intercepted the Philistines at Socoh in Judah.  As the two armies faced each other there was the usual chest pounding. The Philistines sent out Goliath to challenge any Israeli soldier to one-on-one combat (1 Samuel 17). Goliath was a “champion” of the Philistines (v 4) and according to the Biblical record stood nearly 9′ 9″ and his body armour weighed 80 kg or about 160 pounds. He was there to intimidate his opponents. It’s what giants do best. Most liberal theologians discount the story of Goliath’s defeat by a young shepherd boy with a sling, as little more than a myth. However, Israeli archaeologist Dr. Aren Maeir — from Tel Aviv Bar-Ilan University — put these notions to rest when he announced finding Goliath in 2005.