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Why David chose five stones ,please read ! (Read 22030 times)
paleryder
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #165 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 1:17pm
 
I'm not sure I agree that he was not an expert. The development of this weapon skill was not for sport or learned as unimportant past time. Due to the high learning curve, someone who needed this weapon to survive or protect the flock from dangerous animals would have developed the skill to meet those demands. This was a way of survival both on and off the battlefield. I would think his skills were rather well-developed. Just a thought.

Todd
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #166 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 2:37pm
 
My angle on this is if he was a true expert slinger, he wouldn't have needed to pick up five stones as one would have got the job done. I have a stinking suspicion that if the story holds any weight, he suspected he may have missed Goliath more often than not and through experience knew it would take him at least five stones to finally achieve a good solid "hit".
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paleryder
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #167 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 4:34pm
 
That's why I suggested a non-practical reason for detail of five stones. I could see "several stones", a "few stones" but "five" stones just sounds strange. It is interesting that the author made the point they were smooth. Maybe the author knew something about slinging. Smiley It could be superflous but I think it had symbolic meaning.
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kentuckythrower
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #168 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 4:54pm
 
I'd like to know the basic load of bullets a slinger would be expected to carry with him.
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Masiakasaurus
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #169 - Feb 9th, 2012 at 9:09pm
 
I can say from personal experience that I can carry 5 lb. loose on my hip, a 10 lb. sack in my hand, or 12 lb. on my back without any noticeable decrease in mobility or speed. Unless the stones were 1 lb. each, any unarmored slinger could have carried more. On the other hand, it is very foolish to not carry as much as possible. Those two things together seem to point to a less apparent reason for the five stones.

It is no coincidence that Goliath challenged the Israelites for forty days, the rain that caused the great flood lasted for forty days, Noah waited another forty days before opening the ark, and moses was on Mt. Sinai for forty days receiving God's work, etc. Numbers always have very specific, symbolic meaning in the Bible. Four is the number of man, one is the number of divinity in the Bible, and five is the number of grace. It's one added to four in order to strengthen it. Another instance of this is the changing of Abram's name to Abraham when he was called to walk before God. It's significant because God added the number five (represented by the 5th letter of the hebrew alphabet, hei) to the middle of Abram's name. "Av-ram" became "Av-ra-ha-um." When Jesus (one) fed the crowd on the mountain (four), he did it by giving them five loaves, which represent grace especially well within the context of his feeding people. Add the 2 fish to the five loaves and you get seven, the symbol of perfection, which refers to Jesus being the only prefect man. IMHO, almost every number in the Bible was inserted there to convey a specific meaning and we've lost the cultural context with which to understand a lot of them.

Extra-biblical evidence points to David having been Saul's shield bearer as well as his well known job as a shepherd. Given this, David was likely older than 15 and an adept fighter in his own right. He'd need to be in order to protect himself while weighed down by Saul's equipment and his own. We can also gather that regardless of whether David was good with the sling, we are supposed to think he was. Otherwise he wouldn't have gone into battle with a sling as his primary weapon and there'd be no point in his bragging about killing a lion and a bear while tending his flock.
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Pikåru wrote on Nov 19th, 2013 at 6:59pm:
Massi - WTF? It's called a sling. You use it to throw rocks farther and faster than you could otherwise. That's all. 
~Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily avialable, they will create their own problems.~
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timothy42b
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #170 - Feb 10th, 2012 at 10:46am
 
Masiakasaurus wrote on Feb 9th, 2012 at 9:09pm:
Unless the stones were 1 lb. each, any unarmored slinger could have carried more. On the other hand, it is very foolish to not carry as much as possible.


Those two things together seem to point to a less apparent reason for the five stones.


Your point about significant numbers is well taken.  Even if the choice is not deliberate, the important numbers in any culture tend to get attached to events and stories. 

I'm not sure though that it makes sense to carry "as much as possible."  A soldier slinger would have a need for large amounts, would have LBE (modern military term, load bearing equipment) suitable for carrying it, and would not expect to be able to scavene ammo from the terrain. 

None of that applies to the shepherd boy or armor bearer, whichever he was (and there are some contradictions in the Biblical text.  Ah, I'd better say apparent contradictions, don't want to offend the literalists. )  The terrain where sheep grazed very possibly had stones lying around.  Certainly there would be no need for the average shepherd to carry more than a couple, so he might not have had a comfortable bag, holster, etc.  During periods of boredom he probably collected a pile, threw them all, and did it again.  He might even have been able to reuse most of them if he were throwing at a creek bank or similar.  It would have been a hobby that was occasionally useful, so he would not have been equipped the same as a professional slinger.
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timann
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #171 - Feb 10th, 2012 at 11:44am
 
Perhaps half a sentence is missing;...which he added to the four already laying there. Wink
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Aussie
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Re: Why David chose five stones ,please read !
Reply #172 - Feb 10th, 2012 at 3:55pm
 
paleryder wrote on Feb 9th, 2012 at 4:34pm:
That's why I suggested a non-practical reason for detail of five stones. I could see "several stones", a "few stones" but "five" stones just sounds strange. It is interesting that the author made the point they were smooth. Maybe the author knew something about slinging. Smiley It could be superflous but I think it had symbolic meaning.


I would say the author almost certainly knew about slinging. Slings have always been the weapon of the common man, especially so in shepherding societies. The author makes the point that David went to a stream to select his stones because that's where he would find the nice smooth stones necessary for top accuracy. You may have seen the video posted recently, of a woman in Morocco using a sling to round up her goats. She just picks up any old stone off the ground and slings in the goats direction to get them moving. She doesn't want to hit them. But for a special job, David selects top grade ammunition.
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