7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Goliath


A celebrated giant of Gath, who challenged the armies of Israel, and was encountered and slain by David. The history is contained in 1Sa 17. His height was nine feet and a half; or, if we reckon the cubit at twenty-one inches, over eleven feet. See GIANTS.


great. (1.) A famous giant of Gath, who for forty days openly defied the armies of Israel, but was at length slain by David with a stone from a sling (1Sa 17:4). He was probably descended from the Rephaim who found refuge among the Philistines after they were dispersed by the Ammonites (De 2:20-21). His height was "six cubits and a span," which, taking the cubit at 21 inches, is equal to 10 1/2 feet. David cut off his head (1Sa 17:51) and brought it to Jerusalem, while he hung the armour which he took from him in his tent. His sword was preserved at Nob as a religious trophy (1Sa 21:9). David's victory over Goliath was the turning point in his life. He came into public notice now as the deliverer of Israel and the chief among Saul's men of war (1Sa 18:5), and the devoted friend of Jonathan.

(2.) In 2Sa 21:19 there is another giant of the same name mentioned as slain by Elhanan. The staff of his apear "was like a weaver's beam." The Authorized Version interpolates the words "the brother of" from 1Ch 20:5, where this giant is called Lahmi.

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Perhaps a descendant of the old Rephaim, a remnant of whom, when dispersed by Ammon, took refuge with the Philistines (De 2:20-21; 2Sa 21:22). Hebrew golleh means "an exile". Simonis derives it from an Arabic root, "stout." Gath is incidentally mentioned in Samuel as Goliath's city. Now Moses records the spies' report (Nu 13:32-33) of Canaan, "there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which came of the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers." Again in Jos 11:21-22 it is written, "Joshua cut off the Anakims from the mountains, from Hebron, ... there was none of the Anakims left in the land of Israel, only in Gath and in Ashdod there remained."

Thus three independent witnesses, Moses, Joshua, and Samuel, in the most undesigned way confirm the fact that Goliath was a giant of Gath. His height, six cubits and a span, would make 9 ft. 2 in. Parisian measure, a height not unparalleled. But Septuagint and Josephus read four cubits and a span. His coat of mail, covering chest, back, and lower parts of the body, was "scale armor," qasqeseth (compare Le 11:9-10). Keil and Delitzsch for "target of brass" translated (kidown) "a brazen lance." Goliath needed no target to cover his back, as this was protected by the coat of mail. On the scene of battle (See ELAH; on the battle, etc., (See DAVID and (See ELHANAN.)

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A giant, said to have been a descendant of the early race of Anakim. He was slain, in single combat, by David (or, according to another tradition, by Elhanan) at Ephes-dammim, before an impending battle between the Philistines and the Israelites. That this 'duel' was of a religious character comes out clearly in 1Sa 17:43,45, where we are told that the Philistine cursed David by his gods, while David replies: 'And I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts.' The fact that David brings the giant's sword as an offering into the sanctuary at Nob points in the same direction. Goliath is described as being 'six cubits and a span' in height, i.e. over nine feet, at the likeliest reckoning; his armour and weapons were proportionate to his great height. Human skeletons have been found of equal height, so that there is nothing improbable in the Biblical account of his stature. The flight of the Philistines on the death of their champion could be accounted for by their belief that the Israelite God had shown Himself superior to their god (but see 2Sa 23:9-12; 1Ch 11:12 ff.); see, further, David, Elhanan.

W. O. E. Oesterley.

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The giant of Gath, who for forty days defied the armies of Israel. He was slain by David with a sling and a stone in the name of Jehovah. David cut off his head and carried it to Jerusalem. Goliath's sword was preserved and eventually restored to David. His height was six cubits and a span, about 8ft. 4in. by the shortest cubit. He was a type of Satan, too strong for any to conquer except the one in the power of Jehovah, David being a type of the Lord Jesus. 1Sa 17:4-23; 21:9. Goliath's brother, named Lahmi, also a giant, is evidently the one spoken of in 2Sa 21:19, compare 1Ch 20:5.

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(splendor), a famous giant of Gath, who "morning and evening for forty days" defied the armies of Israel.

1Sa 17:1

... (B.C. 1063.) He was possibly descended from the old Rephaim [GIANTS], of whom a scattered remnant took refuge with the Philistines after their dispersion by the Ammonites.

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De 2:20-21; 2Sa 21:22

His height was "six cubits and a span," which taking the cubit at 21 inches, would make him 10 1/2 feet high. The scene of his combat with David, by whom he was slain, was the "valley of the terebinth," between Shochoh and Arekah, probably among the western passes of Benjamin. In

2Sa 21:19

we find that another Goliath of Gath was slain by Elhanan, also a Bethlehemite.

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GOLIATH, a famous giant of the city of Gath, who was slain by David, 1Sa 17:4-5, &c. See GIANTS.

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