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The name "Goliath" itself is non-Semitic and has been linked with the Lydian king Alyattes, which also fits the Philistine context of the biblical Goliath story.
Aren Maeir, director of the excavation, comments: "Here we have very nice evidence [that] the name Goliath appearing in the Bible in the context of the story of David and Goliath …
Christian tradition sees David's battle with Goliath the victory of God's king over the enemies of God's helpless people as a prefiguring of Jesus' victory over sin on the cross and the Church's victory over Satan.
The phrase "David and Goliath" (or "David versus Goliath") has taken on a more popular meaning, denoting an underdog situation, a contest where a smaller, weaker opponent faces a much bigger, stronger adversary.
David, bringing food for his elder brothers, hears that Goliath has defied the armies of God and of the reward from Saul to the one that defeats him, and accepts the challenge.
Saul reluctantly agrees and offers his armor, which David declines, taking only his staff, sling (Hebrew: qāla‘) and five stones from a brook.
is not some later literary creation." The underlying purpose of the story of Goliath is to show that Saul is not fit to be king (and that David is).
Saul was chosen to lead the Israelites against their enemies, but when faced with Goliath he refuses to do so; Goliath is a giant, and Saul is a very tall man.
While the names are not directly connected with the biblical Goliath, they are etymologically related and demonstrate that the name fits with the context of late-tenth/early-ninth-century BC Philistine culture.
In the first place, he notes that archaeological information suggests that Philistine helmets generally had a forehead covering, in some cases extending down to the nose.
Why (he asks) should David aim at such an impenetrable spot (and how did it hit with such force to penetrate thick bone)?
"David declares that when a lion or bear came and attacked his father's sheep, he battled against it and killed it, [but Saul] has been cowering in fear instead of rising up and attacking the threat to his sheep (i.e.
Israel)." The armor described in 1 Samuel 17 appears typical of Greek armor of the sixth century BCE rather than of Philistines' armor of the tenth century.
The biblical account describes Goliath as falling on his face after he is struck by a stone that sank into his forehead.