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Is it real? David and Goliath (Read 122318 times)
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #165 - Jun 7th, 2007 at 6:19am
 
Tint wrote on Jun 7th, 2007 at 2:35am:
Let's assume that the story is real.

How good was David as a slinger?  Was it a lucky shot?  or was he so good that he was sure he could hit Goliath's forehead before getting smashed?

And how good were the slingers in the old days?  I've read that the slingers in the Roman army had to pass a test of hitting a human head size target at 600 feet.  Can they do it every shot?  

What do you think?


David was a shepherd and as such was probably using his sling every day. He was undoubdtedly very good, but probably all shepherds were as good or close to it. What is certain is that he was supremely confident and had deep faith in God. He was also probably very close to Goliath when shooting, just enough to keep out of range of Goliath's javelin.

As far as consistently hitting a human head at 600', that is almost certainly vast exaggeration. There are few riflemen who could do it consistently shooting offhand and even the rifle itself would probably have a greater dispersion than that. Assume a target of 10" diameter to make the math simple. At 200 yds. that means an angle of dipersion of only 5 minutes. With stones and a braided sling?

Yurek posted an article some time ago about an Iranian shepherd. This man could consistently hit a full man-sized target two out of three times at 100m. Even that is (imo) excellent shooting. It is unlikely that the "ancients" did any better than that.
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #166 - Jun 7th, 2007 at 1:36pm
 

Quote:
Yurek posted an article some time ago about an Iranian shepherd. This man could consistently hit a full man-sized target two out of three times at 100m.



With smart ammo......


Maybe.



TS
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #167 - Jun 12th, 2007 at 6:22am
 
...


here's a plate which was commissioned by heraclius, byzantine emperor, in the 7th century - it may be posted elsewhere, but it's the first time i've seen it - a beautiful piece of work   

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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #168 - Jun 13th, 2007 at 2:37am
 
Smiley

Beautifull indeed, what a great find. That should be added to the gallery.

Coenie
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #169 - Jul 10th, 2007 at 8:34am
 
First, I have to admit that I have not read this long thread in detail.
Anyway, as to if the account of David & Goliath is real - yes, why not? To have champions fight before the real clash (I have never really believed that the fight of the champions replaced the big battle) seems to have been usual in many times and cultures, so... yes. No problems so far.

Goliath being nine feet tall... Nah, I donīt belive that. 7 feet might be more realistic, though, and the people describing the event probably wanted Davidīs victory to sound even more impressive so they added a couple of feet for literary effect. (Or maybe the Philistine propaganda stated him to be 9 feet to scare people  Wink)

That David killed Goliath with his sling - oh, yes! And it was no miracle, either, it certainly did not require any personal attention from God! To stay out of Goliathīs effective range, David would have to keep, say 5 meters away from Goliath. He was small and quick, Goliath was big and considering his heavy armour and weapons most likely slow. Let the big guy move around in the heat for a while and work up a sweat, and when he stands still and catches his breath, maybe even lifts up his helmet to wipe his forehead to keep the sweat from trickling down into his eyes -
WHAM!


An expert slinger at the range of 5 meters would definitely be able to make a clean kill of a large man. If the Bible had stated "David pulled out a Smith & Wesson .38 and shot Goliath in the head" nobody would be the least surprised (well, apart from the anacronism, then...) - but in a way that was exactly what happened!

All statements of Goliath having superior weapons, and David "miraculously" defeating him are simply nonsense, if you ask me. David had a deadly weapon with longer effective range than Goliathīs, and he was an expert at using it! Everybody underestimated Davidīs sling, while David himself knew exactly what he could do with it. In my opinion, Goliath was in fact dead the moment David stepped out to face him - it just took Goliath (and everyone else) some time to realize it.

So yes, I think the story of David & Goliath is an account of an event that happened for real, but more like when movies are "based on a true...". As for a miracle by God - nope. There is simply no need for a miracle, even if I believed there was a God!

Lasse C
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« Last Edit: Jul 10th, 2007 at 2:46pm by Lasse C »  
 
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #170 - Jul 10th, 2007 at 9:58am
 
Lasse C wrote on Jul 10th, 2007 at 8:34am:
To stay out of Goliathīs effective range, David would have to keep, say 5 meters away from Goliath.

The story says Goliath had a spear, so you would have to stay out of spear throwing range, too. It's a bit harder but for a trained shepherd it should still be possible.
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #171 - Jul 10th, 2007 at 10:39am
 
Dravonk wrote on Jul 10th, 2007 at 9:58am:
The story says Goliath had a spear, so you would have to stay out of spear throwing range, too. It's a bit harder but for a trained shepherd it should still be possible.


Please note that I wrote "effective" range, not "potential" or "maximum" range.
Sure, Goliath could no doubt hurl his spear for a considerable distance, but a hard, long throw is pretty useless on a quick-moving single opponent with his eyes focused on you. Iīd say that the distance he could use his spear and expect to actually hit quick-moving little David was limited to stabbing and a short throw that could be made with a surprise movement - which is hard to do with a heavy spear. That effective range might even be less than 5 metres.

Theoretically Goliath could stand with his arm raised and spear held ready to throw, but agile little David could run in circles around him, forcing him to turn for a new aim, and turn and turn... You donīt stand holding a heavy spear in a "throw-ready" position in baking sun very long.

No, I maintain my claim that David was likely to have been at least fairly safe 5 metres from Goliath, while in comfortable range for his own sling.

Lasse C

*PS: OK, for the sake of argument, letīs say 10 meters - but it really doesnīt make any real difference *
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« Last Edit: Jul 10th, 2007 at 2:49pm by Lasse C »  
 
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #172 - Jul 10th, 2007 at 12:36pm
 

Your Smith & Wesson comparison has merit, I believe.  The sling was both the Smith & Wesson and Sharps of it's day.  When demonstrating that the sling is capable of having accomplished what is recorded, I chose a distance of 10 meters for the reasons cited.  Although I have no doubt that David's 'zone of confidence' was certainly much larger than my own.  David's prospects likely became much more exciting inside 15 meters, as inside this distance there was little time for worthwhile reaction on the part of Goliath.  David would have maintained the option of slightly adjusting the arc of his cast should Goliath have attempted an impromptu gymnastics tryout during the 'gauging' or 'uptake' portion of the cast. 



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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #173 - Aug 11th, 2007 at 3:23am
 
Yes, it is real.
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #174 - Aug 11th, 2007 at 3:30am
 
Lasse C wrote on Jul 10th, 2007 at 8:34am:
First, I have to admit that I have not read this long thread in detail.
Anyway, as to if the account of David & Goliath is real - yes, why not? To have champions fight before the real clash (I have never really believed that the fight of the champions replaced the big battle) seems to have been usual in many times and cultures, so... yes. No problems so far.

Goliath being nine feet tall... Nah, I donīt belive that. 7 feet might be more realistic, though, and the people describing the event probably wanted Davidīs victory to sound even more impressive so they added a couple of feet for literary effect. (Or maybe the Philistine propaganda stated him to be 9 feet to scare people  Wink)

That David killed Goliath with his sling - oh, yes! And it was no miracle, either, it certainly did not require any personal attention from God! To stay out of Goliathīs effective range, David would have to keep, say 5 meters away from Goliath. He was small and quick, Goliath was big and considering his heavy armour and weapons most likely slow. Let the big guy move around in the heat for a while and work up a sweat, and when he stands still and catches his breath, maybe even lifts up his helmet to wipe his forehead to keep the sweat from trickling down into his eyes -
WHAM!


An expert slinger at the range of 5 meters would definitely be able to make a clean kill of a large man. If the Bible had stated "David pulled out a Smith & Wesson .38 and shot Goliath in the head" nobody would be the least surprised (well, apart from the anacronism, then...) - but in a way that was exactly what happened!

All statements of Goliath having superior weapons, and David "miraculously" defeating him are simply nonsense, if you ask me. David had a deadly weapon with longer effective range than Goliathīs, and he was an expert at using it! Everybody underestimated Davidīs sling, while David himself knew exactly what he could do with it. In my opinion, Goliath was in fact dead the moment David stepped out to face him - it just took Goliath (and everyone else) some time to realize it.

So yes, I think the story of David & Goliath is an account of an event that happened for real, but more like when movies are "based on a true...". As for a miracle by God - nope. There is simply no need for a miracle, even if I believed there was a God!

Lasse C




WHO ARE YOU? THE DEVILS ADVOCQATE?  Osama bin laden is 7 feet tall, and I am near 6 and a half feet tall, 9 feet what is that? there are TENS OF THOUSANDS of people in FINLAND who are over 7 feet tall, the tallest man alive is what, ELEVEN (11)!! FEET TALL!! WHAT IS 9 FEET? IT IS NOTHING!!  Angry
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #175 - Aug 11th, 2007 at 3:12pm
 
Stoner wrote on Aug 11th, 2007 at 3:30am:
WHO ARE YOU? THE DEVILS ADVOCQATE?  Osama bin laden is 7 feet tall, and I am near 6 and a half feet tall, 9 feet what is that? there are TENS OF THOUSANDS of people in FINLAND who are over 7 feet tall, the tallest man alive is what, ELEVEN (11)!! FEET TALL!! WHAT IS 9 FEET? IT IS NOTHING!!  Angry

Whoaa, my friend, calm down - OK?
I am... a person fond of facts...  Smiley
The tallest man alive is 236 cms tall. That is 7 feet and (barely) 9 inches, my friend - unless there is a special way of measuring feet in Finland which I donīt know of. For all the rest of us 1 foot = 12 inches = 12 x 2,54 cms = 30.48 cms.

7 feet is 213 cms. Not unheard of, but unusual. If there really are that many people in Finland taller than 213 cms Finland must have a most impressive national basket team!!
(World champs many times over, I suppose?  Wink)

9 feet is 277 cms. I donīt claim it is impossible for a person to grow that big - but it is:
A) Very, very, very unusual.
B) Highly impractical. The human frame does not really have the construction for those sizes. Extremely tall (+230 cms) people often get problems with knees, hips, feet, etc.

So, a person being 9 feet tall, and mobile and strong enough to become a good warrior? No, I simply donīt believe that. Sorry.

Lasse C
(6 foot 3 inches, BTW)
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« Last Edit: Aug 12th, 2007 at 2:45am by Lasse C »  
 
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #176 - Aug 12th, 2007 at 2:33am
 
The biblical tale certainly could be based on some actual incident or incidents.  The time period corresponds to one when body armor wasn't very good, shields only seemed to have a single handgrip, and missile weapons had the potential to dominate the battlefield.  Indeed, battlefield remains from around the Mediterranean show so many sling injuries that some archeologists have called it the 'thirty millimeter wound'.

As far as details like heights, weights, and distances go... what units of measurement did those ancient Israelites use?  Is there any chance that these were preserved by oral tradition for several centuries, accurately converted to the entirely different system of units that were in use when the Old Testament was written, and then translated, through a succession of alien languages and cultures, to the units of measurement we use today?  Is there any chance that the numbers themselves -- something scribes were notoriously likely to get wrong -- were copied and recopied without a single error for almost three thousand years?  This seems unlikely.  And if you compare all the many different versions of the bible, ancient and modern, you might find some striking disagreements.

Still a good story though.  That poor Goliath dude.  The odds were against him, and he probably knew it.  But still he went out to fight for his people.  Brave man.  I would have waited 2000 years, until decent close-faced helmets with good internal padding were invented...
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #177 - Aug 12th, 2007 at 2:56am
 
DesertPilot wrote on Aug 12th, 2007 at 2:33am:
Is there any chance that the numbers themselves -- something scribes were notoriously likely to get wrong -- were copied and recopied without a single error for almost three thousand years?  This seems unlikely.  And if you compare all the many different versions of the bible, ancient and modern, you might find some striking disagreements.


As for units, I think they are not that far off. Most measuring units over history has been based on parts of the human body, the dimensions of which has not really changed dramatically since Cro Magnon came on to the scene.

Numbers, on the other hand...
Yes, scribes are notorious for getting them wrong, or to change - or even "grabbing them out of thin air" - for the literary effect. A good example of this is the statments of how many people were killed by the plague in Medieval times. Modern calculations of how many people who actually must have lived in different areas means that according to the scribes everybody in some places must have died -
two or three times each!
 Roll Eyes

So, numbers passed on over long time are not to be trusted - which is a good reason I doubt Goliath was 9 feet tall. (Especially him not even being from Finland!! Wink)

Maybe Goliath knew he did not have a chance. But, what choice did he have? Actually? Refuse to go out there and be considered to "chicken out" in front of a shepherd boy - or to go out and die for his "King & country". Not unheard of in history, after all. Die as he did, he made his name immortal! Many men have chosen death for a chance at that, very few succeeded as well as Goliath.

Lasse C
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #178 - Aug 12th, 2007 at 3:29am
 
Goliath who?

Oh, that guy from Finland? Grin
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Re: Is it real? David and Goliath
Reply #179 - Aug 12th, 2007 at 9:21am
 
Lasse C wrote on Aug 11th, 2007 at 3:12pm:
Stoner wrote on Aug 11th, 2007 at 3:30am:
WHO ARE YOU? THE DEVILS ADVOCQATE?  Osama bin laden is 7 feet tall, and I am near 6 and a half feet tall, 9 feet what is that? there are TENS OF THOUSANDS of people in FINLAND who are over 7 feet tall, the tallest man alive is what, ELEVEN (11)!! FEET TALL!! WHAT IS 9 FEET? IT IS NOTHING!!  Angry

Whoaa, my friend, calm down - OK?
I am... a person fond of facts...  Smiley
The tallest man alive is 236 cms tall. That is 7 feet and (barely) 9 inches, my friend - unless there is a special way of measuring feet in Finland which I donīt know of. For all the rest of us 1 foot = 12 inches = 12 x 2,54 cms = 30.48 cms.

7 feet is 213 cms. Not unheard of, but unusual. If there really are that many people in Finland taller than 213 cms Finland must have a most impressive national basket team!!
(World champs many times over, I suppose?  Wink)

9 feet is 277 cms. I donīt claim it is impossible for a person to grow that big - but it is:
A) Very, very, very unusual.
B) Highly impractical. The human frame does not really have the construction for those sizes. Extremely tall (+230 cms) people often get problems with knees, hips, feet, etc.

So, a person being 9 feet tall, and mobile and strong enough to become a good warrior? No, I simply donīt believe that. Sorry.

Lasse C
(6 foot 3 inches, BTW)



You're not a fan of due diligence...

the Tallest Man ever, Robert Wadlow, who stood at a staggering 2.72 m (8 ft 11.1 in).



So Goliath never existed, eh? Because no man could ever be just about 9 feet, right?
Mr. Wadlow was fully functional when he lived.


Oh, and first you said 7 feet was 237 cm, but it's really 213. There are THOUSANDS of people in finland who are 210 cm. NOTHING UNUSUAL! Unless you're a scrawny little teenager from England.
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